Tips for Growing Plants Indoors Using Grow Lights

Indoor gardening has become more popular with many people recently due to a lack of time to develop a full garden or simply not having access to one. As interest in having a garden allotment elsewhere has waned – now seen as rather old-fashioned – many wannabee gardeners are deciding to grow plants indoors instead.

It can be just as rewarding to grow plants inside the home as it can be outdoors. If you have a greenhouse with a controllable interior area, then that’s also another option for growing plants under cover and away from the elements.

Let’s look more closely into how to grow plants indoors successfully.

Indoor Lighting Matters Enormously

When you wish to grow plants indoors, lighting really matters. Plants need light to develop and grow. They cannot usually survive without it unless they’re a very unusual species indeed.

Coloured LED lights like the ones available from UK supplier Grow Direct (who have options available for a range of budgets) hang over an area where seeds or young plants are growing. These are suitable for Cannabis, as well as any other type of plant that responds well to coloured LEDs as a light source.

It depends on the type of plant being grown whether a dedicated room is required which can be shielded from other light sources. This way, lights can be turned off when sufficient light has already been provided (delivering too much light to most plants is likely to damage them and they could die off prematurely too).

Diesel Generators to Stay Powered for Growing During a Power Cut

For serious growers that do not want to see their small crop die off during a prolonged power cut, it might be a good idea to invest in a portable diesel generator. This would need to generate enough power to run all the lights on a timed cycle (to avoid providing too much continual light in a single sustained burst).

The advantage with portable diesel generators is that they’re easy to access and filling them up takes little effort. It’s important to keep a supply of diesel ready at home because, in the event of a power cut, the pumps at the local petrol station will be shut down too.

Light Spectrum Requirements Vary Depending on the Plant

With indoor lighting for plants, the electromagnetic spectrum is significant. It acts similarly to sunlight to help plants grow well.

It’s worth noting that plants often require light spectrums that are different as they run through their growth process. Because of this, usually, batches of plants or seedlings are planted in distinct areas depending on their age and where they are in their natural growth cycle. For this reason, you might want different light fixtures and planting areas for each cycle.

Many plants grow best in their young lives with the blue spectrum above anything else. However, when they are flowering, then a mix of the yellow, red, and orange spectrum is more productive for a strong crop.

Some plants will need only occasional light. This is true of a flower like the philodendrons, which doesn’t require considerable light to grow. However, other plants need 12 hours of light at least and vegetable plants tend to suck up a full day’s light if they can get it.

Grow lights are available for specific light spectrums, but there’s also full spectrum grow lights too. If the growth rate is important, then it might be better to have single spectrum lights for the colour spectrum that the plant you’re growing works with best. However, following the flowering stage, a full spectrum lighting arrangement is often the best one.

Consider Light Positioning Carefully

Seek advice on the appropriate distance that a grow light should be from a plant for the best results. It’s true that light is less effective when it’s a greater distance from the plant. However, there’s a big difference between fluorescent lights and brighter LED lights in this regard. The recommended distance may change depending on the type of light source being used. Even the spectrum may come into play too.

Consult with experts who are knowledgeable about growing whatever plant and species that you’re wanting to do successfully to get the best advice. We say this because many times when a growing batch fails, it’s because of improper set up by a novice gardener or grower. Don’t make that mistake.

Prepare for the Darkness Too

Almost every plant you can think of requires periods of darkness. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. They’re used to the sun providing natural sunlight for only so many hours each day and then being shrouded in dim light or complete darkness for eight hours. Many plants are simply not used to being in an environment where it’s bright all the time. Too much sunlight can cause damage to them, preventing their blooming or sustained growth.

The place where plants will be growing indoors needs to be appropriate for the plant species. Some need a dark room with LED grow lights that are timed to shine brightly for a fixed number of hours each day. Other plants will grow happily sitting on the window sill in the kitchen with occasional watering and being rotated around to catch the sun evenly through the week. It all depends on what you’re wanting to grow indoors.

Understand, though, that a room or area to grow plants indoors is not based on what you have available; instead, it’s based on what growing conditions your chosen plant requires. If your plant of choice requires a darkroom with LED lighting, then it’s not going to grow in a kitchen that gets little direct sunlight and insufficient LED luminance!

Set yourself up for success with your indoor gardening efforts. Whatever type of plants you’re wishing to grow, find out what their requirements are for the amount of light, it’s brightness, and how much darkness they’re used to. The amount of watering is also important information too. Once you have the correct details, you can set about creating a suitable environment to maximise your crop or improve your success rate.

 

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