African violets not doing well under lights

chein001July 25, 2012

I have 3 AV's. Just getting into them. I have a couple areas to try to keep them. One is in an atrium in the house which gets diffused light. So far in there I'm having luck with ferns, spider plants, begonias and a few others. My one AV in there looks ok but the leaves look a bit light green but they are thick and growing proper.

The two in the bathroom under artificial lights is another matter and this is my concern. The leaves are very dark green but they are growing upward. I'm reading that that means they need MORE light. The light is about 14 inches from the plants. Is that too high? Or do I need a different light?? It's a grow light made for house plants.

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Artificial lighting can be very tricky. Are you using cfl's or standard florescent tubes?

From my experience grow-lights tend to be short in the blue spectrum and high in the red. Generally people will grow under one grow-light (red) and one cool white or natural daylight (blue/white).

How long are you keeping the lights on? Sometimes it's not a matter of being closer (which can range from 8 inches to 14 inches above the height of the plant), but needing to keep the lights on for 12-14 hrs.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:52AM
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You might try moving them a little closer to the light. Sometimes inches can make a difference. I found that using one warm light and one cool light made a difference also. Plants don't need just light, they need the different spectrums in light.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:15AM
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I'm only using one flouresent that I got at walmart that just says, grow light. The light is on for 13 hours. So the light spectrum might not be right?
Do they make 12" long bulbs with that spectrum (red/blue) or are they just separate?
right now I put all AV's into the atrium. In there they might only get 11 hours of light. Very diffused in the AM and sun will shine thru a bit brighter for a few hours and then diffuse again once sun goes over.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:16PM
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here's a picture of my one violet that is in my atrium. What do you think about the leaves?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:39PM
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here is a picture of one that was under lights.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I got the GE gro lights at Walmart when I first started out, but I switched to the one cool, one warm, and I'm seeing better results. As someone pointed out to me, the Gro ones from Walmart are also for an aquarium. I use two 20 watt bulbs in a 24" fixture.
I bought a flowering standard off of eBay, and when it arrived, it looked more reaching, like your bottom picture. I didn't put it under my lights but in a filtered east window, and it has since relaxed it's leaves and is very happy. Sometimes we want AVs as pretty decorations in different parts of the house, but for them to be happy, they really do need proper light, enough of it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 2:04PM
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