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Old 12-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Growing under lights

I was chatting with Scot (Chironex) the other day. He's my cohort here in Vegas. I've been growing both bananas and orchids under various types of artificial light in the last year. I had noticed that my bananas did exceptionally well under some of the the fluorescent lights I was using. They turned a beautiful blue-green. I never really thought much about this other than I was aesthetically pleased with their looks. I received a newsletter from my orchid club and the main topic was growing under artificial lights. Our club president has been using them for over a decade. She is well studied and one of the things she points out is that different plants respond to different parts of the spectrum. Now I know there's been a thread or two on this subject but I just decided to point out some of the finer observations that I have had for those of you that are interested in this topic. My president pointed out that bananas and orchids are from the same branch of the plant family both descended or at least some what related to palms and or cacti. She told me that blue spectrum light stimulates vegetative growth, whereas infrared stimulate flowering in these types of plants. I have lights that are high in both ranges of the spectrum, as well as ones that are wide spectrum. As stated earlier in this thread, I noticed that some of my bananas turned a really dark blue green and developed larger more paddle-like leaves. So I did some investigating and lo and behold the ones under the blue spectrum lights were the best and fastest growers. The ones under the higher red spectrum lights were growing very slowly and had poor chlorophyll formation. So even though this is not scientific I'd say blue light gets you the best growth.

Also, in talking with Scot we were talking about how our bananas burn so badly in the sun. (at least mine do) I've tried various things to stop this and the best results were growing in less than 3 hr of direct sunlight. These plants grow much faster than the ones that were getting sun for 5 to 6 hrs. Now one of the things I know about the sun here in the desert is that we have an inordinately high amount of UV. The weather service gives us the indexes every morning on the news so I think, and again this isn't scientific but given the fact that the bananas that I have growing under red artificial light do poorly, I'd say bananas don't like high UV but need lots of blue light which is in abundance in the shade as the blue spectrum is mostly reflected whereas the red is mostly absorbed by the surfaces that are directly exposed to it. I would be most interested if any one else has had these observations or disagrees with me on this. What do you all think?


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Old 12-19-2008, 01:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

I just ordered a few grow lights. 45watt LED blue and red combo, 15watt LED blue/red spot light, and a 13watt blue LED. I am very interested in growing bananas indoors. I have a raja puri and dwarf orinco on the way.

My only critical question was what would happen if the banana plant was grown under the artificial light for over a year and then brought outside to be raised with natural sun light.... would this shock the plant?
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

I have been moving all my potted pups into the florescent lit garage every night and the seem to really like it. Sun during the day and florescent at night. No rest for these guys!
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

All sounds very logic Pauly,
Most bananas, especially young ones grow in the undergrowth beneath the canopy of the forest, getting mostly inderect light.
Only when they reach maturity they receive the direct sunlight and the red light, and this falls together with the flowering stage of the plant.
Especially forest species like itinerans would benefit from non-direct sunlight when young, and direct sunlight when mature I think.

Thinking of it, it might be a whole different story when you look at Ensete species, growing naturally in more open landscape from what I know.
Maybe they do like more direct sunlight than most Musa species?

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Old 12-19-2008, 08:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by nullzero View Post
I just ordered a few grow lights. 45watt LED blue and red combo, 15watt LED blue/red spot light, and a 13watt blue LED. I am very interested in growing bananas indoors. I have a raja puri and dwarf orinco on the way.

My only critical question was what would happen if the banana plant was grown under the artificial light for over a year and then brought outside to be raised with natural sun light.... would this shock the plant?
i can answer that they burn really fast id say ease them in to the sun over a long time say a month or more
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

Interesting observations Pauly, very useful. I am uncertain which portion of the spectrum causes burning of the leaves, but I have suspected that if this can be filtered out, our plants are less likely to burn. I will be doing some trials under 100% red-infrared spectrum and 100% blue-ultraviolet spectrum. This may be a more empirical study, but should prove useful in TC.

