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Parameters for growing moss
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Defoliating ficus in Colorado
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Indoor Lighting Reommendation
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Paul Koenning
Jan 11, 2022
HI everyone. I saw this tread and wanted to add my two cents. Most LED lights now use a blend of mostly red and blue spectrum LEDs and depending on that companies proprietary light spectrum there will be other spectrums mixed in as well. In general blue light helps with vegetative growth, while red light helps with flowering. Plants have two different types of photosynthesis systems, one of which absorbs the blue light spectrum and the other absorbs the red spectrum. It is my opinion that we should utilize both forms of photosynthesis, as opposed to only putting one part of the plant to work. In addition, it has recently been found that red light is actually found in the root tips. Scientists have not completely understood this, but the thought is that it may help the roots to navigate the soil. The Black Dog LEDs I use have a mix of different colored diodes to create a full spectrum light, although it still looks purple to the eye. Their site has great articles about grow lights and the way they approach light color and spectrum. Outside of the color spectrum of your light, you should pay attention to Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), and the light penetration. Most newer grow lights and bulbs will have a par rating, as that is the band of radiation that will serve our plants best. Light penetration is much harder to determine, but if you look at the distance the light should be placed away from the plant it will provide a good clue to the lights ability to reach beyond the top of the canopy. Fluorescent bulbs, for example, should be placed within inches of the leaves to provide enough light. LEDs on the other hand are often recommended to be hung 10-18 inches from the top of the plant to avoid bleaching. So the fluorescent light does not have a great ability to penetrate the canopy of the bonsai, where as an LED fixture typically has a much greater length from the light that is filled with an abundant amount of light. In fact, when placed too close to LED lights laves will bleach out at the intensity of light is higher than what a plant can take. The bleaching is almost like a different form of leaf scorch. As you can probably tell I really like LED lights at this point, but I do still have several T5 fluorescent fixtures I still use. My trees under fluorescents tend to grow readily from the top of the tree, while lower branches typically do nothing for me during the winter. Sometimes lower branches even drop leaves and die back if really shaded. I do not have this issue with my LED fixture, and have also added a light mover to help further reduce apical dominance. This works by exposing the bonsai to constantly moving light which allows the light to hit the inside of the canopy as it moves along. It also prevents new growth from pointing in one direction. I hope to refine some of this further for a presentation to the society, so please add questions to this and I will do my best to cover it here and during my presentation in March 2022
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Root over rock narrow leaf ficus progression and techniques used
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Paul Koenning

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