Is it possible to grow plants with artificial light? Yes, you could grow plants indoors to maturity using artificial light. However, it is unlikely that this cultural method will be economically viable or even worthwhile.
A plant grown with artificial light is typically just as productive as a plant grown under natural sunlight, and sometimes even more so. The key is to understand how much light and what type of light different plants require. By utilizing artificial light indoors, you can control the amount and type of light that reaches the plants. Compared to inside where you have limited control over variables of nature, such as the amount of shade vs. direct sun, the number of hours of light, changes in intensity with the time of the year, weather events, and light wavelengths of the sun, to name a few.
Setting Up Your Indoor Garden Lighting
If you have a small garden with few plants embedded in a room with little or no sunlight, then an adjustable or gooseneck lamp with at least three bulbs will suffice. To get the best results, you should use fluorescent bulbs with the highest wattage allowed by the appliance.
It is advisable to point the light at the direction of the plants. You can adjust fluorescent bulbs closer to the plants than incandescent ones if the light appliance has an adjustable arm, in order to avoid damage as a result of excessive heat. A glowing light is an excellent way to accomplish this.
Reflective materials are essential for effectively using the light from the bulbs. These reflective materials should have a flat surface such as a mirror or a reflective foil. They should be placed beneath the plants to reflect light upwards into the plants.
You can also set up an automatic timer that will switch off your lights after 14 to 16 hours have passed. Although you can manage this manually, a timer makes it more straightforward and effective. The cost of the timers shouldn’t bother you, because you can find them for a reasonable rate.
Factors You Should Know
Plant Growth Rate
Whenever you are setting out in your garden, you should consider your plant preferences. If you prefer larger plants, go for the plants that are likely to fill your yard in a short time. This includes vining or creeping plants. We recommend a golden pothos or a heart-shaped philodendron for hanging plants or trailing plants. Additionally, smaller plants make nice focal points.
The Right Color Spectrum
All of the colors in the rainbow are included in the spectrum that is emitted by sunlight, ranging from red to violet. Indoors, plants that are grown under full-spectrum bulbs perform almost as well as plants that grow outdoors in direct sunlight. The bulbs mimic the natural spectrum of sunlight, perfect for nurseries, vegetable gardens, and plants that are edible or need to be preserved. We have full-spectrum light coming from all the stands of grow light fixtures, regular stands and replacement bulbs we have.
The Right Intensity
An important part of lighting your indoor plants is getting the right amount of light. A bulb’s brightness and the distance between the plant and the light source determine the amount of light that the plant receives. Despite the fact that plants can tolerate different light intensities, they require different light intensities. Tropical plants or those that grow in thick forests can normally tolerate less light than the plants that do well in arid, sunny, and savannah climates.
The African violet and the begonia, for example, perform very well when they are between 10 and 12 inches from a light source. A foliage plant such as ivy or philodendron can be placed about 36 inches away from a source of light. However, many plants need a more intense light source to flower and produce fruits. Vegetable plants and flower plants fit into this category, including orchids, gardenias, and citrus.
Duration & Timing
It doesn’t matter what kind of plant you have, you should always let them rest when it’s dark. Plants breathe when it’s dark, so this is essential to their growth. In particular, the ratio of active to rest time influences many biological processes, including the growth rate and the time for bud and fruit setting among others.
Light intensity also plays an important role, as does the kind of light received by your plants. Plants that grow outdoors experience a continuous cycle of sunlight and darkness, though the amount of light they receive varies with the seasons. In general, plants should be exposed to 15 to 18 hours of light each day. By doing so, they may wilt or fail to do their best. However, plants that need less light may require 12 to 14 hours. Furthermore, if you are in doubt about the amount of light, you can sync your timer with the solar time of your region.
A botanist divides plants into three categories, short-day, long-day, and day-neutral, based on their preferred day length.
When exposed to sunlight for a shorter period of time, short-day plants will perform well. Chrysanthemums, Azaleas, Begonias, Kalanchoe and other plants require shorter exposure periods to set buds and flowers.
Exhibiting excellent performance when exposed to about 14 to 18 hours of daylight per day, long-day plants wilt and die when not exposed to enough light. Examples of long-day plants include seedlings for vegetables and garden flowers.
Many plants such as geraniums, coleus, and African violets require between 8 and 12 hours of light every day.
Consider the number of plants that need to be covered when estimating the size of the grow light that you need. Additionally, if the light is going to be moved frequently, you should pick something lighter and more portable. However, if it will remain static, then that should not be a criterion. In addition, the positioning of the machine within the room should be considered so as to ensure it operates with ease.
Type of Lightings
Grow lights come in various types today. Various types are available, such as panels as well as overhead lighting or light fixtures attached to a wall. Most likely, your decision will be shaped by the type of plants you have, the amount of natural light that enters the room, and the placement of the plants.
Plants That Can Grow Well Under Artificial Lights
The fact is that plants grow just as well, or even better, under artificial lights than they do under sunlight. This environment usually supports optimal plant growth because it provides the right amount of light, humidity, fertilizer, heat, and precipitation.
Snake plant is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, and it is characterized by sword-like leaves which have golden stripes.
The Cast-iron Plant
The plant is a long-day plant that reaches heights up to 24 inches (61 cm). It is exceptionally sensitive to low light, dampness, and dust.
It can be found in moist soil and prefers average interior temperatures. The peace lily has sword-like leaves like snake plants but produces a creamy white spathe similar to a large cupped flower.
Dracaena and Philodendrons
There are many varieties of this plant, often with leaves of diverse colors or speckles of different colors, and these are excellent options as indoor plants in artificial light environments.
It is composed of spinach, radishes, kale, lettuce, mache, chives, carrots, sorrel, tomatoes, peppers, chard, basil, and so forth.
The herbs chives, catmint, cilantro, basil, parsley, oregano, lavender, and rosemary can be used in cooking.
Roses, Aglaonema, daisies, pepperomia, geraniums, pepperomias, pepperoni, geraniums, pepperoni, pepperonias, etc.
Berries, apples, oranges, etc.
aloe vera, haworthias, a gasteria, flaming Katy, crassulas, etc.
There are many kinds of plants in your garden, including croton, spider plant, English ivy, asparagus ferns, prayer plants, philodendrons, African violets, etc.
What Type of Lighting Is Best, and Why?
The lighting needs of different houseplants are different, but they rarely need more intense lighting than those that grow outdoors. The regular room lighting in the house and natural light from the windows will prove sufficient for houseplants that grow well in lower light conditions. A full-spectrum plant light bulb, or a compact fluorescent bulb and a LED bulb may be used with plants that need more radiation.
Providing light to indoor plants with fluorescent lighting has been proven effective over the years.
A lot of growers favor HID or LED lights since they offer a better chance to achieve healthier growth and flowering. Their popularity isn’t a surprise since they have done well since their introduction.
Set up a Planting Area or Indoor Garden
These three tips will help you to provide the best light for your indoor garden or houseplants.
In order to properly create an indoor garden, first consider how much space it takes up. Regardless of the position, shape, and size of your garden, be sure to plant it in a manner that allows enough space between each plant. Consequently, it is important that you ensure that plant pots and beddings are properly spaced.
It is important to decide how much space to allocate per pot or tray by considering the nature of your plants. Moreover, this allows for better growth. Also, such spacing makes it easy for movement and pruning.
Furthermore, you should choose bulbs that are bright and will cover your entire planting area. The size of your growing area determines whether or not you need more than one bulb. The same applies to houseplants.
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