Growing under lights

Fred Thorne
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:46:07 PST
Using a light meter is an important part of growing under lights. 
Understanding the The inverse-square law for light will aid in your 

-----Original Message-----  is an important part
From: Jane McGary
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 11:04 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Growing under lights

I have no experience growing tender bulbs under lights in winter, since
at my former house there was a solarium where I could keep many plants
frost-free. Now I have a small (but very convenient) house, and the only
place to overwinter plants is in the garage, where a former owner
installed a tall, sturdy workbench with a fluorescent light fixture
above it. I recently replaced the common sort of lamp with a modern
fixture intended for growing plants, purchased from a neighbor who is
closing down his indoor growing now that his "crop" is legal in shops
here in Oregon.

I just moved my tender plants onto the bench, but I'm not sure whether
all of them will tolerate the light level provided. Many are South
American and South African, both monocots and dicots, and I'm sure they
will enjoy the bright light, but I also have some of the less hardy
Cyclamen species. Should I shade the latter? I think Cyclamen persicum
is probably as light-tolerant as Cyclamen graecum, which grows well for
me in full sun, but I know Cyclamen creticum grows in woodland. I don't
know the habitat of Cyclamen rohlfsianum.

I was going to move a pot of Hyacinthoides lingulata (formerly Scilla)
indoors, but it's doing so well in the unheated bulb house that I left
it on the covered patio. PBS member Paul Otto recently photographed this
charming fall-flowering bulb "taking over" a raised bed in his garden on
the southern Oregon coast, where most winters are relatively mild. I
have seen leaf damage on it after freezing, but the bulbs survive. I may
add some next summer to the area under large Douglas firs now planted
almost entirely to Cyclamen hederifolium, if I don't think a mass of
blue, pink, and white will be a little vulgar.

Advice on the Cyclamen species will be welcome.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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