What Lighting for Carnivorous Plants
So, you've decided you want to get into carnivorous plants, or possibly you already have but have no idea what to do? I asked on My Instagram for questions you might have, and they ended up being longer than anticipated so I'm doing larger ones on their own.
Lighting, which to use and what is it?
So, what is light, how do we measure it? Well there are many different measurements, lumens, PAR, Lux, PPFD... what you need to know is this:
- Wattage. Wattage is how much electricity a light uses when it is on. Do not trust brands that say "600 watt equivalent" but use 6 watts. This is simply not possible. Any decent grow light will use at least 20 watts, hopefully more if you're using it further than a foot above the plants.
- Lumens, PAR, Lux, PPFD. These all measure light in different ways. The best is PPFD. This measures the amount of light being absorbed at a distance. PPF is a measurement you may see on lights, this is how much light is coming from the unit. However, 2 inches away, the light is already decreasing, which is where PPFD comes in. PPFD is the light at a specific point. Most larger grow lights you will see a chart that says the PPFD in the area a certain distance away. Most carnivorous plants will want 300PPFD (for low light plants) up to 800PPFD (for high light plants). While not as efficient as the sun, it still provides good lighting for most plants.
- Lack of light will not instantly kill your plant. If you have a light and want to see if its strong enough, try it. Too strong, you'll see burn spots appear on the plant. Too weak, you'll notice the plant has no energy. VFT will not close, sundews will turn green/not have dew, nepenthes will not pitcher, others will not color up. Before investing in some expensive light, if you have something already, you can experiment with no ill effects.
If you have a small collection or a small area to house your plants, the Yescom 225 panel is a great starter light. It's enough for most plants, just adjust the distance. Nepenthes it can be about 12+ inches away, high light plants like VFT, drosera, sarracenia, you will want it about 8 inches above. White or White/Blue are best, especially for your eyes. Link Here
For shelf lighting I recommend using Barrina 42w grow lights. They fit 4ft shelves perfectly and they're not too expensive. I use 2 per shelf for high light plants, 1 per shelf for cuttings, pullings, or baby plants. Link Here
Flat / Tent Lighting:
For lighting a large flat area, there are many options. Viparspectra, Marshydro, Spiderfarmer, Barrina, all of these brands have great lights. They can be hung multiple feet above the plants, covering a wide area with enough light. I have multiple, here is a link to the Barrina one I use, its good for about a 4x4 area being about 3ft above. But any of these brands will work, the larger the light, the larger the area/further away it can be while delivering enough light. Link Here