How to Grow Plants Indoors With Fluorescent Light


Many people choose to garden indoors for a variety of reasons: they want full control over the plant growth, don't have enough room outside for a garden, and so forth. A plant only needs a couple things to grow: room, water, air, and light. Lighting is especially important for indoor plants, since it is not getting any from the natural sunshine. Supplementary electric lighting is an ideal way to provide a plant with light, usually in the form of fluorescent bulbs.

Step 1

Figure out what kind of fluorescent lighting tubes you need. This depends on the type of plants you are growing, whether they are low-light, medium-light or high-light. Low-light plants will require a lower wattage, while high-light plants need very high wattage (these are the least ideal to grow indoors). Fluorescent lights come in many sizes and shapes: circular, square, U-shaped or straight. Usually, straight tubes in 2-, 4- or 8-foot lengths are used for indoor gardening.

Step 2

Decide how many lights you need. This all depends on how many plants you are needing to provide light for. On average, low-light plants should receive between 10 and 15 watts of fluorescent light per square foot of growing space.

Step 3

Make sure you have a growing area for your plants and lights that is large enough, as all plants like to have room to grow.

Step 4

Hang the fluorescent lighting above your plants, either from a ground stand or the ceiling (how you secure the lighting depends on what type of lights you purchased). Keep in mind that the lights should be at least six inches above the plants, but no more then 15 inches.

Step 5

Keep an eye on your plants. You should leave the lighting on it for 14-16 hours ever day. A plant will tell you when it isn't getting enough light, because its stems will be thin and it will lean toward the lighting, striving to get more.

Things You'll Need

  • Fluorescent lights
  • Ground stand or items to secure lights to ceiling


  • Growing Plants Indoors
  • Indoor Gardening
  • Fluoerescent Lighting For Plants
Keywords: indoor plants, indoor garden lighting, growing plants indoors

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.