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Take a quick trip back to elementary school. Remember science class? Plants and growth cycles were probably some of your first scientific studies.
Who hasn’t put a bean in a clear container to watch it sprout and grow? Ah, those early days of learning. One of the first things covered was what plants need to grow, right?
Dirt, water, and sunlight are necessary for flowers to grow. Perhaps a first impulse is to think that flowers cannot grow without exposure to sunlight. But that’s not necessarily true.
Yes. flowers can grow without sunlight. But they cannot grow without some type of light source, it just doesn’t have to be from the sun.
Some plants cannot thrive in full sunlight but do well when placed in indirect light or shaded areas. There are several light sources to use with indoor plants that do not have exposure to the sun.
Artificial Light Sources for Growing Plants without Sunlight
If you live in an apartment or don’t have outdoor space to plant flowers, you can still grow flowers inside using artificial lights.
There are three types of light sources you can use to grow plants. They provide the light needed for plants to continue the process of photosynthesis needed for growth and producing flowers or fruit.
The three light types include high-pressure Sodium (HPS) lights, fluorescent lights, and LED lights.
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High-Pressure Sodium lights are some of the most powerful grow lights available. They are also more expensive than other options.
They put out about 1000 watts of simulated sunlight for plants and emit lots of heat. HPS lights can be purchased with different types of stands and apparatuses if you want to do your own greenhouse.
You could use HPS lights to grow flowers and other plants in your basement if you wanted to. Because they produce a lot of heat, they can present a safety hazard to children or pets.
- WATTAGE: 32 Watts
- COLOR TEMPERATURE: 4100K (Cool White)
- LIGHT OUTPUT: 2850 Lumens
- LIFETIME: 13,000 Hours
- SIZE/BASE: 48IN T8 - G13 Medium Base
A more practical choice is fluorescent lights. They run a lot cooler than HPS lights and are less expensive. The bulbs are long and thin, so they are easy to use with shelves.
Fluorescent lights are not quite as strong as most HPS light sources, and they don’t need a lot of ventilation. The only big negative to using fluorescent lighting is that if they were to break, they contain chemicals.
You would need to clean up a lot of shattered glass and chemical residue.
- The LED strip lights are packed with traditional RGB and 16 other colors. You can enjoy 6 additional DIY colors for more creative freedom.
- Manage your lights easily from the comfort of your couch with a remote control range of 32.8ft.
- 6 brightness levels allow you to alter the strip lights from warm to bright.
The safest and easiest to use for growing plants without sunlight are LED lights. They don’t give off much heat and you can use different colors if you want.
When it comes to changing out lights, LEDs are much easier than either fluorescent or HPS lights. They do have a couple of downsides though.
First, they don’t always fit in stackable shelves like fluorescent lights. Secondly, they can be expensive.
Choosing Artificial Lighting
Before you start shopping for artificial light sources, you’ll want to answer some questions. It’s important to find the right light source to help you grow your particular plants.
The area you will be utilizing artificial lights in is important too. Different light sources work for basements, kitchens, or living rooms. Here are a few questions to help you get started.
- What is your indoor gardening experience?
- How many plants do you plan on growing?
- How much space is available for plants and how will you arrange them?
- How close together will the plants and light source need to be?
- Will anyone else have access to the plant area?
If you are working with lots of space and money isn’t a factor, HPS lights may be a good option for you. They work well for more experienced indoor gardeners too.
If your space is limited to a few shelves, fluorescent lighting options may be your best choice for growing plants without sunlight.
HPS lights produce a lot of heat and if they are too close to plants, they can burn them. Fluorescent lights, although cooler than HPS lights, do give off a little heat.
This can be a big advantage if you live in a cooler area and you need the heat for growing plants.
LED lights don’t produce nearly as much heat as the other two options. Of course, this is not helpful in colder climates.
If you can afford LED lights, they are usually the better buy because they don’t have as much of an environmental impact on your growing area.
Plants that are Easy to Grow Without Sunlight
There are quite a few plants that need very little or zero sunlight to grow. They are easy to care for and can grow indoors. There are plenty of low-light plants to choose from.
