Once the winter comes, and our gardens are too cold to grow our favorite plants, you may find yourself leaning more and more toward the idea of growing bulbs indoors. And why not? With the right soil and watering, it's entirely possible! Plus, it's a great way to bring a touch of greenery and color to your life when the world is painted in white. However, there is one factor your beautiful bulbs need that can be slightly more difficult to replicate indoors: the sun.
Light Needs to Grow Bulbs Indoors
It's no secret that all plants need sunlight to grow, and bulbs are certainly not an exception to the rule. The UV rays are essential in fueling growth and impressive performance, so the biggest issue with forcing them indoors is, understandably, lack of sun. Without adequate light, the bulbs have a hard time blooming and, instead, tend to grow too tall or even lopsided as they desperately seek out more. So, to keep this from happening, you'll need to find a proper light source that will give them what they need.
Grow Bulbs Indoors with Natural Light
Of course, the easiest way to provide just the right kind of light for your bulbs to grow is to give them just what they need—sun! By placing them near a sunny window that lets in plenty of bright, indirect light (remember: glass magnifies sun rays, so getting too close could scorch the leaves), you'll allow them to reap the benefits of the sun to the best of their house-bound ability.
However, just as we humans feel the lack of sunshine in wintertime and turn to "happy lights" to fulfill our UV needs, our plants may feel this shift, too. With the shorter and often gloomier days, despite spending all their time next to the window, you may find your plants still stretching to get even more light. And if you do, supplementing with artificial lights—like plant grow light bulbs—can be a big help!
Incandescent Lights for Growing Bulbs Indoors
Possibly the most readily-available lights on the market, incandescents are common household bulbs that do a good job of lighting up a dark room. But, if you're looking for a good grow light bulb for indoor plants, the light they give off won't be enough. With a reputation for not being particularly efficient, incandescent lightbulbs only expend about 10% of their energy producing actual light, and the rest of the 90% is spent generating heat. Given how close your lamp would have to be to give your plant the light it requires, the added heat would only do more harm than good by roasting your plant alive.
Growing Bulbs Indoors with Fluorescent Light
About 75% more efficient than incandescents, fluorescent lights are a great choice to grow bulbs inside. With their narrow shape and design, they need far less energy to generate the same amount of light as traditional bulbs. What's more, they emit lovely, full-spectrum light that is actually quite similar to what your plants would get outside!
If fluorescent lights are for you, choose a cool-light bulb and keep it about 1 foot above your pot to keep your plants short and sweet.
Grow Bulbs Indoors with LED Light
With the same full-spectrum performance as fluorescents, LEDs are another excellent choice to grow bulbs indoors. But, they do have a bit of a leg up on their tubular counterparts in two respects; LED bulbs only use about half the electricity and, on average, last about five times longer—saving you both time and money. Plus, unlike fluorescent lights, they also contain no mercury and shatter less often, meaning there are fewer chemicals and less waste making its way to the landfills!
To grow with LEDs, you can treat them as you would fluorescent lights; place them about 1 foot above your pot for nice, compact plants.
Though it may seem like a challenge to grow sun-loving bulbs in the low-light environment of your home, with the right plant grow lights, it can actually be a breeze! Ready to get started? Check out our online store today to grab your bulbs and feel free to send us any questions you may have. We'd be happy to share some light on the situation!
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