How Much Light Does Your Indoor House Plant Need?

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Light is what a plant uses to photosynthesize or manufacture food so it is definitely an essential factor in its growth. You should consider both light intensity and duration when you are deciding on placement of your new plant. Each plant species is classified as requiring either high, medium or low light. As general rule plants with paler green leaves require more light than plants with dark green foliage. Although plants have a tremendous ability to adjust to varying light conditions, they do not adapt easily to day to day variations, so do not move it around a lot. Also, plants getting less light need less fertilizer. An indication that your plant maybe be getting insufficient light is if it looks weak, stretched and is developing abnormally small leaves.

Light intensity influences everything; from the plants ability to manufacture food to its stem length, coloring and flowering ability. The best source of light obviously is sunlight, which does not have to be direct, but if you need an additional light sources, try special horticultural type fluorescent lights. If you have your plant near a window use this guideline to ensure appropriate intensity. Southern facing windows get the most intense light and northern facing get the least (about a quarter of southern facing). Both east & west get about half as much as southern facing windows. You should also consider the decor you have in the room. Shiny, reflective surfaces will intensify the light & heat while dull and dark surfaces will do the opposite. You can compensate for low intensity by increasing the duration of light exposure specially for flowering house plants as they are indifferent to day length. As much as light is important to the plant, they do require some period of darkness to develop properly. Plants should be given at least eight hours of darkness. Excessive light is as harmful as too little light. An indication that your plant is getting too much direct light is if the leaves are pale, sunburn or brown and are starting to die. Therefore, during the summer months, protect plants from too much direct sunlight.

If you do not get enough natural sunlight you may compensate by using artificial light. You can use the special "grow" lights that are made specifically for plants, or you can use fluorescent lights. Remember regular or standard incandescent bulbs do not help plants in any way. Use blue fluorescent lights for foliage plants and red fluorescent lights for flowering ones. These days you can easily find fluorescent bulbs that fit into standard light sockets.

Every so often, if possible, move your plant out to the patio or balcony for some fresh air and light. Of course this needs to be done during temperate weather months and only for short periods of time. Do not let you house plant get direct sunlight when outside.

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Ann is a home based business entrepreneur who researches various topics and reviews internet products. For more information on Indoor House Plants visit her site all about Indoor House Plants

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