TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk
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Just got my first h. minor. What do people think would be better: natural light in a southeast facing window in Chicago or a fluorescent light (T5HO) at 11 hours per day with almost no added natural light?
I've grown Heliamphora successfully for years, in a basement, with no natural light. They've done great with standard fluorescent fixtures (no grow lights). I get good growth and color and regular flowering. On a windowsill, I would be worried that strong direct light would heat up whatever enclosure you'd need to keep your plant in to maintain humidity and either cook or burn it.
FYI, in my experience, Heliamphora are sensitive to changes in light levels. lowering light isn't a problem (if you don't consider greening and etiolation a problem ), but increasing lighting suddenly and materially will burn existing pitchers. New pitchers will form with deeper color to account for the change, but if you burn your existing pitchers too much before the new pitchers form .... :-(.
My plants are under two 48" T8 (shoplight) fixtures with a white metal reflector. Photoperiod is 12 hours during the winter and 16 hours during the summer. I semi-randomly adjust up or down in spring/fall, when I remember to.
I think that photoperiod triggers flowering in my plants because, due to the vagaries of my basement growing area, it's actually warmer in the winter (furnace) than in the summer (AC).
If you think that your lights burned your plants, I'd increase the distance between them by four to six inches if you can, and then slowly lower them (Mine hang on chains, and I try to lower one link (1/4") a week when I need to adjust). The plants will tell you when they're not getting enough light (new leaves will be green instead of flushed with red (for most species/hybrids --- my H. tatei never gets red), will be etiolated and nectar spoons will be reduced in size and definition), just as they'll tell you when they're getting too much (older leaves burn, and newly-formed leaves will be smaller and more red).