Indoor lighting for winter - Brazilian Rain Tree

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
Hello!
I recently got my first Brazilian Rain Tree and temperatures outside are beginning to get cold enough for me to have to bring it inside for winter. However, do to the placement of my apartment, I do not have a window that receives sun, so I will have to settle for indoor lighting.
I have been trying to research lighting and what to purchase but I'm still hesitant on how to proceed. What sort of bulb would you recommend I get for a BRT and 2 Dwarf Jades for winter?
Thank you!
 

Stickroot

Masterpiece
Messages
2,539
Reaction score
5,145
Location
Mid MO
USDA Zone
5
1000 watt HPS Hortilux!
The best artificial sun you can buy.
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,265
Reaction score
6,810
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
There are tons of threads about this, do a search.

You can go the nuclear option that stickroot recommends or you can go with something less expensive, easier to obtain and won't heat the room up to 100 degrees.

I keep BRT under fluorescent dayight tubes. They grow for me all winter.

Good thread to start with:
https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/plant-lighting-for-beginners.21116/
 

Omar

Yamadori
Messages
94
Reaction score
59
Location
Brooklyn, NY
USDA Zone
7b
You can do something as simple as a clamp lamp w/fluorescent bulb which works really well for something with a small canopy. Something like BRT which grows every which way you can try something like a 2x4 light system which is what I use and I absolutely love. I bought 2 of them and set them up inside a mini greenhouse. My plants continue to grow through the winter (albeit slower obviously) it's great. Total I spent ~250USD, that's just my setup surely there are likely much cheaper ways to accomplish this.

upload_2017-11-8_10-24-41.png

upload_2017-11-8_10-24-48.png
 

Omar

Yamadori
Messages
94
Reaction score
59
Location
Brooklyn, NY
USDA Zone
7b
There are tons of threads about this, do a search.

You can go the nuclear option that stickroot recommends or you can go with something less expensive, easier to obtain and won't heat the room up to 100 degrees.

I keep BRT under fluorescent dayight tubes. They grow for me all winter.

Good thread to start with:
https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/plant-lighting-for-beginners.21116/

Sorry I didn't see this otherwise I would've just said I do the same thing and it works well. That's an excellent thread thanks for that!
 

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
There are tons of threads about this, do a search.

You can go the nuclear option that stickroot recommends or you can go with something less expensive, easier to obtain and won't heat the room up to 100 degrees.

I keep BRT under fluorescent dayight tubes. They grow for me all winter.

Good thread to start with:
https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/plant-lighting-for-beginners.21116/

Paradox,
Thank you for your input put.
I read through that yesterday before posting this but I didn't fully understand it.. Ill give it another read though.

For example, you said you use fluorescent daylight tubes. I look online and there's all kinds of options of different sizes with different wattage, 6000k or 6500k etc. Then, how many tubes should I use per tree or how does that work? That's the kind of details I didn't really understand from the article.
I'm thinking about getting one of the light fixtures that @Omar posted just a bit smaller, but I'm not sure what kind of tubes to put in it.
 

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
You can do something as simple as a clamp lamp w/fluorescent bulb which works really well for something with a small canopy. Something like BRT which grows every which way you can try something like a 2x4 light system which is what I use and I absolutely love. I bought 2 of them and set them up inside a mini greenhouse. My plants continue to grow through the winter (albeit slower obviously) it's great. Total I spent ~250USD, that's just my setup surely there are likely much cheaper ways to accomplish this.

View attachment 166435

View attachment 166436
Omar,

Thank you for your reply and those pictures. Definitely helped to see what you were talking about.
I'm thinking about getting one of the 2x4 lights, just maybe a bit smaller to accommodate the space. What kind of fluorescent tubes do you use with those?
 

Omar

Yamadori
Messages
94
Reaction score
59
Location
Brooklyn, NY
USDA Zone
7b
Omar,

Thank you for your reply and those pictures. Definitely helped to see what you were talking about.
I'm thinking about getting one of the 2x4 lights, just maybe a bit smaller to accommodate the space. What kind of fluorescent tubes do you use with those?

