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How to Use Mirrors to Increase Sunlight for Plants

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
Mirrors do a great job of reflecting sunlight.
shaving mirror image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com

Tenacious gardeners won't let a few heavily shaded garden spots prevent them from populating their plot with sun-loving plants. A few well-placed mirrors can bring light to darkened corners of a garden. And plants grow just as well under reflected light as they do under direct sunlight. By increasing the sunlight in your garden in this manner, you can expand your planting possibilities.

Apply waterproof silicone caulk sealant to the edge of the mirror(s) where it meets its frame. This will prevent water from seeping into the mirror, which may cause the reflective backing to peel off.

Find the areas of your garden that receive the most direct sunlight in the morning (it is better to reflect mild morning light than harsh afternoon light). Those sunlit places closest to shady areas of your garden are ideal spots for your mirrors.

Place the mirror in the sunlit area (in the morning) and angle it so that it reflects a wide band of diffuse light (concentrated beams may burn the plant) over the plants that need it. Once the mirror is in place, support it by affixing it to an existing structure (a fence or even a boulder will do) in your garden with epoxy or non-rusting wire. Or introduce a functional or decorative support (something as simple as a metal pole or something as decorative as a bird bath) and affix the mirror to that.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Water-proof silicone caulk
  • Epoxy
  • Rust-proof wire
  • Physical mirror support

Tips

  • Consider investing in an acrylic or polycarbonate mirror. They are just as reflective but much more durable than glass and better-suited for outdoor use.
  • Don't shine light only on shaded plants. If any of your garden plants are spindly, reaching for the sun or smaller than they should be, they may benefit from reflected sunlight as well.

Warning

  • Mirrors will cause some birds to crash to their deaths.

About the Author

 

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.