Forcing Bulbs to Flower Indoors - Featured plant Amaryllis

You can grow tropical bulbs anytime of the year indoors. Bulbs must be given a cold temperature treatment of 35– 48 degrees F for a few weeks between flowerings. I like to do this by putting the bulbs in a plastic container with moist sand and a few holes in the top of the container. Tropical bulbs like Amaryllis must not be allowed to freeze.
After the cold period, the bulb should be potted up in light, rich soil (like the coir I am using in the pictures) in a pot that is only 1–2 inches larger in diameter than the bulb. The upper half of the bulb should be exposed above the soil. After watering thoroughly, allow the soil to become dry. You will notice the coir becomes lighter brown as it dries. Water more frequently after the green flower stalk emerges from the bulb, but never water when the soil is already moist. Put the plant in a warm, sunny spot or under your indoor light as soon as you see growth.   I like to display my flowers where the most people will see them. After blooming, cut off the flowers to prevent seed formation. Seed formation will drain the bulb of energy for flowering in the coming years. Place the plant back under your light or in the brightest possible location indoors until it is warm enough to sink the pot in soil outdoors. Do not put it in full sun right away, plants need to get used to the UV rays etc. from the sun. Gradually move it to a brighter location where eventually it has full sun for at least five or six hours daily. Fertilize with a high phosphorus fertilizer to encourage flowering next year.

Amaryllis should be brought indoors before the first frost in the fall. Traditionally, the bulb is then given a resting period by placing it in a dark location, withholding all water and allowing the leaves to dry. The bulb may be forced into bloom again after resting eight weeks, or even less, should new growth appear spontaneously. If necessary, repot in a slightly larger container. If the pot is still large enough, remove the upper 2 inches of soil and add fresh potting soil. This completes the cycle, which may be repeated for many years.
 Sometimes small plantlets will develop beside a well-grown amaryllis. These may be separated gently from the large bulb and repotted, or they may be left attached and allowed to grow to full size along with the original bulb. You could end up with a large pot containing several amaryllis, all blooming at once
With a little care and effort, you can have a steady supply of bulb flowers from late January to April. Forcing bulbs into flowering can be a great pleasure and challenge for anyone who is interested in flowering plants


E-mail - HPS and Cooling a Grow Tent

Do you have to put a duct and fan to cool a 400w hps light in a grow tent

Sent from my iPad

That depends on the size of the grow tent. If you looked at my posts I have a 3 foot by 4 foot tent and that would need to be cooled (duct and fan), a larger tent might not. Do you already have the HPS?

I am using a 300 W LED and it is giving me better growth than the 400 HPS (less stretching of the plants) and it keeps the grow tent at a nice 82-88 degrees with no duct/cooling, whereas the HPS I used to use would have temperatures in the upper 90's and into the 100's with no ducting, which is going to stress out the plants.
Read my post comparing HPS and LED's
If you have questions about ducting etc. you can E-mail Perry at sales@htgsupply.com, he knows a lot more about the equipment use and set up than I do.

Good growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers



Good growers know that by increasing the rate of photosynthesis in plants, they will increase the rate of growth, yield and over all vigor of their plants.

Photosynthesis refers to one of at least three metabolic pathways in plants and some bacteria that can create organic molecules (food basically).  A definition of photosynthesis could be - synthesis of organic chemical compounds (sugars, proteins, oils and others) from smaller inorganic molecules (carbon dioxide and water) with the aid of light energy.  The organic compounds are formed from joining carbon dioxide and hydrogen (from water) in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants.  The green parts of plants appear green to us because they contain chlorophyll pigment.  Chlorophyll has the ability to capture the energy of light (colors) and convert the light energy into chemical energy that are often called sugars. 
 Water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.  Water is taken from the roots to the leaves of the plant. It is important that your plants always have water, but roots also need oxygen so too much water is not good growing.  The energy captured in the leaves from light is used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen.  Only the hydrogen is used in making sugars, the oxygen is actually toxic to some enzymes involved in making sugars so it is released from the plant.  What this means is that  the oxygen you are breathing was at one time part of a water molecule, but is available to you thanks to photosynthesis.  Also in the air is another molecule that plants need, carbon dioxide.  Plants take in carbon dioxide through small holes (stomata) and again, using energy captured from light, attach the hydrogen atoms from water to the carbon dioxide making it a sugar/carbohydrate. The sugar you add to your coffee or in candy is the sugar made by plants, but plants make so much more than sugars. The small sugars made by photosynthesis can be converted to proteins, oils and complex carbohydrates which provides the plant all the materials it needs to grow (food).
Fertilizers are basically like vitamins, they are important for plant growth, but before you go and spend a lot of money on some fertilizer, make sure you plants first and foremost are getting light from an HTGSupply.com light, have enough water, but not too much.  Adding Carbon dioxide to a grow area can greatly increase plant growth too.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


E-mail – Starter Plug Use and Storage

I’m new to indoor seed starting. I just purchased an AgroMax 55 site seed started kit. I’ll probably only start about 30 seeds.
Should I remove the unused plugs from the foam insert and store them for next year? Or should I just leave them in the tray?

I would remove the plugs and store them in a zip lock bag. If they get wet and are out in the environment, they can get algae or fungus on them. If they dry out, just soak them in water for an hour to rehydrate them.
I really like the ease of use and lack of mess with the starter plugs, I hope you do too. Let me know if you have any other questions,

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers