Hi from northern Sweden

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eulaspiegel
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:51 pm
Location: Northern Sweden

Hi from northern Sweden

Post by eulaspiegel »

Hi everyone

I have been lurking here for a while and decided to register now. I have always had a very strong interest in nature, and have been starting to seriously grow cacti and succulents for the last year or so. I especially love cacti and caudiciforms, but also have some Lithops, Orchids, and some other houseplants..
I live in northern Sweden, and I don't have a heated greenhouse or anything like that, so I keep my plants inside under LED lights. It has been a lot of trial and error, and I am still learning to grow under my conditions, but (thanks to cannabis growers =D> ) there are now a lot of affordable LED lights on the market that seem to be strong enough to get most desert plants to flower.

Looking forward to discuss (and maybe share some photos if I have the time)!
Growing mostly under LED lights, in northern latitudes. Especially interested in stem succulents and caudiciforms. Dreaming of my first greenhouse.
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gemhunter178
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:10 pm
Location: Massachusetts,USA. Zone 6A

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by gemhunter178 »

Welcome!
Yeah I had to build my own light setup before that and it was not the easiest task!
A cactus and succulent collector who especially likes Aricarpus. ...Though I have a bit of everything! Want some pictures? See my flickr! I also do art and such.
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anttisepp
Posts: 955
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Suomi - Finland

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by anttisepp »

Hej granne!
Here in North we have 2 strong helpers: much light (long days and white nights) and cool night temps (due to them cacti haven't summer stagnation). I don't recommend you to grow cacti under the artificial light. LEDs are magic for seedlings but not for adult plants. Buy a cheap garden greenhouse for beginning and you'll be very happy to see your plants happy. :)
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7george
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Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by 7george »

Welcome to the forum, eulaspiegel!

Maybe you will show us which cacti can be successfully grown under lights and blooming. I also do not like the look of plants grown with artificial lightening, use it just for seedlings but things always change.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
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BlueTinge
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:17 am

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by BlueTinge »

Hi man & welcome, what strength LED are you using, I was thinking of using a spider farmer 100w (It has the same lumen output as a lot of 200w t5's etc). Do you recon this would be enough during the winter months for growth?
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eulaspiegel
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:51 pm
Location: Northern Sweden

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by eulaspiegel »

Thanks everyone!

@gemhunter: I especially had problems underestimating the strength of my lights. I burnt almost half of last year's cactus seedlings to death or close to death by putting them in too high light intensity too early; and even managed to burn and severely stunt some fully grown cacti I bought because I never expected the lights to be that strong.

Hej granne till öster! In the mid to long term it is definitely my dream to have a greenhouse and keep plants in there that can tolerate a little cold, but currently that is not an option unfortunately, I live in an apartment and only have a small (and extremely dark/shady) porch. It's east-facing, but shaded by some huge trees, I can't even put "low light" plants in my windows without additional lights because they etiolate...

Hi 7george, as I have only grown for a year (and 95% from seed), I can't exactly show any long-term success stories (yet :D). Nevertheless I have attached photos of some plants that haven't seen natural light since I acquired them last year, but seem to do quite well! I gave the Mammillarias a cold and dry winter rest (built a wooden shelf that is isolated to the back and only open to the window, achieving temperatures around 8-15°C for most of the time); and they seemed to really appreciate that.

@BlueTinge, I am using a spider farmer light (the SF1000) and also a Mars Hydro (the TS 1000). I put some of my (adult!) cacti a bit too close to the spider farmer light last summer and managed to give them a quite heavy sunburn :/ And looking at some of my other cacti that have been under the LED lights without any natural light (the brazilian Parodias and the Mammillarias) since at least last summer, they all look good to me. What seems to be a little bit more tricky is columnar cacti, since it's hard to give them adequate light "from all sides". Another big challenge with these strong LED lights is the huge differences in light intensity on a very small spatial scale, your cactus might burn in one position, and not get enough light just 30cm away, so it's a good idea to measure the light intensities in different positions. I now grow my younger seedlings under weaker aquarium LED lights, and only keep adult cacti or other plants requiring high light intensities under the big growlights, and with an appropriate distance.

