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tomato seedlings under fluorescent lights Unfortunately, seeds and cuttings as well as more mature plants are light-dependent, requiring healthy doses of sunlight or well-balanced artificial light. The sunroom or greenhouse may provide for such needs, in colder climates, and be all that is required for a successful start. Glass and plastic transmit all the light necessary for photosynthesis.

Please note that some seeds require dark, not light, in order to germinate. This is noted for the individual plants, if applicable. Intense, scorching sun can also harm seed and seedlings, though protection, i.e. dappled shade, is more easily provided outdoors than trying to rig a proper indoor lighting setup.

During winter, lighting needs of many species decrease. Plants, including cacti and succulents, may often be kept in cool and somewhat darker rooms. Water sparingly in cool, low-light situations.

The spring windowsill, in northern climates, often provides limited hours of low-intensity lighting. Young seedlings crane their heads toward light, quickly becoming straggly. Cacti and succulents, especially those with spines, hairs, or waxy coating, as well as numerous other species, have high light requirements. Here, artificial light can be a definite boon.

Aquarium lighting and High Intensity Discharge lights are also discussed.

Spectrum of visible light and rates of photosynthesisPlant and aquarium fluorescent lightingHigh Intensity Discharge Lighting

Topics Referenced

Aquarium Lighting
Artificial Light
Cacti and Succulents
High Intensity Discharge Lighting
On photosynthesis

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