How light affects the growth of your plant
The prevalence of sunlight or natural light, its intensity and even angles, profoundly affect the way plants grow. You have the tallest trees in the woods, growing and competing to get sunlight, creepers climbing even higher to get their share and flowers blooming when the sun is at its brightest.
Understanding these little nuances is significantly important if you love your home garden and want to watch it grow to and beyond its potential. So, how can you do this? Read on and you will feel illuminated!
The most significant part is knowing that plants need light for photosynthesis, which is the primary process that grants them the energy to grow. It involves a chemical process during which plants produce food which helps them to develop.
However, even more, crucial is understanding that plants prefer the ‘blue’ light of the light spectrum. So, grow lights, daylight and fluorescent lights all have blue tones, which the plant can absorb.
Now, all plants don’t have the same requirement for light. All plants can be characterized into requiring either (1) low/shade (2) medium/part sun (3) high/full sun. The first category needs just about four hours of light while the last needs slightly more than eight.
Don’t discern how much light your plant needs correctly and give it too less light and you will see as it begins to wither. Leaves will stop growing or become yellow, the stem will grow spindly and weak, variegated leaves start losing patterns, etc. keep an eye out for these warning signs.
Harsh sunlight tends to dry up moist soil, which in turn affects the natural fertility of the soil. If the plants have to work too hard to get their minerals from under the soil surface, then their chances of survival are limited.
You will often see some flowering plants growing/turning to face sunlight. They will follow the movement of the sun and grow according to its cycles. Pay close attention to these plants and ensure that nothing impedes their movements.
Finally, it is important also to balance out temperatures along with the light. Higher and lower temperatures affect the rate of photosynthesis, thus affecting growth.
So recapping, light quantity (intensity), quality (wavelength from light spectrum) and duration or photoperiod (time plant is exposed to the sun) are the three most important factors of light which can affect the growth of your plant. Along with understanding these, you also need to understand the specific needs of your plant so you can make use of this knowledge correctly.
“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose