|By Carol Yaw
- Plants that are weak, spindly and have pale leaves need to be moved
closer to the light source.
- Leaves that are very warm to the touch, showing burn spots, turning
black, or dropping off are a sign that plants are too close to the light
- Indoor plants need to be watered more frequently because of limited
root space and the heat from the lights and home heating systems.
- Most indoor plants need a minimum of 10-12 hours of light in the
winter and 14-16 hours in the summer.
- An automatic 24-hour timer to turn lights on and off is very convenient.
For safety, I recommend a 3-prong plug timer that adapts to a 3-prong
grounded outlet. A grounded, 3-prong timer (and extension cord) is required
for most fluorescent fixtures. Check the maximum watt capacity on the
timer. Do not exceed the capacity.
- Turn plants in the window regularly to prevent them bending toward
the light and growing lopsided. However do not turn a flowering plant
in bud. Remember the sun coming through your window can be intensified
by the glass.
- White and light colored walls and ceilings reflect more light back
to your plants.
- Choose light fixtures with reflectors that have been engineered for
plant growing as opposed to shop lighting, etc. Plant light fixtures
are shaped to direct all the light downward, precisely over your plants.
They are usually painted white to reflect light better.
- Keep tubes, lamps and bulbs clean and replace as needed.
Space plants far enough apart so air can circulate in and around them.
Make sure they don't shade each other.