E-mail - white roots coming out of pot

Hey doc,

I have some plants growing and noticed the roots were starting to come out of the bottom drain holes of my pots. Some even have a white fuzz growing on them. Are my plants going to be able to grow ok, and how do I solve this problem?

Your plants are getting big for the pots/ container they are in. If your plants are already well into flowering or making fruit you can just keep them in the same pots and make sure they are well watered (not over watered) until the plants are done. The idea is to keep the roots moist and alive and NOT dead  from being dry or in standing water.  Growing in small containers can be done but it requires more attention to detail, similar to hydroponics. I suggest you don’t transplant them if it is late in flowering because this may stress out the plants which causes poor flowering/fruit set. Next time you grow put the plants in bigger pots.  Unless you are confined to a small space  you should give your plants all the room to grow they need.

If your plants are growing vegetativly, you just need to pot them up (put them in the next size pot). I’ll be posting about potting up in the next week or so. If you just have one root coming through you can wait a few more days to pot up. If your plants look like the picture below, pot them up today.
The white fuzz is good; it is most likely root hairs.  Often on the end of roots you find a lot of small little hairs that stick out to give the roots more surface area so that they can absorb water and nutrients more efficiently. White roots are healthy and growing, even more so if they look fuzzy. If you don't put the plants in a new pot the roots will turn brown or tan. This is not necessarily bad but w/out any more space for roots to grow, you plants won't grow or flower at their best.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers




Hello, I have talked about this in a few posts but it would be good to have all the info. in one place, thanks for your question.
I assume you mean how long do the bulbs last; the ballast will last for many many years. I should say this is outside my area of expertise (which is growing plants) and you should send an E-mail to Sales@htgsupply.com. Perry the manager will be able to answer your question better than me. However I have used a lot of lights so I will give you my input too.

Most bulbs sold have a “rated life” that is stated on the carton or the literature. It is my understanding that rated life refers to the point at which 50% of the lamps in a large sample will be “burned out". This is not the end of the story, you should know there is a depreciation i.e. lower light output as bulbs age. Another factor to know is that the more you turn on and off your HID the shorter the rated life. You can tell a bulb is done when it starts to cycle on and off when the light should be ‘ON’.

I will assume you are using the HID for flowering and the light is on for only 12 hours a day. If you use the HID for vegetative growth and flowering your lights will have a shorter life then what I suggest.  I would use LED or fluorescent lights for seedlings and young plants and leave those lights on 24 hrs. a day to speed of the growth rate.  When you begin to flower you should know most HPS lamps have a rated life of at least 24,000 hours (over 5 years of flowering). Most MH lamps have a rated life of 10,000-20,000 hours. (2-4 years of flowering). HOWEVER, since all MH and HPS bulbs will slowly “depreciate” (decrease in light output) over time, good growers replace the bulb long before the light output declines significantly. I don't recommend using an HPS bulb more than 2-3 years and an MH more than one year.  I say this because your indoor garden yields are so closely tied to light output, and a 50% decrease in light output may result in a 50% decrease in yields. An HPS lamp will lose approximately 20% of its light output before it reaches its rated life while an MH lamp may lose up to 50% of its light output before it reaches its rated life. A MH will depreciate at a faster rate than an HPS. If your MH bulb is over two years old you may increase yield by 50% just by buying a new bulb. I always recommend keeping one old bulb (the one with the least hours) as a back up. I say this in case you have an accident and you break a bulb, your plants will need light with in 24 hrs, but some of you are 2-3 days from the nearest HTGSupply.com store or receiving a bulb by mail service.

You did not mention LED's but after my posts about growing with LED  I want to include them as a viable choice for growing indoors or in small spaces.  An LED like the Tri-Band has a rated life of 100,000 hours and has almost no depreciation. (That is 22 years flowering). If heat and / or electricity usage are a concern or you are thinking about growing for a long time, you should look at the Tri-Band LED from Htgsupply.com. You could use it in any grow set up but I used it in a grow tent with much success.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


The Best LED for Plant Growth V -- POST#100

If you have read all the posts on this blog from day one then you have read 100 posts so far.  Thank you!  If you just found this blog, you have a lot of back material you can search for information.  I find that writing something about growing each week (or more often) makes me a better grower.  Also, I enjoy reading and answering the E-mail's you send, it makes me learn new things or think about things that I sometimes take for granted everyone knows.  Please feel free to search this blog for answers to your questions and if you don't find specific answers write any time and I 'll help as best I can. 

