Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Does anyone grow their cacti/succulents under artificial light only?

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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Nov 26, 2017 7:46 AM CST
My only window faces a frequently travelled apartment sidewalk and I have recently been given reason to have some concerns about privacy. For now I have closed the blinds. I'm concerned for my plants.
Name: Teresa
Indiana (Zone 5b)
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TsFlowers
Nov 26, 2017 8:15 AM CST
Maybe I shouldn't even post here, but I have a whole shelf under artificial light only. But it's really too soon to tell how they will do. The other thing is, there will be no longevity with their being under artificial lights. Mine were only brought in from the frigid outdoors to keep them through winter. Weather permitting, they will again be moved outdoors in spring.

But for now they are doing well.

On the other hand, I put in a couple shelves in my very tiny laundry room. It has a very small window that faces north with a very narrow window sill. So most of the potted plants won't fit there. I installed a florescent fixture above that is turned on easily in the morning, then off again at night. The few plants on those shelves are doing fine after about one and a half years.

I feel for you having to keep your blinds closed. I will be wondering myself if that will be sufficient light.
. . . it's always better to ask questions, than jump to conclusions.
AND . . . always hear both sides of the story before making a judgment.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Nov 26, 2017 11:54 AM CST
Lucille, I've grown cacti and succulents under good lights, and they did well. If you can provide lots of bright light, and don't over water you should be able to have them thrive. I hope that in the future you'll be able to move to a place where you have more privacy and better light.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Nov 26, 2017 12:19 PM (+)]
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Faridat
Nov 26, 2017 12:05 PM CST
@Lucille, I have many windows that have given me similar concerns over time and I could suggest an alternative. Instead of closed blinds, try semi transparent curtains, that will allow light, but confuse/alter the image from the interior of the room that people passing by will get. Semi transparent curtains, like: having an opaque, repetitive pattern, on a transparent background. I had chosen one that featured white opaque branches of trees on a transparent fabric background. When such curtains are multi draped, your room content will be impossible for a passer by to view clearly. This way your plants will definitely get some light and you will feel more secure.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
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[Last edited by Faridat - Nov 26, 2017 12:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Nov 26, 2017 6:02 PM CST
Get a quality light setup, keep the lights close to the plants, and use a timer to match the day length of the seasons as they change. Feed only in proportion to the amount of light and warmth they're getting. If it's too warm and the light levels are too low, the plants will lose their form, and it will be worse if they're also fed too much.

Conventional (T8 & T12) fluorescent tubes can be lowered to within 3 inches of most cactus and succulents. I've had leafy plants grow right up between the tubes with little or no damage.

I have no experience with the newer T5 or T5 High Output tubes, but I'd imagine you can get good, sturdy growth with them and hang the lights a little higher so that you can appreciate the plants.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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plantmanager
Nov 26, 2017 6:26 PM CST
Good info, Ken. Thanks!
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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Nov 27, 2017 6:28 AM CST
Furniture rearranged, problem solved, blinds open again. However, when I went outside to scope out the problem, I grabbed Windex and paper towels for a quick wipe and discovered the windows were filthy. Maybe their lawn service throws a lot of dust around. In any case I'm going to clean the outside of the windows every few weeks, all that grime must have been blocking a lot of light. And the amount of grime really wasn't evident from just looking at the windows.
Cleaning the inside of the windows will probably happen less often because it involves moving a sofa, all the plants, and the plant shelf. However, no one mows in my living room.
[Last edited by Lucillle - Nov 27, 2017 8:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art Plumerias
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plantmanager
Nov 27, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Good luck with your plants this winter, Lucille!
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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Nov 27, 2017 12:43 PM CST
Thank you Karen

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