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How much sunlight do plants really need per day, here’s the complete guide

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: When it comes to caring for our plants, we gardeners have a lot to learn. We’ve all heard that the right plant at the right spot is the key to success. That sentence is simple to say, yet it has many components that must be dissected in order to build a rich, attractive garden. Soil, water, fertility, and, perhaps most importantly, light exposure are all factors that are often misinterpreted.

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Each plant species has evolved to a certain range of light intensities where photosynthesis is most efficient in nature. Some plants require more sunshine than others, while others may thrive with less. While all plants require some sunshine to photosynthesize, not all of them require six hours every day. Plant species’ light requirements vary and some need full sun, while others thrive in partial sun or shade.

Photosynthesis and its importance

Photosynthesis, the process through which plants make sugars and starches, or carbohydrates, requires sunshine. Carbon dioxide and water combine to make glucose during photosynthesis. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, plants produce glucose to build their own food and utilise it as a vital source of energy to keep growing.

Photosynthesis is delayed or stopped without enough water since it is an element of the photosynthetic process. Green, chlorophyll-containing plants are the only ones capable of photosynthesis. Plants will perish if the procedure is interrupted for a lengthy period of time.

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Light deficiency

Plants that do not thrive completely outside are frequently due to a lack of sunshine. Plants that receive a lot of direct sunshine, on the other hand, may be deficient in carbon dioxide or water, resulting in poor development.

Other species present in the wild, such as fungus and bacteria, lack chlorophyll and do not engage in photosynthesis. Instead, they eat the tissues of other live or dead plants and animals for nourishment. Because they do not require light for sustenance, fungi and bacteria frequently flourish in dark or gloomy places.

Sunlight requirements for plants

It’s crucial to understand the solar needs of plants before deciding where to put them. In the summer, most garden vegetables require full sun, which Kansas State Research and Extension defines as six or more hours of direct sunshine each day. Plants that flourish in partial sun/shade only require three to four hours of direct sunshine each day, whereas plants that thrive in shadow only require two hours. Plants with comparable light requirements should be grouped together in the garden for best plant development.

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Varying sunlight amounts have different effects

Plants can be harmed by excessive or insufficient light. In their hunt for light, plants that do not receive enough light become spindly and tall. This is referred to as etiolation. Plants suffering from etiolation will never totally recover from their excessive growth, but they can become healthy and productive if they are transferred to a sunny location. Too much light causes plants to become sick and die, with signs such as brown leaves and wilting.

The additional energy required to generate flowers or fruits is retained in plant roots on overcast days during flowering or fruiting. Plants can use this stored energy without shutting down or dying in the absence of sunshine, which is required for photosynthesis.

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