I use T5 bulbs (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_...age=2&keywords=t5+bulb&ie=UTF8&qid=1510154927) with the particular fixture that I have (https://www.amazon.com/Agrobrite-FL...qid=1510166107&sr=8-1&keywords=agrobrite&th=1). I only have such a large unit because I have 5 tropicals, you can certainly find or even build something smaller for just the 1 plant.
 

cbroad

Omono
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,774
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
@Rodrigo
Don't waste your money on those clamp style lights, they don't put out enough light to do much for your plant.

Figure out your commitment to bonsai and growing plants in general. Is this a passing fad or do you want to endevour in growing plants indoors? How much money can you spend on lights? You can buy a 4 foot, 2 tube fixture for probably around $20 at a home improvement store or like a Walmart.

Figure out the area you can devote to an indoor setup. As far as fluorescent lights go, 24" long tubes will be the smallest size (beside compact fluorescents which fit standard incandescent screw bases). You can find a single tube fixture that will probably be around 24" long by 4" wide. But you can find 24" long fixtures as wide as up to 8 bulbs. The next size up will be 48" long tubes, again you can buy a single tube fixture or find one that holds up to 8 tubes if not more. What @Omar has is very nice, I have the same company, only mine are 48" long. These are called t5 HO (high output) tubes, the letter T with these bulbs denotes the diameter of the bulb, t12 and t8 are more common and are wider than t5s.

Figure out if you want your plants to just survive until you can put them outside next year or if you want them to thrive indoors. Regular fluorescents you see everywhere are descent. If it was me, I would opt for what Omar has, at least a 24" tube fixture with 4 tubes. Obviously, the more tubes you run, the greater the light output which equals more plant growth.

These are just some things to consider. Let us know what you decide to do and good luck!
 
Last edited:

cbroad

Omono
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,774
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
Oh, and if you're really serious about this bonsai thing, you might as well opt for a larger light because you KNOW you'll be getting more plants ;), then will come propagation...:eek:
 

Microscopic

Chumono
Messages
872
Reaction score
1,094
Location
City of Brotherly.....
USDA Zone
6b?
You can do something as simple as a clamp lamp w/fluorescent bulb which works really well for something with a small canopy. Something like BRT which grows every which way you can try something like a 2x4 light system which is what I use and I absolutely love. I bought 2 of them and set them up inside a mini greenhouse. My plants continue to grow through the winter (albeit slower obviously) it's great. Total I spent ~250USD, that's just my setup surely there are likely much cheaper ways to accomplish this.

View attachment 166435

View attachment 166436
That's the exact one I got from Amazon.

If you get the two tubes one, you'll find out they could be too narrow. I got the four T5 tubes one and it is only covering half the Calamondin tree right now.

After a couple dropped leaves, it's growing again.

I say get the 4ft 4 bulbs at least and hope it covers all 3 plants. And try to put the plants as close to the lights as possible without actually touching it.
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,265
Reaction score
6,810
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
Paradox,
Thank you for your input put.
I read through that yesterday before posting this but I didn't fully understand it.. Ill give it another read though.

For example, you said you use fluorescent daylight tubes. I look online and there's all kinds of options of different sizes with different wattage, 6000k or 6500k etc. Then, how many tubes should I use per tree or how does that work? That's the kind of details I didn't really understand from the article.
I'm thinking about getting one of the light fixtures that @Omar posted just a bit smaller, but I'm not sure what kind of tubes to put in it.


Hi Rodrigo,
Yes lighting can be confusing to beginners. There is alot of terms you need to learn that refer to bulb specifications, light output and quality .

4 daylight bulbs 5000K-6500K should be fine if you want to set up a table with a 4 foot fixture over it. You can probably put 3-4 trees underneath that depending on thier size. You dont want to crowd them too much. Someone showed me one from Amazon the other day that wax $70 which isnt a bad price. Just make sure you can get replacement bulbs easily.

