How mch light does an african violet really need?

HiddenWalrusDecember 24, 2012

I keep reading that if grown under fluorescent these plants need to be no more than one foot beneath the lights to grow, which soncerns me because where I would like to put mine is just over 2 feet below the light. But, I have seen these plants growing and blooming in windowless offices with only fluorescent lights 8 or 10 feet up above the plants on the ceiling.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a matter of the INTENSITY of light that your plants receive. Office lights must provide enough light to read under (for hours), so the light intensity there is usually pretty good.

You can actually purchase a light meter to see what intensity of light your plants are receiving. I think that 1000 foot-candles is recommended, but plants will bloom (though not optimally) at lower levels.

If the plants are near a window which lets in some sun, that will create more light intensity.

My plants are between 1 - 2 feet from my lights, and do fine.

I'd place my plants as you were planning to. If they need more light, they won't bloom, and then you can move to Plan B.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think lights too close (or left on too long) cause damage harder to fix than lights a little too far away. I'm convinced advice on lights has them too close more often than not.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 5:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
irina_co(z5 CO)

Most of the violets prefer 600-800 footcandles - but dark leaf ones will take more, and pale green leafed ones will prefer the lower end.

The plant can tolerate lower light - but it will bloom less often if at all.

You can make your growing area with 2 feet under the lights - you will see them better and enjoy your plants with this distance - but you need to make sure that you still provide enough light.

Depending on the length of your growing area - if it is 2 feet wide - use 2 T5s - and if it is 4 feet - use 2 T8s or 4 t12s.

What else you can do to preserve the light you have - put a mirror behind your shelf - it will bounce the light back - and you will be looking at twice the plant amount. Or at least you can put aluminum foil above the lights, under your plants - etc. - work on something that is not looking too tacky and and still gets the job done.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 12:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Brown leaves
Since this morning I noticed that multiple leaves of...
Hanieh M.
sooo, what's new?
Got new plants? Trying something different? What's...
Is it possible to make a mini violet out of a regular sized clipping?
This is likely a really newbish question, but hey,...
Another newbie question
If the Rob's Combustible Pigeon has 3 sports and another...
Blooms on the way!
I was so excited to find these! I haven't had blooms...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™