50January 25, 2018

Many people like to grow houseplants. Houseplants can be easy to grow. However, one of the comments that I hear a lot when people want to grow houseplants is that people don’t think they have any sunny windows in their home or office. The truth is, many houseplants don’t need direct sun shining on their leaves. Most of what we call houseplants is plants that natively grow under trees. These plants get a lot of light, but not necessarily direct sunlight. Yes, there are a lot of plants that need sunlight. Cactus and succulents are all the rage now and they do prefer to be in a sunny window. Yet, there are many houseplants that you can grow that don’t need the same light conditions as cactus and succulents. Let me explain to you about the various types of light conditions.

Many houseplants come with what is known as a care tag. The tag will tell you the how much water the plant needs, how warm the plant needs to be and the type of light that the plant needs to grow properly. Usually, the tag will use terms like sunlight, bright light or low light. Let me explain what these terms mean.

Obviously when a tag says sunlight it means that the plant needs to have sunlight falling on the leaves. This doesn’t mean that the plant needs to be in sunshine 8 to 10 hours per day. In the case of houseplants, sunlight usually means that the plants need 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. During the winter months when many houseplants are in a dormant stage, they won’t need as much sunlight. If you have a window that gives you sunlight for 4 to 6 hours per day, then plants that require sunlight will do well in that window.

Many houseplants will have a tag that says that the plant needs bright light. This is very confusing to many people because they interpret that to mean sunshine. Bright light means that the light coming through the window doesn’t necessarily involve sunshine but rather light that is strong light. If you put a plant near a window and you pass your hand over the plant and your hand casts a shadow on the plant, then that light condition would be bright light. Keep in mind that depending on the time of the year, you may wind up with some sunshine bathing the leaves in light. This is OK for that to happen as long as the sunshine isn’t during the mid afternoon.

You may also find houseplants that have a care tag that says low light requirements. This usually means that when you pass your hand over the plant, your hand does not cast a shadow on the leaves. Many low light plants don’t want to have any sun on the leaves. These types of plants will grow well in rooms with few if any windows.

You may have your heart set on growing some plants that need more sunshine than you get in your house. If this is the case, you can buy a grow light system. This type of system will produce very bright light that will mimic the intensity of sunshine. We carry this type of system in our store.

Don’t give up on growing houseplants just because you don’t think that there is enough sunlight in your home. There are many plants that you can grow even if you have just low light in your home.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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