This might sound like a reeeeeeeeeally dumb question (or possibly OT),
I'm just getting into indoor plants, especially having some at my
workplace. Lots of big east-facing windows with miniblinds,
flourescent lighting. Do plants need a period of rest, i.e. should I
leave the lights on at night and over the weekend? Serious question.
Some houseplants are day-length sensitive, particularly with regard to
flowering, so generally speaking, it's best to let them experience normal
cycles of light & dark. Obviously, you can't always get this right because
artificial lighting tinkers with the real thing, but still.....I'd turn off
the lights at night. Besides, it's dumb to waste energy.
Be aware that houseplants will sometimes go through an period when they
adjust to the light in their new homes, compared with wherever they came
from. This can result in the plants looking faded, losing leaves and
generally looking ratty. Don't freak out and start poking, watering,
feeding, etc. Get yourself a good book:
That's Crockett's Indoor Garden, published about 20 years ago. Great book.
The link takes you to Powell's, which has used copies, nice & cheap. Buy
one. Do it now.
Pots whose dishes are attached can lead to bad watering practices. With some
of them, you can't see when they're about to overflow onto the furniture, so
you might tend to be skimpy with water. OK for some plants, but not for
those that want very moist soil. One solution is to take those pots to the
sink, water them until it pours out the bottom, and keep tipping the pot
slightly until you're sure no water remains. This works fine unless you
develop an enormous plant addiction, at which point you'll be shlepping 800
plants to the sink each week.
So, buy pots and separate dishes for underneath. Make sure the dishes are
glazed. Regular clay dishes are porous. There are some nice plastic dish/pot
combos around, too, but they're not always easy to find, unless you like the
glitzy, shiny stuff.
Good luck, and try to limit yourself to 300 plants in the first month. And
buy that book.
On 15 Oct 2004 11:35:58 -0700, email@example.com (Merle
Plants need to "sleep" just like animals. You can use a timer set to
have the light on for 14 to 18 hours each day, depending on the plant.
Some plants need very little light to survive, others (African
violets) respond exceptionally well to fluorescent lighting. You can
measure the amount of light in a area using a light meter (ask someone
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