E-mail -- lights to use with indirect sun.

I am growing on a balcony with indirect sunlight. What type of light would you recommend for supplemental lighting? I like the idea of the leds but I have read a lot of articles saying that they are not good for blooming. I enjoyed reading some of your older posts and figured you would be able to answer my question. I know that the hps is the best for flowering and your recommendation if I only buy one light but in south Florida it is really hot and the balcony is about 4' x 8' but the grow area is 3' x 3' so I would rather not use the hot hps.

 I  am always glad to hear people are reading the older stuff.

I think if heat is your big concern an LED or T-5 HO fluorescent would be best for you. The Tri-band from HTGSupply.com is good for flowering and with indirect sunlight you don't need to worry too much about the type or color of light, you are looking more at light intensity (Which the Tri-bands have). There are 50 Watt panels for 139 dollars that might be enough depending on how indirect the sun light is. Go with the Tri-band and do not get an all one color panel. There is also a 120 watt Tri-Band light that will be enough for 3x3 even in a closet. This light is over 400$ though.

The fluorescents are good, and less expensive than LED's but are usually 2 or 4 feet long so that might not fit your 3 foot space needs.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


E-mail -- How Close to Put HPS for Clones

Dr. E.R. Myers
I just bought one of your 400 hps lights.....things are looking good.....I'm curious as to how close is normally a good distance to my vegging clones....they are a few weeks rooted...I know it's too close if  they burn (grin) I just wonder how close do people run 'em?? Thanks


The heat is the real problem. If you have a light fan blowing over the plants or an air cooled light you can keep the HPS within 2 feet. I usually keep My 400 HPS light about 3 feet above the plants that I grow.

Do you use the HPS as your only light? This is ok, as I have written about before  but... I usually recommend a fluorscent for early cuttings and seedlings. The HPS will also decrease the humidity in the room which is good for flowering (no mold) but not good for vegetative cuttings which need a moist environment for the first couple weeks. Do you have a thermometer with min/max and humidity readings? That is a good tool to have and will let you know if you need to adjust things to maximize growth. A good rule of thumb is if your temps. are in the 90’s and higher by the plant tops, move the light up. If you can’t get the temperature below 90, you need to ventilate the room or switch to LED or fluorescents.
I hope this helps,

Good growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers



I will finish this potting up segment with a top 9 list. I guess I could make it a top 10 by saying 10) ENJOY YOUR PLANTS, but I assume everyone does that already.

1) First, you should water your future transplants with a good transplanting fertilizer high in phosphorus and with vitamin B1 two days before you transplant.

2) Fill your container, or pot, with potting soil or whatever medium you grow in, you will want to makes sure the plant will be at the same height in the new pot. In other words roots should not be exposed and you should not burry excess stem. An acceptation is tomato’s and potato’s which will happily put out new roots if you burry the stem. Most other plants will be susceptible to stem rot if you burry the stem.

3) Saturate the medium you will transplant into with water mixed with transplanting fertilizer. Make sure the soil is completely saturated with your water-fertilizer solution, leaving no pockets of dry soil. If you don’t saturate all the soil you could have pockets of dry soil that future roots won’t be able to use, and therefore you will be wasting space.

4) In the container in which you are going to place your transplant, dig out a hole the approximate size of the container from which your transplant will come. I like to use the starter plugs for germination and cuttings, they make potting up a lot easier.

5) If you have bigger plants in pots you may need to roll the old pot in your hand or on a table to loosen the dirt and roots from the side of the container. (Be careful you don’t damage the plant in the process of loosening the roots!) Next, grasp the base of the plant, turn the container upside down, and pull the root ball out, being careful to keep the roots in one piece. I like to tap on the bottom to help the plant come out of the container.

6) Carefully place the root ball in the hole in your prepared container.

7) Now that the root ball is in place, you can fill in the space around it placing soil gently, but firmly around the top of the roots. No roots should be exposed and you should not burry excess stem. Make sure that all the roots are pointing down. A trick I learned is to put the plant in the hole a bit deep and then after adding some soil pull it up gently by the stem. This will make sure all roots are pointing down. You then pack down and add more medium to keep the plant upright.

8) With your transplant in its new container, water the plant once again, lightly, with your fertilizer solution. Make sure the soil is saturated, but not soggy. Keep the soil well watered, but make sure that the plant has good drainage and is not in standing water

9) Place your new transplants in low light conditions. I think fluorescents are best. If you don’t have any you should raise your HID or LED several feet higher than normal. The transplants should be able to handle full sun or HID light within a day or two.

