The Q&A Archives: Plant lights

Question: I have 2 palm trees I bring into the house for the winter. They get morning sun and have been O.K. for the past five years. This year, I need to put them in my shed. How do I keep them warm and provide the light that the'll need.

Answer: Whether or not you can keep your shed warm enough for the palms depends upon the material your shed is made of, and whether or not it is insulated. Different palms have different tolerances to cold temperatures so I can't tell you how warm you'll need to keep it. What is of equal importance is that there be good air circulation for the palms and about 12 hours of light per day. There are gro-lights you can purchase either in fluorescent tubes or regular bulbs to provide full spectrum light. The fluorescent tubes will fit into a regular shop light fixture; bulbs will fit into a floor lamp or other lamp, or can be used with a metal reflector to help direct the light. Fluorescent lights give off very little heat; bulbs can give off quite a bit of heat so you'll want to keep them away from your plants so the leaves will not burn. I'm afraid you'll have to do some trial and error to get the air temperature just right for your palms. Best wishes with them!

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