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Lights needed to grow seeds indoors?

Valdese, NC(Zone 7a)

This may seem like a silly question but.... to start seeds indoors do you need grow lights? I want to grow impatiens, pansies, violas....

Galesburg, IL

The only silly question is the one that is not asked.

The short answer to your question is yes you usually do need lights to grow plants from seeds indoors. Unless of course you have windows that will allow between 4-6 hours of direct sun to your seedlings. You do not however need "grow lights" as in the expensive incandescent lights that are marketed as such. Usually, to grow seedlings, all you need are plain old flourescent lights that are kept close to the plants. These will provide all the necessary wavelengths of light for early plant growth as long as you keep them within a few inches of your plants (4-6 inches). The lights also need to be on for between 12-14 hours a day to provide adequate light for the seedlings growth.

Valdese, NC(Zone 7a)

Where do y'all find your flourescent lights? I dont have any... Does direct sunlight burn the plants or cause them to grow leggy?

Galesburg, IL

You can get cheap flourescent lights at WalMart, Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, etc..... I use the double bulb 4 foot lights which you can usually find for $15 or cheaper. Direct sun can burn the plants when they are very young, but is usually not a problem if they have been in the sun from germination on. Drying out is usually a bigger problem in direct sun with very young seedlings and you need to watch plants closely if they are in direct sun inside. Leggy plants are the result of too little light and usually is not a problem if you have enough hours of sun/lights. No matter which light source you use, I always rotate my plants once each day so they get even light and don't grow lopsided.

Aurora, IL

to prevent leggy plats keep a fan on them
I just posted about leggy plants
I should copy, and paste but
(Oh never mind I did save it )
I was going to say I didn 't save it, and thats about all I had to say anyways.
(I didn't kniow plant got leggy becuase they needed more light I will have to try that when I accualy start plant indoors again.)

your plants are getting leggy, because you have no wind on them, plants grow during the night,
what I do is keep a fan blowing on them, once leaves start forming after a while you could probaly take the fan off.
(I haven't cultivated too many different kinds of plants Indoors,
but I have noticed after the second set of leaves they seem to grow smaller, and not leggy I think this is the most Important time to keep a fan on them.
like I said I haven't grown that many types of seeds indoors though)

I have also hung a papper clip On a plant before It didn't grow as leggy as the rest did.
They will be even smaller if the fan is on 24 hours a day
(at least for my plants when I was first starting them off.).

have you considered germinating In a terrarium it holds In the humidity
I have left some Of My Ginkgo seeds IN a grocery bag
(outside In the shade)
right now the soil is as warm as baby bath water (or small kids bath water)

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