compact fluorescent lighting

Tucson, AZ

is anyone out there using compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) for plants? i picked this one up from home depot. it is 2700K. i have read that i need something bluer for vegetative growth, which makes since. just want to see if any has any experience with CFL and have seen good results.

Thumbnail by tucsonplumeriaz
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I've used regular fluorescent lights for seed starting and that's always worked fine--you don't need special "plant lights". The catch with the CFL's is that they're small, and for best results with any light bulb (specially made for plants or not) you need to have your plants fairly close to the light for it to do much good. So if you've only got a couple of plants the CFL may work fine, but if you've got shelves full of houseplants you'd probably be better off buying a cheap shop light from Home Depot instead--the fluorescent tube bulbs in those are long so you can put a lot of plants under them.

Tucson, AZ

thanks for the response. have you seen the plant CFL's on the market now. they are huge. looking forward to some good results and inexpensive utility bill.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Get the "daylight" type ones. They have a higher "K" rating which is better for plants. Read the back of the package for the rating.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Yes, you want 5000k to 6000k.

Tucson, AZ

thanks everyone! going to try and order the 5000K.

toms river, NJ

I have had great success propagating houseplant cuttings (mostly rhizomeous begonias) using CFL bulbs.
Have a table lamp that is on all night (kinda used as a night light) - area gets natural light during day. Have placed begonia leaves with stem in soil in small pot then into plastic bag. Use rubber band around outside of pot to steady pot in plastic bag then suspend the pot/bag combo about 8" from the bulb. Do this using a spring loaded paper clip grabbing, top of bag and attaching to the pull chain of the lamp. The contraption acts as a mini greenhouse and works great.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thats very creative!

Brandon, FL(Zone 9b)

dggardenerguy, can you post a picture to show how you did the hanging pot/bag ??

toms river, NJ

hi dirtygirl71 - saw your comment and trying to get pics to send - having a bit of trouble sending - not ignoring you

Boston, MA

good information here ( especially about regular tubes and the newer plant CFLs)
Have started a new thread about LEDs

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