They prefer shady spots and dim conditions instead of direct sunlight. Here are the top indoor plants that grow without the sunlight:
Bromeliads – This plant will only grow under artificial lighting
- Bloom color is selected by our expert growers based on availability and seasonality
- Grows best near an East or West window. Water when the top couple inches of the soil are dry
- Height at shipping is approximately 20 inches tall, measured from the bottom of the pot to the top of the plant
Snake plants – This is a great houseplant and thrives in rooms with very little sunlight. Make sure the soil drains it likes moist soil that is not too wet.
- Can Live in a Low to Bright Indoor or Outdoor Enviroment
- Our Snake Plant Does Not Require Constant Attention, Will Thrive on Being Watered Approx. Once Every Few Weeks. Pot in Well Draining Succulent Soil
- This Snake Plant Has Unique Vareigated Long Green Foliage Shooting Up and Coming to a Point
Calathea plants – Provide occasional sunlight to keep this plant’s foliage colorful and bright.
- Grown, packaged and shipped exclusively by Wekiva Foliage. Calathea Orbifolia is a very animated and decorative plant that is sure to gain “favorite” status in your houseplant collection. Calathea grow very well in low light areas and are the perfect plant choice to add lush tropical look to any indoor or outdoor environment.
- The growth rate and leaf color of Orbifolia will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors. Lower leaves are often trimmed prior to shipping to reduce transpiration and travel stress.
- Orbifolia are very easy to grow tropical plants that require little care indoors or out. They add a wonderful accent to any window-sill, sunroom or patio.
Peace Lily – This plant cannot be exposed to direct sunlight or its green leaves will fade. They will continue to produce their beautiful white flowers in low-light areas.
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- EASY CARE! Keep the soil of Peace Lily moist! If the soil of Peace Lily becomes too dry, the leaves will wilt. But the plant will perk up again when watered. Peace Lily loves humidity so it’s a great choice for bathrooms.
- Peace Lily happily grows in bright, direct light—it produces white calla-like flowers (called spaths) best when grown in bright light. Plants also tolerate low light.
Cast Iron plant – This hardy plant has beautiful green leaves, and it will literally grow in any light or shade.
- Beautiful and cast iron for a nearly indestructible, very low maintenance, and easy to grow houseplant with long arching dark green glossy leaves
- Perfect for plant beginners, they thrive on neglect, grow in deep shade, ideal size for shelves, tabletops, sills, and counters in your home or office interior
- Survives in shade on patios, porches, decks, stoops, fire escapes, even planted outdoors; just move inside to avoid frost or prolonged temperature under 45 degrees
Parlor Palm – This tropical plant provides natural beauty for any room and it only needs artificial light or a little bit of indirect natural light.
- Light: All day low to bright indirect light. Filtered sun or some direct morning sun.
- Watering: Water weekly when the top of the soil starts to dry. Keep moist but not wet.
- Humidity: Medium to high humid climate. Enjoys frequent misting.
Spider Plant – This plant does great in low-light areas. It needs to be kept out of direct light or it will lose its luster.
- Homegrown by jmbamboo
- Great gift for the home, apartment, office, dorm or den
- Prefers bright, indirect light or artificial light
- Keep evenly moist, not wet or dry
- 3 pack.
Prayer Plant – This tropical plant with vibrant green leaves plants survive in minimal light conditions. They are versatile and the plant can grow just as well in bright light.
- Prayer plants have big, oval leaves that turn upward at night
- The folding and unfolding of the leaves happens in a regular pattern
- Plant biologists call these daily cycles circadian rhythms
- Just provide bright indirect light and keep evenly moist
- The plants you will receive are growing in 3.5 p
There are lots of plants that grow without sunlight. Many of them need an artificial light source to thrive. But there are a few plants that can even be damaged by too much sunlight.
Growing plants as a hobby can be fun and rewarding. Knowing how to adapt to a plant’s lighting needs can ensure you enjoy having them around even longer.