Bioluminescent Houseplants May Be the Next Big Trend for Green Thumbs

published Jun 4, 2022
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Credit: Andrew Bui

If you’re looking to add a futuristic spin to your houseplant collection, then you’re going to want to keep an eye on the bioluminescent houseplant market. A company called Light Bio is genetically engineering plants that glow in the dark.

Using the genetic makeup of bioluminescent fungi, Light Bio scientists were able to transfer DNA sequences into tobacco plants, which resulted in the leaves giving off a neon green glow that lasted from seedling through maturity. 

When the lights are on, these plants look like any other leafy green. But at night, or when the lights are flicked off, the tobacco plants emitted a glow that radiates from the inside out, offering a better look at the plant’s veining and leaf patterning.

Light Bio bioluminescent plants can be cared for like any other houseplant. There is no additional care required to keep the glow going.

The team is currently preparing to release its first-ever commercial houseplant — the Firefly Petunia — and invites the public to join a waitlist to get in on the first-of-its-kind creation.

Not only are bioluminescent plants beautiful to look at, but the Light Bio team hopes that they will also bring more understanding and acceptance to the world of synthetic biology. The idea is that, after mastering bioluminescence, plants could be genetically altered to change colors and brightness, or physically respond to their environments and surroundings.

You can join the waitlist to get your hands on a glowing Firefly Petunia when the plant becomes available in 2023. Your houseplant collection is about to get a lot more interesting.