November 22, 2009


I started a succulent garden this summer and moved all the pots inside my sunny west facing dining room . My daughter, Cathy at Outside In, the indoor plant guru, however; advised me that I needed a grow light if they are to be kept alive. Cathy uses grow lights and has plants that bloom throughout the winter . She tends to over a hundred of them. Wonder where she got that green thumb :-)

Ninety dollars later ( ouch! ) I have an LED grow light that covers 5 feet of space and emits a rosy glow at night. It is energy efficient, burning only 15 watts and is said to last for 11 years so spread over that amount of time it is a bargain.

Plus, if the grow light keeps my two treasured rosemary trees alive it will be well worth the cost.The tag on the rosemary said the secret to keeping it alive is water. So I placed the rosemary in a tray and I check it for moisture daily.

I think I'll add some orchids and force some bulbs . This indoor gardening can be very intense. Being surrounded by plants certainly makes the winter more bearable.

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  1. I'm totally with you on indoor gardening making the season more tolerable, as you know, Carolyn. I haven't seen these LED grow lights before, so now you've sent me off on a mission to learn more...and maybe get one for myself. Or tell my longsuffering spouse that I deserve one for Christmas.

  2. Ah, a veritable garden of Eden in your dining room, Carolyn Gail! Watch out for overwatering the rosemary, it is a fine line between too dry and too wet. We do love those lights, adding them to the sunroom last year. Just seeing that glow makes us warmer. :-)

  3. I did a lot of research on the net and found the best price at The bulb is called Growspot 15 watt LED growing light bulb and fits into any standard bulb holder. And, an added bonus if you don't have it is to get the visa card and get $30 back on your first purchase, plus 3 percent rewards.

    I purchased an extension cord with on/off switch and bulb holder for around $20. I'll have to look up the place I ordered it from and let you know. This system is the most economical as some of them run in the hundreds of dollars.

  4. Thanks for the tip on the Rosemary, Frances. I will test the soil before watering to make sure I'm not drowning it.

  5. I haven’t worked on my indoor garden in years. This article has peeked my interest again.
    I need to have a window replaced I will check into a garden window. In my household it may turn into a cat window.

    I started a Nature Blog; I would love for you to stop by.
    Gerardine Baugh

  6. If I lived farther north, I would have an indoor garden too. I'm sure the light investment will be worth it!

  7. I need some houseplants this winter!

    I just read an article yesterday about keeping rosemary over the winter. It inspired me to dig mine up and see if I can keep it alive indoors this year. The article said to let the soil dry out between waterings--but not too long--and that it likes a cool spot.

  8. Thanks and welcome gerardine. I will certainly visit your new nature blog.

  9. Rosemary is tricky. Frances warned me not to overwater so I learned that good drainage is also important. Good soil is another.

    One professional herb grower said that rosemary does well in a large planter box or clay pot so that its roots can travel as it does in nature when it goes in search of water. I think I'll buy one of those singing birds that let you know when it needs water.

    Air circulation is another concern. I've got a nice ceiling fan in the area so I plan to run it for a few hours.

  10. Hi Phillip,

    I know you would, especially if you had to endure these long cold Chicago winters. Nothing is more cheerful than a blooming plant when the snow is knee deep outside.

  11. I'm fascinated by all the rosemary advice. I've overwintered a rosemary for many years in a very cool room by an east window, but with 2 big south windows near by. I keep it watered in a pot with good drainage. In the summer I remove it from the pot and put it in the soil for the season. It is not much trouble at all.


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