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24 hrs of light?

Posted by heathjez fl (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 31, 06 at 12:42

Hello. I live in an apt complex so I have to keep all my plants either on the small screened-in porch or indoors. I also have three cats who sometimes eat, dig out, and knock over the plants so it presents a challenge to balance my love of animals and plants!
I moved one of my favorite planters (it had been broken and replaced twice!) outside the front of my apt, right next to the front door. It looked very nice at first - I had some pink and green caladium, several shades of pink impatiens, and some begonias. Then the apt complex decided to install outdoor lights over each door for safety. I cannot control the light - it turns on as soon as it is dark and remains on all night. All of the plants except the caladium (which will be dormant soon anyway) have shriveled and died. My question is: are there any good container plants that will tolerate 24 hrs of light? The spot is shaded during the day and I estimate the wattage at night to be around 80W.
Thanks so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 24 hrs of light?

I don't know of any that will tolerate 24 hours of light the only thing I could suggest is make a wooden cage and cover it with black plastic and cover the plants at night and you could try mothballs to keep cats away. I hope this could be of some help. Regards Larry


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RE: 24 hrs of light?

Moth balls should never be used around people or pets. The fumes are highly, highly toxic.

The 'kind' of light source is extremely important...is this a regular incandescent light bulb or some other kind? Incandescent lights produce light waves in the high red and infrared ranges, which could cause problems for plants exposed to it all night long.


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RE: 24 hrs of light?

I find it curious that people think that plants do not thrive on 24 hours of light. Only a few plants require darkness to do some of their own things e.g. some cactus only bloom in the dark but most are quite happy having continuous lighting.

I think maybe the confusion may arrive from the fact that for many greenhouse plants it is a waste of electricity to have 24 hour lighting so lighting and hydroponics experts say use 16 hours and people just assume that the dark period is important too. This misinformation is compounded by the few that do require some darkness.


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RE: 24 hrs of light?

Actually many plants require a dark period to intiate floral development. Most temperate fall blooming plants are need short nights to initiate flower buds. Tropical plants such as Poinsettia and X-mas cactus need 12 hours of dark to intitiate flower buds.

Unfortunatley, when the phenomenom of photoperiod was discovered people assumed that it was the lenght of the day that caused some plants to bloom. Plants were categorized as short day, long day or day neutral. When it came to light that it was phytochrome response to dark the initiated floral repsonses, the concept of long and short days were already to entrenched in the horticultural lexicon to be replaced by the true concept that plants should be categorized by long night, short night and night neutral.


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