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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Light Requirements for Indoor Plants

After trying to grow many plants like the red leaved one and the bamboo plant, the money plant and of course the jade I have learned that all plants require some light and also sufficient sunlight some time for their healthy growth. I have lost many jade plants by trying to grow them indoors. The money plant and the lucky bamboo do grow well but only when they get indirect sunlight from the window, do they look healthy.

I had tried hanging a light bulb over my plants for them to get the heat and energy to make food. But usually they grow in a toned down manner and only look fresh when they have a trip outdoors for some time of the week.
When you use artificial lighting much care has to be taken to keep the light bulb or lights at a safe distance from the plants. My poor money plant almost had burnt leaves due to over head heat from a high watt bulb!
I tried growing flowering plants indoor but was not successful as all plants require sunlight and fresh air for flowering.
Many people grow roses and the flowering plants on window sills and if your window gets direct sunlight for at least some time of the day, early morning or afternoon then the plants can manage to grow in a healthy manner. Still I personally feel roses grow best in direct sunlight except for the bush variety that requires partial sunlight. If you have a light source which can give direct heat to the plant then they can grow well as my lucky bamboo is growing with day light from the window and at night getting light from the indoor lighting in the room. 
The Chinese evergreen which is another plant that can grow well indoors but needs to get sunlight at least for some time of the day. Usually plants growing indoors will develop a dark green colour and as they get sunlight will show their true colours. Thick stems and plants that do not require much water are preferred as indoor plants as they are the ones that do not require much sun light. The snake plant or the mother in laws tongue , the peace lily and jade are some of the well known plants that can be grown indoors but if you wish they flower then take them for a trip outdoors.
Whenever we read about indoor plants we feel that they can be grown in any place and we keep the plants near our main door, our kitchen table or even our bedroom. But the important fact here is that no plants can grow without any light source, be it direct sunlight or measured indirect light from a light source. Why I mention measured because every plant has different light requirements and also at different times or stages of growth. A new plant may do away with indirect light till it grows bigger but a matured plant will definitely have more light requirements and especially if it is a flowering plant than they do require direct sunlight for flowering.
Tip for growing indoor plants well is to wipe the leaves regularly with a soft wet cloth sot hat they look fresh and can prepare their food easily. Dust and other chemicals from the air will block your indoor plants cells and they will look dull and have a stunted growth. Even if you have placed plants on a table or wall unit you can regularly keep them on the window sill for some time till you water them in early mornings and then place them back.
For indoor plants I have seen that the yellow light source works best since this light is similar to the outside sunlight. So if you wish to grow plants it is very simple to take care to select the correct plants , the ones that can tolerate low levels of sunlight and grow indoor. You can also ask your local nursery person though I have not got any correct guidance till now and they mention all plants grow in sunlight and all plants grow indoors as they have to make a deal and sell!

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