Indoor Plant Lighting: The Right Kind of Light Makes Plants Thrive

Indoor plant lighting is a very important factor for the growth and development of your plants. No plant can live without it. Light is needed to manufacture food.

The intensity,  duration and quality is crucial when selecting plants and placing them in your home.

Intensity refers to the brightness or strength of the illumination.

Duration refers to how many hours of it a plants gets in a 24-hour period. They both affect the quality and appearance of your plants.  Indoor plants are classified as low, medium or high light plants.

The rays which the sun gives off is comprised of a rainbow of colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The intensity of these rays affects the stem length, leaf color and flowering.

Install a full spectrum tubular skylight so  you can reflect the  natural radiance of the sun.  Your home will provide the necessary radiance to create a blooming indoor garden in areas that never see the any daylight.

The Right Window Light Exposure

Most flowering plants need specific periods of brightness to flower profusely. A southern or southeast window is a good location. The crown of thorns, hibiscus and the Jerusalem cherry grow well there.

Foliage plants with dark green leaves like a western or eastern window. The African violet, aglaonema, and the croton will grow well there.

Plants that prefer partial to full shade do well in a northern window. Foliage plants such as ivy, Chinese Evergreen, Cleveland peace lily, Janet Craig dracaena, snake plant and the philodendron will grow well there.

Intensity is increased when it is near the source. Mirrors, white walls or any reflecting surface can be a factor for intensity.

Too much sun can cause leaf burn! The leaves will curl and develop brown, burned spots. If they don't get enough, their stems can become weak and the leaves will turn yellow.

Artificial Light

Insufficient sunlight can be artificially supplemented. Fluorescents, which provide the blue light rays are ideal for foliage, and the ones with the red rays helps to keep plants flowering.

LEDs are great because they stay cool and use very little energy to keep indoor plants alive and flourishing. Plants grown under an artificial source dry out quicker and need more frequent watering, You can get the kind with a built in moisture sensor. It lets you know when it's time to water.

Plants have a tendency to grow toward the source of indoor plant lighting. To avoid a distorted plant, rotate them occasionally -- more frequently if they are fast growers.