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Indoor Plant Care
Plants and Light


Good light for your plants is as important for your houseplant's health as is proper watering. You have control over some elements of your tropical house plants care, including watering, adequate light, proper temperatures, relative humidity and, to some extent, air quality. Keep in mind that watering is directly related to lighting, temperature and other environmental conditions.

House Plants and Light

Houseplant questions or problems? You can send a houseplant question but before you do, please read this information on watering your indoor houseplants, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your houseplants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

It would be wonderful to be able to keep and maintain your tropical plants in a high light, temperature controlled greenhouse. It is easy to provide the correct lighting in a greenhouse for optimal growth. Most of us do not have this option and have to make use of our homes interior lighting or additional artificial lighting.

If you have large windows, skylights or a sunroom, it will be much easier to keep your plants in a good light situation. However, when keeping tropical plants inside your home, it is often not possible to give them the optimal lighting that they need.

Light is an essential element for a plant's health. Photosynthesis cannot take place without a certain amount of light. Lower light means slower growth, less water and a reduced need for nutrients. If a compromise must be made most plants will adapt to lower light situations although they will not be as full, lush and healthy with reduced light levels.

Orchid flowers need light

There are three elements to consider regarding the light that your plants receive. These are the light quality, the duration of the light and the intensity of the light.

Light quality refers to the light waves coming from the light source. The sun will provide the full spectrum of light waves that plants require and for that reason is generally preferable to artificial lighting sources.

Artificial light can be used and the most often used substitute for natural light is fluorescent lighting. Simple fluorescent lights are easiest to find but there are many other types of artificial lighting designed specially for growing plants.

The duration of light is just as it sounds, the number of hours of light a plant receivers per day. The day length, or photoperiod, regulates photosynthesis and other plant functions. Generally, the hours of light per day should be somewhere between 8 to 16 hours for most indoor plants.

The light intensity is its brightness and is often measured in footcandles. If you have a light meter you can measure this and if not, it may be helpful to know that the average indoor light intensity can vary from 15-500 footcandles. Most houseplants are going to do okay somewhere between 75 and 250 footcandles. Flowering houseplants are generally going to need to be at the higher end of that range.

Placing your indoor plants as close to a natural source of light as possible without exposing them to hot, direct sunlight is preferable. If necessary, you can group them together near a window, under a skylight or in a sunroom.

Many office buildings have fluorescent lighting only and plants can be maintained under artificial light for quite some time. There are other types of artificial light and costs for these seem to be coming down. Natural light from the sun is the best way to help insure that your house plants are healthy and thriving.

Houseplants vary in the amount of light they require. Plants that grow more slowly tend to tolerate lower levels of light. The more light a plant receives, the faster it grows and water and nutrient usage increase.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. May all of your plants and flowers be happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site

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