The Q&A Archives: Street Lights

Question: I live in the country and have a "street" light in my back yard. I heard that there are some flowers, like chrysanthemums, that do not do well when they have a light shining on them all night long. Is this true, and, if so, are there any other flowers which may be affected by this?

Answer: Yes, this is true. Some plants are "photoperiodic". That is, they flower in response to day length. Perhaps the most familiar of these is the poinsettia, which must be kept in complete darkness for a certain number of hours, for a certain number of weeks, to stimulate it to produce the brightly-colored bracts (and flowers.) Not all flowers are this particular, but in general flowering plants don't appreciate having light shine on them all through the night. Chrysanthemums are particularly cranky about having light on them all night long. Is there any way you can turn off the light at night? Perhaps by using a timer? Or a motion sensor that turns the light on only when it detects movement? That way, you'll save electricity and reduce "light pollution"!

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