How light helps plants grow
Plants need light to grow -- this growth is called photosynthesis. Natural light offers a spectrum of blue and red light. Plants react to the spectrums of natural light in different ways. The blue end of the light spectrum encourages the structural growth of a plant. Red light helps promote leaf and stem growth and improves flowering ability.
The low light levels in winter makes it hard on some plants who need more light. In addition, some rooms in your home may not offer the right light in any seasons. The answer is simple. Turn on the lights with grow lights. Here are some options:
These are the standard light bulbs you use in your home (unless you’ve switched them all out for energy-saving LED lights). Incandescent lights offer plants very little helpful light, so while you may use them in your living room lamps, they are not recommended as offering light for plant growth.
Fluorescent bulbs used to be long and fragile and didn’t last as long as LEDs, but newer versions are more compact and produce less heat than their predecessors, allowing them to be placed closer to plants. These bulbs offer a good source of light for seedlings and are sold at any home improvement store. They, however, offer plants less light spectrums than LEDs.
LED grow lights
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are energy efficient lights used by greenhouse growers because they offer full-spectrum lighting which is most useful to plant. You can purchase small tabletop units for one special plant (they look like little desk lamps). There are larger units that can sit on a table or kitchen counter that will offer light for several plants. And if you are a collector, there are larger units with stackable trays that will accommodate many plants.
Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson