Question about supplementing light for my houseplants

grice(z5 Michigan)September 3, 2012

My plants&I have(fairly)recently moved to a new home. The new place doesn't have the exposure my old place had.Instead of an East&West exposure I now only have a West exposure. My plants aren't doing as well as they once did. Among the plants I have are Calamondin,Sago,three Ficus trees,Cast Iron,Bella Palm,&Florida Beauty. I'd like to hang supplemental fluorescent lighting but don't know exactly what to buy. Should I get a shop light&hang that in the living room or should I be looking for something else?

Thanks in advance

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I don't grow under supplemental lighting, but if you don't get another response, you might go to the 'Growing Under Lights' Forum and look for threads titled with your desired subject or lots of responses to one particular thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: There's a light over at the Frankenfurter place

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:47PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

For general use, a shop light will be fine, for your tubes go with "Daylight" tubes, they have a better color temperature for plant growth. they will be labeled "Daylight" and/or be labeled 5500K or 6500K. This "K" number is the color temperature which relates to what spectrum of light is shining from the tube. 5500K to 6500K is good for general plant growth. With plain lamps much of the light is not utilized by the plants so even though you see a lot of light, your plants, at the same time don't perceive a lot of it. Plenty of folks might post that they use regular tubes and their plant are fine and maybe so but for a few bucks more your plants will be better off. Your plants have value so why be cheap about it?

You can also use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in smaller lamps. Cost more but you have more options of fixtures since it is going in your living room you may want something nicer looking then a shop light.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Wait, back this truck up!

If something like Bella palm (Chamaedorea elegans, parlor palm, right?) is not doing well, I would look at something besides light. These plants need very little light. The one I've had for about 20 years is so big, it has to go off in a corner so it doesn't block the light from all of my other plants that need to winter at that window. Many times throughout the years it has spent time (seasons) in even darker corners. Outside, it burns if the sun hits it for more than a few minutes. Not sufficient experience with the others to say much, but a west window should be good for almost any sun-lover. How far from the window are they? Is it a tiny window? Just going by the palm again, I'd start looking at the soil because even zero actual direct light should be sufficient to keep this looking nice. Seems like something else is going on with the environment. What's the situation in the pots, the roots? No humidity? No air circulation? Pics would say 1,000 words for you...

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:12AM
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