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STOP BUYING JUNK LIGHTS FOR CITRUS TREES

I wrote the title of this article in caps due to my winter frustration.
Every winter customers complain about green leaf drop. I brace myself for it by gulping down a strong coffee and wonder why the ugly light I recommend is ignored for a much more attractive option.
Citrus trees are not houseplants that can adjust to low-light environments.
When choosing lighting you need to know what you are purchasing.
Buying lighting based on reviews is not a guarantee that the lighting is going to be adequate because that depends on what you are growing.

Think: Florida and southern California.
Be critical of lighting with advertisements with photos of houseplants.
If you see houseplants in an advertisement for lighting, please move on.
I don't have to read the specs of lighting to know it is incorrect lighting when the advertiser shows a photo with spider plants. Peace lilies, African violets, Snake plants, Alocasia, Aloe vera, Arrowhead Vine, Corn Plant, Dragon Tree, Dumb Cane, Emerald Gem, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Palms, etc.
If you see houseplants in the advertisement you need to keep looking. Many houseplants do not need additional lighting as long as you have a sunny room.

Sunny rooms are not acceptable for Citrus trees, they need full "direct" sunshine for at least 6 hours every day. Citrus trees thrive in lighting and get their energy from the sun, the more (correct) lighting you can give to the tree,  the better the tree will do!
When choosing lighting the question you need to ask yourself is do you want an attractive tree with an ugly light or an attractive light and ugly tree begging you to give it more light?

Correct lighting is NOT an adjustable stand on a tripod with multiple pretty wand heads in purple, blue, and red LED lights. Correct lighting is WHITE LIGHT which has all the spectrum of light.
Daylight starts at 5000K The "K" is for kelvin and tells you the color temperature of light and many false advertisers claim their lights are full spectrum but are listed below the daylight spectrum. If your lighting is not 5000K you're not even giving your tree daylight.
The higher the spectrum the better the tree will do.
5000K is your morning sun, 6500K is your afternoon sun.
The light we recommend is the bare minimum the tree needs.
Anything below 5000K is not daylight.

Lumens are also important. The Lumens listed will tell you the brightness of a bulb, so the spectrum of 5000K has all the colors in the prism and you see it as white light. The lumens are the brightness of the lighting, and just like the spectrum the higher the lumens the better the tree will do but the minimum of lumens is 2600. Many advertisements do not even list the lumens.
The wonderful thing about lumens is you can easily add more lumens by just adding another bulb.

When adding lighting make sure the light is above the tree about 1 ft and left on 10-12 hours.
You can upgrade to a nicer light such as a gooseneck floor lamp with multiple heads just make sure you use the white light 5000K bulbs and use all the heads on the floor lamp.

Our Lighting Recommendations

We recommend a compact fluorescent light (CFL) 5000k grow bulb, which is a full spectrum bulb that promotes overall plant growth. This should be screwed into a reflector, so the light is directed above the tree about 1-1.5 ft. Without the reflector, the light will be too dissipated to be of much use. The lights can be purchased as a full set, bulb with the reflector at :
https://www.acfgreenhouses.com/green-thumb-clamp-on-grow-light.aspx

Green Thumb Clamp-on Grow Light
ITEM #: 5605160

The AFC greenhouses have the drop-down menu tab in the link. Make sure the 5000K is chosen before ordering.

The grow lights should be left on for a minimum of 10-12 hours. The light should be placed DIRECTLY above the tree about 1-1.5 ft above it.
If the tree gets good sunshine and the sunshine is shining directly on the tree for a few hours every day, then you may be able to turn the lights off after 8 hours.
When lighting is supplemented, turn lights off at night. Plants require day and night.

There are also other options like a gooseneck floor lamp with daylight bulbs-  Recommended only as a set -bulbs with the gooseneck floor lamp.
One of these bulbs is not appropriate lighting, you'll need to use at least two of the bulbs that give 3000 lumens
5 bulbs with the floor lamp is 7500 lumens.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08VDXDXSC

Bulbs
https://www.amazon.com/Great-Eagle-Equivalent-Daylight-Dimmable

Sunblaze
https://www.acfgreenhouses.com/sun-blaze-fluorescent-t5-grow-light.aspx

Many people disregard the ugly option with the reflector and bulb.
We do not benefit financially in any way by recommending it, or any of these lights.
I know the reflector is an ugly option. I have a few of them myself.
You might wonder why I would have those ugly lights since I live in the south.
Years ago I had the brilliant idea to haul all my trees indoors in the winter because I had to experience what our customers experience so I could educate myself and give customers good tree care that works.

I experienced the frustration of buying junk lighting for myself on my journey of indoor winter growing. Many lights simply did not work. They were sparkly and interesting with purple, blue, yellow, and red lights and I went through a few options and that can be an expensive endeavor.
Eventually, I ended up with two of the ugly lights, because I had 10 trees hauled indoors that winter. I was pleasantly surprised and had happy trees all winter.

-Nancy

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