We all need the sun

The people who work in plant nurseries or shops probably often get this question - “does this plant need light/sun?” 

Folks, every plant needs sunlight. All plants thrive with some if not full exposure to sunlight. They make food with it, they grow under it, they bloom and multiply with it, they simply bask in it…Any plant will gravitate towards sunlight, even those that miraculously survive in low light conditions creep ever so slowly towards it. I don’t think there is a plant that deliberately hides from the sun. 

My only flowering plant, the Senecio Amplifolius, has blooms angled towards the sun. They are amazingly consistent. All the buds look the same direction. 

Succulents or cacti have a condition where they become “etiolated” when they do not have sufficient light. Their form becomes skinny and long, they become unnaturally stretched because they are spending all their effort or energy to get closer to the source of light. Or otherwise they become dormant, barely growing.

I think of this relationship with the sun as being akin to a kind of worship, a kind of adulation, a kind of love. And the sun feeds them with its love back.

Because I am back at the office most of the time now, the blinds at the balconies are drawn halfway - just in case a violent storm floods the flat! To compensate, I have a grow lamp that I rotate among the different clusters of plants every night. I feel a strange guilt that I have neglected them, not given them the sunlight they need. Tonight as I moved the lamp to this corner where the tiny succulent pots and bromeliads are kept, I said to them “不要說我不愛你喔.” [“don’t say I don’t love you ah.”]


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