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Lighting for indoor plants: the right light mode

All plants, like any living organisms, have their own individuality and cannot exist under the same conditions. Someone needs a lot of moisture, and someone prefers drought. Some love the heat, while others need cool. The same applies to lighting - all indoor plants are different, so the light requirements for all home flowers are different.

The sun or shadow? Only the cultures themselves with their development and healthy appearance can give the right answer to this question.

Before you figure out what kind of lighting you need for plants, you need to understand why flowers generally need light.

The fact is that the leaf of a plant is a small factory, in which there is a constant diligent work. On the lower side of the leaf there are numerous stomata - the cracks through which plants receive carbon dioxide from the air. At the same time, the roots extract certain mineral substances from the soil and transport them along the plant's conducting system to the leaves. In all green parts of plants, i.e. leaves and green stalks contain chlorophyll, a green pigment. He catches the energy of sunlight.

As soon as the sun's rays "fall" on a green plant, the chemical process of converting water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, the nutrients needed for growth and healthy development, begins. This whole process is called photosynthesis, the energy source of which is sunlight.

If the lighting conditions of the plants are violated, the “machine” stops, the process does not proceed, although the “workers” (chlorophyll grains) and materials (water, nutrients, carbon dioxide) are ready for work. This means that without light, indoor flowers, in the end, "die of hunger," although they are watered and fed abundantly. With poor lighting mode, home plants wither.

So what kind of lighting is needed for flowers, which indoor plants do not need light, and which, on the contrary, need its abundance?

Insufficient or excessive lighting of indoor flowers

Fortunately, every plant, including indoor plants, promptly signals insufficient lighting at home. If you see one of these signals, be sure to change the location of your pet.

About the lack of lighting for flowers in the apartment indicate:

  • Poor plant growth,
  • Small leaves,
  • The color change of motley leaves - they turn green,
  • Long, thin and soft stems (etiolation occurs),
  • Scanty flower buds,
  • The increase on the new stems of the distance between the leaf nodes compared with the old stems.

Excessive lighting for plants at home is just as harmful as insufficient.

If you put a shade plant on the south window, then in the hottest hours the leaves attach and hang powerlessly. After some time, the leaves appear first yellow, then brown spots: it is a sunburn. Move such a plant away from the window into the room: the effect of the sun's rays weakens with every centimeter. You can also at the hottest time of the day, from about 11 to 14 hours, pull the plant a bit: pull the curtain back or simply place a newspaper sheet between the window glass and the plant.

With proper lighting of plants, when the “pet” gets the right amount of light, it grows healthy, with strong shoots, short internodes, intensely colored leaves and flowers.

The amount of light can be measured. To measure the intensity of light, there is a special unit - a suite that allows you to accurately determine where in the room and at what time of the day the light intensity is maximum and minimum.

Special light meter, light meter, you can buy in a specialty store. Such a device is similar to the light meter and is very convenient for lovers of indoor plants.

It should be remembered that the power of light depends on the season and the surrounding environment. On a sunny summer day, around noon, the illumination is 100 000 suites (lux). But if at the same time you are standing with a light meter under a tree, it will show only 10 000 lux. The amount of light at the same time in the room, near the window glass itself, is 2500 lux, and in the middle of the room - the total 500 lux. The situation is quite different on a normal, bright winter day. On the windowsill, where your plants are located, the device registers the entire 500-1000 lux. In the middle of the room is almost dark.

The best lighting conditions for the active growth of plants at home

The mode of lighting plants at home is very important. In order to properly use the above data, you need to know what kind of lighting your plants require. They can be roughly divided into groups, and for determining the light regime in each group, home growers usually do not use suites, but the generally accepted terms: “sun”, “penumbra” and “shadow” and accordingly recommend proper placement of the plants in the apartment.

Plants requiring bright light for vigorous growth (with 1500-2000 lux or more) should be located on a sunny window facing south.

In order to achieve better illumination for plants requiring diffused light around 1000 lux, they are placed in a partial shade on the window facing east or oriented to the west. Potted flowers that do not like light, i.e. that require low light (500-700 lux), can be placed in a shady place on the window facing north.

