HYDROPONICS: HOURS OF LIGHT

HOW MANY HOURS SHOULD I KEEP THE LIGHTS ON IN MY GARDEN?

It depends on what you are growing.  Plants that produce fruits and flowers when they receive minimum hours of darkness are LONG DAY PLANTS.  A few examples of long day plants are coleus, bromeliads and gloxinia.  These, and all other long day plants, will perform best with 16-18 hours of light and 6 to 8 hours of darkness.  Occasional interruption of the dark hours due to entering the greenhouse or grow room and turning on lights, etc., will not adversely affect long day plants.

SHORT DAY PLANTS need 12 hours of night (darkness) to promote flowering.  Y interruption of this dark period will result in uneven or delayed flowering / fruiting in these plants.  A couple of examples of short day plants are poinsettias and chrysanthemums.

DAY NEUTRAL PLANTS are not affected by day length, as the category name implies.  They flower or bear fruit due to physiological age or temperature.  Although plants in this category do not have specific lighting requirements, some will show improved yields and performance with a longer, 18 hour, light “on” cycle and 6 hours of darkness.  Day neutral plants include tomatoes, chiles, eggplants, sweet peppers, zinnias, marigolds and roses, as well as the new day neutral strawberry varieties.  Check the information listed on your seed packs or in the seed catalogs, or contact your local nursery for information on optimum lighting hours for these plants.

HOW MANY HOURS SHOULD I KEEP THE LIGHTS ON IN MY GARDEN?

It depends on what you are growing.  Plants that produce fruits and flowers when they receive minimum hours of darkness are LONG DAY PLANTS.  A few examples of long day plants are coleus, bromeliads and gloxinia.  These, and all other long day plants, will perform best with 16-18 hours of light and 6 to 8 hours of darkness.  Occasional interruption of the dark hours due to entering the greenhouse or grow room and turning on lights, etc., will not adversely affect long day plants.

SHORT DAY PLANTS need 12 hours of night (darkness) to promote flowering.  Y interruption of this dark period will result in uneven or delayed flowering / fruiting in these plants.  A couple of examples of short day plants are poinsettias and chrysanthemums.

DAY NEUTRAL PLANTS are not affected by day length, as the category name implies.  They flower or bear fruit due to physiological age or temperature.  Although plants in this category do not have specific lighting requirements, some will show improved yields and performance with a longer, 18 hour, light “on” cycle and 6 hours of darkness.  Day neutral plants include tomatoes, chiles, eggplants, sweet peppers, zinnias, marigolds and roses, as well as the new day neutral strawberry varieties.  Check the information listed on your seed packs or in the seed catalogs, or contact your local nursery for information on optimum lighting hours for these plants.

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