General Question

simone54's avatar

Do plant photosynthesize with artificial light?

Asked by simone54 (7608points) March 9th, 2009

I have some vegetable seeds in some soil and they haven’t come up yet. Should I have a light on them at night?

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7 Answers

syz's avatar

You can use a “grow light” that approximates full spectrum light, but is shouldn’t be necessary for seedlings. If I’m not mistaken, most instructions suggest keeping them in a warm, dim area until after they sprout, and then moving them to a sunny area.

More info here and here

AstroChuck's avatar

What syz says.
I was going to say the same thing, almost verbatim.

simone54's avatar

I have a desk lamp on them now. Will that help keep it warm at night?

arnbev959's avatar

I’m growing some Sweet Williams in my room right now, and I just have them under two 25 watt florescent light bulbs, with the bulbs a few inches away from the tops of the plants. They are by a window so they get some sunlight in the morning. I turn the florescent bulbs on at 7 when I get up and turn them off around 10.

I also have some tomatoes under real grow lights, and they are doing well. The grow lights work much better, but the regular florescents work alright too.

If you’re using an incandescent lamp on them it will keep them warm, but it won’t deliver the full spectrum needed for them to photosynthesize. It’s probably best to have lights on them a few hours more than the sun is out (13–15 hours per day).

simone54's avatar

Interesting. I do have incandescent bulb on them. I get how it’s not the full spectrum but is it better then knowing as far making them pop up?

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t think incandescents will do very much, but it’s still probably better than nothing. If you can put them by a window so they can get some sunlight that should help too.

Florescent bulbs are on sale at Walgreens this week, at least in the Northern part of the state, so they’re probably on sale by you as well.

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