When my kids were young, we caught fireflies in the summer. As the sun descended, the lawn glittered and we madly rushed about capturing as many as we could by hand. I truly believe that gardening organically led to our bounty of fireflies; I never applied any chemicals to the lawn. When the sunlight diminished our plastic containers were so full they were blinking. The kids put the containers on their nightstands to serve as nightlights but after they fell asleep, I retrieved the containers and released the fireflies back into the yard. The memories of these magical “firefly” nightlights has my kids, now teenagers, excited about trying Glowee, “Glow-in-the-Dark Plant That Light the Night.” The first glow-in-the-dark houseplant, Glowee is a snake plant (Sansevieria) whose long, green leaves glow after being exposed to light.
The Glowee snake plants are grown in 4-inch wide pots by Costa Farms, a Florida-based, wholesale producer of indoor and outdoor tropical plants, houseplants, bedding plants, annuals, and perennials. Glowee will be available for sale at Home Depot stores in Florida in October and at Home Depot stores across the country by the end of November. Currently, they are available in Canada at WalMart.
Although they make perfect kid gifts, (what a great Christmas present!) adults will find them useful in many ways. They are perfect for:
- Reminding people what time it is. For coworkers or bosses who work too much, they will see the glow as the sun sets, reminding them to knock it off and go home.
- Serving as outdoor landscape light fixtures. Simply pot them up in large containers along the walkway to the front door during the warm months; the rain won’t wash off the “glow.”
- Illuminating your summer parties. Place a few on the deck, on your patio table, or in the windows to add a romantic glow during your party after the sun sets.
- Serving as a “get well” gift that offers more. Imagine giving these as get well gifts to people who are in the hospital, home bound, or bed bound. The glow would put a smile on their face!
- Holiday gift giving time. Give one for Valentine’s Day with a small, heart-shaped, mylar balloon attached and a card that reads “you really make me glow.”
- Decorating for Halloween. Although Glowee will be introduced after Halloween, they will be available for Halloween next year. Put these glow in the dark houseplants in haunted houses or use as centerpieces for Halloween parties!
When I asked how they glowed, Justin Hancock, Consumer Marketing and Digital Specialist, Costa Farms, explained that it is propriety information but he assured me that the plants are not toxic and are not genetically modified. The Glowee plants will glow with different intensity and for varying amounts of time based on the brightness, duration, and type of light to which they are exposed. He said the more or longer the light exposure, the better and longer the glow. Justin explained that his own Glowee plant at home is in a west-facing window, gets direct sun, and glows for 3 to 4 hours after the sun sets. There is a stronger, longer lasting glow with direct sunlight while fluorescent lights work better than incandescent lights in rooms without windows. The leaves of Glowee should retain the glowing capability for years. New growth will not have this capability; however, this particular species is so slow growing there will be very little new growth. Snake plants in general are popular, low maintenance houseplants.