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Sunlight and Potted Plants

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. - Maori Proverb

Potted Plants in SunlightAll container grown plants need light, but how much varies from plant to plant. Here’s what you need to know to keep your plants healthy and productive throughout the year.

Vegetables grown for their fruits or seeds, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers, need around six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Ideally, this might be from dawn until about three in the afternoon. The sun is often hottest (and toughest on plants) from after three until just before sundown. Leafy crops such as Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach and cabbage can tolerate much less sun and plants such as flowering houseplants and culinary herbs may have different lighting requirements depending on the varieties grown.

The Hydrofarm® T5 Grow Light delivers performance, flexibility and high lumen output in any growing environment. These daisy-chainable fluorescent systems allow you to choose multiple hanging configurations to meet your indoor garden’s design.

When deciding what plants to grow, check their labels and read seed packets for specific lighting recommendations. Also, become familiar with the amount of sunlight a specific garden spot receives. If possible, try to imagine the change in sun exposure as trees grow leaves and the seasons change. For productive container gardens, do not combine plants with vastly different lighting preferences, especially if growing several containers in one area, or many plants in one container.

The advantage container gardening has over regular soil gardens is that they can be moved. If you notice that your plants are not happy with the amount of sunlight they are receiving, it’s relatively easy to pick them up and carry them to a different location with better growing conditions.

Another way around this cultivating conundrum, known as plant lighting, is to select plant varieties that are native to your area. Native plants are well adjusted to the specific growing conditions for your area and are better able to adapt to local lighting and climate changes. They will grow much better and be easier to care for than say, trying to raise a banana tree in New Hampshire.

Trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables and herbs all grow well in containers. However, it’s important to remember that container gardening does not change a plant’s basic needs. Sun-loving plants still need plenty of sun and shade-loving plants continue to grow best in dappled light. It’s just easier to move them to a garden spot that keeps them happy!

Understanding the light requirements on plant labels & seed packets.

Full Sun
Between six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day.

Partial Sun
Plants require between four and six hours of sunlight a day, preferably in the morning and early afternoon.

Less than four hours of direct sunlight per day, with filtered sunlight during the rest of the day.

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Eric Vinje founded Planet Natural with his father Wayne in 1991, originally running it as a grasshopper bait mail-order business out of a garage.

Eric is now retired, but is still a renowned gardener known for his expertise in composting, organic gardening and pest control, utilizing pesticide-free options, such as beneficial insects.

Eric believes when you do something good for the environment, the effects will benefit generations to come.

One Response to “Sunlight and Potted Plants”

  1. Judeen Price on June 19th, 2018 at 5:21 am #

    I have a window on the east for growing plants. I need to know what incandescent style bulb I need to put in the ceiling fixture. The plants are on glass shelves with the ceiling fixture directly above the shelves.