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U. longifolia flower stalks early this year

My U. longifolia typically puts up flower stalks in early spring and flowers throughout the summer, but this year it has started early. I've suspected that slightly warmer weather might be the flowering trigger, but this year has dispelled that theory, as it is the coldest it has been so far this winter. The plant is in a room in the house which has very little heating, just receiving ambient heat from the rest of the house, so temperatures in there are cool.

Mine are outside and I have them making spikes and flowering. Spikes might have started in December. Flowers beginning of January. Don't know that we can compare our conditions. Days are in the low to mid 70 F range and nights mid 40 F lowest so far.

Taken new years day.

Jan 5, 2013

An Amp water droplet Shot taken the same day
70°C would be approximately the daytime temperature in there, with the heating switched on in surrounding rooms, as it is now. Approximately 55°F is the lowest temperature showing on a nearby min/max thermometer, which I suspect was from recent days.

I can discount light levels and duration as being the trigger, as it is grown under metal halides year round.
could you get ambient light when the metal halide lights go off?
Theoretically reduced light levels could be the trigger.

  • It is in a north facing room, with only indirect light.
  • The grow shelf is to the side of the window, approximately 2 metres away. The plant can't 'see' out of the window.
  • The window has blackout curtains, which are typically opened at 8am and closed at sundown, or sometimes a little earlier on long summer days. In winter months they are nearly always closed at the same time of day.
  • The MH lamp is on from 9am - 10pm year-round.
  • There would typically be daylight year-round at the time of morning the curtains are opened.
  • There would be no ambient light available to the plant any time of year when the lights are off.

So, given the above, the only light influence I can think of is the difference in indirect light duration between summer and winter. Given that this is short now and the plant has flower spikes, that would mean short duration.
Mine started a flower shoot about three weeks ago. Last year I took it to a plant show in May, while in flower.