Calling all gardening enthusiasts! Also, calling anyone who loves cool stuff! There's a way to make your garden glow in the dark this summer with a new type of flower.

I hope to go all around Minnesota and be able to find glow-in-the-dark gardens in neighborhoods everywhere, because how fun would that be?

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Glow-in-the-Dark Plant Research

Let's get nerdy for a second. There's different research out there that uses a gene from the firefly to make things glow that don't naturally glow by themselves.

Real fireflies on a grass field at night
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It sounds like the first time this was successfully done in a plant was in 2018 at MIT. Researchers "embedded the firefly enzyme in the leaves of a watercress plant." This caused the plant to glow.

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They weren't just doing this for fun, though. The thought was that house plants could eventually be used as low-intensity lighting inside and trees could be used as streetlamps. How wild would that be?

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However, this flower I discovered the other day that you can grow at your home doesn't use the firefly gene. It actually uses "four genes from a bioluminescent mushroom and a fifth from a fungi," according to NPR.

Glow-in-the-Dark Petunias

These glow-in-the-dark flowers are petunias. They were created by Keith Wood, Ph.D., through his company Light Bio.

These flowers were not created to serve as light like MIT's research wanted to do. Keith said, "'We thought we could do something really special here. We could create a kind of decorative plant that was really just enjoyment, just bringing a kind of magic into our lives.'"

And so he and his team did!

These petunias are white during the day but then as the sun goes down they start to glow this green color.


I definitely want to add these to our garden this summer, this is too cool! It's $29 for one. I'm not sure if the one is an already budding plant or if it's a packet of seeds but I was thinking I'd have to drop a lot more money on a plant like this than $29.

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Gallery Credit: Samm Adams

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