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Why Is Grass Green? – It’s All In The Perception

Mother Nature is full of colors, but not most people sit back to question how the different things in nature got the colors they got or whether they’re essential at all. For instance, we have a pink and red sunset, a blue ocean, bright blue skies on sunny days, and of course, green grass.

Perhaps you’re one of the few who tend to question things in the universe, and that’s how you ended up wondering, “why is grass green?

Well, you’ve come to the right place as I’ll give you a detailed rundown of why grass is green and what it means when your grass starts to lose its green shade.

Why Is Grass Green
Green Grass – via

Why is Grass Green?

To better understand the phenomenon, I will start with the main component required for grass to appear green. In the next section, you’ll see precisely how this component ties together with white light to give us the lush, green color we love to see on our lawns.


Grass wouldn’t appear green without the presence of chlorophyll, which is a chemical within plants whose main role is to absorb energy from the sun so plants can thrive.

Every healthy cell on a grass blade with active chlorophyll essentially acts as the plant’s solar panel. Of course, plants also need water and extra nutrients from the soil to ultimately thrive.

This explains why we regard strong green tones as the most desirable and healthiest. It is simply because it implies they have more chlorophyll in their leaves, which further means that the plant is absorbing sufficient energy levels from the sun, which it needs to grow taller and healthier.

When I first explained the importance of chlorophyll in plants to my sister, including how they give plants their color and help them create energy for the plants, the first question she asked was, well, if that’s true, then why aren’t all kinds of grass green.

You’re probably wondering the same thing, so I’ll answer that question before we skip to the next section of the guide and see how chlorophyll REALLY gives plants their green pigment.

So, when you see grasses or plants that aren’t as green as your lawn, the first probability is that the plant in question is under duress, dying, or sick and needs attention. If left to their own devices, these plants and grass will usually get to a point of no return and ultimately die off.

The other reason could be that the tree or plant species lacks a high amount of chlorophyll. Remember, plants do not need high levels of chlorophyll to survive.

They just need them to look great, which implies that some plants found in tropical and subtropical will usually have just the right amount of chlorophyll they need to survive.

Another reason many other plants will have a wide array of different shades (such as red, pink, purple, etc.) is the presence of additional pigments in their leaves.

This does not imply that chlorophyll isn’t available in the plants. It simply means that we cannot perceive it due to the darker pigments reflecting additional lights.

Now let’s skip to the section that will tie everything we’ve learned together.

Why Do We See Grass As Green?

To understand why people perceive grass as green, you’ll need to understand why we see the green shade in the first place.

From basic color theory back in school, we already knew that we needed to combine blue and yellow pigment to produce green paint. We could even blend these two in different ratios to come up with varying shades of green or add the white shade to the backgrounds.

With color perception, however, things get a little bit more complicated.

You see, lots of colored light wavelengths are available withing white lights. All these wavelengths aren’t visible to our naked eyes when combined with white light, but you can use special equipment to see in ultraviolet and infrared.

Anyway, after light beams out of a source, like a sun or a torch, and hits an object’s surface, we then get to see colors based on the types of lights reflected from the said surface.

When all wavelengths get reflected toward our eyes, we see white surfaces, and when all wavelengths get absorbed, and none of them come back to our eyes, we see black.

To conclude, this implies that when even a single wavelength gets reflected, that is the color we’ll see. Of course, we’ve all heard of color blindness cases where people do not perceive colors as they really are. That’s a topic for another day.

So how does all this relate to grass?

Well, grasses have chlorophyll, which absorbs the red and blue light in white light and only reflects the green light. This is what gives grass the green shade. But how comes green is the only shade reflected by chlorophyll while red and blue light are absorbed.

Its simple. All kinds of light rays contain energy, and chlorophyll only keeps or absorbs the colors that have the ideal energy they need to carry out the photosynthesis process.

Throughout all this process, green is usually the only leftover type of light that hasn’t been absorbed, implying that it’s the only shade reflected.

So, why is grass green? If anyone asks you that question, simply tell them its because the chlorophyll in grass keeps or absorbs all other shades in white light and only bounces off green light.

>> Related Post: 4 Of The Best Fertilizer For Green Grass

Final Thoughts

Light is, without a doubt, an extremely interesting subject and, as we’ve learned today, is more than just the visible light we can perceive with our naked eyes. Basically, the reason grass is green has to do with the levels of chlorophyll available in the grass strands.

In addition to helping provide energy for the grass, chlorophyll also reflects green light while absorbing other colors. If you’d like to learn more about why the sky is blue or why the grass is green, you could also read in-depth about the electromagnetic spectrum.

Simply put, the electromagnetic spectrum goes into detail about the different kinds of light available out there, including, but not limited to, radio waves, ultraviolet rays, x rays, and infrared.