Houseplant Lighting

It’s nice when the sun doesn’t set in the summer until about 10 PM however in the winter all my plants die in the darkness but not anymore. I use low cost daylight bulbs with clamp lights and I replace some of my regular lighting fixtures with them as well. There are higher intensity lights than what I am showing here but I do not have the box any longer to compare what it is I have. Look for the ones that say ‘daylight’, nearly everything I looked at in stock at Lowe’s or other home renovation stores would have worked for what I need so I went with cost efficiency. You want at least 1600 lumens and something that falls on the light spectrum at 5000K or higher.

When doing research I find most people were using shop lights and I have had no issue with them. The light fixtures can be clipped onto things or hung as a pendant, the hood is designed to house and focus a high intensity light for long hours so it works perfect as a plant light you can place it anywhere easily and safely though some types of bulbs will give off more light than others. There are two main types of hoods for these lights, a narrow and a wider focus of the light. As long as they aren’t to close or too far away they should live happily under the artificial lights. You can buy a light meter if you are not certain about distance and placement. Lighting timers cost only a few dollars so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the lights on and off.

In addition to this lighting I also group my smaller plants around my aerogardens.

Building with Wooden Crates

Wooden crates can be used to make all sorts of furniture cheaply and often more sturdy that the build your own laminated particle board they sell in a lot of stores.

The best places to get crates are craft stores, always check for coupons and deals first.

First you will want to sand down any rough edges on the crates, then apply stain in one or more coats to get the color you desire. I am using a Sedona red applied twice. It’s the same stain I refinished my plant stands with. There is a slight difference due to the type of wood differing but it is very close. Apply a sealant or lacquer after the stain has dried to protect the wood.

When it is done and completely dried use short screws or nails to affix the crates together. I used one of the simplest designs for this because I needed it to stay in it’s small space.

I plan on a small square coffee table as well but I went with the TV stand first, I will eventually do both but it is the rainy season now so probably in the spring, that way I have two matching pieces of furniture. Here is the standard arrangement for making a coffee table.

Adventures in Houseplant Propagation

I tried to save a succulent that was stretched, it did not make it. I also tried and failed to grow an avocado, complete failure… It happens.

Jade: It has started pushing out growth very slowly, it took about 6 months before there was new growth.

Geraniums: I am always skeptical of sticking a cutting directly into soil and having it turn into a plant. This was not the right time of the year for this but I am experimenting, the mother plant is really healthy and sprawling at the moment so I snapped off a branch, cut away the flower stalk and dipped the end in honey and stuck it into some new dirt. It’s been doing really well and has put out new growth.

Sansevieria: It sprouted a pup right after I bought the plant so as soon as it had a few strong leaves I snapped it off of the mother plant and put it in it’s own pot. It’s growing and healthy.

Coral Reef Sedum: When I bought this Coral it was sending out roots so I decided to let part of it grow into a new plant. I  placed a few inches down flat into the soil and covered over it gently, then watered it. After a few months it has started puting out three tiny rosettes of new growth.

Old Mans Bones Sedum: I broke off a piece when I was putting it in a hanging planter, so I dipped it in cinnamon and stuck it down into some dirt. I cant really tell where this one is going, it hasn’t grown any since I stuck it in dirt, it also hasn’t died either.

Oxalis: I divided and repotted one of my shamrocks, it had not been growing well all year so I broke up the root cluster into about 8 plants and gave it new dirt and some food. I left the leaves on if I could. They bounced back dramatically and are full of flowers. I moved them next to my aero gardens, they want a lot of light and a lot of water. When one of the leaves dropped off while I was transplanting it I stuck it in water and it has sprouted roots. I divided up and replanted another pot of purple oxalis and they are starting to come up now. I’m going to have to start giving them away at this rate. I love how many flowers these will produce when they are happy.

Lavender: I am incapable of keeping lavender alive in any form, this died shortly after the picture was taken. I put three Mona Lavender cuttings in water and two of them are starting to root.

Vanilla Orchid: Not propagation but I repotted and fed my Orchid. At one point during the winter the roots died when it got too cold and I cut several inches and rerooted it. It has started new roots which are doing well but it’s a scrawny little thing. It has had a good growth spert start after repotting.