When we think of plants, we usually picture them as passive creatures that just sit around all day, soaking up the sun. However, there are actually a number of plants that have evolved to use the sun to their advantage.
They use the extra hours of daylight to for performing crucial processes like setting buds or flowering. In contrast, short day plants don’t need as much light to complete their life cycle, and they are more common in regions closer to the poles.
So the next time you’re admiring a beautiful flower, remember that it’s all thanks to the plant’s unique circadian rhythm.
What are Long Day Plants?
As the name suggests, long day plants need a long period of daylight in order to flower. In the northern hemisphere, this means that they require at least 14 hours of sunlight each day.
The longest days of the year are in June, so this is when long day plants typically begin to flower. However, if the days are getting shorter (as they do in late summer and early fall), long day plants will not flower.
This is because they use the length of the day as a cue to start flowering, and if the days are getting shorter, they will not flower. In that case, you can grow short day plants in your garden.
Long day plants also known as short-night plants include many common vegetables, such as spinach, potatoes, and dill. So, if you’re hoping to grow any of these vegetables in your garden, make sure that they are getting enough daylight.
Scientific Name: Aster amellus
Asters are beautiful flowers that come in many colors, including white, pink, purple, and blue. They’re often used in bouquets and floral arrangements, and they’re a popular choice for gardens. Asters grow best in full sun and well-drained soil.
They’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t need a lot of water. However, they can be susceptible to pests and diseases, so it’s important to keep an eye on them.
Asters are generally hardy plants, but they may not bloom as well in hot climates. If you live in an area with cool winters, you can plant asters in the fall. They’ll bloom in the spring and summer.
Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea ‘Maxima’
In general, coneflowers need at least 14 hours of sunlight in order to bloom. However, the amount of sunlight needed can vary depending on the variety of coneflower.
For example, some varieties need as little as 12 hours of sunlight, while others may need up to 16 hours. If you’re not sure how much sunlight your coneflowers need, it’s best to err on the side of too much rather than too little.
Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californic
Species: E. californica
The California poppy is a bright and cheerful flower that is native to the state of California. Also known as the golden poppy, this flower blooms in the spring and summer months.
The flowers are typically orange or yellow in color, although they can also be pink or white. California poppies are often planted in gardens, and they are also a common sight along roadsides and in open fields. These hardy flowers are relatively easy to care for, and they make a beautiful addition to any landscape.
It needs 14 to 18 hours of sunlight each day in order to flower. The best time to plant them is in early spring, so they can get a head start on the growing season.
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa
Species: L. sativa
Lettuce is one of those plants that you can pretty much grow anywhere. As long as it gets enough sunlight, it’ll be fine. In fact, it’s actually classified as a long day plant. That means that it needs at least 14 hours of sunlight every day in order to produce flowers and seeds. Now, most of us aren’t looking to grow lettuce for its flowers or seeds.
We’re growing it for the leaves. And that’s where things get a little tricky. You see, when the days start getting shorter, the lettuce starts to develop a bitterness in its leaves. That’s because it’s preparing to go into flower mode. So, if you want to avoid that bitterness, you need to make sure that your lettuce gets plenty of sunlight.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to do that. You can grow it indoors under lights, or you can plant it in a sunny spot in your garden. Just make sure that it gets enough light, and you’ll be able to enjoy crisp, delicious salads all season long.
Scientific Name: Spinacia Oleracea
Species: S. oleracea
Spinach is typically planted in late spring or early summer, when the days are longest. Because it is a cool-weather crop, spinach also prefers cooler temperatures and will bolt (produce flowers and seeds) if exposed to too much heat.
When choosing a spot to plant spinach, look for an area that gets full sun in the morning but is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. This will help to ensure that the leaves stay crisp and cool.
Scientific Name: Anethum graveolens
Genus: Anethum L.
Species: A. graveolens
Dill is a relatively tolerant plant and can withstand some variation in the length of daylight it receives. For example, dill plants that are exposed to 12 hours of light each day will still produce some flowers, although the overall yield will be lower than if the plant received 14 hours of light.
Species: Beta vulgaris
Subspecies: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Cultivar Group: Altissima Group
It is well-suited for cultivation in northern climates, where the days are long during the growing season. Sugar beet is also relatively tolerant of cold weather, making it a good crop for farmers in cooler regions.
The roots of sugar beet are rich in sucrose, which is why this crop is used to produce refined sugar. In fact, sugar beet accounts for about 50% of the world’s production of sugar. The leaves of sugar beet can also be used as fodder for livestock, and the plants themselves can be used as a biofuel.
Scientific name: Hyoscyamus niger
Species: H. niger
Henbane is also known as Hyoscyamus niger. It’s a member of the nightshade family and is native to Europe and Asia. The plant has large, dark green leaves and small, white or yellow flowers.
All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, so it’s best to keep it away from pets and children. Henbane has a long history of use in herbalism. It was used to make ointments that were said to cause hallucinations. In ancient Rome, henbane was used as a way to induce sleep. Today, it’s sometimes used in homeopathic remedies for insomnia and anxiety.
Scientific Name: Pisum sativum
Species: P. sativum
Peas are a type of long-day vegetable, meaning that they need a long period of sunlight each day. Peas are usually planted in the spring, as soon as the ground is thawed and the danger of frost has passed.
They can be direct-seeded into the garden, or started indoors and then transplanted out. Peas prefer cool weather and will start to produce Flowers when the days get longer and warmer.
Peas can be harvested fresh or allowed to dry on the vine for later use. When choosing peas at the grocery store, look for ones that are plump and have smooth, unbroken skins. Avoid peas that are wrinkled or have brown spots. If you are growing your own peas, harvest them when they are still young and tender for the best flavor.
Scientific Name: Raphanus Raphanistrum
Species: R. raphanistrum
Radishes are one of the earliest vegetables that you can plant in the spring, and they’re also a great choice for growing as a long-day plant. Long-day plants need about 14 hours of sunlight each day to thrive, and radishes are particularly well-suited to this since they have a short growing season.
In fact, you can expect to see radishes ready to harvest in as little as four weeks after planting. Radishes are a great way to get a quick and early harvest, and they’re also one of the most versatile vegetables.
You can eat them raw, roasted, or in salads, and they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. So if you’re looking for a vegetable that you can enjoy all spring and summer long, consider planting radishes.