Need help. Japanese maple on northwest balcony. Grow lights?

zafink

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Hello! I just received my first bonsai. I bought one online that has been developed for a few years, and plan on starting a few from seedlings but wanted one that has been trained for some time as well. However, I am a bit out of my element haha.

I thought I had done my research and all, but didn't take into account that my northwest facing covered balcony doesn't get much light, only in the late afternoon/evening really. So I'm guessing that my Japanese maple (acer palmate) won't be content with this.

I am wondering if I could remedy the situation with grow lights? And that between grow lights and limited sun the tree would receive its needed light? The temperature where I live is great for just leaving this tree out year round.

If you know of any good outdoor lights I would love to get the name of them as well. Here one I found that someone uses on their north facing balcony: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MLVRNFF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_1HlJDbTTW98SR

I also would need advice as to how far the light should be from the bonsai, (for aesthetics I prefer farther, but will do whatever is needed), and whether power of light affects distance I should keep from plant...

Any advice is very much appreciated. looking forward to this new hobby!
 

Lorax7

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Hello! I just received my first bonsai. I bought one online that has been developed for a few years, and plan on starting a few from seedlings but wanted one that has been trained for some time as well. However, I am a bit out of my element haha.

I thought I had done my research and all, but didn't take into account that my northwest facing covered balcony doesn't get much light, only in the late afternoon/evening really. So I'm guessing that my Japanese maple (acer palmate) won't be content with this.

I am wondering if I could remedy the situation with grow lights? And that between grow lights and limited sun the tree would receive its needed light? The temperature where I live is great for just leaving this tree out year round.

If you know of any good outdoor lights I would love to get the name of them as well. Here one I found that someone uses on their north facing balcony: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MLVRNFF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_1HlJDbTTW98SR

I also would need advice as to how far the light should be from the bonsai, (for aesthetics I prefer farther, but will do whatever is needed), and whether power of light affects distance I should keep from plant...

Any advice is very much appreciated. looking forward to this new hobby!
The illuminance of the light falls off in proportion to the reciprocal of the square of the distance. That said, I’ve never grown JMs under artificial light, so someone else who has would have a better idea what works than I do.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

@Mike Corazzi nephew!

Lights outside runs in the DNA!

Sorce
 

ShadyStump

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If you can tell us where you are in the world, that would help. You can add a general location and growing zone to your profile, and we'll have a better idea what your climate is and how to help.

Right now I have a pair of second hand 24w Sansi lights over a table full of tropical plants and trees in my North facing window. They don't stop my laurus from growing lanky, but they otherwise keep everything happy for the winter.

Most common lights are designed to cover an area about 2 feet/.5 meter square at the same distance above the plant. PAR/PPFE values are a good place to start looking for light quality, but they can be misleading and confusing. Just focus on lux/lumens (brightness) and color temperature. In this case, higher is better, and any light that says full spectrum or for vegetative growth.
The one in the link you posted seems like it should work, but the listing doesn't seem to show anything about the exact light specifications. I always find that suspect, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything.
 

Michael P

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Unless your balcony has a very wide overhang, it should be OK. Remember, as the season progresses the sun will set farther to the north and your balcony will get more afternoon sun. You will need to be diligent about turning the tree so that growth remains even, but I don't think you will need any artificial light.

We love pictures!
 

Emanon

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Where do you live? Depending on climate, a northwest covered balcony might be perfect for a Japanese maple.
Exactly. Especially if you anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere...a northern facing balcony would receive the most amount of sunlight.
 

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