In botany, to define the light regime of plants, in addition to the indicators in suites, three other concepts were established. According to these terms, light-loving plants love a sunny place; always referring to a window facing south. Less demanding plants prefer penumbra, which for many is associated with windows looking to the west and east. Finally, plants that are tolerant to shade feel great on a window facing north.

You should know that these concepts are not entirely accurate. The phrase "penumbral place" is already misleading. It would be better to replace it with the phrase "bright place", because Plants suitable for it require bright diffused light, but they cannot stand the hot midday sun on the southern windows. Division along the cardinal points is also not always fair: you need to take into account the surrounding environment.

If there is a tree in front of the window looking to the south, this window can no longer be called “sunny”, but only “light”. A window facing west, to a covered balcony or loggia, is sometimes darker than a window of northern orientation.

Illumination is influenced by the landscape and the area of ​​residence. The south window on the closely built street, and even on the first floor of the house, is always less “sunny” than in a separate house.

Next, you will find out which room colors practically do not need light, and which without good lighting simply cannot exist.

Houseplants requiring a lot of light

In many apartments, the windows of living rooms face the south side of the house. As a rule, these are large windows, and many plants can be placed on the windowsills, which are brightly lit by the sun on sunny days from noon to evening.

The plants that you know from traveling to the south feel great here: bougainvillea with luxurious flowers, hibiscus, boucarnне (Beaucarnea recurvata), yucca (Yucca). Also indoor flower, who loves sunlight, is pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira). The south window can become a green and flowering link between the house and the garden.

Unfortunately, most of these exotic plants, which require a lot of light, do not belong to the lungs in culture. First of all, problems arise in the winter. Of course, there are more hardy views for southern windows.

For example, such plants that feel good on any place:

Sansevieria (Sansevieria)

Chlorophytum (Chlorophytum)

Unpretentious room nettle

Coleus Blum (Coleus blumei, hybrids)

Euphorbia (Euphorbia milii)

And if you like cacti, then on the south window you can arrange a multi-tiered cactus garden.

When creating optimal lighting conditions for indoor plants, keep in mind the following:

  • On sunny days, the temperature at the southern windows increases greatly, and the plants located here often need to pour and spray, but not at noon!
  • In black plastic pots, the ground quickly overheats, so use ceramic pots for south windows. You can put dark pots in light containers.
  • If you have a lower window or have a vent, keep them open in summer. Otherwise, there will be stagnation of hot air.

When taking care of lighting the flowers at home, do not forget about the shading of the plants on the southern window. Here you can place more diverse crops if you turn burning direct sunlight into pleasant diffused light.

This can be done by shading in various ways:

  • The easiest way to use loose shutters, exterior blinds, awnings.
  • Even faster and simpler: curtains made of cloth or paper, blinds (be careful: metal blinds should not touch the plants, because they are very hot), you can frame, covered with canvas.
  • Temporarily: newspaper or cardboard.

The following are household plants that require a lot of light, and therefore ideal for southern windows.

Amaryllis, or Hippeastrum (Hippeastrum)

Every winter he grows up again. First, a floral arrow with 2-4 flowers appears, and then leaves. Start watering when the floral arrow is a few centimeters high.

Kalanchoe Blossfeld (Kalanchoe blossfetdiana)

The plant is a short day. In the summer it can stand in a partial shade. Delivers dry air and in the winter room air. temperature. Suitable for hydroponic growing.

Bokarneya, or elephant foot (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Very popular ornamental leaf, easy to grow plant. Loves fresh air. In the summer you can put in the garden. In winter, prefers coolness.

Hibiscus, or Chinese rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

In a warm room blooms almost all year round. In winter, they are placed in a cool room with a temperature of 15 ° C. Loves frequent top dressing. Can be grown as a standard rose.

Tseropegiya Wood (Ceropegia woodii)

It does not shine with beauty, but it is interesting with long, thin hanging down shoots. It is tolerant to dry air, it requires minimal watering.

Calamondin, or orange tree (Citrofortunella micro sagra)

This plant can be seen at the same time fragrant flowers and tiny oranges. For pollination, brush the pollen from one flower to another. Subject to invasions pests.

