Indoor plants can add warmth and comfort to any home or office. Inside many buildings, however, there is often little light and few options for light sources. Fortunately, even if your home or office only gets eastern light exposure, there are plenty of houseplant options available for you.
Plants need energy to grow and survive, but the amount and duration of light required depends on the type of plant. Not only is the brightness of the light an important consideration in growing indoor plants, but you also should be aware of the number of hours the light is available and whether any other factors, such as furniture blocking part of the window, are interfering with the light reaching the plant.
Changing the Light
If you're concerned that your indoor plants won't receive enough light, consider supplementing with artificial lighting. For leafy green plants, try fluorescent lights, which have plenty of the blue light wavelength needed for green growth. Flowering plants need infrared light that can be found in incandescent lights or fluorescent "grow" lights.
Too much direct light also can be harmful for your plants and cause damage to the leaves. If you notice that indoor plants are exposed to the sun for 16 hours or more, try rearranging their containers.
According to Clemson University, eastern light works best for plants that have medium light exposure requirements. Some of the examples Clemson offers of medium light plants include the bamboo plant, spider plant, schefflera, grape ivy, gold-dust dracaena, English Ivy, Boston fern and African violet.
Plants that need low light exposure also can use eastern light as long as you locate their containers a few feet away from the light source. Clemson names Chinese evergreen, parlor palm, golden pothos, split-leaf philodendron and snake plant as a few examples of low-light plants.
Light isn't the only important consideration in houseplant growth. Follow plant recommendations (and consult with your local nursery, if necessary) to provide proper fertilization for your houseplant regularly so the plant receives nutrients to grow.
Be careful not to overwater plants, which can kill tropical houseplants. Before watering, feel the soil to determine whether it is still moist. If it is, wait to water until the soil starts to feel dry.
Because homes are frequently dry, especially during the winter months, improve humidity for your plants by keeping them in trays of rocks and water, installing a humidifier nearby or misting the plants occasionally with a spray bottle. To allow the plants to grow normally, keep the temperature of the house slightly cooler at night than during the day to mimic normal temperature changes.
Indoor Growing Tips
Choose a container that is big enough to allow plenty of room for the soil and root system of your plant.
Remove dust from leaves with a damp cloth to keep insects at bay and to help plants grow without inhibition.