Indoor plants

I require instruction.

Do any of you have indoor gardens?  Lots of plants that must be moved inside for the winter?

Tell me about winter useful light bulbs, etc.

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  1. amylpav22 says:

    Good question, Father. I too have three plants – two mums and a Gerbera daisy – that I moved inside when the weather started getting cold here. I have them on a shelf in front of a window that has good natural light.

    The mums would be missed, but not a big loss. The daisy is my favorite flower; it’s sunny yellow and I’ve grown it from a little plant in a 4-inch pot to a planter that’s 12 inches in diameter. I’d hate to kill it.

  2. MargaretMN says:

    The best arrangement is to get a cheap 2 tube tube florescent fixture and rig them to hang above the plants. I got a few of them a few years ago at a hardware store. The length of the fixture should fit the number of plants you need to cover or you can rig multiple small ones on a set of shelves. For the 2 tubes, you want a cool blue and warm red tube. This gives you a good approximation of the full spectrum for a plant. You could just buy 2 full spectrum lights or “plant” lights but they are pricier and red tube/blue tube combo gets you pretty much there.

  3. lucy says:

    I agree with MargaretMN. Plant lights are more expensive, though prettier. Florescents work fabulously.

  4. Apparently, plants need ultraviolet light. Fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps and the such have ultraviolet, while incandescent bulbs do not.

  5. moon1234 says:

    HID are the only pratical indoor lights. Florescents only work when they are inches from the plants, otherwise the light intensity is too low and the plants become leggy.

    I start tomatoes, peppers and other veggies from seeds each year. I do use florescents, but they are nary an inch from the plants. This is fine for my use.

    If you want grow more than that indoors you will need HID, high pressure sodium or some other type of intense light in order for plants to thrive.

    There are however some species of plants that can deal with lower/less light levels that occur in the winter (Christmas Cactus, etc.)

    Bringing plants indoors that have been growing outside usually never works well. The indoor environment is usually much different than native outdoors (Humidity levels, sun exposure, etc.)

  6. MargaretMN says:

    Moon, the red/blue light combination is something I learned from my master gardener class. It’s not perfect but it works fine to winter over plants and I’ve gotten good results for my seedlings too, as long as I don’t have to wait to long to put them in the ground. The other thing you have to watch is the intensity. They lose it after about 6 months so you need to change the bulbs every season regardless of whether they burn out or not. You are right about humidity and temperature. Heated homes in MN with a gas furnace, at least tend to be drier and warmer than normal temps outside. The combination of low light, low humidity and warmth is not good for most plants, so keeping them in a cool area like a basement with grow lights is often the best solution. If you can’t, then mitigating those other conditions is important.

  7. maria says:

    Father, some plants do require the red/blue lights. However, other plants can make it through the winter if they are exposed to sunlight daily,no matter how weak.

    I had a lemon tree that lasted for years. It filled the room with a wonderful fragrance when it bloomed. I put in the shower every month or so, and it did well.

  8. isabella says:

    They make flourescent plant grow lights that are designed to be attached to the bottom of your kitchen cabinets — like paper towel holders. I am mechanically inept, but managed to do it unaided.

    They are fairly cheap if you can find them.

  9. maria: That is also the case with my jasmines.

  10. biberin says:

    Please don’t fall for the pretty “indoor greenhouses” that are really just fluorescent lights mounted under each of a set of shelves. I made my own with inexpensive 18″ fixtures (hung from cuphooks so I can use the shelves otherwise when needed) and it looks just as good.

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