What’s the biggest challenge to indoor plants – it’s getting enough sun. Plants need it. Unfortunately, with a roof blocking out sunlight, putting your best plants front and center under light is doable but not without its obstacles.
Why Do Plants Need Light?
Light is a collection of photons. Photons are energetic particles that vibrate at a certain frequency. The speed at which they vibrate is what determines the nature of their wavelength. A slow wavelength means less energy is transmitted. This is what happens under a ‘cool light’. A fast wavelength means more energy is transmitted, occurring under a ‘warm light’ or ‘hot light’. Greenery requires both cool and warm light, unless it’s artificial plants and trees in which case sunlight doesn’t really factor in.
The sun is particularly advantageous because it is made from full-spectrum light. That is, 7 unique colors of light combined. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Red and blue wavelengths are what’s best absorbed by plants.
Inside your plant, there are molecules ready to be impacted by light. Chlorophyll is one. Chlorophyll is what makes a plant green. As light hits this molecule, it is absorbed and converted into food for the plant. This is photosynthesis and it plays a central role in keeping your plant thoroughly happy and fed.
This is why a plant can look faded or dying when it either isn’t getting enough sun or being overloaded with too much.
What Amount of Light Do Your Houseplants Need?
Some plants, such as a travellers palm tree plant, need lots of light. They are tropical plants, requiring the amount of sun they would normally face in that environment.
There are, however, other plants that need less light. Some plants will dry up in too much light. Depending on what you have, you have to create the right conditions for the plant to live.
An alternative to trying to figure out how much sun is required is to go with a full-spectrum grow light. Grow lights can be turned on and off, although they require more electricity to run and generally are quite expensive. For windowless rooms though or if you live in a basement apartment, you’ve got to do what you go to do.
Unfortunately, no, the normal lights and lamps we use at home won’t do anything for plants. A dedicated full-spectrum light is needed as this will have the same range of light as sunlight contains. In a sense, you’re mimicking sunlight. Your plant won’t know the difference and will produce the same result at a molecular level.
What Happens If My Plant Doesn’t Get Enough Sunlight?
If your plant is not getting enough sunlight and not receiving artificial full-spectrum light, it’s inevitably going to wilt, discolor, droop, and eventually die. Plants need light. Every plant does. Figuring out how much and how to get it this exact amount of sun is the challenge.
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