Ask a Question forum: urban gardens and security lights

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Houston, Tx
Oct 22, 2017 5:16 AM CST
Hello from (finally) drying oust Houston, Texas. I live in a townhouse complex and have a VERY limited amount of space to have a flower garden. There is a space between my unit and the building next to mine that I 'own' , however, there are security lights that never shut off. Any ideas what I can grow there? Will the 24 hour lights prevent blooming??
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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Oct 22, 2017 6:05 AM CST
Hi & welcome! It could, this would need to be examined on a per-plant basis. What is the light situation? What size plants do you seek?
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Oct 22, 2017 6:06 AM (+)]
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Houston, Tx
Oct 22, 2017 3:22 PM CST
Ideally, I would like to plant some birds of paradise against the brick and some canna lilies. That is the only thing I know I want for sure. Everything else is open. As for size, from the Birds down to sidewalk level . The area is about 6 ft wide at the east end and 1 ft at the west. The west side opens up to the parking, east opens to the common area where there is a LARGE Mountain ash tree.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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Oct 22, 2017 3:30 PM CST
I can't imagine that security lights would do any damage to plants. Cannas need a lot of water. Does it rain enough to keep them happy? I think the Bird of Paradise would be happy there.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 22, 2017 4:14 PM CST
There are two things going on here:

Plants photosynthesize during the day and process at night. But most plants will shut down and process anytime they need to, whether its dark or not. Most.

Some plants will not thrive without their dark cycle. They can't just shut down anytime needed. Don't plant those.

Photosensitive plants are usually the ones that bloom in the winter such as Chrysanthemums. They are the plants that bloom in response to the shortening days. Don't plant those, either.

I would worry about space constraints and light.

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Houston, Tx
Oct 23, 2017 2:44 AM CST
Plantmanager, Thanks for your response. Houston averages 50 inches of rain per year in years without hurricanes. I can supplement the rain in our dry season. I also have access to a large amount of organic compost to amend the soil.

Daisyl, you hit the nail on the head!! It is photosynthesis that concerns me. I would love to set my ever multiplying collection of amaryllis bulbs in the garden. I generally add 2 or 4 bulbs to my indoor display each year but can never get the timing right to get them to bloom inside a second time. I see many amaryllis around Houston growing in flower beds where security lights aren't a problem and that is what led to my concerns with purchasing and planting other blooming perennials and shrubs. Strelitzia reginae is the Bird I am considering along with some white allium but I am not sure if allium are photosensitive.

Appreciate all your input!!

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