Will a Plant Light Help Flowers Grow?


Sometimes, it's not possible to grow a big, luscious garden outdoors, For city dwellers and others with limited space and a love of flowers, growing lights come in handy. Although herbs and small plants are favorites with the indoor gardening set, flowers can thrive indoors with proper lighting. There are a number of different lighting choices for growing flowers indoors. Certain flowers respond better to plant lights than others. By matching the proper lights with the best type of flower, an indoor gardener can produce beautiful blooms with minimumal effort.

Different Types of Plant Lights

Metal Halide (MH) grow lamps or tubes provide healthy light for many types of plants and flowers, so choose this multi-purpose light source if you're growing a variety of flowers indoors. High-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) provide more intense light for fruits and flowers, and are energy-efficient like CFL bulbs. These bulbs carry red and orange spectrum rays, which emulate fall sunlight. This light helps flowers to reproduce faster. Change HPS lamps every year or two to keep your garden growing at a normal pace. Some gardeners have experimented with LED (light-emitting diodes) lamps, but the results lag behind other lamp types.

The Tabletop Gardener

If you have many flowerpots or plastic flower boxes and keep them on a cart or other table, consider using a tabletop fluorescent light, similar to the ones used in supermarkets. You can adjust the light tubes in these fixtures to give the proper intensity to your flowers during different stages of their growing cycle. If growing a popular flower like geraniums indoors, place a CFL tube lamp no closer than 10 inches to the plant for best results. Always remember that natural sunlight is best, so configure your flowers as close to windows and natural sunlight sources as possible, and use plant lights as a growing aid, not as the sole light supply, if possible.

Lighting Tips

If you have a small amount of space to grow flowers, such as a studio apartment or windowbox garden, choose small boxed flowers. African violets respond well to indoor grow lights, if you choose lights that send blue and red spectrum rays. The new environmentally-friendly CFL (compact florescent lights) are perfect for this. Mount plant lights 18 inches above normal size African violets. If you grow small African violets, place grow lights 10 inches above the flowers.

Keywords: grow lights, indoor garden care, African violets, CFL lamps, windowbox flowers

About this Author

Marianne Moro is a freelance copywriter and journalist currently based in Hollywood, Calif. She has written professionally since 1999 for websites and publications including Aquarius/Sign of the Time, Moondance, Unpop, and Entertainment Today. She studied arts management and creative writing at Chicago's Columbia College. Moro also writes fiction, entertainment criticism and poetry under the pen name Jade Blackmore.

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