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Which compact fluorescent bulb is best for indoor citrus?

Posted by Heidittttttt 7a Middle Tennessee (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 19:31

My potted dwarf meyers and clementine were very happy outdoors this summer in Middle Tennessee. I brought them indoors for winter and they were struggling but hanging in there. Well, I went out of town and my husband didn't water them for 10 days. Both dropped all of their leaves. BTW, they're both 3 years old and haven't produced yet.
They needed a grow light anyway, so I'm buying one now to help nurse them. I just want a very simple compact grow fluorescent bulb that I can screw into a clamp on work light. I don't want to get involved in a huge set up with tube lights, etc.

What grow bulb should I buy? I read on hgtv that it needs to be between 4000-6000 Kelvin for the right light color. Is this right? What watt should I get for citrus? Does it need to be a special grow fluorescent or do regular household fluorescents do the same job?

I'd love to hear your input on how to provide adequate light! Also, how to nurse them back to help. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Which compact fluorescent bulb is best for indoor citrus?

If you just need something to get it through winter until it can go outside again, I would go with any 6500K ("daylight") CFL, maybe 2 of the ~40watt size or 1 of the ~65watt size.

Any socket/lamp with a decent size reflector will help you get the most out of a spiral cfl bulb. Even a cheap hardware store big metal reflector clamp socket thing can work (I use these), but the clamps by themselves might not support the weight easily, so some improvisation may be necessary with this option (zipties/duct tape/etc).

RE: Which compact fluorescent bulb is best for indoor citrus?

I have two citrus trees in containers, one tangerine and one lime. Let me preface that I have no experience in growing these other than the last 6 months when I got them and put them in their container. Your climate is probably pretty close to mine. I have put my citrus in my workshop when it is really cold (below 35 degrees) and left the fluorescent lights on 24 hours. I have 4 tangerines on the tree and it is about to bloom again and too many to count limes. Having said that them may not stay on the tree until harvest. Only time will tell.
If I were getting lights, I would get the highest watt LED flood lights with as high as possible light temp, 6500K if you can find it. I think I saw 135 watt equivalent at Lowe's. They are not cheap, $35. Put it as close a possible to the plant with a reflector as mentioned above. Heat should not be a problem with LED. If you don't want the LED then put as many CFL around it as possible. I'd leave the lights on 24 hours.
I put my plants outside when possible (above 35 degrees). Today is suppose to be 57 degrees but 2 weeks ago it was 2 degrees.
Again, I don't really know what I'm doing but so far it is working. Probably beginners luck.
Van (those are avocados in the other containers and they are blooming as well).

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