Diseases, Pests and Weeds
Fertilizers, Manures and Feeding
Flowering Plants
Garden Design and Planning
Gardening Terms (Glossary)
Gardening Tips
Gardening Tools
Indoor, Foliage and Shade Plants
Leaves, Roots and Flowers
Light Requirements
Planting and Transplanting
Pots and Potted Plants
Pruning and Pinching

Light Requirements

Different plants have different needs for light. Many, like the money plant, monstera, aspidistra, and other shade-loving plants, thrive well in areas with no direct sunlight and where only naturally reflected light is available. On the other hand, many trees, shrubs and vegetables need direct sunlight.

If your plants grow unduly tall instead of spreading out or begin leaning to one side, where most of the light is coming from, it is an indication that they require better illumination. On the other hand, if the stalks start drooping and the leaves become limp even though the soil may be sufficiently moist, it is an indication that the plants are losing more water through the leaves than gaining via the roots. This is a result of over transpiration stimulated by excess of light. If it is not possible to move the plants, a machan canopy or an agro-net must be used to shade them during the brighter hours of the day. Strong midday sun can scorch sensitive plants and make some succulents pale and lose color.

Light provides energy to the plants for the synthesis of sugar from atmospheric carbon dioxide. The green chlorophyll in the leaves absorbs light, mainly the red and blue rays from white light, for this synthesizing process. Without light, a plant not only stops growing, it dies. Shifting plants from areas of less light to bright light or sunny areas should be done in stages, providing a successive increment of light. Any sudden shifts do not allow time for the plants to adjust.

Only those plants should be kept indoors which thrive in shade. Other plants should be brought inside the house only for a day or two every ten days or so. Many plants can be kept indoors for long periods of time, provided they are kept next to a well,lit window. It could be the morning sun or the evening sun falling on the plant and the plants should not be kept farther. than three feet from the window. This is because light intensity diminishes significantly for every foot away from its source.

Too little light makes the plants pale and slow in developing new leaves. Indoor plants do better if exposed to the morning sun every few days. But do not leave them exposed to direct midday sun as it can scorch the leaves.

Artificial light is equally good if it is of sufficient intensity. You could use a pair of 40-watt tube lights, three feet away from the plants (ideally overhead) to supplement their light. requirements.


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