How Does the Amount of Light Affect How the Plant Will Grow?


All green plants require their own specific combination of 16 different elements, water and soil. Although plants vary in those unique needs, they unanimously require the addition of sunlight and its warmth. Elements like carbon and oxygen are only available through air, while the sun's light is the only energy source a plant takes in. Without light, any green plant will fail and die.

The Facts--Photosynthesis

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, photosynthesis literally means "making things with light." The chlorophyll in a plant's leaves take the energy from light and use it to produce starch from the other elements and minerals.


All garden plants have preferences in regard to the length of time they receive light. Labels like eight hours, six hours and four hours dictate whether a plant needs light for longer or shorter periods during the day. Inadequate light exposure causes leaf browning and death.


Light strength is another important qualification for light exposure. Green plants require conditions like full sun (full exposure), partial sun (sun during part of the day, or dappled sunlight), or full shade (no direct sunlight). For a plant to thrive and grow, it must receive the level of light it requires.


If plants are put in an inadequate lighting situation, they do their best to remedy the situation by growing toward the correct situation and turning their leaves in a specific direction. Plants that need more light grow leggy, with long stems that reach their leaves toward the light. Plants that need more shade grow away from the light source.

Lack of Light

Lack of light is detrimental to plant growth. If a plant can't remedy the situation by reaching toward the light, its leaves yellow, die and drop off. Plants that don't get enough light don't have the resources they require, and fail to bloom or fruit.

Keywords: growing green plants, plant light requirements, plants and light, plants in garden, plant growth, amount of light