Five weeks after potting up and the basil plants have begun flowering under the LED and are in full bloom under the higher wattage and closer T-5.  I set out to test (and show with a few pics.) if the Tri-Band  from HTGSupply.com can grow plants.  I have continued to  use the grow tent  and Tri-Band  after eating the basil in these pictures.   I have grown a couple different flower species, lots more basil, and marjoram.   I can't say yet the LED is my primary light of choice, I am not getting rid of my 600 or 400 HPS.  However, for growing in small spaces  or indoors in general there are a lot of benefits to the LED.   First, the Tri-Band LED has low heat production, it uses only 120 watts, yet has very high light intensity (you can germinate many seedlings under the light because you can keep it much higher above the seedlings than a fluorescent).   Also, LED's do not loose light intensity like HID bulbs do (MH in 1 year and HPS in 2-3 years).  LED's should put out the same intensity as day one for many years (100,000 hours are suggested but obviously I have not had time to test this yet).   Moreover, the light wavelenghts of the Tri-Bband from HTGSupply.com can induce a good flowering response in basil and marjoram and I imagine all plants.  Other LED may not promote proper flowering and/or vegetative growth even if they look red and blue to your eyes.  All LED's are not the same.
 I want to finish this series of posts about my first grow with 100% LED light by saying that the results I got with the Tri-Band beat the growth of any LED light I researched in scientific papers a few years ago.  This technology is advancing all the time.  I think that HTGsuply.com has got the edge on LED.  However, I am open minded and I'd like to hear if other LED lights you have used have been duds or studs for your plant growth and if you have compared other LED's to the Tri-Band.
Again thanks for reading, I hope to help people grow for many more 100's of posts.

 Good Growing,
 Dr. E. R. Myers

If you are interested in growing herbs like me, I wrote about drying herbs  in a previous post


The Best LED for Plant Growth IV (FLOWERING BEGINS)

The first thing you might notice is that I had to move some basil under the LED.  They were getting big so I spread them out so the light could hit their lower leaves too.  I added another tray (3 total under one LED, I could only get two full trays under the T-5)

Notice too how I have the T-5 on an angle with the taller plants one side and the shorter plants on the other.  All the pictures of lights from HTGSupply.com will be nice and level , and lets face it, they look better that way.  The truth is you may want to put lights at an angle to maximize the amount of light hitting each of your plants.    The same idea can be solved from a different angle, some people raise individual plants up so that all plant tops are at the same level.  Find what works for you.

The T5 is much closer to the plants and uses more electricity.  This first test of the LED also proves a topic from previous posts on  -- Speed up the Growth cycle --  Higher light intensity sped up the life cycle of the basil. Under the T 5  it began to flower a week before the LED did (oops spoiler for next post) This is NOT due to the type of light but the intensity. By lowering the LED or adding a single tube T5 to the grow tent to equalize the watts used then I think the LED would win.

I am also very happy with the seedling growth. The LED is almost one meter above the seedlings. You get the coolness of a fluorescent with the light intensity of an HID with this light.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


The Best LED for Plant Growth III

I am happy with the growth of the LED in week three.  The T-5 as I knew it would had great growth as well but I don't have a good picture from week three of the T-5, but I do for the next few.

I have said that LED are a good light for growing in small spaces.  I am more impressed as each week passes.
If you got the LED because of a problem with heat, you could also try adding some single lamp T5's in each corner of the tent to increase light with minimal heat. I believe that if you use LED with T5 in each corner you will get optimal results - but then we are talking about using almost 336 watts total.  If you can handle the heat you might consider a 400w HPS. 

