The Q&A Archives: grow lights for large indoor plants

Question: I have a 6 ft. jasmine and several other large plants I bring in every year. By the time spring comes they have lost a large amount of leaves. We use grow lights but did not seem to help.We heard of a red grow light that has something to do with flowering. Is this true? Any advice would be helpful!

Answer: Yes, it's true. For plants to perform well they need the full spectrum of light waves. There are many full spectrum gro-lites available in nurseries and garden centers. They should be placed the distance from the plants as recommended on the label and they should be left on 14-16 hours a day. Give them a try and I think you'll see a difference in the performance of your plants.

Plants lose leaves when moved from outdoors in, mostly because of the temperature, humidity and light level differences. You can avoid a lot of this type of stress if you gradually move your plants indoors. Move them before the nighttime temperatures drop to 50F and before you turn on your heater for the season. Start by moving them indoors at night and back outdoors during the day, keeping them inside for longer and longer periods of time each day. It takes about a week - at that time your plants should be spending 24 hours a day inside. Reverse this process when it's time to take them outside in the spring.

Best wishes with your houseplants!

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