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#362877 Dec 29th, 2012 at 11:34 AM
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I have been able to grow a number of tropicals, cacti, succulents and palms on my enclosed front porch over the summer and fall months. The sun and temp must have been just right because they all grew! But winter is here and for fear of losing them all to frost I moved them inside. I already lost my Majesty palm that grew to 6 feet over the summer outside the porch but I clipped all its fronds and put it in a huge pot with new soil hoping to save it. I was going to try and set the porch up like a greenhouse by putting up shrink plastic over all the windows but I think the heating costs would be too high. I want to hang a grow light fixture in my kitchen window. It already gets a fair amount of sun about 5-6 hours out of the day on a sunny day but my plants are getting big and are crowded in that window so I feel a large fixture might help them make it through the winter. Any advice on how much light, wattage, type of bulbs would be greatly appreciated. I have been looking at fluorescent, T5's, sodium filled, LED's.
I can fit up to a 4 foot 2 or 3 bulb fixture in the window and rotate the plants daily. I just dont want to overdue it and buy more than I need. I will attach some images of my babies. I have a Red edged Dracaena, a Ponytail palm, an aloe plant, 3 small cacti, a couple succulents, a lucky bamboo that has grown a foot in 3 months, my favorite and my biggest worry the Sago Palm and my biggest one a beautiful 4' Yucca tree that has been growing like crazy! They have all been doing really well even the cacti, I love them all and I want to keep them going. please help!

Last edited by Christopher; Dec 30th, 2012 at 02:34 AM.
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Welcome, Christopher. I am not sure what zone you live in. I will say that I have all of these growing outdoors in the ground, zone8/9. They can take some pretty cool weather here and even a slight dusting of snow. I will also say that they like a bit of a rest in winter. Not deciduous but they do snooze a bit and don't spend energy on growing and need much less water. You can add your lights and use a full spectrum florescent light.
I'd also like to say not to cut off all of the fronds on the tip of your palm. That is their growing point and cutting it off can kill.
Good luck!


~Tina
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I looked up my town here in New Jersey and its says I am a zone 7b. I really don't think they would survive outside and I know it will get cold enough to freeze a bucket of water on the front porch.

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Yes, moving them indoors was a good move in your zone. I do think you have the best plan for them all.


~Tina
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Its actually a lot of work to move them all out on the porch in the mornings to get some sun but its worth it. I cant move the yucca just because of its size but I have a propane heater for those extra cold nights. I just picked up a Norfolk Pine. Home Depot was selling them for $2. Looks like I'm gonna need a humidifier.

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I just ordered what I think is a nice fixture with four high output T5 bulbs. Hope it does the trick.


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