Yucca (Yucca)

This is a houseplant, loving light, it is considered one of the most popular ornamental leaf home cultures. Feels good outdoors in summer. In winter, put in a cool room. Very important is good drainage in a pot. Do not overfeed.

Strelitzia, or bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)

Amazingly beautiful flowers. The plant is light-loving, even in winter you need to provide good lighting. Very sensitive root system, so replant rarely and carefully, not forgetting about a good drainage layer in the pot.

Chinese rose (Rosa chinensis)

In the summer it is best to take out to the open air, in the winter to keep in a cool room. Spring hold light pruning. Can be grown as a standard rose, tall or in a miniature format.

Indoor bamboo, or chimeter (Pogonatherum paniceum)

The plant is not very easy in culture. He needs a very high humidity air, warm, even in winter, and always damp soil.

Potted flowers that do not like bright sunlight, and photos of home plants

In the majority of apartments, to the east and west, there are windows of bedrooms, children's, dining rooms and study rooms, where soft morning and evening sunlight penetrates. As a rule, there are not very many plants in these rooms, but you could change the situation. There are such indoor flowers that do not need a bright light, moreover, for most home cultures there is nothing better than windows to the east or to the west. It is so light here that almost all indoor plants, both dekorativnotsvetushchy, and all dekorativnolistnye, feel comfortable. The atmosphere is relatively warm, but there are no rays of the burning midday sun. Those species that need bright sunlight, you can put to the glass itself, and shade-loving home plants that do not require a lot of light, you need to move a little away from the glass window.

To the north usually go to the kitchen and bathroom, and sometimes the living room. The windows are mostly small; on the windowsills cool and shade. Such windows unfairly enjoy notoriety. Of course, there will not be a lush floral abundance, like on the south windows, but they can look like real green jungles with separate colored patches.

For example, put Monstera (Monstera deliciosa) and Kenti palm (Howeia) on the windowsill, and between them ferns and saline (Soleirolia soleirolii). Hang pots with ivy (Hedera helix) or with grape ivy or cissus (Cissus) on the wall; put on the shelf flowering begonias or fuchsias.

Just do not move the plants away from the north window, in a zone of completely inadequate lighting.

Below are indoor plants that do not need a lot of light, so they can be placed on the north windows and in dark corners:

Hamedoraea, or feathery palm (Chamaedorea)

One of the most unassuming palms. It is undemanding to the location, in winter it transfers room temperature and rare spraying. This home flower, not loving bright light, well growing in hydroponics.

Leaf begonia (Begonia)

Many species and hybrids with attractively painted leaves. Requires high humidity, but not spraying. Does not take out drafts.

Spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum)

In winter, you need to put in a brighter place than in summer. This is a houseplant that does not need a lot of light, in addition, it is tolerant to a warm room. Be careful when spraying - the wrap and the inflorescence in the form of a cob can not stand the moisture. Do not water abundantly.

Maidenhair girl hair (Adiantum)

It requires a very high temperature and humidity, which makes it an ideal bathroom plant. However, this home flower, which does not require a lot of light, should not be placed on the windowsill above the radiator. Be careful with chemicals for spraying and feeding.

Reed (Scirpus cernuus)

Unpretentious to the location, but requires high humidity. Ensure that there is always water in the pan.

Here you can see photos of indoor flowers that do not like bright sunlight:

What other indoor flowers do not need a lot of light: unpretentious home plants

It is nice to inform those who grow plants on the northern windows that species with low lighting usually belong to lightweight, healthy and strong plants, rarely susceptible to diseases and very unpretentious to care, with the exception of ferns.

If you like ornamental flowering plants, put them for a short time on the north window. After two weeks, return your pets to a well-lit old place so they come to their senses.

Here are some more descriptions of unpretentious home colors that do without bright light:

Fuchsia (fuchsia)

Flowers with various color combinations. Over time, the plant forms a small bush. On a bright place requires more frequent watering. Spring needs a radical pruning.

