Natural Light vs Artificial Light for Succulents - Test Results

Artificial Grow Lights Hanging Over Succulents

Which is better for succulents - Grow Lights or Sunlight?

Stacy lives in Indiana and conducted this test for us. Due to living in Indiana, she has a room filled with full spectrum grow lights.  This is mostly because in the fall and winter months, temperatures gets a tad too cold to keep soft succulents outside, and sunlight is far and few between.

You can follow Stacy on Instagram.

Here's her results!  

I wanted to do an experiment on which lighting is better for succulents, what effect they would have on the plants, and which one would grow faster.

To test this theory I was presented with two Haworthia Zebra Plant succulents - To get your very own Zebra Plants, click here.

They were both the same height and age.

They will also receive the same amount of light and water during this experiment.

I labeled one Plant A and the other Plant B.

Plant A would only have natural light from a windowsill and Plant B would get artificial light from a full spectrum grow light.

They both got the same amount of light a day.

Plant A got twelve hours of sun and Plant B got twelve hours of artificial light.

On January 26th I measured the starting height of both to begin with.

I measure them once a week for two months.

Natural light vs Artificial Grow Light Before Test

Date Plant A - Natural Light Plant B - Artificial Light
January 26th 3 1/4” 3 3/16”
February 2nd 3 5/16” 3 5/16”
February 9th 3 3/8" 3 7/16”
February 16th 3 7/16" 3 9/16”
February 23rd 3 1/2" 3 11/16”
March 1st 3 9/16” 3 13/16”
March 8th 3 5/8” 3 15/16”
March 15th 3 11/16" 4 1/16”

 

Grow light and Natural light after test

 

Size Difference

Plant B Artificial grew 1/16” the first and second month.

So in conclusion the Artificial Light worked better than the Natural Sunlight from the windowsill.

This was hard to believe since you would think that natural lighting from the sun would give plants everything they need.

But in this case the plant with the full spectrum grow light did better.

This could be because maybe on cloudy days Plant A didn't get enough sunlight or when it rained.

Or it could be that maybe Plant B was always destined to be larger than Plant A.

Color Difference

There was a noticeable difference between the colors of the Haworthia. 

Plant B turned very dark green, almost black color. 

Plant A did not change colors at all. 

I believe the cloudy days and natural sunlight from a windowsill had less of a stress effect on Plant A.

The consistency of the artificial light for 12 hours played a huge role in changing the color.  One flip of the switch meant a consistent flow of sunlight for the Haworthia, causing it to stress in color.       

This was a fun experiment. Try your own test at home and document the results!  

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