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Container Grown Banana Plants This forum is for discussions about growing banana plants in containers.


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Old 06-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default indoor lighting?

What does everyone use for indoor lighting when they bring their plants in for the winter? I have a 12x18 shed with a 9ft ceiling that I will be bringing my plants in for the coming winter. Last year I used a 400watt MH bulb but my plants were only1-2ft tall. Right now they are anywhere from 3-5ft and by fall hopefully much larger. The local floral shop says they just use florescent lighting for all their plants (but they don't have tropicals, just regular house plants). I was looking at some t-5 lighting fixtures from Home Depot but don't want to spend a lot. The specialty stores sell t-5's but they are way too expensive. I currently use them on my reef tank as well and have had great luck. My plan was to buy a few fixtures there since they are cheaper and buy some bulbs online to get the 6500k or higher output. Any suggestions on amount of lights needed and period to let them on? I have 5 larger bananas (maybe more by then..lol) My building is heated so that won't be an issue and I don't need them to grow like nuts in the winter just want to keep the leaves looking healthy. I have 2 windows roughly 3x4ft one facing north and one facing south, the south window lets in a fair amount of light. I wanted to start on this project over summer while the weather is nice to work on it.. Thanks for any advice
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

Well if you can get a unwanted tanning bed you could use that on the ceiling w/o the beds legs of course :^) Craig's List? :^)
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

Fixtures at Home Depot for a 2 lamp unit are around $35bucks so I was just wondering how many I would need. For a reef tank they go by watts/gallon but this is a bit different. The lamps there are without reflectors so I would also have to add them to the fixtures and then put them on a timer. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

Well with my idea if you could get a hold of one cheap.. You could get old bulbs from any tanning place so they didn't have to throw them out.. Even old bulbs would suffice for plants well. :^)
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

I have used a 400 watt 6500K Iwasaki MH to grow plants/algae/coral. I've grown bananas under 6500K shop lights (NO) with good results. As long as the plants are close to the bulbs, there isn't a need for HO fixtures, IMO. I have also used VHO bulbs for banana seedlings. I didn't notice much difference between VHO and NO on growth rate. For the cost of a MH bulb, you could buy 3+ NO fixtures with bulbs (cheap Home Depot shop lights). You can buy 6500K bulbs at home depot for about $3 each. I'd hang the fixtures from chains so you can adjust the height as the plants grow. That's what I did when I grew bananas indoors.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

Bananas overwintered under N.O. bulbs will burn if placed in full sun in the spring.

IME at least.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmko View Post
Fixtures at Home Depot for a 2 lamp unit are around $35bucks so I was just wondering how many I would need. For a reef tank they go by watts/gallon but this is a bit different. The lamps there are without reflectors so I would also have to add them to the fixtures and then put them on a timer. Anyone have any suggestions?
I've had many reef tanks so know how important reflectors are, but for the bananas i'd just put the plants as close to the bulbs as possible and not worry about reflectors. I'd do maybe 3 shop lights hung at different heights and maybe do 12-16 hours/day
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

I talked to the local tanning salon and they said they would give me the used bulbs. They are 400watt uv bulbs.. I am thinking that I would need an electronic ballast for these? Anyone have any knowledge of this? The bulbs are double pin 8ft t-12's coated on one side (like a reflector).
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

with 8-12 of those going you'd only have to run it for 30 min for a full days sun + for the banana's. Which makes it pretty convenient on a schedule if you have an automatic timer like mine, it shuts itself off. Light rebounds off all the walls cause its pretty intense.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

I have never heard of somebody using a tanning bed bulb to grow plants. Tanning bed bulbs should peak below 400nm (probably closer to 300nm if UV-B bulbs). The bananas will not be able to do much with this light. Chlorophyll needs light that peaks around 450nm and 650nm. It needs both blue and red light for optimal growth. That is why full-spectrum bulbs are used to grow plants.

Tanning bed lights may have some light at higher frequencies, but I bet the majority of the power (that you will be paying for) will be going to produce light that the banana won't be able to use. (Not to mention the cost of special ballasts and fixtures to accommodate high-output 8' bulbs). Plus, you don't want to worry about damaging your eyes when looking at your plants.

Typically, blue light (~400-500nm) is used for leafy growth and red light (~600-700nm) is used for flowering.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

The lighting is one of the most important factors indoors and require great care. As the sunlight is important in the soil farming the same way the led or florescent lights are important in the indoor growing.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: indoor lighting?

If there is sunlight available, then auxiliary lighting of about 25 Watts per square foot at 1 meter using 6500 Kelvin "color temperature" would be adequate. The T5 HO fluorescent lights provide this. Otherwise you'll need 55-75 Watts/sq.ft. of the same.

Don't get misled by luminescence ratings or "watt equivalent". You are looking for actual Watts.
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