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Plants that will grow in low light are much appreciated in homes and offices that do not have an abundance of windows. There are some excellent plants that will thrive with just a little care. Here are a few tips for growing plants in low light.
WHAT IS LOW LIGHT?We consider the light that is available to a plant that is located in a windowless corner, or near a window that is shaded from the outside by a large tree or building to be low light. The light coming through a north facing window without obstructions may be medium to low. Plants that are placed more than eight feet from the source of light will also be subjected to low light. Offices with only fluorescent light should also be considered low light when selecting plants.
WATERING: A plant growing in low light often needs much less water than those growing in brighter areas. One of the biggest causes of plant failure in low light areas is over watering. Most low light plants appreciate drying out moderately between watering.
FERTILIZING: Because plants in low light tend to grow very slowly, fertilizer must be applied sparingly. Plants should only be fed when in a period of active growth. During the winter months, they will not need fertilizer.
RE-POTTING: Most plants that grow in low light can survive quite a while in a pot that is becoming root bound. It also helps in preventing over watering when plants in low light are left in their pots until noticeably root bound. The best time to re-pot is in the early spring when the plant starts to grow.Be sure that the pot you are transplanting into is only about 1 inch larger than the pot that it currently resides in and has a hole for drainage.Recommended plants for lower light levels:Aglaonema – Chinese Evergreen – subtly patterned leaves brighten low light spots. Do not subject the leaves to direct sunlight, as it will scorch them. During the winter, water only enough to keep the soilfrom drying out completely. Fertilize monthly during active growth (spring and summer).Aspidistra – Cast Iron Plant – a rugged, durable plant that will survive where others fail. Will tolerate avariety of temperature and humidity ranges. Let plants go almost dry before watering. Over watering causes brown spots on foliage. Fertilize every two weeks during growing season. Re-pot in spring.Spathyphyllum – Peace Lily – beautiful dark green leaves. Do not expose this plant to harsh direct sun. Keep barely moist. Flowers intermittently. A little morning sun can be beneficial in getting plant to flower. Re-pot when roots become crowded.Dracaena – several types including Dragon-Tree, Warnecki and Corn Plant are adaptable to lower light conditions. Care must be taken not to over water especially during the winter. Prefer warm temperatures.
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