How Do Black Lights Affect Plant Growth?


Gardeners all over the world test their plants with new, alternative growing tools to find a better way of growing than with typical water and sunlight. Indoor gardeners may decide to use a black light, a form of artificial light. Unfortunately this light lacks minerals, heat and the full array of energy that direct sunlight provides.

Plant Growth

Plants are able to create their own food by converting solar energy and water. This process is known as photosynthesis and provides the plant with enough energy to use other physiological processes. Without sunlight, a plant is unable to continue its reproduction cycles, carbon building and enzyme-creation process. As the plant starves, these functions slowly stop, inhibiting overall growth.

Black Light

There are various artificial lamps available on the market, like black lights that emit a specific color near the ultraviolet range of the light spectrum. Black lights can be used for various purposes due to their ability to make otherwise unseen materials glow. Gardeners may test their plant growth rates with the use of these lights.


Gardeners growing indoor plants use artificial lights to control the development timetables of their plants. This is a powerful tool in harvest production. Plants that remain indoors are also protected from insect and fungal pests that live outdoors and may seek the plant for reproduction and food. These infestations, when left untreated, can become lethal.


Unlike other artificial lights, black lights are unable to provide a plant with all the necessary light and minerals they need. Although some plants, like bamboo, that need less light overall would be unaffected, most plants experience light deficiency and lose the ability to produce food. This inhibits the rest of the plants' growth, leaving them discolored, unable to reproduce and more susceptible to other threats.

More Consequences

Contagions that attack the plant will find themselves better able to thrive within plants that are experiencing light deprivation through black lights. Since the plant is weakened, more diseases may become lethal threats.

Keywords: black light growing, indoor gardening facts, plant light deprivation

About this Author

Jonathan Budzinski started his writing career in 2007. His work appears on websites such as eHow and WordGigs. Budzinski specializes in nonprofit topics, as he spent two years with Basic Rights Oregon and WomanSpace. He has received recognition as a Shining Star Talent Scholar in English while studying English at the University of Oregon.