Plants need sunlight to grow, right? Not necessarily. While most houseplants do require sunlight to photosynthesize and produce their own food, there are some that can survive and thrive in low light or even no light conditions. Of course, you’ll have to make some modificiations to make sure your plants are growing and thriving in no light.
Not everyone has a home filled with natural light. In fact, many people have rooms or even entire homes that are very dark. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on having plants, however. With a little effort and research, there are ways to work around even no sunlight conditions.
Benefits of Growing No Light Plants
Why would you consider growing no light plants? One benefit is that it allows you to grow plants in places where you wouldn’t normally be able to, such as in a basement or in an office building without windows. Another benefit is that it allows you to grow plants year-round, regardless of the weather outside.
How to Grow No Sunlight Plants
There really isn’t such a thing as growing no light plants. That’s a misnomer. All plants still need some kind of light. However, there are a few different ways to grow plants without sunlight.
One way is to use artificial lighting, such as grow lights, for growing plants with no natural light. Grow lights are specifically designed to provide plants with the light they need to grow and photosynthesize. They emit a spectrum of light that is similar to sunlight, but they are often more efficient and can be used in low-light or no-light conditions.
Types of Grow Lights
There are many different types of grow lights available, including fluorescent lights, LED lights, and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights. Each type of grow light has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Fluorescent lights are the most common type of grow light used by home gardeners. They are relatively inexpensive and energy-efficient, but they do not produce as much light as other types of grow lights.
LED grow lights are becoming increasingly popular because they are very energy-efficient and produce a spectrum of light that is ideal for plant growth. However, they can be more expensive than other types of grow lights.
HPS grow lights produce the most light of any type of grow light, but they are also the most expensive and energy-efficient. They are typically used by commercial growers and hobbyists who need to grow plants in a large area.
Certain plants can grow with just fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lights emit a wide range of wavelengths of light, including some that are useful for plant growth. However, not all fluorescent lights are created equal. Some fluorescent lights produce more of the wavelengths of light that plants need than others.
When choosing fluorescent lights for growing plants, it is important to look for lights that have a high PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) output. PAR output is a measure of the amount of light that is emitted in the wavelengths that plants use for photosynthesis.
Best Flourescent Lights for Growing Plants
Some good fluorescent lights for growing plants include:
- T5 fluorescent lights
- T8 fluorescent lights
- CFL (compact fluorescent lights)
You can also purchase fluorescent lights that are specifically designed for growing plants. These lights will typically have a high PAR output and emit a good spectrum of light for plant growth.
How to Grow Plants Under Flourescent Lights
When using fluorescent lights to grow plants, it is important to place the lights close enough to the plants so that they receive enough light. However, you also need to be careful not to place the lights too close to the plants, as this can scorch their leaves. A good rule of thumb is to place the lights about 6-12 inches away from the tops of the plants.
You should run your fluorescent lights for 12-16 hours per day. This will give your plants enough light to photosynthesize and grow.
Choose the Right Plant
Another way to grow plants without sunlight is to choose plants that are native to low-light or no-light environments. These plants have evolved to survive in low light conditions and do not require as much sunlight as other plants.
Best Low-Light Plants
If you are interested in growing plants without sunlight, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, it is important to choose the right plants. Not all plants can survive in low-light or no-light conditions. Some good plants for growing without sunlight include:
- Chinese evergreen
- Cast iron plant
- Dumb cane
- Peace lily
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- ZZ plant
Get the Right Type of Lighting
Even with limited sunlight, you still need to provide your plants with the right type of lighting. If you are using artificial lighting, make sure to choose grow lights that are specifically designed for plants. You also need to place the grow lights at the correct distance from your plants. The distance will vary depending on the type of grow light you are using, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Caring for Low-Light Plants
When caring for no light houseplants, it is important to water them sparingly. Without sunlight, the roots will not absorb water as quickly. Thus, not as much water will be needed. That said, overwatering is the most common cause of death for houseplants.
It is also important to fertilize your plants regularly, especially during the growing season.
More Tips for Growing Plants with Limited Sunlight
Here are some additional tips for growing plants with limited sunlight:
- Fertilize your plants with a balanced fertilizer. This will help your plants to grow and thrive.
- Monitor your plants for signs of pests or diseases. If you notice any problems, take steps to treat them immediately.
- Group your plants together. This will create a more humid environment for your plants.
- Be careful not to overwater your plants, especially with limited sunlight. Overwatering is the most common cause of death for houseplants.
- Rotate your plants regularly. This will help to ensure that all sides of your plants receive equal amounts of light, even under grow lights.
- Clean the leaves of your plants regularly. This will help to remove dust and dirt, which can block light and prevent your plants from photosynthesizing whatever kind of light they do receive efficiently.
With a little planning and effort, you can easily grow plants without sunlight. These plants can add a touch of life and greenery to any home or office, even if you don’t have a lot of natural light.