Importance of Light for Plants

Plants create their own fuel through the process of photosynthesis. Plant cells use light to convert carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, and water into the carbohydrates they need for growth. Therefore, all green plants need some amount of sunlight.

Most plants need six hours of full sun for maximum health. Before planting, keep an eye on your garden or deck to see where the sun falls and how much sun you get. That way, you can choose the spot that is the sunniest for the longest part of the day as the location of your container garden.

The angle of the sun changes throughout the seasons, casting shadows in spots that used to be sunny, or turning a shadowed corner into a blazing hot spot. One advantage of a container garden is that you can move the containers as the pattern of sun changes throughout the year.

Be aware that not all plants need full sun. Be sure to check the seed packet or the plant label for the plant’s sun requirements. Many shade-loving flowers are garden favorites, such as day lilies, hellebore, and foxglove. You can also grow delicate vegetables in a shaded garden. With three hours of sunlight each day, you can grow kale, bok choy, spinach and lettuce. Some salad-green mixes can be grown with as little as two hours of sun and kitchen herbs, such as chives, lemon balm, tarragon, chamomile and mint, can also thrive in partshade.

importance of light for plants