pothos grow under CFL bulbs questions

catlover003February 26, 2008

Hello everyone.

I love this website, it's highly informative to me. I am actually stuck with this question for two weeks and i am hope that everyone could help me out.

I live in an old Victorian home which is 3 stories high and the stairs/hallways are centered in the middle with no natural light from outside. The home is currently divided into 12 apartments, there will not be any outside light coming into the hallways.

I was considering to add some greenery in the hallways to clean air because there are a lot of smokers that refused to smoke outside and the hallways is stink.

On third floor near my apartment, I would like to add about 24" pot with 10 foot wood stake that will be attached to a ceiling hook for stabilization. The first floor near the staircase, there will be another one similar 24" pot, but with 14 foot wood stake that will be screwed to the ceiling as well. Both wood stake will be covered with both burlap and window screens. (will explain why)

What I'm attempt to do is to grow Pothos (I have several varieties except Neon Pothos). They will be trained to climb on that wood stake and the areil roots will cling into or through the window screen/burlap.

I'm having difficult time thinking about lighting. I have no problems on the 1st floor, but no natural light on 3rd floor. Currently there is 4 light fixtures that has 15 watts cool white "Daylight" 6500K CFL from Home Depot. I was thinking to replace all 4 bulbs to 27watts "Daylight" CFL once the idea/planning is completed.

I've enclosed two website links for you to compare what CFL i have right now and feedback on the 27watts CFL.

Will the Pothos be able to grow in those conditions? The Hallways are between 23oC-27oC in winter and 32oC in the summer.

The lights MUST stay on 24/7/365 because of safety reason for all tenants who lives in this building.

Please give me your feedbacks and ideas.

Thank you so much!!! Maybe i'll attach a photo or two to show once the project is completed.


15 watts "Daylight" http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?D=945575&Ntt=945575&catalogId=10051&langId=-15&storeId=10051&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntx=mode+matchall&recN=112591&N=0amp;Ntk=P_PartNumber

27 watts "Daylight"


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just a note. the ceilings are very high. The light fixture is hanging chandlier (sp?). The fixture hangs about two and half feet down from the ceiling on 3rd floor. All light bulbs faces upwards to the ceiling. Every halls in the building has same fixtures. On 1st floor there's 10 sockets, 5 on 2nd floor and 4 on 3rd floor.

If you guys don't think changing to 15watts is enough, I can add some floor lamp or somekind of flood light to supplement the plant with more blue light for growing once in a while.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 11:57PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I think "watts" are just for the person who pays the utility bill. "Daylight" sounds like high kelvins which is good, I think. Could you hare "lumens" and "kelvins" with us?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 12:19PM
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Hi Albert 135

Thanks for your quick response. The watts "hydro" for hallways is paid by landlords. They are willing to pay a bit more for more watts, which i think 27watts will not hurt the utility bill which is pleasant. They love me so much, and i am also a superintendent. Before the new landlords bought this building, all light bulbs were 40 watts chandelier type bulbs and when i became superintendent, i changed all bulbs to CFL and everyone loves how they look, and my Landlords told me that the utility bill were cut down dramatically and i'm saving them a lot of money. (They will be paying me back for the expenses).

To answer your question. The daylight CFL's has very high kelvins which is 6500K.

RIGHT NOW, the light bulbs in the hallways are 15 watts = 900 lumens each. 4 CFLs on third floor hallway, and 9 CFLs on 1st floor.

The ones i'm considering (for 3rd floor) converting to 27 watts Daylight which is also 6500 K, they are 1680 lumen each. Once the pot and plants are planted along with 10 foot totem (pine wood) and i will change the bulbs slowly so tenants won't notice with suddenly change of brightness.

The First floor hallway light bulbs don't need to be changed, i think it's bright enough downstairs because there is some sun source coming in from the front doors and back door.

I have already bought 2 CFL's 27w, 6500 k and at 1680 lumens each for my kitchen light fixtures today for testing. I have 5 pots of cuttings (pothos) in my kitchen right now to encourage them to get used to dirt/soil. They had been planted in pot of dirt last night from being in pitcher of water for almost 2 months.

Albert, let me know if this will be successful in the third floor hallway with the current light settings or converting to 27w.

Thank you so much.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 6:02PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I'm a bit concerned that the bulbs face up, away from the plants. How many feet from the fixture to the top of the flowerpot? I'm thinking that's a long way for the light to travel, light falls off exponentially as you move away from the fixture. However, pothos are fairly tolerant, it just might work, but I'm thinking your plants aren't good to be super full and lush.

24" is a HUGE pot for pothos, you will have to be extremely careful not to overwater. Can you go with a smaller pot?

If it were me, I would consider getting some tall, low light floor plants instead, dracaeanas would be good - corn plant, dragon plant, janet craig. Or chinese evergreens, or peace lilies.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 7:54AM
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Thank you for your response. The distance from the corner to the light fixture (3 light bulb chandelier-no shade lamps) is about 8 feet. There is one more near the staircase which is too far. If the leaves aren't growing as I expected, I'll be adding extra light by using a gooseneck lamp (place closely to the plant once in while).

I am reading a lot about Pothos, they like to be in somewhat dry side dirt. so I will be sprinkling water once in a while not the whole water pitcher.

Also, i'm thinking of placing pothos in 6" pots and place it in the 24" pot so i don't overwater. It will be packed densely, meaning adding by buying baby pothos every month. I've been growing pothos since 1989. The small pot of pothos goes between 3 and 4 dollars a piece.

Also, i'm so excited that I bought Marble Queen Pothos in a hanging basket yesterday at HD. They're hard to find.

Also your suggestions are fanstatic. I was thinking of buying Peace Lilys beside pothos (in different pot of course). I was shocked with the price tag of a giant Peace Lily, they go between 45.00 and 60.00 Canadian Dollar. Is that normal price?

thanks again

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 9:55AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Yes, they can be very expensive, especially the giant varieties, which is a shame because they are stunning!

I think your idea of putting the 6" pots inside the 24" is excellent. Sounds like you've got a good plan - good luck!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 10:13AM
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