How many hours of artificial light is too much?

arctictropical(Z4)September 24, 2009

I am growing about 8 plumeria plants and about 20 plumeria seedlings under florescent grow lights, twenty four hours a day. They are doing great, but someone said having them under lights 24 hours a day is not good. Has anyone else grown them under artificial lights 24 hours per day? If so, have you had any problems doing this?

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karyn1(7a)

I keep the plants (not only plumies) that I'm wintering over under lights for 14-16 hours a day.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 8:21AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

I have not grown them under lights 24/7, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. In fact, you can root cuttings in winter by growing them under 24/7 lighting (plus heat). The only problem you might have is they will want to grow and the foliage will be prone to spider mites. If you can keep the temperature down to between 55 - 65º degrees you may have less of a problem with the mites. Also, I've had more mature plants bloom in winter under the long artificial light periods. For seedlings, I would probaby use light periods of between 14 and 18 hours.

I store plumerias all over the house, basement and garage. Some are under natural light and some under artificial. The ones under artificial did just fine, except for the mite problem, which is likely the result of the comb. of warm temps and light which contribute to soft growth. Misting and a fan to circulate air may be helpful. I've found that soft growth is more prone to burn from pesticides and oils.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 8:30AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I thought that all plants had to have a certain amount of darkness, or at least cooling off at night to produce sugars to stay healthy.....This is quite intriguing...
What the heck is your electricity bill like with that much light..lol
I must say you love your plants..:-)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:37PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

Everyone..... thanks for your input. Maybe I'll leave the lights on for 18 hours and give them a 6 hour rest, and see what happens from there. One thing is for sure.... the plants that started going dormant are actively growing now, under the 24/7 light scenrio. So far spider mites is not an issue, but I have my pesticides ready, just in case.

Thanks again! Kevin

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 6:23PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Sounds very good. It is definately true that plumerias can be forced to stay growing. I think that it is probably best for seedlings to stay actively growing during the winter so that way it gets large fast. Im sure everythng will work out well, and since they are under grow lights you can probably treat them just as you would when they are outside and give them lots of water, and maybe some plant food once a month.

Im still new to pluemrias and this is my first full winter that I will be over wintering them indoors. Dont forget to post how everything goes!

And if you do as good of a job with your plumies as you do with your palms, they will be blooming like crazy in no time!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 7:31PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Seedlings will definitely benefit from your lighting system. Many do not go dormant over winter and like to keep growing.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 7:40PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

you can grow plants 24/7 but if you want healthy plants that flower well, you give them 6-10 hours of darkness so they can make sugars and expel oxygen.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:18AM
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arctictropical(Z4)

OK. Six hours of darkness they will get! Man, the heat from the florescent fixtures heats up this basement room to the point that it needs no heat from the furnace vents! It stays at about 78 - 80 F. during the day. If I add more fixtures, who knows how hot it will get.

Kevin

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

The lighting period question came up before. I think Mike actually brought it up. Jack (kimisdad) had some opinions about it.

Read old thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: Old thread

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

The lighting period question came up before. I think Mike actually brought it up. Jack (kimisdad) had some opinions about it.

Read old thread:

Here is a link that might be useful: Old thread

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:52PM
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arctictropical(Z4)

A week ago I received two plants from a mail order company that were already dormant, with no leaves, and they were somewhat shriveled. Having them under the grow lights has already started bringing them out of dormancy. They've plumped up and are starting new leaves. Spring is here in the basement!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

There is (or at least there used to be) a large Lei Rainbow plumeria plant here at the US Botanical Gardens (greenhouse) that never loses its leaves. The environment is warm and humid year-round. I think there is also supplemental lighting in the evenings.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 2:44PM
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