grow light

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  #1  
Old 01-31-10, 01:06 PM
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grow light

I bought a grow light - the long utility type that has two 40 watt grow light bulbs. I have a number of baby succulents and one orchid that need more light. There are no instructions on the bulbs at all to know how close I should put the bulbs above the plants or how long I should set the timer. I assume I should gradually acclimate the plants to the light. They have been in a place that gets a few hours of direct sun but there hasn't been much sun in the past couple of months. Can you give me some direction?
 
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Old 02-01-10, 06:52 AM
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Are these full grown plants or are you starting them as baby or seeds?

I'm not sure on those actually plants, but I have always heard if you keep the light about a foot above the plants will give them enough lights.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 05:48 PM
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The succulents are of varying age - some are a 6 months and some are older plants. The orchid is about a year and a half old. Right now I have the grow light about 6-8 inches from the orchid and about a foot above the succulents. I read where you put the light as close as possible to seedlings. But these are established plants. Thank you.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 08:03 PM
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the closer the better, as long as the bulbs don't actually touch the leaves or overheat the plants, my wifes books suggest a maximum of 14 hrs of light per day

what part of shall not be infringed can we not understand?
 
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Old 02-02-10, 06:06 AM
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I grow citrus and tropicals that need full sun so I have the bulbs several inches from the plants to give them the maximum light possible. Even though flurescents are not hot like a regular light bulb they are hot enough to burn the plants if they touch the bulb. My bananna plant is very bad about growing an inch a day so I have to keep an eye on it and raise the grow light a couple times a week.
 
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Old 02-02-10, 08:22 PM
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good, I will do that but should I gradually do that? If the plants go from low light to really bright light quickly, won't that damage them too? Any rule of thumb about how much light to start off with? Right now I have the timer set for about 4 hours with the bulb about a foot away. If that doesn't harm them after a week, should I then increase the time only or increase the time and lower the light closer to the plants?
 
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Old 02-03-10, 05:04 AM
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Two 40 watt bulbs are not particularly intense since the light you are producing is spread out over an area about 4' wide x 6' long. Gradually increasing the light so the plants can adjust is still a good idea. I tend to think that sudden shocks are not good.

Are your plants in a south facing window so they get natural light?

Many orchids will have dark green "healthy" looking leaves when not getting enough light. They are trying to soak up every bit they can get. They will live fine but might not bloom. I crank up the light until the leaves start to develop a slight reddish tint. Often a good south facing window provides enough light without needing artificial.
 
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Old 02-05-10, 08:21 AM
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They get a little from a south facing window but we don't have much sun in the winter. Its been a particularly gray one. The light is about 6 inches above the orchids and not directly on top of it. I will gradually move it closer. Is a week enough time to acclimate the plant to move it closer to the light? Its been under the light for two weeks now.
 
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