This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Here we go guys & gals. Are you ready for a bold statement?
Houseplants can thrive & survive on just artificial light and some houseplants are happy when they get natural & artificial light.
The “10 Houseplants That Need (Almost) Zero Sunlight” post went viral last year and helped a lot of people gain the courage to buy houseplants.
That post is still going on strong, but I wanted to write a follow-up article that could help more plant owners (or wanna be plant owners) understand how light works and why you may want to consider adding additional or artificial lighting to your home or office to help your houseplants thrive and not die.
Because, if we’re being honest, the only thing worse than a bad coffee to cream ratio, is killing your houseplants!
I live in Milwaukee, and during the winter sunny light is seldom, so I have a few plant lights in our home to help my plants stay happy. And, even during the summer, some rooms in our house get significantly less light than others and if I want to have specific plants in those rooms, I know I need to supplement them with artificial light.
Light is a source of food for plants, this is why they grow towards it. Naturally, sunlight shines downward; if you have several plants in a garden, you will notice that some are taller than others. This happens in their quest to get as much light as possible to feed.
Artificial light that enhances the growth of plants indoors is enabled by special bulbs known as “plant” or “grow” lights. The types of light necessary to grow plants have various colors and intensity. Blue light is necessary for the formation of leaves in plants. A combination of blue and red light aids in the flowering of a plant.
Full-spectrum light, like the one emitted by the sun, has all the components of light necessary for plant growth. A grow light produces artificial light, which is similar to what is available outdoors. There are instances when the grow light exceeds sunlight in the provision of light to plants. This is attributed to the fact that you can regulate heat and light intensity on the artificial light. In comparison to sunlight, sometimes the sun is too hot to the point of harming plants, aka sunburn on their leaves.
Are you looking to help keep your plants thriving during the winter or do you live in a home that doesn’t get the greatest or ideal light? Keep reading, because I can help you decide what plant light(s) will be best for you!
3 Different Types of Plant Lights
- Fluorescent lights – these are a natural choice as they are economical. They are sold as compact bulbs or tubes that fit into lamp sockets. You can get them with full-spectrum properties or blue wavelengths.
- LED lights – they cost more than fluorescent bulbs but last longer and consume less energy. Also, they emit little heat compared to other options making them ideal to use in small spaces.
- HID lights – these are ideal for growing large plants as the light penetrates deeply into plant roots. They are available in two types; one fit for plant flowering while the other one supports vegetative growth.
Pictured below is one of my Blue & Red Spectrum LED Grow Lights being used to provide additional light this winter for one of my newest succulent babies, the fiddle leaf fig and my umbrella palm.
It is scientifically proven that you do not need sunlight to grow your houseplants. You can own thriving houseplants even if you live in a dark home or work in a windowless office. Artificial light is just as sufficient as sunlight and sometimes even better depending on where you live.