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Thread: Lighting for plants.

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    Default Lighting for plants.

    I have some jade pothos that are doing well, as well as my snake plants and codaieum variegatum, however, my marble pothos are wilting. I believe this to be a lack of UV rays, is there good lighting for plants that doesn't add much heat? Even if it's a night time light. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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    Plants barely use UV, if at all, to actually produce food. The majority of the light spectrum they use is in the red wavelengths up to near green, skip green (which is why they look green to us, they reflect it), and into the blues, but not usually uv, or only the very lowest part of the UV section. Any proper grow light for plants that has a high enough intensity should work. The best grow lighting that won't add heat but provide plenty of good light would be an LED set up for hydroponics. The super cheap florescent grow bulbs have to be super close to the plants because they don't have the intensity; right colors, not strong enough output. Your best bet would be to check out hydroponic stores. I had a high output aquarium light, that could be used for corals with the proper spectrum bulb in it. I used it for a planted aquarium. When I finally gave up on doing that, I used it to light my planted terrarium. But it has a really loud fan cooling system that annoyed my husband to no end. So I got a high output florescent two bulb fixture from the hydroponics store. It puts out a bit of heat, but not a ton, and it has a wood grain finish so it looks nice too. I do however turn it off when it's really hot since it does seem to up the cage temp by a few degrees. But that won't be a problem once it gets into fall and winter. I didn't get an LED because they are really expensive and I couldn't afford it. Plants usually use UV to attract or worn off insects or animals. For the most part, UV is too high powered for them to utilize it very well, to make food.

    Pothos is nearly impossible to kill, and it's a medium-low light house plant. If it's wilting and everything else is fine, including the other kind of pothos, it sounds like it has a root issue or is being hit with heat or intense light that the others are not. A root problem seems most likely. Also, wilting is normally caused by a problem with water flow in the plant, not light. A lack of light will cause the leaves to change color a bit, and if not corrected, they will fall off. Also, a plant in lower light than it wants, will normally try to grow towards a light source in desperation, and become very skinny and "leggy", with leaves spaced far apart. Therefore, your marble pothos most likely has a problem with it's roots that is messing up it's ability to take up water, or hold on to water. I'd yank it and pull the dirt from around where it was, and put new fresh dirt in. However, if the dirt around it is super dry, just try adding more water first. It's possible that spot is drying out faster than the others. If you do pull it and the plant is big enough, chop it up into some pieces, put them in water in a nice bright spot (indirect light, no straight sun). In a few weeks you'll have a bunch of new cuttings with roots to use and you'll be able to see if the roots are healthy before you plant.

    Good luck!

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    Its not being hit with more heat thats for sure. And it gets less sun than the pothos that are doing well. Which is why i thought more light might have been beneficial.

    Have tried adding more water to it and nada. Its already only the size of a cutting; 3 inches and one leaf on two dif marble pothos. Same result. Weak and wilting.

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    Hmmm....if you could post a picture of it, I could tell by looking at it if it's a light problem, or some kind of problem with it's water circulation. I used to be a house plant buyer for a high end nursery (professional plant geek). I've also grown LOTS of pothos. One place I lived at had a big bare beam between the kitchen and living room, with super high ceilings. I started with a single piece that broke off a plant delivered at work, white marble type. I kept sub-dividing it into cuttings till I had enough for three small pots that I hung from the beam. By the time we moved out, I literally had about 30 lbs of pothos that I had to toss. Filled up two trash bags...not counting the actual pots. It was the first house plant I ever propagated. My mom showed me how when I was very little. It's super hardy and super easy to grow, which is why I'm thinking there's something wrong with it, not the lighting. And a good grow light would be fine!! Plants just can't use uv very well. But if you want to see something trippy, do a search for uv patterns on flowers. Some plants have insane patterns on them that only show up in UV. They're like flashing neon signs to pollinators showing them where the flowers are.

    If you can post a shot of it, I should be able to tell what's wrong with it. On the plus side, if you need a new one, you could always just swipe a piece with a few leaves on it and propagate it up to however many you want. Or buy a little one. Pieces break off of the hanging baskets every time they are unpacked too. So if you know when your nursery is getting a shipment, you could ask them to save a few pieces for you (a box store won't do that, smaller nurseries may or may not.)

    Best wishes.

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    I put it in water near the sun and they have perked up. Unsure if its the sun or the water thst made it perk.

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