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Grow Lights for My Spathiphyllum

Question:

I don’t really know a lot about houseplants or how to care for them. I did read up a bit about how to care for my Spathiphyllum (which is a “Sweet Lauretta”) and I know that I should not give it too much water, cut the dead leaves and dead flowers as low as possible and that it shouldn’t receive direct sunlight. The thing is, my room hardly has any sunlight at all. When I bought my plant, all the flowers started dying within 2 weeks. I think it has too much shade and too little sunlight to flower. I wanted to get a growing lamp, but I have no idea which one to get. I read that most people recommend blue/red LED lights, so I wanted to buy a timer switch so it only turns on when I’m sleeping, because I don’t want red/blue light in my room during the day.

This online shop sold a bunch of different red/blue LED lights. Some had 18 LEDs at 590 lumens and some had 168 LEDs at 180 lumens. Which one should I pick, and why? Also, if I turn the light on at night, how many hours do you think it needs to remain on?

And one more Question:: The flower stem merges with the leaf stem. When the flower dies, should I try to detach it from the leaf stem and only cut the flower, or should I cut both even if the leaf still seems healthy? It can be really tricky to cut a flower at the bottom when it is attached to the leaf stem.

Answer:

If the indirect natural light your plant receives is adequate to read newsprint comfortably for most of the day, then it is adequate for your Spathiphyllum.

LED’s are relatively new and the research done on their use with plants so far is very sketchy. In general, plants do need light in the blue and red portions of the light spectrum, especially in the blue range. In general, the higher the lumens, the better the plant growth will be.

A proven alternative, is standard fluorescent lights. As long as they are located within a couple of feet of the plant, it will be adequate.

In general, plants need about 8 hours per day of good light – natural or artificial. It really doesn’t matter when during the 24 hour cycle, it gets those 8 hours of light.

Too much fuss is made over flower removal. It makes no difference to the plant. Cut off whatever looks unattractive to you. It is about aesthetics, not horticulture.