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December 21, 2018 at 5:23 PM EST will be Rochester’s Winter Solstice. This will be our shortest day of the year, only 10 hours and six minutes of daylight. Every day is shortening as we approach it!

Not only will we be experiencing Rochester’s winter weather, we’ll have to contend with light deprivation and the cabin fever that accompanies it.

Believe it or not, this shortened photo period has a dramatic effect on all the living things within our homes. Adding supplemental broad spectrum light (grow lights) will benefit our houseplants and our families as well. We have heard of individuals who are prescribed bright light exposure treatment to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder; the same holds true for plants, they need the same treatment too!               

Plants are autotrophic which means they make their own carbohydrates (food), enzymes, building materials and other photosynthates (plant made chemicals) through the process of photosynthesis. This requires lots of light energy, something now in short supply. Without sufficient light plants experience stress and cannot grow properly. Supplying additional supplemental light allows plants to thrive. This also benefits our families because actively growing houseplants produce oxygen and they help purify the air in our homes. It has been well documented that a home full of happily growing houseplants has healthier air quality because houseplants actually remove gaseous contaminates from the air we breathe.

So think about adding houseplants and providing grow lights to the areas where they reside. Grouping plants together under grow lights helps by providing shared humidity. Even plants that are situated in a sun room, western or southwestern exposure will benefit from supplemental light because they are not receiving enough natural light during our long winter months. Grow lights will encourage them to grow, which will make you happier and everyone a little healthier. We carry some great compact florescent lights with clamp-on fixtures. These easily attach to shelves or vertical poles like coat racks to provide light wherever you need it.  We also have self contained desktop and free standing floor units that can be used virtually anywhere you’d like to stage some houseplants.

Houseplants not only provide beauty but can improve our indoor environments. Grow lights help plants and lift our spirits with their additional light. It’s a win – win for you and your family. Come on in and let the Van Putte green thumb staff show you how to be successful with your houseplants.

Success with your gardening Naturally!

Written by Rick Stecher

Garden Center Manager


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