Lighting is one of the most important factors for growing a plant successfully. Light is absolutely essential for all plants to grow that use photosynthesis. Even though some plants really need very little light to survive, they still need light. Making sure houseplants get the right amount of light will help them grow better and longer.
The way that we live in our houses now can sometimes provide a difficult environment for plants to live in. We now have central air conditioning that runs in the summer and heating that runs in the winter. We dehumidify the air and purify the water. Most people know that we need to provide the best conditions for houseplants to grow well, but simply don’t how to get there.
Lighting is so important for plants because it basically provides them with their food and energy they need to grow. Some plants can do well enough on artificial light, but most also want to have natural sunlight and will do much better if it is available to them. Some plants don’t get enough sunlight in the winter months, so providing them with a southern exposure will normally provide enough light even during the fall and winter. Most people remember that plants will not flower or develop as they should unless they are getting the right amount of light. Some flowering plants won’t even produce buds unless they are getting enough light. Some plants are put on interior walls in houses that are dark or don’t get much sunlight at all because they are far away from any windows. This is when an incandescent lamp or light comes in handy to supplement the indirect light it gets from the rest of the house.
Most houseplants do best with indirect sunlight. This means that they have light available to them through a window between four and five hours a day and varying levels of light throughout the day. Flowering plants do better when they have indirect sunlight and will produce more vibrant blooms too.
Sometimes it may not be appropriate or workable to put a plant directly on a windowsill or right next to one. This is where flexibility and creativity can come into play. Not all windows have sills large enough to accommodate a plant and many people don’t have window coverings open long enough or frequently enough to justify having a plant on the sill. It is also possible that certain types of home decor just don’t work with a plant on a window and many people believe that this is tacky and unattractive. Sometimes windows are too small or too high to accommodate a plant too. If this is the case with your home, you can use furniture like tables or plant stands to provide a place for your houseplant to sit and to add more to the decor of the room. Many people choose to use plant hangers or shelves that have built in lights. These lights still provide artificial fluorescent light to the plant, but the stands can often be placed close to a window to get a good mix of natural and artificial light. Most plant stands are relatively inexpensive and can be used almost anywhere in the house. Most also have proper drainage if overwatering should occur. When you are deciding where you are going to place your houseplants, keep in mind the small tag with instructions and recommendations about lighting and temperature. These considerations can be particularly important to notice and modify as the seasons change and the appropriateness of different areas of the house change. No matter what you decide to do with your indoor houseplants, make sure that they are getting the light they need and that they are getting the right amount to grow and keep your home lovely for years to come.