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Why do plants need sunlight?
Well, adequate light is essential for their well-being of your plants – it is needed for the photosynthesis process through which plant creates food.
So, when you are getting a new plant, you should get familiar with plant requirements.
Some plants will require more indirect sunlight, while others need full sun for development. Also, some will need artificial light sources, such as growing plant light.
In this article, you will learn how to determine the adequate amount of light your plant needs and how to fix problems that occur due to lack of sunlight.
- How to Measure the Amount of Light
- Positioning the Plant
- Artificial Light Sources – Which One to Get?
- Signs That Your Plant Needs More Light
How to Measure the Amount of Light?
If you know whether your plant needs indirect or direct light, you can measure the amount of indoor sunlight the room receives before choosing the place for it.
Measuring can be done without any tools – simply place an object on the plant’s spot and see which shadow is created.
If the shadow has sharp edges and it is well-defined, then that spot is perfect for a plant that requires a lot of direct sunlight.
On the other hand, if it is harder to determine the shape of the shadow, you can put indirect light plants in that place.
For more precise measurements, use the foot-candle. The light between 1000 and 2000 foot-candles is great for plants that prefer shade and indirect light, while anything above 2000 foot-candles is adequate for plants that like direct light.
Positioning the Plant
If you are using only natural sunlight, you should know that the intensity and amount of light changes during the day.
Even if the spot seems sun-kissed at one point of the day, it can quickly become shady and lack of light will negatively affect the plant’s growth.
The positioning of the window has an impact as well.
North-facing ones typically deliver the lowest amount of light – you can place the plant near these windows only if the plant loves shade.
In contrast, south-facing windows get the most light. The plant will receive the greatest amount of direct and high-intensity sunlight, especially if you do not use any curtains.
Keep in mind that light this intensive can cause sunburns, so it is recommended to move the plant further away from these windows because intensity decreases with distance.
East and west-facing windows get sunlight at certain points of the day. Since the Sun rises in the East, these windows will get morning sun.
In those early morning hours, the intensity of the sunlight is low, so if you have a plant whole adequate light requirements mean moderate sunlight, place it on one of the windows located on the east side.
The windows on the west side of the house get afternoon light. During hot summer days, this light can be quite intensive, so place near the window any plant that enjoys direct light rays.
Artificial Light Sources – Which One to Get?
Growing plants inside can be challenging, especially if your home is not well-lit. And you have plants that require a fair amount of direct sun rays.
When it comes to indoor plants, you should get red or blue artificial lights.
Blue light promotes the growth of leaves, so the plant that receives blue light will have great foliage. This light will not only boost the photosynthesis process, but it controls the stomata – the plant will give off the water it doesn’t need and absorb the much-needed carbon-dioxide.
Keep in mind that the blue light doesn’t promote the plant’s growth so much. While the plant will have thick and healthy leaves, it will remain relatively short. Adequate light or not, it can’t make your ficus grow 3 feet in 2 months.
The red light is involved in the development of flowers and the production of fruits. Also, red light is essential for seed germination.
The more red light the plant receives, the better the root system is will develop and the growth of bulbs will be promoted as well.
Whatever you choose to buy, do not buy the green lights – your plant won’t benefit from this light in any way, since it doesn’t absorb these wavelengths.
Typically, the growing lights are LED lights, since they do not give off too much heat. You can also buy a plasma, fluorescent, or HID lights.
Signs That Your Plant Needs More Light
1. Absence of flowering
If you own a plant that should develop flowers, and they aren’t growing during the flowering season, the plant isn’t getting adequate light.
Even if the leaves seem healthy, it isn’t getting enough light for that additional progress.
So, to boost the flower growth, make sure that the plant receives indirect light for at least six hours every day.
2. Slow development
During winter, it is normal for plants to develop slowly. Many species do not grow in winter at all.
However, if the plant develops slowly during the growing period (spring and summer), you should move it to the spot with more light.
You might also notice the growth in only one direction. You should rotate the plant every week, so every side gets the equal amount of light. When you don’t do this, the leaves on one side are healthy and growing, while those on the other remain the same.
3. Color of the leaves
You may observe that leaves are slowly turning their color from green to yellow.
This can happen as a result of many things: overwatering, low humidity, or lack of adequate light.
If you are certain that this is not a result of bad watering or dry air, then quickly change the plant’s place.
See how much sunlight it needs, and move it to the spot where it will receive the required amount of sun rays.
4. Growth of the leaves
Sometimes, the color of the leaves won’t change, but their size will stay small.
When the plant isn’t getting the proper amount of sun rays, the leaves stop growing.
Of course, some species have small leaves, so their size shouldn’t alarm you, but if you own a species that should have big and voluminous foliage, then consider boosting the leaves’ growth with an artificial light source.
If you don’t solve the problem, eventually, the leaves will stop growing and start falling off.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!