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House Plants/artificial light for hibiscus


I just acquired 2 hibiscus trees and would like to move them to our living room in the basement. I would like to know what size the light bulb should be and the color, and how many hours a day the grow light should be on.

Thank you

Hi Kimberly,

Hibiscus are not good indoor houseplants because they require lots of natural light, fresh air and cool winter temperatures. They can be kept alive indoors during the winter, but need to be moved outdoors during the warmer months if you want them to flower.

There are many different types of grow lights and I don't know what you have. If it is an incandescent bulb, then it will be very expensive to operate because you will need maximum wattage (100+) and the light will have to be on 12 hours per day. The light should be as close as you can get it to the Hibiscus without burning the leaves from the heat.

A better option is two fluorescent tubes - one  warm white and the other cool white - hung about a foot above the Hibiscus. Fluorescents use much less energy so they are far cheaper in the long run. The highest available wattage is best. They also have to be on 12 hours per day.

Plants require light primarily in the blue and red portion of the spectrum. Plant grow lights are supposed to be color corrected. However, the standard warm and cool white fluorescents will provide the appropriate color needed. No need to pay extra for fluorescent grow lights.

I have written a detailed article on plant lighting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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