I have attached a few photos, of some of the bigger plants and some of last year's seedlings (Ferocactus & Lophophora) that have done reasonably well.
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As you can see some of the growth is a bit irregular, it usually takes a while to see whether they get too little or too much light :o But I am slowly getting better at figuring out the right level for every plant
Growing mostly under LED lights, in northern latitudes. Especially interested in stem succulents and caudiciforms. Dreaming of my first greenhouse.
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anttisepp
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Suomi - Finland

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by anttisepp »

Wow! All under art. light only? Respect! You'll easily grow most part of cacti.👍
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BlueTinge
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:17 am

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by BlueTinge »

Looking good man! & thank you for that much needed info, with regards to the issue with some parts of the cacti not getting enough light and some getting burn't have you put them in a tent? I see in the pictures there isn't a tent, this could help with light reflection which would help the parts of the cacti not getting enough light? How has the growth been?
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One Windowsill
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Location: Manchester

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by One Windowsill »

BlueTinge wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:51 pm Looking good man! & thank you for that much needed info, with regards to the issue with some parts of the cacti not getting enough light and some getting burn't have you put them in a tent? I see in the pictures there isn't a tent, this could help with light reflection which would help the parts of the cacti not getting enough light?
You would need a fan to move the air if they were enclosed in a tent. Putting a reflective curtain in front of them would be good, as the walls already seem to be white.

Painting the shelves in the brightest white paint you can get might help. Not while they are near the plants, as some volatiles in fresh paint might not be good for them. Something reflective on the floor as well?

I have also had fun trying to work out where to put my asclepiads so they get enough but not too much light from LED lamps. The Goldilocks zone.
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BlueTinge
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Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by BlueTinge »

One Windowsill wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:04 pm
BlueTinge wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:51 pm Looking good man! & thank you for that much needed info, with regards to the issue with some parts of the cacti not getting enough light and some getting burn't have you put them in a tent? I see in the pictures there isn't a tent, this could help with light reflection which would help the parts of the cacti not getting enough light?
You would need a fan to move the air if they were enclosed in a tent. Putting a reflective curtain in front of them would be good, as the walls already seem to be white.

Painting the shelves in the brightest white paint you can get might help. Not while they are near the plants, as some volatiles in fresh paint might not be good for them. Something reflective on the floor as well?

I have also had fun trying to work out where to put my asclepiads so they get enough but not too much light from LED lamps. The Goldilocks zone.
You could just open the zip up towards the top of the tent and leave some of the ducting holes open no? Wouldn't a tent help with optimal conditions, don't know the humidity levels they prefer or temps but surely the conditions would be more controllable?
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eulaspiegel
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:51 pm
Location: Northern Sweden

Re: Hi from northern Sweden

Post by eulaspiegel »

BlueTinge wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:51 pm with regards to the issue with some parts of the cacti not getting enough light and some getting burn't have you put them in a tent?
I have bought a roll of "Diamond Mylar" foil from ebay, and am using that for reflection in some places. It has a surface structure that reflects a maximum amount of light, and I think a very similar material is also used inside grow tents. For example I have a shelf inside a cabinet that I now use to grow seedlings, and to even out the light from the aquarium LEDs, and because the wood of the cabinet wasn't a light color, I have stapled the Mylar on all the walls inside. I will probably also use it for other parts of the set-up where the light isn't spreading so well. Unfortunately my phone broke the yesterday so I can't take photos atm.

Growth in general is good when I get the light levels right.
One Windowsill wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:04 pm I have also had fun trying to work out where to put my asclepiads so they get enough but not too much light from LED lamps. The Goldilocks zone.
Yeah it can be a bit tricky! But once I have the right distance, I measure the light intensity and then try to keep it roughly that way with other lights.
BlueTinge wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:41 pm You could just open the zip up towards the top of the tent and leave some of the ducting holes open no? Wouldn't a tent help with optimal conditions, don't know the humidity levels they prefer or temps but surely the conditions would be more controllable?
I think you need air movement anyways, sensitive plants can easily rot when there is standing humidity, and inside there is usually no natural air movement whatsoever. Probably inside the grow tent you will have a high risk of fungus and rot if you don't have a fan. I am using fans that I make sure keep running especially after watering.

Good luck with your spider farmer light and I am looking forward to updates!
Growing mostly under LED lights, in northern latitudes. Especially interested in stem succulents and caudiciforms. Dreaming of my first greenhouse.
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