A Blooming Sea Urchin Cactus

June 19, 2018

Most cactus, such as this sea urchin cactus, Echinopsis sp., require very bright light –and won’t survive indoors without grow lighting.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

This particular cactus received the proper amount of light, and decided to show her gratitude with a bloom!

Gardening Under Lights Book


Grow Echeveria Indoors

June 18, 2018

Echeveria is a genus of succulent plants, mostly native to Mexico and South America, that form rosettes of foliage in colors ranging from silver to orange-red.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Plants need bright light or they will quickly stretch and go into decline. Plant keepers often fail with Echeveria plants when they try to grow them in medium- to low-light indoor conditions. If you want to grow these succulents indoors, try a very bright south-facing windowsill, or add a grow light to keep plants healthy.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Reflective Wall Covering for Grow Lamps

June 17, 2018

In addition to reflector hoods, you can also employ reflective wall coverings. Reflective material can help you bounce light around all areas of your plants without increasing the number of lamps you use.

I covered an unused closet with reflective covering to maximize the lower-intensity CFL lighting.​
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

There are different types of reflective wall covering, such as Mylar and black-and-white polymer. You will note that some reflective surfaces can absorb heat and get hot, so do not let your plants come into direct contact with the material.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Growing Indeterminate Tomatoes Indoors

June 11, 2018

When gardening under lights indoors, make sure you know how tall your chosen tomato variety will grow. If you grow vining tomatoes, also called indeterminate tomatoes be prepared for a tomato forest. They can grow 20 feet tall!

Indeterminate tomatoes growing in a greenhouse
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

You must train indeterminate vining types of tomatoes onto support cables or trellises that will support their ongoing growth and increased size. Indeterminate vining tomatoes can continue producing new fruit as they grow.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Dual Arc Plant Grow Light

June 10, 2018

If you are intensively gardening under lights, and are using grow tents or a greenhouse, dual arc lamps can be a good plant lighting choice. Dual arc grow lamps are hybrid HID lamps that blend the benefits of the cooler MH (metal halide) light spectrum with that of the warmer HPS (high-pressure sodium) lamps.

You can see both a MH and an HPS lamp in this Ultra Sun Dual Arc bulb.
PC: Sunlight Supply, Inc.

For example, a 1000-watt dual arc lamp combines a 600-watt MH and a 400-watt HPS lamp within the same bulb.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Ladybug Larvae are Whitefly Predators

June 9, 2018

Ladybug larvae are ferocious predators of pests such as aphids and whiteflies. When you're gardening under lights indoors, you will have certain pest problems from time to time.

Ladybug larvae having a meal on my citrus.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Somehow ladybugs always manage to find their way indoors when my citrus plants have whiteflies or aphids. If you find this valuable larvae on your plants, don't spray them! Let them do the pest control work for you.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Double-Ended HPS Grow Lamp

June 8, 2018

Double-ended (DE) bulbs and fixtures are the next-generation evolution of HPS (high-pressure sodium) lamps. If you are gardening under lights intensively in your home, especially if you're using grow tents, DE HPS lamps can be a good plant lighting choice. DE HPS lamps were originally designed to be compatible with traditional DE MH fixtures. A DE HPS lamp connects to a fixture on both ends, similar to fluorescent tubes.

Double-ended HPS lamp
PC: Sunlight Supply, Inc.

Double-ended (DE) HPS lamps can also have a longer life span than single-ended (SE) lamps. Manufacturers claim that DE lamps produce 10 percent more PAR than SE HPS lamps, and that they also provide more UV and IR light.

Gardening Under Lights Book


Sansevieria the Perfect Houseplant for Low Light

June 4, 2018

Struggling to keep your indoor houseplants alive? Sansevieria, also known as snake plant or mother in law's tongue, are great for low light conditions.

Sansevieria spp., ‘Fernwood’ is compact with thin leaves.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

If you plan to grow your succulent collection tucked away in an office, a grow closet, or another out-of-the-way space, you might choose an LED with a more limited spectrum (pink-colored light).

New BOOK! Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers


Back to top

Tips in your inbox

E-Newsletter

Sign up for the E-Newsletter for industry info, gardening trends & tips.