The Q&A Archives: Do I Need A Grow Light For The Seedlings?

Question: I have started some cosmos and columbine and some other flowers in a flat. The seedlings are starting to come up. I was wondering if I should have a grow light for them. They seem to be getting tall pretty fast. The flat that they are in has a heated bottom and a lid that covers it. Right now it is by the window where it gets the early morning and afternoon sun, is that enough?

Answer: Seedlings need 12-14 hours of light each day so you'll have to supplement the natural light with artificial lights to provide their requirements. Seedlings will grow tall and spindly without adequate light. You can use a shop-light fixture with one cool-white and one warm-white bulb to provide the full spectrum of light waves your seedlings need. Keep the bulbs only 2"-4" from the tops of the plants, and adjust the fixture by raising it up as the plants grow. Now that the seedlings are up and growing, you can turn off the bottom heat. Be sure to remove the plastic cover to allow good air circulation and prevent fungal diseases.

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