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Shedding some light on Houseplants

You don’t have to have a window that has the sun shining brightly through it to grow houseplants. As a matter of fact sometimes that can be a problem causing bleaching of foliage as the sunlight is magnified. Bright indirect light is fine. You always have the option of adding supplemental light too. As always your watering practices are going to be key. Too much water to a plant indoors can cause problems with rotting roots and fungus gnats.

Get the light right!
Get the light right!

In lieu of knowing when and how to water, the indecision causes some to water small amounts often, such as daily, instead of deep watering when needed. We move from short term solution to short term solution but never get to the true root of the problem. Don’t be a “I can’t figure it out so I’ll water it often but just a little bit” person. What you will get is soil and roots where the upper portion is wet and rotting and the lower portion is dry as dust. And we wonder why the tips of the foliage are turning brown? Your fledgling foliage is suffering because the top half of the soil media is wet but the bottom half is dry. Water a plant thoroughly when it needs it. Then refrain from watering until it needs it again. 

In regards to shedding light on your houseplants here are a few thoughts to consider:

  1. It is a good idea to rotate plants occasionally (every couple weeks) when being grown in a window.
  2. With houseplants “low light” doesn’t mean a totally dark room. Some people have unrealistic expectations for plants…..you can’t be in the dark all the time.
  3. Most houseplants do not like direct blistering hot sunlight magnified through the glass. 
  4. That is why “bright indirect” light is the best choice for a houseplant in the home regardless of the direction the window faces. 
  5. If the plants start to stretch and get leggy it’s a good sign they are not getting enough light.
  6. If artificial light is the only option then locate the plants as close to the light source as reasonable. 
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