Do Plants Need Sunlight?

Sunlight is essential for the growth of the plant. Yet, we see plants surviving in the night or growing in dark places. So, if sunlight was essential for the growth of the plant, how do plants survive in the dark? Thus, it brings us to the primary question of whether plants need sunlight?

Do plants need sunlight?

Yes, plants do need sunlight for survival. While plants can survive for short periods without sunlight, prolonged lack of sunlight may cause the plant to develop severe problems. So, while it can survive the night without light, it cannot do the same for a week or two at a stretch. So, sunlight is important for the survival of the plant.

Lack of Sunlight

The lack of sunlight can cause the plants to etiolate. Generally, plants grow towards the light . So, when there is a lack of light, plants start to grow faster in an attempt to find the required light. This new growth is thinner and weaker than normal stems. The leaves tend to be more elongated. It happens because the plant uses up all its resources in an attempt to grow rapidly and obtain the required sunlight.

Thus, the new plant is not as healthy as a normal plant. This phenomenon is called etiolation, and it may cause permanent damage to the plant.


The plant requires photosynthesis to make its food. Sunlight is an essential element that is required to carry out the process of photosynthesis. So, if there is no sunlight, the plant cannot carry out the process of photosynthesis to produce its food. So, eventually, the plant starts to starve due to the lack of food. It causes the plant to weaken and turn yellow. A weak plant is more likely to be prone to pest infestations and fungal infections.


Generally, the elongation caused by etiolation is permanent. However, the discoloration of the plant and the lost health of the plant are something that can be healed. So, these are the steps to help you heal your plant –


Immediately move the etiolated plant to a location where it has access to adequate indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it may cause sunburns to the plant. Gradually increase the amount of sunlight the plant receives. In the case of indoor plants , you can also use artificial lighting to ensure that the plant receives adequate light.


The etiolated plant is usually starving. So, it is best to provide the plant with the required manures and fertilizers to ensure that the plant can assimilate the required nutrition faster. Proper nutrition will help you nurture your plant back to health by providing it with the required energy. It helps the plant use the extra energy to heal its damaged cells and enables it to carry out the essential processes of life.

Thus, we can see that the plant needs sunlight to be able to survive. However, if your plant is already etiolated, follow the given steps to nurture it back to health.

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