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Thread: New Home with No Good Light..... What To Do?

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    New Home with No Good Light..... What To Do?

    Hay Guys.. Hello...I'm new to the site and I've been trying to do some research on my problem ... I live on the East Coast in DE...I read some good advise and got some real good ideas also but not really sure what to do... Maybe I didnt read enough or look in the right spot for my answer...So here is a little back round info before my problem... I have 3 VFTs, 3 kinds of Sundews that reproduce like crazy, 2 kinds of Purpurea, 2 other kinds of Sarracenia and 1 Nepenthes. I was living in a house with a Bay window where i kept my plants for a few years.... They got the right amount of air from the windows being cracked open most of the time. The location of the window must of been great also because from sun up till sun down they were always in it as if they were outside. They grew real big n lush during the summer and shrank a little in the winter and went dormant in winter like normal... Well my landlord sold the place and now I moved into an apartment.
    The sun doesn't get in my place hardly any and they started to fade away... I cant keep them outside because I have no yard and the patio is always shaded and just a crappy location for sunlight... I have a few old fish tanks and was going to build them a permanent place to live...I read that it isnt good to keep these plants in terrariums and should be kept outside... Well I dont really have that option... I got them in pots in the tank for now with T5 fluorescent 6500k lights to try to keep them alive. They seem to be doing alot better... Now I read I can use a 3000k light to sub for winter/ flowering light but how do I help with dormancy? I know dormancy comes slowly cause of the lighting cycle and air temp... Any info on what I should do? I love my plants and would really be upset if they faded away...Thanks for your time and Im looking forward to hearing what advise I can get from you all...

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    mcantrell's Avatar
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    Do you have a camera? Kinda interested in your current setup.

    Your porch may work just fine for VFTs and Sarrs, even with the shade, depending on how much shade we're talking about. Even a really shady porch has a lot of lumens hitting it, often more than the average grow setup.

    Could you maybe set up a hanging pot off to the side of your porch, in more sun?

    It looks like DE is almost all USDA Zone 7a/7b, so that's pretty great for VFTs and most Sarrs. I'm jealous!

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    The Consuming Flame EdaxFlamma's Avatar
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    Hello fellow Delawarian!

    Yeah depending on where you are, our windows aren't that great.

    Your old fish tanks would be a pretty good place to start if you have the space. This was my old set up when I first got started:


    Other than the temperate species you listed (Sarracenia and VFTs) I basically had the same spread. You can start your temperates under lights now if you like and then put them outside once the last frost is over. Personally, I'd take a few of your sundews that you have extras of and use them to test the quality of your porch lighting like mcantrell said. You may be surprised!

    Until then however, your fluorescent lighting may not be sufficient. My lights were pretty hefty, 6500k and 26+ watts. Not your typical hardware store find. However the 25w 6500k bulbs at the hardware stores can work if you add a bulb or two (my set up has 3 in this photo). If you have a bigger tank, you could always look into buying 2 shoplight fixtures to place over the top of the tank. Just be sure to get the 6500k bulbs.

    Hit us up with some more questions!
    Trying to rebuild. Feel free to PM me with questions.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Basically, if you cant grow them outside, you cant grow VFT's or Sarracenia long term..
    sorry, but its just nature, and you cant fight nature.
    I cant grow palm trees in my front yard..
    you have to grow plants that will survive in the climate you have, inside or outside climate.
    Scot

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    Basically, if you cant grow them outside, you cant grow VFT's or Sarracenia long term..
    sorry, but its just nature, and you cant fight nature.
    I cant grow palm trees in my front yard..
    you have to grow plants that will survive in the climate you have, inside or outside climate.
    Scot
    People are growing out of zone plants completely indoors long term just fine. Now it takes ALOT more money, time, knowledge and experience to do this. I grow very few VFT and no Sarr, so I haven't offered any suggestions.

    Just saying it can not be done is incorrect. A lot of the indoor grower make there own climate indoors to match the plants they are trying to grow.

    With T5s/LEDs lighting is no longer an issue, if you have the budget you can get more lighting than you want. Heating/cooling is expensive to setup and run but many people are currently doing it.

    One example of how this could be made to work. Purchase some supplemental lighting for the patio (all weather), then simply follow the ICPS suggestions for VFT for the zone your in. http://www.carnivorousplants.org/how...es/Dionaea.php Providing proper lighting is much easier today than it was 20 years ago.

    A possible solution for those low light windowsills, remember not all LEDs are created equally. The ones at the local chain stores are not the ones in this photo.

    DSC_0052 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    If you really want a palm tree in NY, people are growing Windmill Palms in Zone 6 with silly winterizing.

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    Midnight Sun's Avatar
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    Many of us here in Colorado grow Sarrs and VFT outside in containers... Zone 5 and terribly low humidity... just have to bring them inside for the winter, they don't need light when they're fully dormant.

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    People are growing out of zone plants completely indoors long term just fine.
    Yes they are..but I was specifically referring to VFT's and Sarrs..other plants are irrelevant.

    Now it takes ALOT more money, time, knowledge and experience to do this.
    yes it does..

    Just saying it can not be done is incorrect.
    No it isnt..it can perhaps be done for other plants, but no one is successfully replicating spring, summer, autumn and winter for VFTs and Sarrs, indoors, long term..
    people can do it for a year or two, but no one has ever done it for 10 years or more..it cant be done long term..

    A lot of the indoor grower make there own climate indoors to match the plants they are trying to grow.
    Yes they do..but I was specifically referring to VFT's and Sarrs..other plants are irrelevant.
    And the lighting is the least of your worries..lighting isn't the problem at all..

    For the OP of this thread, indoors, no direct sunlight..he simply cant do it, at all..
    some plants you just cant grow if you dont have the right conditions..
    sorry, but its just a fact..

    Scot

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcantrell View Post
    Do you have a camera? Kinda interested in your current setup.

    Your porch may work just fine for VFTs and Sarrs, even with the shade, depending on how much shade we're talking about. Even a really shady porch has a lot of lumens hitting it, often more than the average grow setup.

    Could you maybe set up a hanging pot off to the side of your porch, in more sun?

    It looks like DE is almost all USDA Zone 7a/7b, so that's pretty great for VFTs and most Sarrs. I'm jealous!
    I live on a bottom floor apartment with a screened in porch. I will try to leave them outside with my lights on also (with a timer) to try to give them as much light.
    I just received my Mylar to wrap my tanks in so I will try to put it on after work tonight to help.. Thx for the advise...

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