Plant Parenting: Seedlings Need Grow Lighting to Flourish

October 7, 2019

Tiny Seedlings Need LOTS of Light!

If you’re growing in a space with little to no natural light, then artificial grow lighting is mandatory for plant propagation and growth. Seedlings, in particular, will almost always require grow lights - even if you have bright windows.

Young tomato transplants growing under fluorescent grow lamps.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

The time of year you propagate indoors will also influence your lighting needs. If you start your seeds or take cuttings indoors during winter months, you’ll find that the lack of light and briefer duration of light can really slow things down.

Seedlings require intense amounts of light for specific durations; most windowsills simply are not bright enough, for a long-enough duration, for healthy seedlings. Plan to leave your grow lights on for 14-18 hours, depending on the amount of natural light available.

Tiny tomato seedlings: You can use HOT5 Fluorescents, or LED Retrofit bars in a T5 fixture for seed germination and growth.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Grow lamps will need to be placed close to your seedlings - within several inches - in order to deliver the volume of light your seedlings need to thrive.

If you want to learn ALL the fundamentals of how to start strong seedlings indoors, and how to light them, be sure to pick up my book "Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers".

Back to top

Tips in your inbox


Sign up for the E-Newsletter for my latest green industry news updates for pros + plant and gardening hobbyists.