How to Grow Plants With Fluorescent Lights


It's easy to grow plants indoors with fluorescent lights. Nearly all plants will grow and thrive indoors when you provide them with the proper amount and intensity of light. Move them outdoors during frost-free weather and they'll hardly miss a beat.

Step 1

Use a plant stand that has the ability to suspend the fluorescent lights above the plants.

Step 2

Provide a means to raise and lower the lights above the plants. Hang them with rope or chains that can be lengthened or shortened.

Step 3

Use full spectrum fluorescent lights or one blue and one red fluorescent light. Plants grown using either all blue- or all red-hued fluorescent lights do not thrive or produce flowers or fruits. The full spectrum of light is necessary for photosynthesis.

Step 4

Leave lights on according to plants' growth habit: short day, long day or day-neutral. Plants will flower or produce fruit based on the length of daylight. Short day plants such as kalanchoe, azaleas and chrysanthemums will bloom with less than 12 hours of daylight. Day-neutral plants such as African violets, geraniums and foliage plants need eight to 12 hours of daylight all year long. Most flowers and garden vegetables are long day plants and require 14 to 18 hours of daylight to grow and produce flowers or fruit.

Step 5

Use peat moss or commercially prepared soilless growing mix when growing plants under fluorescent lights. These contain virtually no soil-borne pests or diseases.

Step 6

Run an oscillating fan in the room for a few hours each day to circulate the air around the plants. Stagnant air can invite fungal diseases.

Step 7

Water only as needed; do not overwater. Soggy soil leads to fungus diseases, especially with plants grown indoors. Follow the growing guides for your plants and strictly adhere to those recommendations for the amount and frequency of water.

Step 8

Fertilize weekly with water soluble fertilizer, the kind that you dissolve in water to apply. Use a solution mixed to half the manufacturer's rate of application. Do not fertilize plants when their soil is bone dry. The best time to fertilize is the day after a thorough watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant stand
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Indoor soilless growing mix
  • Oscillating fan
  • Water soluble fertilizer


  • Grow Lights and Stands
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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.