The fat woman (Crassula arborescens)

The ideal plant for beginners florist: feels great everywhere, easily propagated by cuttings, in the summer you can put in the open air. This is a houseplant, not loving the light, you need to water moderately.

Tolmy Menzies (Tolmiea tepiesies)

Easy to grow a plant. It develops well on any place, only not on bright sunny. Tolerant to dry air. In the summer you can set up in the open air. Beautiful ampelous plant.

Aglaonema (Aglaonema)

Species with green leaves are tolerant to shade. He likes high temperature and humidity of the air, heated soil. Do not forget about good drainage! The plant is suitable for hydroponic cultivation.

Tziacs, or sago palm (Cycas revoluta)

This is another home flower, which does not need a bright light, but he loves fresh air and is very sensitive to moisture. Zicas does not tolerate frequent transplants. For old plants need a lot of space. It grows very slowly.

Potted flowers that do not require a lot of light: home plants for the bedroom, bathroom and corridor

The apartment should be as much as possible indoor plants. This applies not only to the living room, there are other rooms where flowers grow no worse, and sometimes even much better.

Plants in the bedrooms.As a rule, the windows of the bedrooms face east and are lit by the soft morning sun. This is an ideal place for many plants that can not stand the burning midday sun rays.

Sometimes there is enough space in the bedroom for a small tree: room linden (Sparmannia africana) or ficus benjamin (Ficus benjamina).

On the "winter apartments" in the bedroom, you can put indoor plants that do not require a lot of light and need in winter in moderate temperatures around 15 ° C.

People often ask whether plants in a bedroom really take away oxygen from sleepers at night. In part, this is the case; plants absorb oxygen at night, but in such an amount that it is completely unnoticeable. You sleep as if in a hermetically sealed "forest" of indoor crops. However, some people do not tolerate the aroma of strongly smelling plants and complain of headaches.

In such cases, do not put in the bedroom fragrant pelargoniums, flowering orange trees, primroses, etc., but do not refuse completely from the plants.

Plants in the bathroom. If your bathroom seems uncomfortable, cold, too sterile, revitalize it with houseplants, unpretentious to the light! For example, big fern surprisingly transform the bathroom. Of course, the condition for this should be the presence of a window. In a completely dark bathroom will have to do with artificial flowers made of plastic. However, not every home flower that does not require a lot of light can be placed in the bathroom. Such species that like heat and high humidity of the air grow well here.

In the “greenhouse” climate, the bathroom feels great. Coconut palm trees (Cocos nucifera) и Variegated drafts (Dracaena), also monstera (Monstera deticiosa), philodendron (Philodendron) и Cyperus (Cyperus).

If the bathroom is small, it is easy to place small indoor plants in it that do not require bright light: reed (Scirpus segus) и salt water (Soleirolia soleiroiii).

You can even deliver blooming izambarskie violets (Saintpaulia, hybrids)who love the humid atmosphere. And if you are delighted with the flashy decorations, put a pot with a brush on the shelf between the glass for brushing your teeth and a hair brush. atmospheric tillandia.

For plants in the bathroom are very harmful various aerosols, such as hair spray, as well as deodorants for body care. Therefore, try to place indoor flowers in such a way that do not require a lot of light so that splashes of these various cosmetic products do not fall on the leaves.

Plants in the hallway and on the stairs. Already at the entrance to your friendly, cozy green hall everyone will realize that you are a lover of indoor cultures. Plants for the hall or stairs must be chosen very carefully.

In most cases, the hallways in our homes are narrow, so there is enough one plant. But if you put it in front of a mirror, the effect will be astounding. It also looks decorative ivy (Hedera helix) on the wall near the stairs or tradeskantsiya hanging from the shelf for hats. In the hallway and on the stairs it is cooler and darker than in the rooms, so you should not place views that prefer tropical heat and / or bright lighting.

Choose indoor flowers that do not require a lot of light:

Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior)

Sansevieria (Sanseviena)

Chlorophytum (Chlorophytum comosum)

If your hall is spacious enough, but dark, provide plants with artificial lighting.

It is important to remember that in the hall there should be no drafts that cause leaves to fall. Therefore, do not put plants in such a hallway.

