I saw a comment about Etiolation when talking about wintering plants.

Etiolation is a big concern also, in warmer temps and short days.

I've never seen that word before, it sounds like it's something bad happening to the plant. What does 'Etiolation' mean?

1 Answer 1


Etiolation is long, spindly growth caused by poor lighting conditions. Plants will tend to be more yellowish because of chlorophyll lack.

You will see it at its worst when trying to greenhouse start plants before you have enough sunlight to properly enable photosynthesis. The plants know they're light starved and are trying to grow tall enough to get it. The cure is to start later when you have more sunlight or find a way to provide strong enough artificial lighting so the plant grows properly.

Etiolation is a big concern also, in warmer temps and short days.

Basically translates to: "It's so warm the plant will grow well, but there's too little sunlight for it to grow properly in a healthy manner."

  • Common use for etiolation: Etiolate your asparagus, for a springtime delicacy! facebook.com/BuffaLoam/posts/468379396568420 "Dirt is mounded around the emerging stalk so the plant cannot produce chlorophyll." Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 15:44
  • Also a common process with Endive, referred to also as blanching, it produces a creamy yellow growth with a more refined taste. The growth pattern in etiolation produces softer, elongated cell walls, reduces chlorophyll content and eliminates some of the sharper flavors that members of the Chicory family can express. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 2:27

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