Indoor plants that need little Sunlight

Plants and people can't help but feel a bit wan this time of year, but things are brightening up already. Every day the sun is gradually moving higher in the sky, burning with increasing intensity and duration.

Light is measured in foot-candles -- the amount of light cast on a square foot area by a candle at 1 foot distance -- and the sun on a clear summer day can bathe us in 10, 000 foot-candles. Contrast that with the paltry 500 foot-candles dribbling down on an overcast winter day.

Houseplants' problems are further compounded by windows, which cut sunlight by another 10 percent. No wonder these plants, if they are growing at all, stretch for light this time of year.

There are ways you can help them.

One is to clean your windows. Any dirt on the glass cuts down light. While you're at it, dust or spritz off your plants' leaves; dust has the same ill effect.

Fortunately, many houseplants hail from the shade of tropical jungles. Still, flowering and fruiting take energy, which comes ultimately from the sun, so if you want flowers or fruits from such plants as Jerusalem cherry, flowering maple, citrus and miniature roses, you have to arrange for abundant light. Otherwise these plants will just stay alive, might even grow, but will not flower and fruit.


How much light is enough? Most flowering and fruiting plants need 1, 000 or more foot-candles, although some, such as African violet, rex begonia, flowering maple, zebra plant and crown-of-thorns, will provide colorful displays even at about 500 foot-candles. Below that level, stick strictly to foliage plants such as cast iron plant, Swiss cheese plant, baby's-tears, parlor palm, pothos and ferns.

Need full spectrum

2011-04-17 16:36:38 by thedecorchick

You might have a problem with a simple incandescent bulb. You need full spectrum light. Here is a little chart that will help. To save money and trouble, consider both incandescent and fluorescent together. Proximity is important so be careful not to burn them.
Good Luck!
Indoor grow lights
Various artificial lights used for growing plants and a brief explanation of their benefits and drawbacks.
Life of Bulb
Incandescent Bulb Not a true "grow" light

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