The importance of lighting for indoor plants

In nature, plants go to great lengths to capture the amount of light they need , either by climbing the trunks of those that are taller, growing rapidly to fill a vacant spot, and/or developing broad leaves. so they can absorb more light.

However, those that we have at home can have serious problems to develop well. Therefore, when we want to have some plants in our home, it is important that we place them in the right location. Thus, the correct lighting of indoor plants will allow us to have a very well decorated home.

Index

  • 1 How much light do they need…?
    • 1.1 Trees
    • 1.2 Shrubs (including climbers), and the like
    • 1.3 Bonsai
    • 1.4 Cacti and succulents
  • 2 flowers
    • 2.1 Palm trees
  • 3 How to know if a plant needs more light?
  • 4 If a plant has grown too large looking for light, what can be done?

How much light do they need…?

Trees

ficus elastica

ficus elastica

Trees are generally not recommended indoors as they can grow 10 meters or more. But the truth is that there are many species that, through pruning, can be grown in pots for many years and even for their entire life, such as Ficus. They are very well placed in the corners, or placed on both sides of the living room sofa.

They do, however, need a lot of light . If they are in dimly lit rooms their leaves will drop quickly.

Shrubs (including climbers), and the like

indoor monstera

Shrubs are essential plants to decorate gardens and, yes, also homes. They do not grow as much as trees, so they are much more manageable and just as decorative. But where to put them? The reality is that it depends a lot on the genre to which they belong. For example:

  • Aspidistra : he is indifferent. It grows well in both bright and dimly lit rooms.
  • Calathea : ditto.
  • Cyca : room with lots of light.
  • Dracaena : ditto.
  • Epipremnum – grows in both brightly lit and semi-shaded rooms.
  • Monstera : ditto.
  • Schefflera : room with lots of light.
  • Jasminum : ditto.
  • Yucca : room with lots of light.

bonsai

Ligustrum Bonsai

Bonsai are trees or shrubs that are grown in very small trays. Getting a healthy and spectacular plant growing in a bonsai pot takes a lot of time and work, especially if it is a tropical species, which will need protection from the cold during the winter months. So that problems do not arise, it is advisable to place these -the tropical ones- in a room where a lot of natural light enters.

cacti and succulents

potted succulents

Cacti and succulents, also known as succulents, need a lot of light to grow , especially if they are indoors. Ideally, place them in rooms where a lot of natural light enters through a large window, or place them near windows.

But yes, you have to remember to rotate the pot every 2-3 days , so that all parts of the plant receive the same amount of light.

Flowers

Cyclamen

Plants grown for their flowers, such as cyclamens, petunias or dimorphothecae, are some of the plants that need the most light for their flowers to develop properly. For this reason, it is necessary that they are placed near windows, in rooms where a lot of natural light enters or in interior patios.

Palms

Chamaedorea elegans

Palm trees are very elegant, and they also provide that exotic and tropical touch that makes any room look spectacular. Although there are not many species that can be grown indoors, there are enough to get a little paradise at home. The most recommended are all those of the Chamaedorea genus , the Dypsis lutescens , those of the Howea genus (better known as Kentia), the Phoenix roebellinii and the Raphis excelsa .

Place them in rooms with lots of light and they will grow wonderfully, you’ll see.

How to know if a plant needs more light?

Phototropism

This Phalaenopsis orchid grows towards the light.

When a plant lacks light, what it can do is:

  • Develop increasingly thinner and longer stems in order to find the light by elongating (or stretching) the cells of the stem that is more shaded thanks to auxins, which are phytohormones that are formed in the cells of the tips of the branches. This behavior is known as phototropism, specifically the positive one.
  • Drop the leaves and flowers: when it lacks light, it can be bare, almost literally.
  • Stop its growth: although it maintains the leaves and flowers, the growth is practically nil. Plants need sunlight to photosynthesize and grow.
  • White spots may appear on the leaves that expand until they turn brown and fall off.

Another thing that can happen is that we have it in an area with a lot of light, but there is another more powerful light and the plant grows in the direction of this second light. If this happens to you, all you have to do is either move it away from this second light, or bring it closer to it to prevent it from growing in a curious way.

If a plant has grown too large looking for light, what can be done?

Image - norita.wordpress.com

Image – norita.wordpress.com

It depends on the plant in question. If they are succulents, and especially cacti, unfortunately there is little you can do but put them in brighter rooms. On the other hand, if they are plants such as Diffenbachia, Yucca or Dracaena, in addition to changing their location, their stems could be pruned a little so that they would emit lower stems; but this task should only be done if the specimens are a little overgrown, since if they are too young, it is most likely that they will not support pruning. In case of doubt, ask us.

In the event that you have sown some seeds and the seedlings look like the ones in the image above, you should bring them close to a window and rotate the pot every 2 days so that they can grow well. If you plan to take them outside, put them first in semi-shade so that they adapt to the sun, since they burn very easily if they do not acclimatize before.

And with that we end. I hope you find it useful and you can know where to put your precious plants so that they grow in the best possible way, without having to develop weak or excessively long stems.

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