Presently I am using a mixture of spectra as I bought the compact fluorescent bulbs with a high blue-spectrum content on a one-to-one ratio with bulbs of a more red-spectrum. These are used to develop my plants coming out of TC and they seem to work very well. I may convert to entirely blue spectrum as at this stage of plant development, all I am interested in is vegetative growth. They are too small to flower.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

yes do keep us posted on what you find out Scot i think the blue lights are going to really amaze you as a side note have you seen the blue and red LED light panels that are all over the net they are sapose to be good for growing under i have several sets of them i got last year on a after Christmas sale I'm going to hall them out this week end and string them up over some of my plants blue on some and red on the others that should be a good extra test of the blue verses red light will let every one know what i observe
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

I have seen them. They remind me of the Lite-Brite toy from a few years ago.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chironex View Post
I have seen them. They remind me of the Lite-Brite toy from a few years ago.
i thought that same thing to when i first saw them but i wasint going to metion it i didnt want to date my self LOL

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Old 12-21-2008, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Joy Re: growing under lights

Hey guy, there's something I like to add about artificial lighting. You can check out an outfit call ZooMed and they have some great lights.but....basically for reptiles. I have used them on sick reptiles and turtles and they are as close to natural sunlight as you can get. They come in 2ft and 4ft length. I forgot the specs though. I was their dealer here and now have them stashed up somewhere and have yet to use them on my plants as it is not necessary here.

I had some rare softshell turts, Lissemys punctata from India and they didn't grow until I used the light on them. In 2 months, they tripled in size. In another case I had an adult emaciated water dragon, Physignatus coccinus which was near death, within 1 month it bounced back to super health and appetite. Even though it was for reptile use, I tried it on the PNG Arrawana, Scleropages jardini and the coloration and markings were superb after a couple of months.
Check out their website on the reptile site. Worth investigating.
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

I setup my dwarf orinco indoors with a 15watt blue/red LED grow light and a 13watt blue LED grow light shining on it. The raja puri was setup outdoors. Both are about 5-6inch tall pups. I am taking pictures every day or few days to keep up on the progress. I am hoping 28watts of LED growth lights is enough to promote good growth if not I will add the other 48watts. If I see a big difference in growth rate I may nurse new pups indoors and ease them to the natural light once they get to about 3ft.

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Old 12-27-2008, 08:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

OK its been a week and i move some of the Bananas under high red spectrum light and some are under predominately blue light the ones under the red spectrum are just siting there where as the ones under the blue are continuing to grow fairly well i have an Oncidium that is throwing buds that was lagging so i moved it under the red lights and it has thrown two new bud spikes in just 5 days were it took it 2 months just to throw one and that one only had one flower on it the two new spikes have many flowers on it i think this is furtherer evidence of the blue verses red light phenomenon this is not scientific but its most interesting
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

Ok Guys,
I have been lurking a while. I am growing various palms, hibiscus, bananas and cycads in my family room during the winter. This is my first winter and I am "hooked". From reading this post, it appears that the bananas will do better under bulbs in the 2700 K range? I have a few cfls but most are 6500 K, I thought these would be better.

Also does anyone know if the regular CFL's at Home Depot and Menards are the same as "CFL grow lights" ? They both are 6500 K or 2700 K. I am just wondering.

Thanks and I love this forum I have gathered alot of good info. Thanks again
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

One would also wonder what the effect would be of using actinic blue bulbs that peak at 420 nanometers? They are used to great effect in coral reef tanks.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

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One would also wonder what the effect would be of using actinic blue bulbs that peak at 420 nanometers? They are used to great effect in coral reef tanks.
i don't know it they are the same but i had to buy two bulbs that are for plants/aquariums thees are the ones i use for trying to bloom my Orchids they seem to do well for that purpose however plants don't really put on much in the way of leaf material
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

My stoner friends say that the blue lights are for growing leaves, and the red ones are for buds/blooms.
If bananas translate to other "potted" plants, that is...
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

Quote:
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My stoner friends say that the blue lights are for growing leaves, and the red ones are for buds/blooms.
If bananas translate to other "potted" plants, that is...
ROFL!!

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: growing under lights

We had quite a discussion about this last year, the bottom line is that plants need more than one wavelength. Further, all of your experience in judging the health of plants involves a full spectrum of light waves -- so don't leave that out of your operational plans.

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Old 11-14-2010, 04:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: growing under lights

any more talk about this subject?
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Wink Re: growing under lights

I grow plants under both fluorescent grow lights and a 400 W metal halide system...but I've never tried banana plants.


In dark December I plan on turning on my halide and putting a couple banana plants under it. The bulb I use is rich in blue content for healthy vegetative growth but is also abundant in orange-red light for maximum flowering.


I am excited to see how some of my banana plants might grow under it. Right now they are in my sunny living room. I'll report my results in the new year...


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