If you keep plants inside your home, you may wish to consider if TVs affect indoor plants. Since most of us have TVs 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 can affect indoor plants in various ways by emitting blue light, sound, and heat. These factors can either promote or inhibit plant growth and fruit ripening, depending on the location of the plant in relation to the TV, the duration of exposure, and the plant’s growth requirements.
Most of us have TVs in our homes, and many of us have plants, too. So if you have indoor plants in your 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.
How TVs Affect 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 aspects of modern LED or LCD TVs scientifically and how likely they can affect indoor plants:
Blue Light Can Promote or Suppress Growth
TVs emit a light called blue light radiation. As a matter of fact, roughly 50% of the light released by LED or LCD TVs is blue light.
In contrast, OLED TVs release about 20% less blue light than LED and LCD in an effort to improve video quality while being relatively safer for human eyes. This lower brightness has compelled OLED TV owners to set up a darker TV room for an excellent viewing experience. Consequently, this makes the room less suitable for plant growth.
Research has shown that varying concentrations of blue light can promote or suppress plant growth. The effect also tends to be highly species-specific.
Another important thing to consider is that blue light concentrations in the direct perimeter of modern TVs may be too low to have an effect on plant development. In addition, the duration of exposure plays a vital role in definitively identifying the effects of TV-emitted blue light on plant growth.
In controlled environments with set light intensities and duration of exposure, some studies show that when plants are grown indoors, whether as potted or greenhouse plants, you can see some interesting differences between 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.
We can see that blue light radiation is necessary for the growth of some indoor plants and has minimal influence over others. However, the likelihood that the blue light emission from your TV can affect your plant in any significant way is low.
Sound Waves Can Stimulate Growth
Another important feature of TVs is the sound waves produced. It may seem like an old wives’ tale that sound affects plants. However, numerous scientific studies have proven that sound does, in fact, stimulate growth in plants.
Several studies show that plants respond to sound in various ways:
- Vibrations from a bee’s flapping wings can stimulate a plant to release nectar, consequently affecting the reproduction process.
- Sound also has an impact on hormonal activation or inhibition in plants, affecting germination or growth.
Several crops—such as rice, wheat, tomato, and cucumber—showed higher yields when exposed to frequencies of 100-1000 Hz at a magnitude of 70 decibels for about three hours every other day. This magnitude is similar to normal speaking voice or TV dialog.
TV audio, in reality, can fluctuate between 1 and 8000 Hz during a two-hour movie, considering the sound effects and ambient noise. In addition, outdoor crops used in these studies, like rice and wheat, are exposed to occasional traffic noise that can be higher than 80 dB.
In order to have any significant—and hopefully, positive—effect on plants, you will need to consider several factors:
- The volume of the TV
- The duration of the exposure
- The distance of the plant from the TV
However, there aren’t enough studies available to determine the optimum values of the above-mentioned factors for specific indoor plants. That said, there’s no clear evidence that the sound coming from TVs is likely to have that much of an impact on indoor plants.
TV Heat Can Burn Leaves
Modern TVs, especially those using OLED technology, tend to use more power or electricity. Extended use can result in noticeable heat generation but typically not enough to affect indoor plants.
You may have come across some pictures online showing plant displays next to large TVs. Although aesthetically pleasing, the back of the TV tends to get hot when the device is used for many hours. Even the screen can feel hot to the touch.
If the surface gets hot enough to make your hand feel discomfort, it can be worse for your plants whose foliage may be in contact with it. The heat can burn the leaves and cause them to dry up. However, this heat shouldn’t have a direct effect on your indoor plant unless the pot is sitting right next to the TV.
Leaves close to or touching your hot TV surface will try to cool themselves through transpiration, losing water and consequently becoming dehydrated. Damage to a few leaves won’t immediately kill a plant, but it can make your plant look less vibrant.
The microclimate immediately around your TV may be uncomfortable for your indoor plants immediately next to it. However, other plants on other corners of the room are unlikely to be affected.
Note that most indoor plants can thrive in daytime temperatures up to 80 °F (26.7 °C). Heat stress typically requires extended exposure to temperatures over 90 °F (32 °C) for irreversible damage to take place.
In the summer, TV rooms can get too hot but the temperature is often regulated using an air conditioner. On the other hand, winters compel homeowners to switch on the heater. As long as the room stays at a comfortable temperature range for humans, the heat coming from the TV is unlikely to affect indoor plants.
Reasons Why Plants Near the TV May Die
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, sound waves, and heat, 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:
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 and Humidity
As discussed, TVs can generate heat that can be uncomfortable for your plants. 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
- Dry leaves
- Frequently dry soil
To improve ventilation or regulate heat on devices like TVs, game consoles, or computers, homeowners often use a fan or an air conditioner. However, cooling a room using an air conditioner can have a side effect of lowering the humidity. As a result, the room may be too dry for a plant to thrive.
3. Excessive Dust
You need to dust off your indoor plants regularly. 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.
TVs accumulate dust, especially in hard-to-reach spaces. Sometimes, this can even cause overheating.
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:
- An overall gray or dull color
- A collection of gnats and other pests 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: It enjoys 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, sound, and heat that can affect nearby indoor plants. However, the effects are not always detrimental to the plant.
If your indoor plant near your TV is not particularly healthy, consider other environmental factors that could be harming it, such as poor lighting, unsuitable temperature and humidity, or dust buildup.
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