Here is my setup specs: 4 foot fluorescent, 32 watt, T8 configuration, Daylight (6500K), 2750 lumens for each bulb
I have one table with 6 of these over it and another shelf with 3 over it. They are on from 7AM until 11PM.

You can use daylight bulbs which are in the 5000-6500K (Kelvin which refers to the color spectrum of the bulb output). Most office lighting is in the 3400K-4000K area of the spectrum. They put out too much yellow and red light and not enough blue light which starts around 5000K.

I bought my fixtures at Home Depot. They are just shop lights that hold 3 bulbs each. As I said, I have one table with 2 of these (6 bulbs) and one with one fixture (3 bulbs).

Besides the graphs on the first page of the Lighting for beginners thread, here are some other links with info that describes the different kinds of bulbs and the type of light needed for plants to grow:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow_light

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_light

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grow_light#/media/File:Kelvin_Temperature_Chart.svg
 
Last edited:

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
@Omar @cbroad @Microscopic and @Paradox,

Thank you all for your responses. That's the exact kind of information I was hoping to get from this post.
I ended up going to Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart today looking for t5 light fixtures but none of those places had them; only had regular home t8 fixtures. So I ended up going on Amazon and ordering the 2ft 4lamp Agrobrite that Omar recommended. Should be here Saturday. I would've gotten the 4 footer but don't have the room at the moment.. Maybe someday.

@cbroad regarding your question about whether this a passing fad for me or am I in for the long haul? I am definitely in for the long haul. I have about 15 trees in all stages at the moment and some seedlings as well so there's no quitting now. And I already know the collection will keep on growing! Thanks again.

Rodrigo
 

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
I just found a really long shoot that I hadn't seen before and I need to prune it because it crosses several other branches. I'd like to try to get it to root but I'm not sure if this is the right time and /or how to do it. Can you help me out?
1. Is right now the right time? I received my light this morning so it'll be kept indoor through winter.
2. Do you root in bonsai soil or regular potting soil or water?
3. It's still a green shoot that is just now beginning to get darker at the start, do green or woody cuttings take better?
Thank you!
 

LanceMac10

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,371
Reaction score
15,933
Location
Nashua, NH U.S.A.
USDA Zone
5
1. not really, but, what have you to lose?
2. 100% akadama.....any breathable soil/mix should work....potting soil might stay too wet, a bit of dryness will encourage root growth as they search for water.....not too dry, it's something to monitor.
3. Almost any size will probably root, wait till the shoot get's a little woody.....pretty much any BRT you get is a cutting. Extremely difficult to cultivate from seed.
DSC02241.JPG DSC02244.JPG DSC02337.JPG
 

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
1. not really, but, what have you to lose?
2. 100% akadama.....any breathable soil/mix should work....potting soil might stay too wet, a bit of dryness will encourage root growth as they search for water.....not too dry, it's something to monitor.
3. Almost any size will probably root, wait till the shoot get's a little woody.....pretty much any BRT you get is a cutting. Extremely difficult to cultivate from seed.
View attachment 166754 View attachment 166755 View attachment 166756
Thank you so much! I'll go ahead and try it then.
 

Rodrigo

Shohin
Messages
335
Reaction score
424
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
Here is the final setup as of now. I bought a small fan for circulation and put the tree on a humidity tray for humidity. The area stays a constant 76-78 degrees and about 45-50% humidity.

Next I will be looking for reflective material for the back and sides, as well as some sort of rack to replace the plastic bin contraption it's sitting on.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated! Is the temperature/humidity ok? Or should I look for a small humidifier?
 

Attachments

  • 20171111_231937.jpg
    20171111_231937.jpg
    238.4 KB · Views: 54
  • 20171112_095840.jpg
    20171112_095840.jpg
    281.1 KB · Views: 53

Similar threads

Top Bottom