The concept behind the Tri-Band 120 watt LED GROW LIGHT is simple – it uses highly efficient 1 watt LED’s, which are the exact wavelength required for photosynthesis. The 1 watt LED use wide angle directional bulbs for a wide area of coverage. The 1 watt LED is one of the most efficient light sources in the world (lumens per watt). By using only the spectrums required for plant growth, no energy is wasted generating spectrums of light that do little for a plants growth – such as green light. Also the directional LED’s ensure 100% of the light is pointed downwards – they do not rely upon reflective materials to direct the light. The High Power Tri-Band 120 watt LED GROW LIGHT can be used by itself for all cycles of plant growth (covers approximately 12-20 square feet).  

Good Growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers


The Best LED for Plant Growth II

Now obviously this little experiment is not a fair comparison, the LED is much further away from the plants (light intensity decreases over space) and the LED uses almost 1/2 the energy vs. the T-5 HO. This being my first use of the LED I wanted to see if it actually grew plants. It did! That is what I want people to take form these few posts, that the Tri-band from HTGSupply.com can and does grow plants from seeds to flowers. I'll be growing other plants with  this light at different heights in the future. I kept the LED over 2 feet above the plants so that it would not be too intense and stress out the plants.  It puts out a very intense light. You should lower it to increase the intensity of light directed at your plants which will increase photosynthesis to its maximum rate. You can give a plant too much light, I don't know if I'd put the light less than a foot above the plants.
Notice the basil under the T-5 is mostly green. This is a F-1 purple basil. The seedlings were purple until I potted them up and lowered the T-5 closer to the plants. I think the light intensity from the T-5 (being so close) causes the plants to revert to their green coloration to maximize light absorption. In nature, green is the color of plants that will compete best due to maximum absorption of light by plant pigments. Non-green plants may look nice but are not as efficient at growth. There are often situations where ornamental non-green plants revert to their green tendencies.

Good Growing,
 Dr. E. R. Myers


The Best LED for Plant Growth I

The next 5 posts follow my first use of an LED as a stand alone light for plant growth

I have gotten many E-mail's asking what I think about LED's and plant growth. I am very happy to be able to put up the next few posts. I have recently been growing in a grow tent using a Tri band From HTGSupply.com. I am happy because this light was the first experience I had with HTGSupply.com. They approached me to help them design their latest LED with questions about plant pigments and optimal light absorption. We corresponded with many questions and answers about what is the optimal light (wavelengths) that will promote plant growth. They then went and designed and produced the light and now sell it as the Tri band.

I am happy to report that this LED does have what it takes to grow plants from seed to flower. In the next few posts I will show you the pictures to prove it. I can not say the same for all LED. HTGSupply.com has done a lot of research and this is a unique LED that they developed specifically with photosynthesis in mind. Many of you know that unfortunately the easiest to produce LED that emit blue and red colors (to human eyes) are not in the optimal wavelength (color) that most plants need to do photosynthesis. 
Not all LED's are the same!
    Cost is a factor in all purchase and as you may know LED are an energy efficient light source.  This means you will pay less on your electricity bill each month, forever.   Energy efficiency also means there is less heat as a by product.  With less heat, growing in small spaces is easier and you need less electricity and equipment to remove heat.  And, LED's last for years. You should replace an MH bulb yearly and a HPS bulb every 2-3 years or you will have a large loss in light output. An LED will not loose light intensity for thousands more hours than an HPS so it lasts you years longer. Keep that in mind if you are going to grow for a long time.

•The Tri-Band 120 watt LED GROW LIGHT does not require a ballast and simply plugs into any standard household outlet.

The Tri-Band 120 watt LED GROW LIGHT is manufactured using long life LED lights. These lights have a rated life of over 100,000 hours (there are 8,760 hours in a year). That is over a century, which means you grand kids will be using this light to grow with too. You willl buy 33-50 HPS bulbs and 100 MH bulbs in the same time.

•The Tri-Band LEDs are nearly 100% efficient at plant growth! This is 10 times the efficiency of a Sodium or Halide light! This means you will pay less on every electricity bill for ever!

•Less Heat Generated (very little heat, and what little heat it does generate is dissipated by the built-in fans) Drastically reducing your cooling costs (equipment and electricity usaage), saving even more money in the long run.
•Environmentally friendly, no hazardous components like in the bulbs of HPS and MH. Good growers dispose of their bulbs in a proper recycling center.

•Low weight, only 13 pounds.