Mystery of Nature

“Mystery of Nature”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

What causes flowers to change colors?

In the past I have noticed that flowers will change colors especially in colder temperatures. Knockout roses will be darker in cold temperatures and certain camellia flowers will also darken in colder weather. This is due to the fact that certain colors’ chemical composition responds to temperature.

But what causes the flowers of identical plants to be different colors? I have two hibiscus plants that are blooming in a dark and a light color. I have had these plants for years, and in fact, one of these is from a cutting of the other, and this year they are sporting different colors.


Hibiscus, Light


Hibiscus, Dark


Now, the lighter color is how this hibiscus has bloomed for years. It is more of a peach color. The darker flower is definitely orange. Both of these plants are in containers, next to one another, and have been fertilized, watered, etc. the same. So, why are the flowers a different color? And why now after so many years? I could understand if both were blooming the same darker color, but not one light and one dark. And with the heat we have been experiencing, it can’t be a result of one being in a cooler temperature.

One of the mysteries of nature, I guess.

Update on the St. Swithen’s Day rain forecast: If you read my previous entry, I just wanted to keep you posted on the rain. Yes, it has rained every day since that posting. I am almost ready to believe that forty day forecast of rain.



  1. July 26, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Glad you received more rain, I guess….there is that delicate balance between enough and too much.
    I would imagine the change in color has to do with the growing conditions. Water especially but over the growth period the nutrients will change as well.

    • Jan said,

      July 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      Janet, you are right about there being a delicate balance between enough and too much rain. Before the grass was drying up, and now we are worried about fungus. We are supposed to be dry for the weekend, and I cannot believe I am looking forward to dry weather.

  2. Kathleen said,

    July 26, 2011 at 10:35 am

    The original must be a hybrid and the second reverted back to it’s natural color. That’s all I can think of to explain the difference. They are both beautiful and so you have a two for one winner!

    • Jan said,

      July 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Kathleen, one is from a cutting of the other, so that would mean they are the same. I think they are just playing with my head.

  3. July 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I am guessing, really, and wondering if it might have something to do with the soil chemistry, the fertilizer or plant food you are using (or, lack thereof). Or, your organic mulch, if that’s what you use. Might be a slightly different chemical makeup from the mulch you produced last year, for example.

    • Jan said,

      July 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      It is a puzzle, Dave. The only thing I can think is that one must be getting a little more shade than the other. I might move them both to the patio so the sun exposure will be the same.

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