EFFECTS OF LIGHNING ON GRASS Lightning makes grass and other plants greener because it is good for them. Lightning does help produce a form of nitrogen that is useful for growing plants. What happens is lightning causes oxygen and nitrogen to combine and form nitrogen oxide, a key ingredient in many fertilizers. (http://wiki.answers.com) Does the nitrogen in lightning turn grass green? In: Thunderstorms and Lightning Yes. Lightning provides the intense energy needed to combine atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen into nitrates. The rain then carries these nitrates down to the earth's surface enriching the soil. Acting as a fertilizer, nitrates in an indirect way helps make the grass green.