How does lightning help plants and flowers?

Published: Friday, May 11, 2018 @ 11:35 PM

Lightning beneficial to gardens, lawns

This Mother’s Day weekend means it’s time to get those plants and flowers in the ground, and the chance for thunderstorms could provide a botanical boost in more ways than one.

The rain, of course, provides a key ingredient for plants and flowers, but lightning also plays a role, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.

“Lightning actually helps plants to grow,” Vrydaghs said. “The heat of the lightning interacts with nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere. As a result, nitrates are formed. When diluted with the rain, they fall to the ground as a natural fertilizer.

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“That’s why you typically see greener and fuller grass a few days after a thunderstorm,” Vrydaghs said.

This weekend’s forecast calls for a mix of sun, clouds and rain with the chance for strong thunderstorms for Mother’s Day on Sunday. sss