Photoperiodism refers to the response of plants with respect to the duration of light (i.e., period of day and night). On the basis of its response to the duration of light, a plant is classified as a short-day plant, a long-day plant, or a day-neutral plant. Short-day plants flower when they are exposed to light for a period less than the critical day-length (for example: Chrysanthemum). Long-day plants flower when they are exposed to light for a period more than the critical day-length (for example: radish). When no marked correlation is observed between the duration of exposure to light and the flowering response, plants are termed as day-neutral plants (for example: tomato).
It is hypothesised that the hormonal substance responsible for flowering is formed in the leaves, subsequently migrating to the shoot apices and modifying them into flowering apices. Photoperiodism helps in studying the response of flowering in various crop plants with respect to the duration of exposure to light.