Can You Plant at Night? What you need to know


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Planting at night can be a good option if you are too busy during the day or daylight conditions are too adverse for the plant to cope with during or after transplanting or repotting.

Planting at night will help plants cope better with transplanting stress which is the trauma the plant goes through during transplanting or repotting and adapting to its new environment. At night, cooler temperatures and higher humidity allow plants to better cope with stress, preventing wilting or even death.

After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of why planting at night will help plants grow well, the conditions necessary for them to do so and questions related to planting at night.

Will Plants Grow Better When Planted at Night?

Benefits of Planting at night

Plants planted at night will grow well because the absence of light stimulates the plants to grow faster during the night than during the day. 

During the night, the plant phytochromes will not detect any light, which encourages the growth hormone production, making the plant elongate in search of light.

Since you now know that you can plant during the night, it is also necessary to understand why it is better to plant at night rather than plant during the day. 

First of all, there is no sunlight, unwanted winds, and excess warmth during the night. If a plant gets more than it needs, then it may experience seedling shock. 

This is the sudden collapse of seedlings when potted, and it happens as a result of a change in temperature of surroundings, wind, and water.

It is better to plant your seeds during the night when the temperatures are a bit lower because they will experience less heat and water stress.

Seeds need warm, moist soil in order to germinate.

Temperature affects seed germination in three ways: 

  • Moisture, 
  • Hormone production
  • Enzyme activity. 

During the day, temperatures are higher than during the night. 

Higher temperatures will increase the evaporation rate in the soil making the plant have insufficient moisture which will affect the plant or seed germination. 

Also, when there is direct sunlight during the day, it may harm sensitive roots which should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

To test the moisture and pH of the soil you can use the cost-effective Trazon Soil 3-in-1 Meter. It not only tests for pH but also moisture content and light intensity. You can find it by clicking here!

Trazon Soil pH Meter 3-in-1 Soil Tester Moisture

Is it Good or Bad to Plant at Night?

As a gardener, you may be in a dilemma whether you should plant their plants during the day or is it better during the night? 

It is always good and safe to plant at night. More above stated, temperatures are lower during the night than during the day which decreases the rate of evaporation and decrease of moisture which are essential for the seeds to germinate well.  

Actually, most plants grow more at night.

Planting at night makes the plant get enough time to acclimatize to the new environment before they get exposed to sunlight on the next day. 

When it is cooler, the plants will have all the time during the night to adapt to their new environment before having a change in climate during the day where we will have the presence of sunlight.

One thing to consider is that at night there are artificial lights which can cause some problems.

Porch lights can cause legginess in plants as well as the plant leaning and growing towards the light when they are exposed for too long.

This is why you should provide well-rounded lighting for plants grown indoors.

Providing balanced lighting is crucial, and we have found an effective and durable artificial grow light on amazon that provides the right spectrum of light to get the job done. You can find it by clicking here.

grow light

Can Planting at Night Prevent Seedling Shock?

Planting at night will help prevent seedling shock. Seedling shock is the sudden collapse of seedlings when transplanted.

This happens as a result of changes in the surrounding temperature, soil conditions, and water.

When seedlings experience this shock, they can be affected in their growth negatively for about two to three weeks.

When you are transplanting your seedlings during the day where there is direct sunlight, the presence of winds, and sunlight, there are high chances that most of your seedlings may experience seedling shock. 

Seedlings should be planted at night in the absence of the excess conditions mentioned above.  

Luckily, most seedlings recover from the seedling shock after experiencing it. A good sign to know that your seeds are in shock is by checking the leaves. 

Plants that have experienced seedling shock seem to be having wilting or falling leaves, dying branches, abrupt fall of flowers or fruits, or it might even die altogether.

How to Avoid Transplant Shock

  1. Plant or transplant seedlings with soil temperatures of above 50 degrees
     
  2. Esure that the seedlings that we are planting are healthy
     
  3. Water plants carefully
     
  4. Know when to plant
     
  5. Not disturbing the roots when transplanting
  6. Take out as many roots as you can

What is the best time of the day to transplant?

First and foremost, what is transplanting?  This is the technique of moving plants from one location to another with a new soil medium. 

It can be from the origin of where they were planted as seeds to where they need to grow like plants. This can be done during the day and so during the night. 

But, what is the best time of the day to do transplanting?

There are two answers to the above question. 

Transplanting can be done early in the morning or late in the evening for better results. 

It is always advisable to do your transplant early in the morning or during the cooler evening hours.  

You can transplant during the evening so that the seedlings may have the entire night to fit and get used to the new environment before the sun comes up.

Also, the sensitive roots should not be exposed to direct sunlight, making transplanting more advisable during the evening or early morning. 

Direct sunlight may damage the sensitive roots, which may not do well when exposed.

What do plants do during the night?

Plants uptake oxygen and release carbon dioxide at night. 

This process is known as respiration. 

However, some plants use carbon dioxide during the night because of their ability to perform a type of photosynthesis known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM).

Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, is a carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions that allows a plant to photosynthesize during the day, but only exchange gases at night. [Source]

Most cacti plants use the CAM process.

What happens if you plant and water the plants at night

Planting and watering your plants at night is pretty much okay. However, when watering the plants after planting them, you should be very careful not to sprinkle water anyhow on the plant’s leaves. 

This may attract fungi. When drops of water are left on the leaves, there is no sunlight during the night that will make the leaves dry. 

When this occurs, the leaves are said to be damp. However, these wet leaves become more vulnerable to the development of fungi. 

This will be very harmful to the plant because the leaves play a very big role in plant growth. You should be very careful when you decide to water the plants at night. 

To avoid all these, you should make sure that you are watering the plant at the very start of the stem closer to the ground.

You can also consider using the bottom watering method which would effectively water the entire mass of the soil and ensures that the plant is not getting more water than it needs.

The Takeaway

Generally, as above seen, it is recommendable to plant your seedlings at night when there is no direct sunlight, strong winds, and other unfriendly weather conditions that may affect the seedlings when planted at night. 

Also, this might be the best time of the day to do it if you are occupied during the day. 

Remember, we have seen that it is very important to be careful when watering the plants that you have planted during the night. 

If you have to, you will have to be extra careful when watering them to avoid the development of fungi that may harm your plant leaves.

JayLea

JayLea has a passion for plants and has been gardening since 2015. He has valuable knowledge about gardening and houseplant care and can answer everyday practical questions that every plant owner has.

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