Today let’s talk about indoor plants and light.

Everybody thinks that all interior plants need as much light as possible.

Everybody couldn’t be more wrong.

Indoor plants, depending on the species, require everything from low to medium to high light, and on top of that, there are a myriad of other variables thrown in such as airflow, temperature, and humidity in the room they’re in that will affect their growth patterns.

attack plant


But let’s get back to light for a minute…

When you go for a walk around here in the woods in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, what do you notice?

That’s right…The woods can be awfully dim.  Especially for the plants on the forest floor.  Ferns, sedges, moss…These plants thrive in low light.  If you dug them up and transplanted them in a sunny field, guess what?  They’d croak because they’re not used to that amount of sunlight; it’s not in their makeup to receive that many lumens per day.

The same thing goes with a tropical jungle–you’ve got the plants in the canopy; ficus trees, etc., that require a lot of light, and will get it, because they’re in the canopy with an unobstructed amount of direct sunlight on a daily basis.

Medium light plants; philodendrons, pothos, etc., grow in the mid level canopy and get filtered sunlight.  Plants on the bottom of a rainforest floor receive no direct sunlight whatsoever.  In your office, it’s the same.  You can’t take a low light plant and stick it in a sunny window.  It’ll do poorly (not to mention the fact that the window acts as a magnifying glass and can scorch the leaves).

So this is where an interior landscaper comes in handy.

A man cycling and carrying a lot of flowers and plants on his bicycle in the street of Shanghai, China 3 April 2013.

You:  Intelligent, clever, up and coming office professional that you are, often know as much about choosing the right type of plant for your lighting and space requirements as I do about the absorption coefficient of semiconductors.

I’ll pick the right plant for the right spot in your office, because I can see things you don’t–not just obvious things like if this room has a window, does it face east or west, etc.  But I know how to look for more subtle things that you might not think of;  like are there shades in this room and are they often kept closed…Does the CEO travel a lot and therefore her overhead lights are likely never to be on, etc.

Some plants do very well under fluorescent lighting.  Standard fluorescent light has weak lumens (a measure of light power) but it’s the right spectrum for root and tissue growth.

Don’t go it alone!  Get a professional, namely me, to pick the right plants for the light you have and present it to you in pictorial proposal so you can get a clear idea of what the plants will look like when they’re designed into your office decor, and make the most of your foliage investment.

Oh, and by the way…As as side note, don’t even talk to me about “grow lights” or “plant lights” they sell at hardware stores;  I can’t think of a bigger rip off to consumers.  Most of these are just glorified fluorescent lights with a hefty price tag that do nothing to help  the plant’s tissue or root growth.

The only real grow lights are HPS Sodium fixtures–they cost a fortune, and are usually only used professionally.  They put out a ton of heat and have their own separate ballast, and are a fire hazard in inexperienced hands…So yah, don’t go setting one of these up in the bosses’ office thinking it’s going to help his bonzai tree!