How Much Light does Lettuce Need to Grow?

How Much Light does Lettuce Need to Grow?

If you’re thinking of growing lettuce at home, one of your first questions is most likely: how much light does lettuce need to grow?

This answer can vary depending on if you’re growing lettuce from seeds or not.

We’re covering how much light lettuce needs throughout the various growth stages, and solutions to those that may not have a lot of natural light available. Keep reading to learn more.

Related read: Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors Under Lights

How much light does lettuce need to grow?

As we mentioned in the introduction, this answer depends on what stage of growth your lettuce plant is in.

Lettuce Seedlings

Lettuce seedlings require a lot of sunlight to grow and thrive.

Ideally, 14 or 16 hours of sunlight is best when lettuce is in the seedling stage.

If your lettuce plants don’t get the proper amount of light, they’ll risk getting “leggy”. Leggy plants develop when they don’t receive the right amount of sunlight and therefore “stretch” themselves during growth.

Leggy plants often grow towards the light too fast and result in a spindly plant that can’t support itself in later growth stages. Legginess can often not be fixed and will ultimately mean you need to start your seeds over (in most cases).

Lettuce Plants

Once lettuce plants have matured, they are less temperamental and can therefore handle a wider variety of conditions.

Its still recommended that you have a sunny spot for your lettuce, but they can survive in 6 hours of sun per day (and often will still grow in even less).

What if I don’t have enough natural light?

It can be a little tricky to grow lettuce from seeds at home without ample light.

Fortunately, if you don’t have a lot of natural light avaialble then you can supplement the plant’s light source with a grow light.

There’s a lot of options for grow lights, but we like this model from Amazon in particular for a few reasons:

  1. This grow light has multiple flexible arms that allow you to adjust the height of the light easily
  2. There’s an automatic timer function so you can set it and forget it.
  3. Its compact, and great for those growing in a small space. You can clamp it to the railing of your balcony garden without giving up storage space.

Other Tips for Growing Lettuce at Home

Lets go over a few other quick tips for growing lettuce at home for beginners.

Growing from Transplants

If you’re worried about the amount of light your plants will receive or do not want to deal with the temperamental seedlings, you can also purchase transplants.

Transplants are partially grown plants that you can pick up from your local gardening store.

How much should I Water my Lettuce Plants?

This is one of the most common questions for new gardeners.

Lettuce likes a thorough watering at least once a week. However, during periods of warm weather they may require more.

The soil for lettuce should be consistently moist. You can adjust the frequency of waterings as needed to accomodate this based on your specific environment.