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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by John From Canada on January 30, 2004 03:44 AM
Unfortunately, the sick plants I had died, apparently frostbite. Luckily, I just exchanged them for a couple of new ones, but I've made some recent additions to my indoor jungle project, that need scrutiny.

I got a grow light to substutue the light that my poor basement suite windows can't provide, and nothing is failing yet, but what is the proper prcedure with a grow light? Is it the same intensity as sunlight? Does it need to be close the plants or should hte intensity of light be that of light coming through a window?
How long should I leave it on for?

My Kentia palm is drying up (The tips on some of the leaves are dry and browny).. I think it's humidity, can the dried tips come back to life, or should I snip off the dried parts? Also, to raise the humidity, I was thinking of getting a humidifier, will this give too much humidity? Or would I be foolish not to do it?

Thanks for any input!

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by Jiffymouse on January 30, 2004 03:49 AM
hey john, these are the answers i have for you. one, the brown tips will not come back to life, so snip away. 2 adding a humidifier won't hurt them plants at all, and might help several of them. especially during the winter months. last, don't know about the location of the grow lights, but you need to make sure they approximate a normal (no more than 14 hour) growing day. less during the winter. good luck!
by John From Canada on January 30, 2004 06:01 PM
That's what I want to hear.

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by Will Creed on January 31, 2004 06:57 PM
Hi John,

Grow lights are much less intense than direct sunlight, by a factor of about 10! That means you should place the plants as close to the lights as possible. If you have an incandescent grow light, you have to be aware of the heat that it generates and can damage the plants. The light should feel slightly warm to the touch at the right distance. Fluorescent grow lights are much better because they do not generate heat and they are also cheaper to operate.

Grow lights should be left on from 8 to 14 hours per day. The former is the minimum.

The low humidity is not the cause of your Kentias brown tips. Kentias do just fine in low humidity. It might be light, if the light is very low. More likely, it is a watering issue.

If you can afford a humidifier, your skin, mucous membranes, and furniture will benefit. Some of you plants may benefit, but not enough to justify the expense if you are on a tight budget. The vast majority of the most common houseplants do fine in low humidity.

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