Do TVs Affect Indoor Plants?

If you keep plants inside your home, you may wish to consider if TVs affect indoor plants. Since most of us have TVs, and computer screens for that matter, in our homes, it is fair to assume that these devices could influence the growth of our indoor plants. We have done the research for you and found all the information you need on this topic.

TVs emit blue light radiation. A certain amount of blue light is needed for the growth of plants; however, large quantities affect the height of the plant and the color of the leaves. Ensure the plant near the TV is also exposed to sunlight for the best indoor plant health.

Most of us have TVs in our homes, and many of us have plants, too. So if you have indoor plants in your TV room, it is fair to ask if TVs affect indoor plants. Since we love our plants and want to give them the best chance at thriving, let us look into the details of what TVs emit and how they affect our indoor plants.

Can a TV Harm Indoor Plants?

Keeping a plant near your TV does not necessarily mean doom for the plant. While TVs emit radiation, it is not necessarily the type of radiation that directly harms or kills a plant. Let’s look at some of the science behind TV radiation and how exactly it can affect your indoor plant.

The Science of TV Radiation

TVs emit a light called blue light radiation. This type of radiation is a high energy, and we can only see part of it. (We are better at seeing red and green lights.) Interestingly, blue light radiation is present in sunlight. Just like red and green, it helps with photosynthesis, during which plants make their food.

When plants are grown indoors, whether as potted or greenhouse plants, we see some interesting differences in those grown with blue light and those without. Generally, those grown using blue light are shorter and have darker green leaves. The leaves are also smaller and thicker than those grown without blue light.

Blue light helps them thrive and produce foods rich in nutrients for edible foods, like tomatoes and lettuce. However, when these foods are grown without exposure to blue light, they tend to have ailments and are often a different color altogether.

So, we can see that blue light radiation is necessary for the growth of some indoor plants and has minimal influence over others.

Experiments Using TVs and Plants

An experiment performed by Annabelle Sanok showed that, in her case, growing a plant in front of a TV did affect its growth. She grew two similar plants simultaneously. Both received the same amount of water. One was placed in her dining room and one in front of the TV.  

By the end of the two-week experiment, the plant near the TV was substantially shorter than the one grown in the dining room. 

If you would like to perform a similar investigation, use these steps to reach your own conclusions:

  1. Purchase two young plants of the same species and similar size and health status.
  2. Place them in the same potting soil.
  3. Place one directly in front of the TV.
  4. Place the other in another room with indirect sunlight.
  5. Provide both of your plants with the same amount of water daily.
  6. Take photographs of both plants, using a ruler or other device to measure their height.
  7. At the end of your test period, take final pictures and note the difference between the two pants.

For Annabelle, the notable differences were the heights of the two plants and the color of the leaves. The plant grown away from the TV had healthier leaves than its counterpart’s leaves.

Why Is the Plant Near My TV Dying?

It can be somewhat concerning when a beloved plant begins to die. If your plant is near your TV, you might wonder if the TV is affecting it negatively. Science shows us that TVs emit blue light radiation, affecting plants in small ways. The type and amount of radiation from your TV should not, however, be causing your plant to die.

Let us look into possible reasons the plant near your TV could be dying.

1. Lighting

Different plants need different light intensities to grow their best. Since we tend to keep TVs in the shade, the plant you are growing may need a little extra light to thrive. Conduct some research into the type of plant you have to learn what kind of light it needs. You may need to place it in a new spot to help it recover.

Common signs that a plant needs more light include:

  • Lack of vibrant color
  • Craning towards the light source

2. Temperature

Did you know that TVs emit not only light but also heat? If your TV is large, it could be contributing to quite a temperature rise in your plant’s environment. If you have a gaming console nearby, the combination of TV and console could definitely be making the area too warm for your plant.

Common signs that a plant is too hot include:

  • Droopy leaves
  • Frequently dry soil

3. Excessive Dust

It’s true. You need to dust off your indoor plants. Since indoor plants are not exposed to the wind and rain that their outdoor counterparts enjoy, they tend to get covered in dust. This dust can collect on their leaves, stems, and on top of their potting soil. The dust can cause your plant to function less than optimally if left.

Plants need their leaf surfaces to inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. They also need clean leaves to photosynthesize, making food for the plant. If your plant is near your TV, it could be a little dustier than plants elsewhere in the home. Be sure to gently dust them fairly often to keep them healthy.

When dusting your indoor plant, support the leaves from the bottom and use a soft cloth or cotton swab to wipe the dust off. Then, use a damp cloth or another cotton swab to rinse the leaves gently. Consider using a paintbrush with a small head if your plant has tiny leaves.

Common signs that a plant is too dusty include:

  • Overall gray or dull color
  • A collection of gnats and other pets taking up residence in or on your plant

Many people enjoy displaying their indoor plants on a TV stand.  This is a lovely way to bring nature into your home and enjoy your plants while watching TV.  If you choose to display your indoor plants in this way, be sure to research which plants will thrive in this environment. 

Some plants enjoy a warmer climate with little to no direct sunlight. These are the plants that will likely do well displayed on a TV stand.

Is It a Good Idea to Have a TV Stand With Plants?

Take a browse through Pinterest, and you will find countless designs and ideas for TV stands that include plants. So many of us spend more time at home these days, and it seems we feel the collective need to bring nature in.  

Adding plants to your TV display can be a great way to infuse your room with nature’s calming and pleasing effects. If you are keen to design your TV room in this way, consider purchasing plants that grow well in shady areas, enjoy the heat, and will not be negatively affected by the blue light radiation that TVs emit.

A few plants that could be a good option include:

  • Snake plants (these are hardy plants that enjoy the heat and don’t need much water)
  • Ferns (these require a fair amount of water but enjoy the shade and heat)
  • Swiss Cheese Plant/Delicious Monster (these enjoy warmth, shade, and humidity, but beware, they grow alarmingly large!)

When selecting the plants for your TV stand, please consider the amount of water they need.  Also, consider what temperature they thrive in and how much light they need. TV stands are typically shaded to allow us a clear view of the TV.  If your plant needs direct sunlight, it may not do well in this spot.

Since TVs give off blue light and heat, the plants you select need to enjoy a warm environment.  Another aspect to consider when choosing plants for your TV stand is their size.  Try to avoid selecting plants that will cover the TV screen or become too heavy for the stand once matured.


Whether TVs affect indoor plants is not as simple a topic as you may think. TVs emit blue light radiation that does affect nearby indoor plants; however, the effects are not always detrimental to the plant. Blue light is present in sunlight and assists plants in regulating their growth.

Research shows that plants grown near a TV are generally shorter than their counterparts grown in sunlight. They also have thicker, smaller leaves that are darker in color. If your indoor plant near your TV is not particularly healthy, consider other environmental factors that could be harming it.

You can read my other article on the best plants to put next to a TV here: 14 Best Plants To Put Next To Your TV

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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