Spring Garden Tips
Selecting Artificial Lights for Indoor Gardens

Whether you are trying to start plants from seeds, get your African violets to bloom, or keeping your indoor plants alive, a bit of extra light can help.

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

artificial lights for indoor gardensPlants need a variety of light (color/wavelength) for proper growth and flowering. Blue light promotes leaf and stem growth while red combined with blue promotes flowering and bud development. In the past gardeners would buy grow lights or use a combination of cool and warm fluorescent bulbs to stimulate both growth and flowering.

Now we have other choices. The full spectrum compact fluorescent bulbs (spiral kind) produce a wide range of light and are suitable for plant growth. You may need to purchase full spectrum sunlight or warm bulbs that emit more of the red light needed to promote flowering and fruiting of plants. The same applies to LED lights. Though your initial investment is more, these lights will last longer and use less energy.

A bit more information: Proper spacing between the lights and plants is also important. Keep artificial lights about 6 inches above the top of seedlings. Adjust the position of your plants or lights as the plants grow. Keep lights 6 to 12 inches above indoor plants. Use reflective surfaces under and around the plants to bounce light back into the plants.

Share
 

Related Garden Moments for Radio

Budget-wise and Eco-friendly Seed Starting

Don’t let a tight budget stop you from starting seeds indoors. Get creative and involve the whole family in the process.

Listen to Eco-friendly Seed Starting...

Check Stored Seeds for Viability

Don’t discard those left over seeds from last season. When properly stored, many seeds can last for years, saving you money when you plan and plant this year’s garden.

Listen to Check Stored Seeds for Viability...

Collecting and Growing Roses from Seeds

Add some challenge and mystery to your fall gardening. Collect and sprout seeds from your favorite rose.

Listen to ... Collecting and Growing Roses ...

Create a Seed Starting/Growing Chart

Get a jump on the growing season and save money by creating a growing chart.

Listen to Seed Growing Chart...

Damping Off Disease

Don’t let past problems starting plants from seeds prevent you from partaking in this fun and budget-wise garden activity. A clean start and proper care can be the difference between success and failure.

Listne to Damping Off Disease...

Dealing with Small Seeds

Carrots, lettuce, begonia and other small seeds can be difficult to plant at the proper spacing. Reduce wasting seeds and time spent thinning seedlings.

Listen to Dealing with Small Seeds...

Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control

Yellowing, speckled leaves and small spider webs are sure signs spider mites have taken up residence in your plants.

Listen to Eco-friendly Spider Mite Control...

Eggshell Planter Fun

Give egg shells and empty egg cartons a second life in your garden. Use them for starting plants from seeds.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Extend the Life of Forced Bulbs

Extend your enjoyment of potted and forced tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Fold Your Own Origami Paper Pots

Recycle your old newspapers into biodegradable pots for starting seeds this year. It is a money-saving activity the whole family will enjoy.

Listen to Fold your own Origami Pots...

Grow Your Own Healthy Snack: Micro-greens

Get the whole family involved in growing your own healthful holiday treat. And, believe it or not, it can be quick, easy, nutritional and fun.

Listen to Growing MicroGreens...

Grow Your Own Indoor Salad Garden

Grow your own salad indoors for fun and flavor.

Read more...

Grow Your Valentine a Healthy and Colorful Treat

All you need is a container with drainage holes, well-drained potting mix and red lettuce seeds. Fill the container with the potting mix. Sprinkle the lettuce seed over the soil surface, Lightly cover with potting mix and gently water. Loosely cover with plastic to keep the soil moist and reduce the need to water.

Listen to Grow Your Valentine a Healthy Treat...

Growing Onions from Seed

Give them a chill and stop the tears. Cooling your onions and cutting into the root end last reduces the tear inducing impact of the onions sulfuric compounds. And consider improving the flavor and fun by growing your own onions from seed.

Listen to Growing Onions from Seed...

Growing Sweet Potatoes Indoors

The pantry is full of fall favorites like squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes. But busy schedules may find a few things growing in the back of the cupboard. Don't discard those sweet potatoes that sprout in storage. Make it a fun gardening activity for the family.

Read more...

Hardening Off Transplants

Give garden transplants a helping hand as they move from the warm humid greenhouse or inside your home to the harsh outdoors.

Listen to Hardening off Transplants...

Homegrown Garnishes for Holiday Meals

Make your holiday meals just a bit more special, decorative, fun, and nutritional with homegrown garnishes.

Listen to Homegrown Garnishes...

Houseplants Purify the Air

Save energy and money by growing your own air purifier.

Listen to House Plants...

Kitchen Scrap Gardening

Have a bit of fun and stretch your gardening muscles with kitchen scrap gardening.

Listen to Kitchen Scrap Gardening...

Light in the Garden

As gardeners we think of light in terms of full sun, part sun and the shade our plants need to grow. We also need to think about light in terms of how it impacts the colors and beauty of our gardens.

Listen to Light in the Garden...

Make Your Own Icy Luminaries

Fire and candles have long been used to guide and welcome travelers and guests. Give this tradition a twist by making your own icy luminaries this winter.

"Listen to...Make Your Own Icy Luminaries

Managing Plants the Outgrew their Space

So, that small tree or shrub outgrew the ideal space where it was planted. Now what? It's time to decide whether to prune, move or sacrifice the plant and start over with something more suitable.

Listen to ... Managing Plants...

Memorial Day Gardening - Planting Sunflowers

Memorial Day is a traditional planting weekend for many of us. Whether you are just getting started, changing out your seasonal displays or finishing up, consider adding sunflowers to your landscape.

Listen to Memorial Day Gardening...

National Mushroom Day

What can you grow in a dark damp location? Mushrooms, of course.

Listen to National Mushroom Day...

Planting Shrubs

Use shrubs in the landscape for extra color, a bit of privacy and year round beauty.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Recycle Fast Food Containers

Don’t throw away or recycle those fast food containers just yet. Reuse them when gardening indoors and out.

Listen to Recycle Fast Food Containers...

Sealed Lid Seed Sprouting

Increase seed starting success and fun with the sealed lid method my friend and horticulturist Bob Polomski learned from his father.

Listen to Sealed Lid Seed-Sprouting...

Seed Swap for Savings and Fun

The last Saturday of January is National Seed swap day. So gather your gardening friends, seeds and catalogs and throw a garden party.

Listen to Seed Swap for Savings and Fun...

Simple Strategies for Planting Small Seeds

Do you have trouble properly spacing the small seeds of carrots, radishes or lettuce? It's easy to end up with half the package in one short row. This is a waste of seed and time spent thinning.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Starting Plants from Cuttings

Expand your indoor and outdoor garden by taking cuttings from your favorite plants.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards - Seeds

Keep your green thumbs busy starting new plants from kitchen scraps.

Listen to Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards - Seeds...

Starting Plants from Seeds

Extend the gardening fun and save money by starting your plants from seed.

Listen to Garden Moment...

Transplanting Peonies

Looking to expand your peony collection, share a division with a friend or move an ill-placed plant? Fall is the best time to transplant peonies.

Listen to... Transplanting Peonies

Transplanting Shrubs

Moving trees and shrubs can be tricky and heavy work. Make the move in spring before growth begins or in fall as the plants go dormant for greatest success.

Listen to Transplanting Shrubs...