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Plants That Do Well With Fluorescent Lighting

If you have a houseplant in your office, you might have noticed that it does very well under fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights are often a long, thin glass tube with electrodes at both ends and a mercury vapor arc between them, which creates ultraviolet radiation. It is a low-cost, efficient type of light. This kind of light is cool and emits more blue spectrum than incandescent light. Plants favor blue light for growth.

Low Light Plants

The aluminum plant, arrowhead vine, artillery fern and moon valley pilea grow well under fluorescent lights. Other low light plants include the Chinese evergreen, birds nest fern, Boston fern and maidenhair fern. The common split leaf philodendron can perform well under low- or medium-light conditions. The pretty peace lily will grow well under low light but needs medium light to flower.

Medium Light Plants

African violets grow and bloom very well under fluorescent lights. Others include asparagus ferns, begonias, grape ivy, dieffenbachia, gloxinia, hoya, Norfolk Island pine, schefflera, peperomias, dracaenas, pothos, mother-in-law tongue, spider plant and Swedish ivy, also known as creeping Charlie.

High Light Plants

A small variety of croton with yellow spotted leaves is appropriate for areas with high fluorescent light levels. Many culinary herbs do well under bright fluorescent lights, but they benefit from some natural light. Dwarf potted citrus trees respond well to high fluorescent light levels. Some orchid species can grow under bright fluorescent lights.

Parts Of Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights are found commonly in offices, industrial facilities and garages. More and more, compact fluorescent lights are replacing incandescent lights in our homes. Traditional fluorescent lights have tubes shaped into straight cylinders. In “neon lights,” the tubes are bent to form graphics or words. The inside of the tube is coated with a phosphor material. When the voltage is applied, the ionized gas atoms are excited and give off that excitation energy as photons. CFLs also can be made without electrodes; in this case, they rely on an arc from the low pressure gas discharge to emit light. The ballast actually is a power supply rather than a buoyancy device as its name implies. Electronic ballasts are found only in newer fixtures; they don’t get as hot or loud as a magnetic ballast.

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