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Thread: What happens when...

  1. #1

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    Most of my CPs are under grow lamps that are on timers. I have my Pings in one area and those lights are not on a timer. I also have my Utrics in another area and those lamps are not on a timer. Then I have a mish mash of CPs in another area that are not on a timer. I have forgotten to shut off the clamps lamps at least twice now in the past month. What happens when one forgets to shut off the lights? Are the plants forgiving at this time of year as opposed to other times of the year.

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    Good question. I don't think it will have a negative effect on the plants, unless you're trying to get your pygmys to produce gemmae. Some people actually leave their lights on 24/7, 365 days a year for the first 2 years when growing out sarr seedlings. Bugweed can tell you about it.
    I was wondering about my pygmy Drosera, I read that they will not produce gemmae if they don't get absolute darkness. I have my Drosera growing on the front porch, where there is a compact flourescent porchlight that is on all the time.
    So far, no ill effects on the plants, my sarrs and VFT's spent their dormancy out there. I haven't had the pygmy drosera long enough to produce gemmae.
    Hi. My name is Ron, and I am a nepaholic.

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    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    I have a fluorescent in my 10-gal temperate tank containing N. ventricosa, D. adelae and P. primuliflora. Since my grandmother USUALLY gets up before me, I told her to turn the light on when she gets up, and since my grandfather ALWAYS goes to bed wayyy after I do, I told him to turn it off when he goes to bed. This way they get as much light as possible. Once my grandfather forgot to turn the light off and it stayed on all night. No ill effects, although I wouldn't want to leave it on constantly, because I'd think there could be some bad side effects to giving plants no dark time at all.. there's a certain thing that goes down during darkness, I don't remember exactly what it is.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Instead of photosynthesis, they respire. Instead of using CO2 and producing O2, it is reversed.

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    I think no harm was done Laura.
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    That's sort of what I figured too. As a parent, you always tell kids to brush their teeth or they will rot and fall out. Of course this isn't going to happen if they forget a few times here and there but I do distinctly recall having read something where in which leaving lights on 24/7 for certain species messed with their inner clocks so to speak. Evidently it does not do this with Sarracenia in the first two years however I still wonder about mature plants. That being said, I am not a repeated and habitual "light leaver onner" so if anyone ever does run across any literature on this, I'd certainly be interested in reading it.

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    I probably wrote that article you read about the pygmy sensitivity. I may have overstated the sensitivity since other growers have reported gemmae formation even with light after dark. Other's also confirm that their plants don't make gemmae, and these have been growers using a long day cycle constantly.

    I doubt that short term alteration will have any effect (other than possibly with the pygmys, and possibly the winter growing species from the other hemisphere if you are trying to grow them out of their natural season).

    The mechanism of flowering in plants is a fascinating process involving a light sensitive molecule. This molecule has a sort of raised arm (based on its structure). This arm is like a key that fits a biological lock. When it is in place, the "circut" is open, and a flowering/growth hormone is produced by the plant. In the dark, this raised arm position degrades, new bonds form and the key no longer fits the lock, so the flowering/growth process is inhibited. This is how short day plants "know" when to flower. The molecule is light sensitive, and if light is provided after dark, the molecule does not degrade, and the key still fits the lock. It takes time to reset that arm, so if a burst of light is given after dark, it raises the arm again, and the short day flowering fprocess is inhibited. This is why X,as cactus must be given no light after dark from about September if you want flowers on Xmas. Bursts of light after dark will reset the clock, so the cactus might not bloom on schedule although it will eventually.

    Other processes are also controlled by light/dark cycles: respiration has been mentioned and this is correct. As things go, this seems to be not a critical issue: small mistakes in leaving the lights on will cause little change or harm. Still, plants respond best when conditions are closest to habitat, so I think the optimal plan is to use a timed cycle.

    If you are going to be gone for e.g. 3 days, it's better to leave the lights on rather than off. The latter will do little harm, but leaving the plants in the dark will set them back.

    I would like to hear more reports regarding the pygmy Drosera sensitivity. Do your plants form gemmae if you give them light after dark?
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    Thank you very much Tamlin. That was exactly the type of information I was looking for. I do not grow pygmy Drosera so I can not comment. What I do have are an assortment of Mexican Pings under lights that don't have a timer. Those Pings seem to like what ever I am doing as they are shooting out new growth. I also have Utrics under lights that don't have a timer and they seem to be fine and I notice no difference other than that they are starting to spread so they must be happy. I'll ultimately place most of the Utricularia outside for the summer. The third area under lights without a timer has an assortment of Sarracenia seedlings (Bugweed pretty much established that those can be in light 24/7 for two years), a few VFTs that belong to my son, and two Ping cultivars. They all seem perfectly fine. None of these plants other than the Mexican Pinguicula and a few Utricularia are flowering but then they are juveniles.

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