If your plants outgrow their new containers, simply follow these 9, steps again to transplant to a larger container.

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers


Containers and Potting Up

Potting-up" is just the term for moving seedlings out of the seedling tray or small container and into a larger container--

First, gather up enough pots so you have one for each plant. You can re-use pots that you may have lying around, just clean them with soap and water first.  If you have had infestations make sure you disinfect them using a weak hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution and rinse them completely before planting in them. You can also find new, clean pots at HTGSupply.com. I like to use plastic party cups for small plants, they are cheap easy to get and can be disposed of after one use if you have pest or disease problems. I have reused plastic cups many times when I am not bothered by infestations.

You will also need several large, water-tight trays that the pots will fit into to catch the excess water that runs out of the pots. I clean, disinfect and re-use trays from year to year.

If you have problems with fungus do not splash water on the plants by watering the trays and let the water soak up into the medium. You should not let your plants sit in water more than 24 hrs.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers



When the roots of your plants have begun to outgrow their containers, it is time for your plants to be transplanted (Potted up). Potting up is necessary to allow your plant's roots to continue to grow, and is therefore a necessity for the overall health of your plants. When a plant becomes root bound (when the roots don’t have any medium to grow in) it can result in, slow growth and unhealthy plants, basically not good growing.
Transplanting can be a traumatic experience for your plants and there are precautions you should take to ensure success.
You should transplant when several roots start to stick out the bottom of your container. You should not do this too often but if you wait too long it can cause stunted or no growth, reduced yield, and increased disease susceptibility to name a few.
During potting up you should disturb the root system as little as possible. Even if you are very careful after transplanting you may have damaged the roots, so it will be hard for plants to take in water until new roots begin to grow. You should water your plants and keep the medium moist. It may also be a good idea to water your plants with a good water-soluble fertilizer that is intended for transplants. I have recommended fertilizers with Vitamin B1, like Hormex (always read and follow mixing instructions). After transplanting, your plants will need time to adjust and re-establish their root systems. They need low levels of nitrogen and potassium but will require large quantities of phosphorous. Also, studies have shown that a weak sugar and water solution made with plain sugar from the grocery store given to a plant after transplanting can reduce transplant shock in plants. It only helped with some plant species, but adding a teaspoon per gallon of sugar will not harm any plant, it is worth a try. The reasoning is that plants use sugars just like you and I. They usually make their sugars with photosynthesis but with limited water uptake from transplanting, giving your plants some extra ‘energy’ may help them keep growing or recover faster. If you give the plants sugar I suggest unrefined sugar if you can find it but try others there are many types of sugars, they all end in –OSE – sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose etc. are all sugars. (Now go read the back of your favorite cereal and see how much sugar it has.)

During the period after transplantation, your plant will have a reduced ability to absorb water and nutrients at first, and as a result they should have subdued light. I think fluorescents are best for this and that the HID is too intense. I think you could use an LED like the Tri-Band from HTGSupply.com if you kept it a few feet above the plants. (see my previous posts on growing with LED) I have begun to think that LED’s could be good for seedlings - with their low heat and high light output they can be placed high above the seedlings and cover a very large area compared to a fluorescent.

I have also read that people recommend you transplant late in the lights on cycle to give the plants all night to recover. You should also make sure the pot you are transplanting into is large enough for the roots of your transplants to grow and expand in. Growing indoors means you may have to grow in a small space  so you want to keep the plants in containers  that fit the space and the plant

You may come across articles that say while translating you should trim back the plant – I do not do this, I just can’t accept that cutting off leaves is good for a plant. Leaves are where the plants do photosynthesis so they provide energy to the plants. The logic with trimming is that if you remove the leaves this is less area for water loss and the plant won’t need as much water until the roots can grow. I would wager that trimming back the plants means you loose out on yields and over all growth later on, but I can’t back that up with an experiment yet. If you keep the roots in tact you should not have much of a problem. If you are transplanting a plant from say outdoors where you may not be able to get all the roots, THEN maybe I would recommend cutting back the plant so it does not die due to dehydration.

When the root systems are disturbed little, fertilizer is properly applied, and light is kept at a minimum for a few days your plants should show few signs of transplanting shock, or wilting.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers