While most people think of plants as being peaceful and serene, they actually have a dark side. At night, when the sun goes down, plants release a gas called ethylene. This gas is actually a plant hormone that helps them to ripen fruit and flowers. However, ethylene is also a flammable gas, and when it builds up in enclosed spaces, it can be dangerous. In fact, ethylene gas is the leading cause of fires in greenhouses.
So how do plants produce ethylene gas? It’s actually a by-product of their metabolism. When plants convert sunlight into energy, they also produce small amounts of ethylene. This gas is released into the air through the stomata, which are tiny pores on the underside of leaves. The stomata open at night to allow the plant to breathe, and this is when the ethylene gas is released.
While ethylene gas is necessary for plants to ripen fruit and flowers, too much of it can be harmful. When ethylene gas builds up in enclosed spaces, it can cause fires. That’s why it’s important to ventilate greenhouses and other enclosed spaces where plants are grown. Otherwise, the ethylene gas can build up to dangerous levels and create a fire hazard.
So next time you’re admiring the beauty of a flower or the sweetness of a ripe piece of fruit, remember that it’s all thanks to ethylene gas. Just be careful not to let it build up in enclosed spaces, or you could be in for a nasty surprise.