Even the most inexperienced gardener knows that sunlight is essential for plant growth, without it there is no source of energy for photosynthesis. The problem can appear when we want to grow plants indoors, since although some adapt to low light, others suffer from a lack of sunlight.
Fortunately, there are several options for creating sunlight through artificial lights indoors for plants. The subject is nothing new and is being applied in nurseries around the world, there are landscape lighting manufacturers specialized only in creating lamps for plant growth.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to create indoor sunlight for plants and the options that are available to indoor gardeners and plant growers.
How do you know if your plant is getting enough light?
Before attempting to increase lighting by looking to create sunlight indoors, we must first identify whether or not our plants are getting enough light.
Detecting this detail is quite easy, you will be able to notice it if you see any of these symptoms in your plants:
- Stretched growth.
- Too much space between the sheets.
- Leaves too small.
- Slow or no growth.
- Pale green or yellow leaves.
If you notice any of these problems in your plants, the first thing you should do is move it to the nearest light source, such as a window or a balcony. If that is not possible, you should already opt for artificial lights, which we will talk about in this post.
Plants that grow without sunlight
If you don’t have a sufficiently lit environment inside your house or apartment, you have three options: use artificial light, have plants that need little or no light, or have no plants. The third option for us who love plants is not really a valid option. Therefore, in this section, what I will leave you with are some of the best indoor plants that are capable of growing without sunlight.
- Maidenhair Fern: An explosion of feathery foliage is what you get with this majestic fern. Looks great in hanging baskets or near windows. To properly care for it, you should place it in a partially shaded spot and water it regularly (to closely mimic conditions found on the forest floor, the environment in which it grows).
- Bromeliad: Bring a tropical touch to your home this fall-winter with the bromeliad: extravagant and colorful like no other. Despite coming from sunny, tropical climates, this vibrant plant thrives in shade and can even grow in artificial light.
- Heartleaf Philodendron: Let the glossy green, heart-shaped leaves of this indoor climber pop off the shelf or decorate your living room.
- Spider plant: It is another plant known for its abilities to purify the air. It is ideal for busy homes and hectic lives. It is an easy plant to care for and capable of resisting all kinds of weather conditions.
- Calathea: This plant, the Galatea, will delight you with its beautiful variegated and colorful foliage. To thrive, it needs specific conditions, away from direct sunlight, and with permanently moist soil, which implies frequent watering. It doesn’t like to be too cold either so it’s best not to place it in drafty places.
How to create sunlight indoors for plants
If you have come this far, it is because you do not have enough light inside the house, but you are not satisfied with growing plants like the ones on the previous list, much less do you plan to stop growing plants. Let’s see how you can get an artificial light source suitable for plants.
There are different ways to create artificial sunlight for houseplants. The key is to provide the correct amount of light and light spectrum that plants need to grow and thrive. Here are some options for creating artificial sunlight:
- Fluorescent lights: Fluorescent lights are a popular choice for indoor plants. These lights are energy efficient and have a good quality of light. Fluorescent lights come in different types of light spectrums, such as white light, warm light, and cool light. For plants, full spectrum fluorescent lights or red-blue spectrum lights are recommended.
- LED lights: LED lights are a popular option for lighting indoor plants. LED lights are energy efficient, long-lasting, and customizable in terms of the spectrum of light they emit. Full spectrum LED lights or red-blue spectrum lights are ideal for plants. Even the led bulkhead light that you have at home can help you with your plants.
- Incandescent lights: Incandescent lights are not the most suitable to be used in plants, however in certain cases they can be used. Its efficiency is very low, so you will be spending a lot of energy that will be lost more in heat than in lighting. They emit a spectrum of red and yellow light, which is not what plants need the most. It is not recommended to use these solar lights, they can only be used as complements to other types of lights such as LED and fluorescent.
To create artificial sunlight for houseplants, it is important to select the correct light intensity and light spectrum. The light intensity should be suitable for the type of plant being grown, while the light spectrum should match the light spectrum plants need for photosynthesis. It is important to note that light duration is also important for plant growth, with most plants needing 12-16 hours of light per day to grow optimally.
You may also be interested in knowing about pruning: