Are these guys getting enough light?

JaredhelloJuly 10, 2014

So, I went on vacation away from home about two weeks.

Before I left, I made this dual fluorescent light fixture, using two T8 bulbs. One is a specific grow light bulb made for aquariums and plants, and the other is a standard office light bulb.

Some look slightly stretched but others look pretty happy. My mom said she rotated the pots every so often so the plants would all get even light roughly.

They look pinkish/purple on some too, which, if I'm correct is because they're getting enough light right?

I'm sorry about the picture links btw, I still haven't found out how to upload them directly.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are they dependent only on grow lights? No direct/indirect sun at all? These plants have quite different requirements for light (and water too I think). The Haworthia can do fine with light shade and even shade so yeah it looks pretty happy, I believe that type of echeveria (painted lady?) requires lots of light, and most of them I've seen at local nurseries are stretched. The baby toes definitely require lots of sun and I believe full sun is recommended.

Using imgur is perfect, but you gotta go to the side and copy the HTML Image (websites / blogs) codes and post it here for it to work.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well the issue is that I don't really have any place to put them to GIVE them the full sun they require, hence why I've made my grow light thing... I'm not sure what else to do.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Perhaps choose plants whose needs more closely match what you can offer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hi jaredhello.

To maximize your artificial light, your best bet is to surround the area with white surface. In effect you will be boxing them in with, say, white illustration board. Yes, this means you wont see them. You want the bulb to light the plants, not the room. In my own enclosed (but not sealed) plant unit, I use 4 T5HOs which are supposed to be more efficient, wasting less energy on heat. It can probably use a couple of CPU fans for air circulation...someday.

Put the plants with highest light requirements closer to the bulb but pay attention for the next few days, they will react differently. Some may burn.

That 4th image, I think, is a sempervivum. You have to know that even outside in full sun, I've had them etiolate if they get less than 3 hours of it. They are alpine plants requiring air circulation and full sun all day in relatively mild temperatures.

I have to agree with Pirate_Girl. Most succulents will require heroic measures to grow well indoors under artificial lighting. BUT! luckily, haworthias and gasterias could work for your conditions. And there is a wide selection to choose from. And they take up so little space. And they look super. And they don't require heroic measures indoors the way a barrel cactus will or even that annoying cat magnet known commercially as baby toe plant. And they look super. Plus they look great. And good-looking too lol



    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So I should try to push as much light as possible to the plants...

Okay. I'll try to get the light a little more concentrated.

As to what to do with the succulents that require more light... What should I do with them? Because as I said, I don't really have any option as far as "more light" goes unless I toss them outside, which I really do not want to do.

The way my house is oriented means I don't have any windows that get much sun, it's all indirect lighting for the most part. Should I try to add another bulb or something (like a compact fluorescent) and point it at the ones that need the most light?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd probably add another tube or even two if your set-up will allow it. But really, you can only do so much with artificial lighting. Just to give you an idea, a couple of 17-watt T5HOs gets me about 20,000 lux, about an inch from the bulb. This is good enough for dorstenia seedlings that are somewhat dormant in the winter anyway. But that will uglify a sempervivum. In comparison, full and direct sun will give you about 100,000 lux. You can use other kinds of lighting like metal halide, but that's kind of medieval.

As for CFLs, they have such bulky and awkward shape that I've never considered using them for plants. I sometimes use an anglepoise lamp in the winter but I use it with an LED bulb.

With the exception of that haworthia, your plant selection, unfortunately, will be happiest outside in the sun.

One area worth researching, if you have the patience, is LED lighting. The last time I studied this, it looked absolutely doable but it is also still absolutely expensive. But at least the technology has moved up from soldering your own board to just buying a tried and tested kit.

But hey! there is a forum in Gardenweb about growing under lights. I bet they'll have answers for you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing under lights

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Jades on Sunday Morning
For me, one of the joys of Sunday is being able to...
Lithops Seedlings!
I know it's better to start in the Spring but I just...
Jade Pruning - Advice/Comments?
I was gifted this Jade over a year ago and just did...
A Nice Welcome Today
A little surprise in the mail today...
My very first 'Terrarium' and need advice on watering.
So this is my first time doing Terrarium, and i want...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™