Additional artificial lighting of plants at home: lamps for indoor flowers

Before any home grower with the onset of winter, there is such a problem as reducing the level of illumination in the cold period. Therefore, in the fall you should be especially careful when placing plants. The days are getting shorter, the sun appears rarely, the illumination of indoor pets is reduced.

There are plants with a resting stage, in other words - many cultures are prepared from nature for a season with insufficient lighting. They do not grow or grow very slowly, i.e. are at rest. In these weeks, when the conditions for further development are unsatisfactory, you must do everything to ensure that the plants pass the rest period normally. Put them in a cool place, water a little, do not feed them. If the window sill of the southern window turns out to be the coolest, it doesn’t matter: in the winter you can even make up shady views and the winter sun will not harm them.

But there are plants that are not in need of rest. Problems arise with tropical exotic cultures, which in their homeland are accustomed to bright sunshine throughout the year.

How to help them in the winter? Try as best you can to provide them with a scanty winter light. For this, such actions are important.

  • Wash the windows again before winter begins.
  • Put the plants close to each other on the windowsill (in no case do not leave in the back of the room).
  • There should be no curtains, curtains or blinds between the window glass and the plants.
  • If after all this, not enough light, there is another way: artificial lighting for indoor plants.

If normal daylight for plants is not enough in the winter by the window of the room, or in any season in a dark corner, you can compensate it with artificial lighting.

Conventional incandescent bulbs are not suitable for additional illumination of plants: they become very hot and can burn home flowers.

The industry produces special lamps for artificial lighting of plants at home: suspended, wall-mounted and in the form of tubes. At first glance, they are no different from ordinary lamps and fixtures, but in fact their rays have a different composition.

They have more ultraviolet and blue light and less infrared rays. Their light is more like daylight, it is cooler than the warm yellow light of incandescent bulbs. You can buy separate special lamps that connect to any light source (at the appropriate power), or the whole system in the kit (by the way, quite inexpensive). Lamps of different designs for additional illumination of colors almost do not differ in light intensity. In most cases, artificial light - mixed, pleasing to the eye.

There are also mercury lamps with bright white light and low power consumption. These lamps are often used in offices and horticultural enterprises. They are economical, but their purchase is expensive.

Be sure to use additional lamps for lighting indoor plants! When growing flowers under artificial light, follow the rules listed below. Suspended lamps should hang in the center of the plants so that the latter do not bend. Wall lights in this regard are less practical. So, using additional lighting for indoor plants, consider the following:

  • The higher the lamp is, the greater the area of ​​exposure and the more plants receive additional lighting. True, the intensity of irradiation decreases with increasing distance from the light source to the object.
  • The distance from the plant to the lamp is left around 80 cm.
  • If it is a lot of plants, use several lamps.
  • If plants are grown exclusively under artificial light, the lamps should burn from 12 (for shade-loving species) to 16 (for light-loving plants) hours per day.
  • If lamps are used in the winter as an additional light source, it is enough to turn them on for 4-6 hours.

Home plants for short and long daylight

Some ornamental flowering species have special requirements for lighting. Their bud formation depends not only on the intensity of the light, but also on the length of the day. Therefore, house cultures of a short day and a long day are distinguished.

In plants of a short day, such as, for example, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) and Kalanchoe, brightly colored bracts and flowers develop only with a “short bottom”, i.e. when they are lit no more than 12 hours per day. Even a street lamp outside the window or a small lamp in the room can become too bright for such plants.

Cover these types of cardboard box or bucket on 12 hours (from evening to morning) for 6 weeks each day. Who loves to experiment, can in this way make the plants that bloom in winter bloom in autumn. This “lighting control” allows gardeners to grow and sell blooming chrysanthemums (also short day crops) all year round.

A number of summer growers cultivated in our gardens, as well as barren violets (Saintpauiia ionantha, hybrids) belong to long day plants. They bloom when illumination lasts at least 14 hours a day, and it doesn’t matter to the plants whether it is natural or artificial.

The "neutral" home plants, the flowering of which does not depend directly on the length of the day, include the majority of known indoor species.

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