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Big Vine
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Florida - Zone 8b

Upgrading My Indoor Lighting Setup

Some of you might remember photos of the shelving unit I was using ever since I joined the forum last spring...
Each of the two 36" dual-tube fluorescent fixtures (one above each shelf) provide decent supplemental lighting, but the shelves don't really allow the kind of room I need for growing-out young plant material (which is all I have at the moment).
[img]https://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h109/Big_Vine/Plants/2010/DisplayShelf-800x600.jpg[/img]

This old setup ^^^ will remain empty for the moment.
Later on I'll use it as more of a 'display' shelf for more mature/refined material.


Onto the upgrade...
As you'll see in the following photos, I've expanded my growing area and moved the plants to the 'bar/shelf' area which separates the livingroom from the kitchen.

Front
[img]https://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h109/Big_Vine/Plants/2010/GrowingLightSetup-Front-800x600.jpg[/img]

Back
[img]https://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h109/Big_Vine/Plants/2010/GrowingLightSetup-Back-800x600.jpg[/img]

Overhead
[img]https://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h109/Big_Vine/Plants/2010/GrowingLightSetup-Overhead-800x600.jpg[/img]

Lighting consists of two 48" dual-tube fluorescent fixtures.
Supporting chains attaching the light fixtures to the brackets allow for a completely customizable height adjustment (up to about 3 ft. from pot surfaces).

Questions/comments always welcome!
BV
Sean
Indoor Grower
Schefflera arboricola
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'
Ficus salicifolia 'Willow Leaf'
Portulacaria afra
Pachira aquatica

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Big Vine
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Florida - Zone 8b

And by the way, the plants are obviously quite young, and I do not consider them to be 'bonsai' by any means.

Two of them are from cuttings taken less than a year ago.
The most mature of the three (in the middle) is still only maybe 3-5 years old. Even though it was initially included as part of an order from a reputable source as a smaller bonsai, I decided to modify it a bit and put it into accelerated growth to get the trunk (most of it is actually buried beneath the soil surface) more to my liking.

Point being, these plants will all need at least several more years of growth before any of them approach 'bonsai' status, and I'm hoping the lighting upgrade you see in the photos of this setup will help to move things along!
BV
Sean
Indoor Grower
Schefflera arboricola
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'
Ficus salicifolia 'Willow Leaf'
Portulacaria afra
Pachira aquatica

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djlen
Green Thumb
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:37 am
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Very nice setup 'Big'.

You will be adjusting lighting like crazy. Let me tell you from experience....those Scheffs will grow like weeds....lol.

Good luck with it!!! :lol:
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
How To Post A Picture

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Big Vine
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Florida - Zone 8b

Thanks, Len...I sure hope so! :D

As I patiently wait for the growth to pile on these guys in the photos, my goal is to obtain some slightly older, more refined materials---something to actually 'work on' at more frequent intervals...to satisfy my 'itchy' fingers, so to speak, lol.

A special trip down to Jim Smith's Dura-Stone Nursery down in Vero Beach, FL sometime in late winter/early spring will hopefully find me what I'm looking for. Ideally some prepared bonsai stock of Ficus microcarpa, Ficus salicifolia, and/or even some slightly older Schefflera arboricola...all depending on what's in the budget, of course (which sadly isn't a whole lot, lol).

It's more than just a few hours away though, so I might also check out a more local spot before then if I get too impatient. :wink:
BV
Sean
Indoor Grower
Schefflera arboricola
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'
Ficus salicifolia 'Willow Leaf'
Portulacaria afra
Pachira aquatica

FLBonsai
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:15 pm
Location: Florida

Big Vine wrote:Thanks, Len...I sure hope so! :D

As I patiently wait for the growth to pile on these guys in the photos, my goal is to obtain some slightly older, more refined materials---something to actually 'work on' at more frequent intervals...to satisfy my 'itchy' fingers, so to speak, lol.

A special trip down to Jim Smith's Dura-Stone Nursery down in Vero Beach, FL sometime in late winter/early spring will hopefully find me what I'm looking for. Ideally some prepared bonsai stock of Ficus microcarpa, Ficus salicifolia, and/or even some slightly older Schefflera arboricola...all depending on what's in the budget, of course (which sadly isn't a whole lot, lol).

It's more than just a few hours away though, so I might also check out a more local spot before then if I get too impatient. :wink:
BV
Are you interested in acquiring any junipers? I can get you a really good deal a local nursery in Tampa. ;)

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Big Vine
Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Florida - Zone 8b

FLBonsai wrote:Are you interested in acquiring any junipers? I can get you a really good deal a local nursery in Tampa. ;)
I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to have to pass. :wink:
Right now I wanna stick with the species I mentioned in my previous post.

I've recently read through Jerry Meislik's "Ficus: The Exotic Bonsai" book, and F. microcarpa and F. salicifolia are among the ones he most highly recommends as being the hardiest and easiest to work with for indoors...especially forgiving for beginners. Plus, I like the looks of them as well. I'd prefer to go with the F. microcarpa "Green Island" variant, because I like its more rounded leaves. And of course F. salicifolia is always nice with its small, slender/pointy leaves.

Expanding into plants with dormancy requirements (some type of maple would be my first choice here) might be a possibility once I'm no longer renting and into a house, but for now I'll be sticking with the few species of indoor tropicals I've mentioned. :wink:
BV
Sean
Indoor Grower
Schefflera arboricola
Ficus microcarpa 'Green Island'
Ficus salicifolia 'Willow Leaf'
Portulacaria afra
Pachira aquatica

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