Why do roots need to be kept in the dark?

Why do roots need to be kept in the dark?

In traditional soil-based gardening, roots are naturally shielded from light because they grow beneath the surface of the soil. However, in growing methods like hydroponics, it is essential to keep the roots in the dark. This is primarily because exposing the roots to light can lead to several issues:

Algae Growth

When roots are exposed to light, particularly to continuous or intense light, it can encourage the growth of algae in the nutrient solution or growing medium. Algae can compete with the plants for nutrients, water, and oxygen, potentially causing harm to the plants and leading to nutrient imbalances.

Root Stress

Roots are typically sensitive to light. Direct exposure can stress the roots, affecting their ability to absorb nutrients and water. Root stress may lead to reduced plant growth and productivity.

Prevention of Disease

In some cases, light can encourage the development of diseases in the root system. By keeping the roots in the dark, you can minimise the risk of pathogenic infections and root rot.

Root Health and Function

Maintaining roots in darkness helps ensure that they can focus on nutrient and water uptake, as well as root growth and development, without the interference of external factors like light exposure.

The Harvst H-Series Indoor Garden keeps roots in the dark by virtue of the fact that they are hidden underneath the cup trays. If you have any empty spaces in your cup trays, cover them with a spare disc of card or plastic.

All hoses and pipes are black, and the nutrient tank is kept away from light.