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Old 04-04-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default Indoor Hops Light Question

Alright, I have to admit I read all the threads on here where people pondered the idea of growing hops successfully indoors and the space constraints and I became intriqued. I have an apt. with a loft bedroom that overlooks the livingroom so I have LOTS of vertical space.

So I started a jumbo cascade rhizome in a big, big pot and put two twine lines up to the bedroom. In two weeks they have gotten 2-3 feet up the twine and are headed for the bedroom. I have plant lights on timers clamped on the twine about 2 ft above each bine.

Two Questions:

1) As the light moves up and up above each bine (it will be up roughly 10-12 feet above the pot at its highest) do I need to add another grow light on the plant towards the middle or bottom so that part of the plant gets enough light too?
2) I've read references to flowering and red light frequencies...at some point do I need to expose the plant to a different kind of light to flower or will shortening the daylight be able to trigger the plant to flower?

I have cascade, willamette, and sterling outdoors at a relative's house, but I'm the curious/obsessive type and so I found it hard to stop myself from experimenting with trying these indoors where I could maintain them more closely. If it doesn't work, no harm done, and I've wasted $50 on supplies...oh well.

Thanks for your tips!

UPDATE: Here's some photos of the setup. The second and the third pic show the plant as of today (just over 5' high).

hops1.jpg   hops2.jpg   hops3.jpg  
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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To answer these question you might have to study indoor cultivation of the hops closest relative as I doubt anyone here has any knowledge of indoor hop growing application, light cycles or frequency.

But hey, ya' never know.

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Old 04-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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In my experience with trying to grow things that you want to fruit or flower indoors (even with lots of sunlight) it is tough. But good luck! Hops seem to be pretty vigorous. Either way I want to see some pics!

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Old 04-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
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I have given this a lot of thought.

I think that 4 foot flourescents hung VERTICALLY are the only way to go.

Ideally you would hang a cord from a swivel bracket and put the pot on a slowly rotating...thing. But that is probably a lot to ask for!

Just some simple training here & there would mostly make up for a lack of rotation.

The more light the better. Can't wait to see pics!

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Old 04-04-2008, 04:55 PM   #5
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Yeah, I joked to a friend about making the light rotate around the twine, but the bines are doing pretty well on their own making it up the line. The funny thing is that this crazy setup is visible from a big window in the living room and I'm just waiting for my Apt. mgmt. to come and ask me what the heck I'm doing!

The vertical flourescent is an interesting idea. I may have to try that if it seems like the rest of the plant isn't getting enough light. I'm gonna officially join the board and put up some pictures over the weekend so you guys can see the extent of my madness!!

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Old 04-04-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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I am sure that you would either need the long flourescents, or a BUNCH of horizontal lights.

Hops are like peppers, they want full sun. Indoors, my peppers lose their lower leaves after a couple of months due to lack of light.

Plus flourescents are relatively cheap!

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdowns63
Alright,
2) I've read references to flowering and red light frequencies...at some point do I need to expose the plant to a different kind of light to flower or will shortening the daylight be able to trigger the plant to flower?

Thanks for your tips!
Hops are short night plants so they need a LONG day to induce flowering. I'd give them as much light as you could. If you go with fluorescents, use a mix of cool white and warm white bulbs to give a good spectrum. Fluorescent bulbs are typically low in red light and yes red light is involved in flowering. I like to supplement my "shop" lights with an incandescent bulb or two. Conversely, incandescent bulbs are low in blue light which is why plants don't grow well under them alone.

As an undergrad, I grew a morning glory vine in my dorm room. It ran all around the window frame and onto our loft. It even flowered. It probably got to over 15 ft by the end of the semester.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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I think the real question will be light intensity. Fluorescents in many cases will not put out enough power to produce significant fruit/oils.

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:18 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the input....and WOW...it looks like I have gotten myself in way over my head since I don't have much gardening experience, but I'm pretty sure I will learn a lot.

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Old 04-04-2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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Horizontal lights are the way to go, but you're not going to have enough light with those long fluorescents...you'll need to keep them 3" from the plant to get any use from them, so you can imagine how many you'll need. If you really want to go this route, build a roundish frame where you can mount the lights on the inside, ringing the plant, two 4' rigs high. Make sure the bottom of the lights aren't illuminating the pot, but the bottom of the plant. If you use 10 lights per level, for a total of 20 lights, you might get enough lumens. You wouldn't need to turn on the top level until the bines are 75% of the way to the middle. Don't forget to build a door so you can get inside the rig to water/harvest.

Here's a terribly poor sketch showing what I mean. The plant would go in the center, with all the lights facing inward.

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