Can a regular light bulb help plants grow? All the truth!!
Sunlight is a free, natural source of energy that is essential for plant growth and survival. For centuries, people have used sunlight to grow plants outdoors, whether in orchards, gardens, or even large agricultural plantations. However, with the rise of technology and the increase in the population in cities, it is increasingly common to grow indoor plants, especially in small spaces such as balconies or terraces.
Although sunlight is the best option for growing houseplants, it is often not enough or available in adequate amounts. In these cases, it is necessary to resort to artificial light to provide the plants with the quantity and quality of light they need. There are different types of artificial light, from fluorescent lamps to LED Grow Light specially designed for growing plants. These artificial lights can be a great solution for growing houseplants efficiently and sustainably.
With this introduction we have almost answered the question that gives the title to this post. In any case, below we will delve into why it is possible to grow plants with artificial light, and which are the plants that best adapt to this type of conditions.
What should the light of our plants have?
For our plants to grow healthy it is important that the light they receive meets certain characteristics. First of all, the quality of light is essential. Although all plants need light, some require a specific type of light to grow optimally. For example, plants that need a lot of light to flourish, like orchids or azaleas, need brighter, whiter light. On the other hand, there are plants that prefer a more subdued and yellow light, such as the calla or the fern. It is important to note that the quality of light can affect the color and size of the plants.
Second, the intensity of light is another important factor. Although sunlight is the most intense, artificial light can also provide an adequate amount of light for plant growth. Light intensity is measured in lumens and must be adapted to the needs of each type of plant. For example, plants that need a lot of light to grow, such as vegetables or aromatic herbs, require a higher intensity than shade plants or dark plants.
Finally, the duration of the light is another aspect to take into account. Although some plants need plenty of light throughout the day, others require less light time or even intermittent light exposure. For example, plants that need indirect or diffused light, such as ferns or ficuses, should not be exposed to direct light for long periods of time. On the other hand, plants that need direct light, such as vegetables or flowers, should be exposed to light for at least 6-8 hours a day. It is important to note that the duration of light can also affect plant growth and flowering.
What artificial lights are best for my plants?
There are different types of artificial lights that can be used to grow houseplants. Some of the most common are:
These are low consumption and high efficiency lamps that emit light of high quality and intensity. They are divided into two types: white LED lamps and full spectrum LED lamps. White LEDs emit cool white light that is ideal for illuminating shade plants or dark plants. Full spectrum LEDs emit different colored light that simulates sunlight and is ideal for lighting plants that need direct light. Although LED lamps are more expensive than the previous ones, they have a longer lifespan and consume less energy.
These are energy-saving lamps that emit light of low intensity and quality. They are divided into two types: compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and tubular fluorescent lamps (TFL). CFLs are small, handy lamps that can be used to illuminate small pots or seedling trays. TFLs are longer, more powerful lamps that can be used to illuminate larger pots or even light an entire room. Although fluorescent lamps are inexpensive and readily available, they have a limited life and can generate heat.
Metal halide lamps (HID)
These are high-intensity, quality lamps that emit warm white light. They are divided into two types: sodium lamps (HPS) and mercury lamps (MH). HPS emit red and orange light which is ideal for the growth phase of plants. The MH emit blue and white light that is ideal for the flowering phase of the plants. Although HID lamps are more powerful and longer lasting than fluorescent lamps, they also generate more heat and consume more energy.
It is important to keep in mind that each type of light has its advantages and disadvantages, and that there is no one solution that works for all plants. Depending on the needs of each plant and the space available, it is necessary to choose the most appropriate type of light.
Which plants grow best with artificial light?
There are many plants that can be successfully grown indoors with artificial light. Some of the most common plants are:
- Floral plants: Some floral plants that can be grown indoors with artificial light are orchids, azaleas, callas, daisies or gerberas. These plants need brighter, whiter light to grow and flourish optimally.
- Aromatic plants: Some aromatic plants that can be grown indoors with artificial light are thyme, rosemary, mint, oregano, or basil. These plants need more intense light and for at least 6-8 hours a day to grow healthily.
- Vegetable plants: Some vegetable plants that can be grown indoors with artificial light are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini or spinach. These plants need very intense light and throughout the day to grow quickly and productively.
- Succulents: Some succulents that can be grown indoors with artificial light are cacti, thick-leaved succulents, fine-leaved succulents, or climbing succulents. These plants need more indirect light and for at least 6-8 hours a day to grow healthily.
It is important to keep in mind that each plant is different and needs a specific amount and quality of light to grow optimally. It is necessary to investigate the needs of each plant and choose the most appropriate type of light.