Light problems, please help!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Daria Klyza, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Daria Klyza

    Daria Klyza Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi everyone :) i got my new cool gadget yesterday that i've been beyond excited about haha! I can now measure my soil ph, moisture and light. Which brigs me to my question.. I don't think there is enough light in my house. My south facing window is about the only spot where there is any sort of decent light. All other places are very low in light. 100FC at best and one spot at 200FC. Is this normal? Is it just because it's winter time? Do i need to provide extra light or do my plants know it's winter and will be fine come spring/summer time? Sorry, may seem like a silly question but i know absolutely nothing about light and i'm debating whether i need some lights for my plants or if i should just hold off until we have 'brighter' days. Most my plants are doing ok. I have moved my ficus benjamina to my south facing window as it's the brightest spot and my ficus is looking very sad, however, i'm worried in case the only bright spot in the house might be too bright for my ficus.
     
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    • ARMANDII

      ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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      Hi Daria, welcome to Gardeners Corner:love30::thumbsup:

      It's not a silly question, Daria, as it's a problem that most Gardeners face regarding House Plants. I'm no "expert" regarding the problem so I will leave the answers to other members of the GC Gang.:cat-kittyandsmiley::coffee:
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Total Gardener

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        Hi,

        Apart from the Ficus are you talking about just houseplants and if so which ones ?

        During the winter most plants close down to some degree, but if you have them near a drying radiator or in full sun during these darker days you can have problems.

        A south facing window area can get very hot during a sunny winters days but freezing behind any curtains at night; though liking bright light seems fisuc do not want direct sunlight, the same goes for many of the typical houseplants.

        If you google your houseplant names you will find lots of details of your plants needs.

        Also look at some of the amazing houseplant gurus collections like James Wong etc.

        Re your new meter, do not get carried aways with light readings, a very tricky area, just follow your natural instincts as to whats bright and whats shady.

        PH should not be a problem if you use the correct compost for the type of plant, though if you are in a very hard water area, eg high ph , again check your plants can cope with it.

        Moisture is again something experience teaches you, though would suggest always aim for a little less than a little more, most plant when too dry will droop their leaves but revive in a few hours after a watering, too much water regulalry, partic in winter, and the roots can rot away.

        There are lots of plants that will grow and even flower well in east, west and north facing windows, you just have to look up the plants details as above.
        eg Orchids , African Violets etc love lightly shaded areas
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener

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          You could use your light meter to see the amount of light outdoors, then compare to what you find on your south facing window.

          This is what I have measured (in Lux - divide by 10 to get Foot Candles) all on the same day in bright sunshine south facing:

          Outdoors : 85,000
          Single glazed window: 54,000
          Double glazed window: 47,200
          Double glazed window with Pilkington K: 30,000

          North facing single glazed window: 3,200

          So you see that transmission is cut down significantly by glass, and the type of glass is also important.

          I'm no expert on Ficus but I think they don't like direct sunlight. At this time of year there is not much of that about anyway.
           
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          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Total Gardener

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            Welcome to the forum Daria. Good question. Good replies given by members. Have your plants been doing OK in the past. If so, don't worry too much. As members have mentioned. Plants adapt. In fact, without going into the realms of botanical science. Plants can often tell us in advance the oncoming seasonal changes. Their makeup ptovides them with much if not all that they require for the near future. As mentioned, certain biological changes take place within them. They slow down, some almost to the point of death. As a basic example. If your plant/s have been doing well in the past, and you haven't made sudden changes, moving them around etc. Then rest assured they have adapted and naturally kicked into action their own individual needs.
             
          • Selleri

            Selleri Koala

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            Hi @Daria Klyza , welcome and congratulations on your new toy! :)

            Unless your windows are shaded by tall buildings or trees, you should be able to grow pretty much whatever houseplants you like. If a plant is struggling, move it to a location that seems to be better (google whether the plant prefers bright or indirect light), increase humidity perhaps by misting it with a spray bottle in the mornings, and don't overwater. That usually helps as a general treatment.

            If you want to grow trickier plants that need brighter light, or start seedlings early, or want plants in a shady corner, grow lights are worth a consideration. I have just bought my first set for £30 and my seedlings look very green and sturdy. :) Amazon has various options.

            Grouping plants together creates a good microclimate and increases the humidity around them. Lush groups also look great.

            Spring is now just around the corner and things will perk up with the increasing natural light.

            Welcome again, and please just ask away. There are no stupid questions here, we just like to chat about all matters plant related. :spinning:
             
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            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              Hi, I can't find anything on the Net to back this up, but I'm sure I remember that Ficus don't like to be moved. So that, rather than the actual light levels, may be why yours is sulking :ideaIPB:
               
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              • WeeTam

                WeeTam Total Gardener

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                Look out for draughts,water logging and scale insects too :yikes:
                 
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