Sufficient lighting is essential for all stages of growth, but sometimes you can overdo it – leading to light stress in plants. This can cause a variety of issues with your plants.
This can get tricky, because you absolutely need intense lighting to produce strong root systems to develop fruits and flowers. From seed to harvest, your plants need light in order to stay healthy.
But when it comes to lighting, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Light stress, including high light stress in plants as well as low light stress in plants, can cause serious ill effects.
LIght is one of the most important factors for growing any kind of plant. Get it right in this guide to preventing this condition from occuring in the first place, or treating it if you suspect you may be dealing with it.
Can Too Much Light Kill A Plant?
High light stress in plants is typically more common than the lower counterpart. But can too much light kill a plant?
In extreme cases, the high light intensity can cause severe enough damage to your plant that it eventually dies.
It can also dry it out, making it difficult for the plant to undergo photosynthesis and proper growth.
A common mistake that many gardeners make when growing plants indoors is assuming that they will do best with 24 hours of light under a high-intensity grow light.
Most plants benefit from a period of darkness every day, with some plants more photosensitive than others. For instance, poinsettias need darkness in order to bloom.
Stick with an 18/6 photoperiod to be safe, unless you’re using a low intensity light during propagation.
High Light Stress In Plants
When it comes to high light stress, it’s not necessarily the excess light that’s problematic for your plants but the excess heat energy that is produced. When a plant is subjected to high amounts of light and heat, all the water taken up by the plant is used to cool plant tissues.
If a plant is getting too much light and suffering from high light stress, its leaves may look as though they have burned or simply are falling off. In many cases, the soil will be dry to the touch, too.
High light stress outdoors can be caused by unexpected temperature extremes – when it gets very hot very quickly, plants often aren’t able to respond and therefore become stressed. Indoors, high light stress is typically caused by grow lights being too close to the plants’ canopy.
Often, a simple solution to indoor high light stress is to move your plants further away from the lights. Of course, preventing high light stress by making sure your grow lights are hung at the proper height for the type of plant you are growing (and its stage of growth) is also essential.
Low Light Stress In Plants
Low light stress causes symptoms such as poor leaf growth, yellowing and dropping of leaves, long stems, and a dull green color. A plant suffering from low light stress will often lean toward the closest source of light (like a window), too.
While high light stress damages the parts of the plant that conduct photosynthesis, low light stress limits photosynthetic activity.
Trust us when we say that neither of these conditions are problems you will want to deal with when it comes to your plants! So, let’s take a look at how you can identify it.