Please HELP with indoor winter lighting for citrus trees

organic_flutterby(5 MO)September 16, 2013

I'm sorry to have to ask with all the information on this forum, but I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out.

I need specifics on what to do for lighting and temperature for my 2 young Meyer lemons and a young Key lime, all roughly 2 ft tall in pots.

My options on where I can overwinter them are an attached, partially insulated garage with no windows, a 5'x6' closet with no windows in the basement or a 11'x12' spare bedroom on the main level which has 1 east facing window.

I would like to keep these trees flowering/producing fruit if possible unless that is too costly.

If someone can please tell me to go buy this, this and this, I would be so appreciative. I need plain words as this seems to be over my head.

I will post this in the Citrus forum as well.

Thank you so much!!

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slimak

This should be sufficient for you

http://www.amazon.com/ft-F54T5-HO-Fluorescent-Spectralux-Included/dp/B003E7BBZO/ref=sr_1_3?m=A1OKQR6K61KBEK&s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1379557997&sr=1-3&keywords=grow+lights

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:37PM
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slimak

I just noticed that you said you have three plants, that 4 lamp might not be enough. How wide is the foliage on these plants? I'd probably wold go with a 6 lamp to be safe

http://www.amazon.com/ft-F54T5-HO-Fluorescent-Spectralux-Included/dp/B002YXTBA6/ref=sr_1_38?m=A1OKQR6K61KBEK&s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1379558296&sr=1-38&keywords=grow+lights

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:44PM
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slimak

I just noticed that you said you have three plants, that 4 lamp might not be enough. How wide is the foliage on these plants? I'd probably wold go with a 6 lamp to be safe

http://www.amazon.com/ft-F54T5-HO-Fluorescent-Spectralux-Included/dp/B002YXTBA6/ref=sr_1_38?m=A1OKQR6K61KBEK&s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1379558296&sr=1-38&keywords=grow+lights

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:45PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thank you very much for your response! That kinda confirms what I was leaning towards.

If I buy a 4 bulb fixture I can always add another if I need to, right? My trees are about 2 ft at their widest.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:34AM
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slimak

Yes you can always buy additional fixtures if you need to :) but it will be more expensive that way. For example the 4 bulb fixture/with bulbs costs $128 ea so if you end up needing two of them you'll pay $256 or you could just buy 1 eight bulb fixture for $201. However having two 4 bulb fixtures is better than having one 8 bulb fixture in my opinion because you can effectively cover more area by spacing the fixtures few inches from each other. Also you have the ability to adjust different heights on each of the lamp fixtures. When using fluorescents for mature plants which normally grow in full sun for best results you want to keep the plants close to them about 2 inches and adjust the height of you lamp every day.

Now in your case you'll have to keep them a little further away because your foliage is 2 feet wide. Ideally you want all of the foliage to be directly under the lamp because you can be sure that all your leaves are getting enough light.

Your foliage of 1 plant is 24 inches wide. Width of the fixtures are:
4 bulb - 12.6 "
6 bulb - 17.3 "
8 bulb - 22"

So if you had only two plants that wouldn't be so bad because you could line them up under your 4 bulb fixture and have only 6" of foliage sticking out on the sides. These fixtures have reflectors which reflect the light from the top half of the bulb back down so your most effective grow area is directly underneath them. Sure you get light outside of the area but it's not as intense.

Having said that, that's why I recommended a 6bulb fixture as minimum because you have 3 plants that are 2 ft wide. It will be difficult to arrange them under the 4 bulb fixture so too much foliage is not sticking out of the prime growing area. You can either put them in line and have 1 foot sticking out on the ends of the fixture or zigzag them to cut down that distance a bit by having all the plants stick out.
The 6 bulb fixture gives you extra 5" in width so it would be easier. However if you can invest the money I would go with either to 4bulb or one 8 bulb.

Either way you go if your plants are sticking out , it's a good idea to turn your plants 90 degrees in one direction each day so overall they could get even coverage. Also since more intense light is in the middle of the bulb than on the ends you could rotate their places every few days. With three plants it won't be too hard to do

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:21PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thank you so much. I like the idea of having 2 separate fixtures and I think that is the best way to go, except for cost maybe.

There's so much to think about with the care of these trees, but I am happy to do it. I hope I can do them right.

Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:14PM
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