Urban Gardening for the Green Thumb Impaired



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personisx-deactivated20120909 asked: I have a very modest indoor garden which involves the use of a lamp. The lamp has a special bulb in it which allows it to project light similar to that of the sun (and nearly bright enough to pass off as the sun too!). At the moment, the lamp is left on, all day every day. Even though the plants do not seem to be suffering, my question is whether or not they would benefit from the lamp being off during certain periods of the day/night. At the moment, I am growing:

A "spider plant"
An unknown type of cactus (from a cutling)
Peppermint
Cilantro
and a bizarre rock that has plants (unidentified) out of a hole drilled in it.

I do understand that I have a fair amount of unidentified plants, however you must understand that they were acquired when I gardened casually (ie when I remembered to water the plants). Now that I'm into gardening as a serious hobby I'm much more careful in my selection of plants.

Please understand that I am just a beginner and that I am probably doing something wrong or making a mistake!

I have never used lightbulbs, although with the recent rains that lasted over 40 days practically without sun I’m considering buying some. From my understanding 14 to 18 hours is the norm depending on the intensity.