LED grow lights deliver stunning chrysanthemums

This LED technology has allowed Philips research partner Arcadia to control chrysanthemum flowering and has facilitated year-round sales.

Even though chrysanthemums are one of the most popular cut flowers, the use of LED grow lights for their cultivation in greenhouses has been limited. Philips has done much research on these plants over the years, but had not been able to test the perfect light spectrum on a large scale until recently so it was hard to justify the investment to growers. Recent research results, however, may change grower’s minds on this subject.

The challenge with using LED plant lights to grow chrysanthemums stems mainly from the fact that they are short-day plants. The flowering of these plants is triggered by the shorter days of late summer. This occurs either naturally outdoors in late summer or can be artificially controlled in a greenhouse by withholding light for 11 to 13 hours each day, for a period of 8 to 9 weeks, depending on the variety or type of chrysanthemum. This technique allows growers to control the flowering of chrysanthemums and make them available for sale any time of year.

Heavier stems or more plants per square meter

Philips has carried out many research trials over the last years to find the ideal light spectrum for chrysanthemums. In 2016, the two best light recipes were tested in a large-scale pilot with research partner Arcadia, a leading commercial grower of de-budded chrysanthemums in The Netherlands, and the results are impressive. Arcadia worked with Philips to test these two light recipes that came out of previous trials and to gain knowledge in growing with LED.

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Photos courtesy and used by permission of Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting

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