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The Importance of Light to a Plant

By Nicole Long ; Updated July 21, 2017

Light plays an important role in the development of a plant. Processes such as photosynthesis and phototropism depend on the availability of light sources for plants.


Plants seek out light sources for energy and survival. You can observe this in a plant that leans toward a window in an attempt to soak in the available light. This process, known as phototropism, occurs as hormones that control plant growth begin to accumulate in the plant's stem, forcing the plant towards the light.


Light sparks the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis occurs as plants convert light energy into chemical energy. The resulting production of sugars, such as glucose, provides the plant with food, allowing it to live, grow and reproduce.


Follow the recommendations for adequate lighting for each plant. Speak to a plant specialist or horticulturist at a local garden center for additional instructions and help. While artificial lighting can provide a light source for indoor plants, consider the needs of the plant before investing in indoor lighting sources. Use an incandescent light for foliage plants and fluorescent light for blooming plants.


About the Author


Nicole Long is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With experience in management and customer service, business is a primary focus of her writing. Long also has education and experience in the fields of sports medicine, first aid and coaching. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.