Ramo under lights

TT, zone 5b MAOctober 27, 2013

Well, up here in MA, I finally have most everything tucked away. It is either in a sunny window, under lights, or garaged. I sure do envy those of you out there who can grow these plants of ours without all this work!

My Aloe ramosissima does seem to really be enjoying life under a 1000 watt metal halide, after hanging there for a month or so already...

Can't wait until spring!


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What a beauty!
You said it first...can't wait until spring (In similar zone-I have been thinking it too).

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:35PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Thanks, Rina...

Funny how it seems like November through March takes twice as long as May through September! Why is that?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Nice aloe! Looks very happy!

I have not seen one like this before and I did not realize there were aloes that look like a bonsai. Cool beans! I will have to add that to my list.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 8:39PM
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AWESOME Plant. Impressive indeed.

I have some questions and you look like the right person to ask.

May I ask how many hours of light you have your lights on during the winter months? How much area will a 1000 watt light cover and how far away from the plants do you hang your light?

I am building a room downstairs. I have a 600 watt Metal halide and a 600 watt Sodium light to house tender succulents this winter. My area is about 6 feet by 8 feet and I have will have tiers for the plants alongside the walls with the lights hanging in the middle. Would you recommend one or the other or both for this space?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:35AM
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TT, zone 5b MA


My sunroom is slightly larger than the room you describe. It also has three skylights and windows, but it is north facing so I don't get tons of sun shining in there in the winter.

I am running two 1000w, one 400w and one 175w fixture in there. All MH. I have run HPS in there before, but I prefer MH...whiter spectrum (5000 Kelvin or higher). I think it is most like natural sunlight.

Bottom line - I don't think you could ever have too much light, IMO. I would run both of your fixtures if you can. I run my lights for about 11.5 hours per day, all season. I don't use them at all during the growing season. Everything is outside then.

I will try to post a pic when I get home tonight.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Laura Robichaud

I'm still marching mine out in the morning and in when the sun goes down. It's between 40-60 during the day. Dipping down too cold at night for everyone but the jades. I'm just trying to squeeze in a little more sunshine for the succulents before the winter. My husband thinks I'm a nut.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:05AM
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That ramo looks grrrrrrreeeeaaatttt. It's got so many branches, I ran out of fingers counting them. My A. plicatilis looks like it's stopped sulking and is finally growing.

Our first hard freeze last night (only got to -4C). I'm sure glad I had them in weeks ago, though.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:26AM
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rosemariero6(z10 /ss24 So. Calif.)

Your ramo looks fantastic, Tom!! My hat is off to you (& others) who go to all this trouble to care for their plants. I think if I had to, I would not. But then, it would probably have to be before I got hooked on sux!

I can only dream about how my plants might look if I took HALF the care of them as you do yours! Maybe when I finally PIG them in the front yard project...I might realize the dream.

Here's wishing your winter months go by quickly for you!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:36PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Laura - you are much tougher than I am. I gave up on the moving plants shuffle...too many now. I need to set it and forget it.

Mr. Harris - very happy to hear about your plicatilis! Mine is officially garaged...

Ro - I think if you had to do what we do to grow these plants...you would! Once you have the bug...well you know. Thanks for the good thoughts on a short winter. Snow for Christmas, then 80 and sunny from there out would be perfect!

Evie - pics, as promised:


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 5:55PM
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Thank you so MUCH! for your reply and these photos which have blowed me away. In awe and envy, I have looked at these over and over again. I see a huge amount of time, money and passion in your collection.

I am new to succulent growing. I can see how addictive this is gonna be. Your reply and pic's have offered me confidence in my project and a goal to create such a lovely presentation myself.

Bonus to know I need not concern self with too much light. I have found a conversion metal halide bulb (claps) so I am feeling all set. We have a shortish basement. I think to increase the light in the room I will remove the shades and put up some mylar foil reflective stuff on the walls and possibly the ceiling.

One more question - How much do your lovelies grow while under the lights? Would giving the plants more time keep them in summer growing mode ?

Thanx so much

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Great setup! I've seen myself looking for better light now for my plants - even asked my husband if I could make a temporary tent on the deck for my plants with a space heater for it. He quickly replied, "No!, that is the only way I can control you from adding more plants because you'll add more in the house." Boo!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:30AM
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TT, zone 5b MA


How much they grow depends on the plant. Cool weather growers like tylecodon, A. ramosissima, and my othonnas grow well. That said, there is no stopping the warm weather growers from going dormant, and I do not try to. If anything, it may extend the season briefly, but then I let them go on the dry side to rest. This include my adansonia, adeniums, pachypodiums, burs era, and commiphora.

I don't grow my cacti under lights usually. I garage them in the dark. Kinda sad, but no room. I do keep a small saguaro in the window...can't get myself to stick him out there. I keep yucca rostrata and an aloe plicatilis out there in the garage, too.

Most of my agave and aloes are in a south facing window. They are growing a little now, but they too will slow down. You can't really fool Mother Nature.

February rolls around and they start to stir again.

Hope that helps.

Camellia - good luck finding approved light space ;-)


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:17PM
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