Artificial lighting for carnivorous plants


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I was wondering whether someone can give me some information as to the best artificial lighting for carnivorous plants please?

I have done some research on the Internet, I have found websites that recommend fluorescent tubes or cfl grow bulbs for carnivorous plants, another website suggested using a daylight bulb, however I don't know how reliable this information is.

Which, if any of these bulbs are best for carnivorous plants, and what power does the bulb need to be?

I am currently using a 40 watt daylight bulb, which isn't fluorescent, it appears to be working, however, there maybe a bulb that will do a better job.

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I was wondering whether someone can give me some information as to the best artificial lighting for carnivorous plants please?

I have done some research on the Internet, I have found websites that recommend fluorescent tubes or cfl grow bulbs for carnivorous plants, another website suggested using a daylight bulb, however I don't know how reliable this information is.

Which, if any of these bulbs are best for carnivorous plants, and what power does the bulb need to be?

I am currently using a 40 watt daylight bulb, which isn't fluorescent, it appears to be working, however, there maybe a bulb that will do a better job.

Well, actuallly your 40 watt daylight bulb is a fluorescent. It´s a compact fluorescent.

You don´t tsay what are you growing under lights. In general, you can use t5 or t8 regular fluorescent, and your plants will do OK. For better performance you can add some grow lights, but they can be quite expensive. Your plants can permorm better, but is not a huge difference white a good coolwhite tube.

The wattage denpens on what are you growing, and the number of the plants you are lighing, but in general, the more, the better!

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I am currently using a 40 watt day light bulb to grow two dionaea muscipula. I am thinking about upgrading to a 60 watt or a 75 watt fluorescent bulb. Will this be better or worse for the plants?

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A 40 watt CFL should be plenty for just two plants, but it depends on the distance and the lamp/reflector. The distance should be as small as possible while allowing enough light spread, perhaps 15-20 cm. You'll also want to use a lamp/reflector that ensures that as much as possible of the light reaches the plant. Using a CFL without a reflector, over half of the light will be wasted.

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Here is an example: http://r.ebay.com/tyFyvI

Basically the bulb is mounted inside the reflector, and light that would otherwise travel sideways/upwards is reflected downwards to the plants. But if you're planning to grow more than two plants under lights, you may be better off using T5 HO or T8 fluorescent tubes (using a fixture with a reflector is important for efficiency.)

Finally, depending on your available windowsills you may not need artificial lighting. I grow my my venus flytraps without artifical lighting, keeping them on a cool north-facing windowsill in winter, on a south-facing windowsill in early spring and outside from summer until regular night frosts arrive in autumn. I keep my cape sundews (Drosera capensis) on a south-facing windowsill in winter, they look a bit sad (lacking colour and dew) in midwinter, but survive seemingly without problems.

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I decided to invest in a proper LED grow bulb, hopefully my venus fly traps will like that. Does anyone know how far the bulb needs to be from the venus fly traps to get the most benefit?

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Here is an example: http://r.ebay.com/tyFyvI

Basically the bulb is mounted inside the reflector, and light that would otherwise travel sideways/upwards is reflected downwards to the plants. But if you're planning to grow more than two plants under lights, you may be better off using T5 HO or T8 fluorescent tubes (using a fixture with a reflector is important for efficiency.)

Finally, depending on your available windowsills you may not need artificial lighting. I grow my my venus flytraps without artifical lighting, keeping them on a cool north-facing windowsill in winter, on a south-facing windowsill in early spring and outside from summer until regular night frosts arrive in autumn. I keep my cape sundews (Drosera capensis) on a south-facing windowsill in winter, they look a bit sad (lacking colour and dew) in midwinter, but survive seemingly without problems.

Johns thanks for providing a link to the CF's and reflectors as I am clueless about artificial lighting. Could you maybe send a link to a T8 setup as I don't know what to look for? Just pricing now but will go down the route next winter.

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Johns thanks for providing a link to the CF's and reflectors as I am clueless about artificial lighting. Could you maybe send a link to a T8 setup as I don't know what to look for? Just pricing now but will go down the route next winter.

Just to be clear, the ebay link is an example, not a product recommendation. I haven't tried any of their products so can't vouch for them.

It's hard to give a definitive answer about what you should look for in a T8 setup (I think that's the reason you rarely see definitive answers), but I'll mention the options that I have seen. I'm not an expert by any means, but have spent a bit of time looking into this.

You can sometimes find industrial fixtures with a reflector (e.g. two tubes mounted inside a deep reflector) cheap in hardware stores, the downside is that you may need an electrician to install them. Somebody once suggested to me to use reflectors made for aquaria, which are made to be clipped on to the tubes, together with a regular fluorescent fixture - this might be cheap and work well, if there is enough room in the fixture.

Aquarium light units can be used, but can be expensive. T8 is generally cheaper than T5 HO though. They're made to be plugged into a outlet so don't require installation other than mounting. Look for ones that either come with reflectors, or are made to be used with clip-on reflectors. And make sure to buy ones that are made for a standard tube length.

Finally there are fixtures made specifically for growing plants, e.g. LightWave T5 (T5 HO, not T8). These are a bit more compact and have reflectors. Look at online hydroponics stores for these. I don't think I've seen any such fixtures that are made for T8 tubes.

I use (T5 HO) aquarium light fixtures in my two terrariums, mainly because they have a decent design and are easy to obtain. I haven't tried the other mentioned options.

Hope this helps.

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