Type of grow lights for a Michigan winter?

msugrl2010August 3, 2012

Hello all,

I just got a 1 yr old ocoblanco. I live in michigan where out winters are overcast with little to no sunlight.

I know houston gave me great advice in the past, but I know texas winters are very different from MI winters.

what type of grow light would I need to keep my tree green and healthy throughout winter? (keep in mind I am a grad student and don't have a ton of money, lol). my tree will be near a window as well to try to soak up as much light it can get.

I'd appreciate anyone's help!


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My plants of all kinds do just fine with a regular compact florescent light put into an inexpensive clip-on type spotlight fixture. Total cost is around $6-$10 from a home improvement warehouse or mass merchandiser like Home Depot, Lowe's, Meijer, Wal-mart.

Here is a link that might be useful: Something along these lines, most under $10

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:53PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

You can find fluorescent grow lights that mimic the sun and are the equivalent of a 300w metal halide. I picked one up and it was 80 watts and put out the same amount of lumens as a 300 watt metal halide. Cant remember the brand but google florescent grow lights.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Denninmi, Really? so I could get a compacy florescent light like in the link below and my plant would be ok?

Should I try to look for a specific CFL? I wasn't able to see what you posted in the link, for some reason the link took me to the google homepage XD.

Blazeaglory, I googled florescent grow lights but I haven't found anything that you described, Do you have a picture of it?

Thank you both!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:56PM
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is this the type of light you were talking about? it's a CFL. You kept your dwarf citrus tree healthy and green with one of these?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Here's another picture of the bulb

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:09PM
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those are way too small, you see on the lower left hand corner it says 13w. you need something over 40w.

the giant ones are around 60-65w and are about 12 inches long and about 4inches wide, and the small one is around 45w, about 8inches long and 3inches wide.

here's a few examples

Here is a link that might be useful: 50-60watt CFL's

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Let me ask you a question? Please

The window you are going to be putting your tree in, will it be a sunny south facing window?
Also, what kind of temps will your trees be subjected to?
Is it going to be in your home?
Will you heat with dry heat or with humidity?
Do you have bug spray on hand just in case?
Will you fertilize depending on growth needs?


    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Oh I see! will this light bulb I selected in the link below work for my oroblanco then? where can I get the metal shade to go around it? a general hardware store? I wonder if they sell any that have a clamp on the end of it.


So if I got a light like this, along with placing my tree near a window this should be enough to keep him green and healthy in the winter?

Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:10AM
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the most likely window it will be near is a window facing east (where the sun rises). though remember, Michigan Winters are almost always overcast 90% of the time (not sure how your winters are, I envy you if they're sunny!).

My house is kept at a temperature of around 70 degrees in the winter, so the tree will be subjected to this too. (the tree will be in my house).

I'll have dry heat but I heard misting the leaves with a spray bottle helps add some humidity.

I can easily get bugspray from the plant nursery in the winter (they're open year round with supplies). If I did need a bug spray, which one would you reccommend?

yes I plan on continuing a monthly regiment of fertilizing. I will fertilize with romeo.

Hope this gives you a better idea about my trees environment for this winter!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:17AM
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the CFL you linked will work. you can get the clamp on lamps at any hardware store, and even at walmart.

you can also get the timers at the same places. you can just "set it and forget it" lol. i set mine for around 7am till 5pm.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:20PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

When I grow I want the best of whatever Im growing and the little "house" low watt floros just never did it for me other than for rooting clones. This is the type of light I am referring to but this one I just found with a quick google search and I linked the first one just to show you what type Im talking about. They have others that have more lumens and more light spectrum and are cheaper. If you can find a hydroponic grow store in your area they are cheaper than online but you can find some deals online as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Good grow light

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:17PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

MSgurl, the link you posted is what I was talking about and will work fine for what you need. Also, forget about watts, you want LUMENS and with the technology they have today they are making smaller wattage bulbs with higher lumens. Anything over 5000k will be fine for an indoor winter only grow but for full term vegging and fruiting you would want way more (over 100,000). But the light in you link will work fine and will be much better than a regular "soft white" house floro. You want to make sure it is FULL SPECTRUM or at the least an equivalent of an HPS with reds and oranges to simulate fall/winter and made for plants and animals to get the best results. Sometimes trying to save a couple bucks (trust me I know Im poor as $hi*) will cost you in the long run.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:24PM
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10 or more hours of light is perfect for citrus growing in 70 degree weather. With your window getting that much sunlight and the lights, you will have a happy camper.

Like I cautioned, just be vigilant with reagrds to pest, and your tree should be fine. I usually find that pushing mine like that in those temps, in the winter, brings on mites. The heat created by your light source will usually add to the dry air you already have surrounding your tree whether you even though you may mist. A fan with your set up would do wonders.
Mites usually attack the very fresh flush of foliage before it even gets a chance to mature. You will know.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:57PM
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awesome! I'm definitely going to go look for a good clamp shade once my exams are done (I'll finally be finished next week! yayy!!)


LOL! then you totally understand my plight, since I'm a grad student I usually don't have a lot of spare cash. I'm glad that the light I selected should work for my tree, Thanks for the link you posted up, it's good to know that light will work too.


good to have your approval on my wintering plan too. I know its kinda early to think about winter, but it'll be here before we know it, can't believe it's already August! where did the summer go? but its ok, I love autumn too (I pretty much love any season besides winter, LOL). I'll definitely turn the fan on it for a few hours a day too. My friend came over yesterday to study with me and she ooed and ahhed at how pretty my tree was and wanted to know where she could get one, I may have gotten her hooked on dwarf citrus too! LOL XD

Thanks again for your guys's advice! I really appreciate it!! I'll take a picture of my tree again and post it here once I have re-potted him into a good pot. He only has to sit in his small container for another week and a half, so I think it can hold on for a little bit longer (the site said a month was ok). Can't wait to get the mix and make everything come together.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:54PM
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Hi all, I was researching my winter grow light plans and found MSUgrl's post. Thanks for all the links to good bulbs. I have a question for MeyerMike regarding the 70 degree temps that MSUgrl has. Is that low or high?

I live in a high rise on the 15th floor so I rarely turn my heat on (never did last year) and often leave the patio door open. Heat rises and my condo is often a hot, dry, dry 75+ degrees. Is that ok? I like the fan idea and have done a humidifier in the past. My 3 citrus plants were good the last 3 years but I have two more now...so lighting will be necessary for those who can't get the prime window spot. And yes, I'm vigilant on the pest control. It IS a problem that I must stay on top of.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:59PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I just wanted to clear up something that might confuse some people.

the K rating on a lamp is the color or spectrum not the Lumens. Higher the K the closer the lamp is to sunlight.

When you go buy a fluorescent tube like a T5 or T8 it will say the color and wattage but not how many lumens it will put out because that depends on the ballast driving it.

But yes the higher the lumens the better and wattage doesnt necessarily determine that.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Lizza, 70-75'F is fine for the trees in the winter time. but if you have fruit on them, like oranges it'll be too warm for them to change colors, but they will be ripe.

i do think you'll need a humidifier.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 7:22AM
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