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Indoor, Foliage and Shade Plants

These plants, mostly of rainforest origin and grown mainly for their decorative foliage, need a soil that is sufficiently light, porous and rich in humus (see Soil). Their leaves require high humidity. In dry parts of the country, spraying water over the leaves every morning or more often is good for the plants. Or else, the pots should be kept on a tray containing pebbles and water 10 provide humidity near the plants.

These plants thrive in a warm climate. In areas where the minimum temperature drops below 12°C (53°F) these plants have a tough time. They stop growing, some drop their leaves or turn yellow and, in general, look morose. Plants can be brought indoors during the night as the temperature in the home remains roughly near the average of the maximum and the minimum temperatures.

As far as light requirements for plants are concerned, most houses are unsuitable for indoor plants. When we talk of shade plants we are talking about outdoor shade. To provide adequate light indoors, we have to either augment the light available with artificial lights or place plants next to well, lit windows, or both. Remember, even a foot or two away from the window would mean a drop in the light requirement of the plant. Use a photographer's light meter to test.

None of these plants can stand a strong afternoon sun though filtered sunlight is acceptable to most. Direct, early morning sun is always the best.

If plants are to remain indoors in areas of inadequate light, they must be taken to outdoor shade three weeks for every week that plants are kept indoors. During cold winters when plants may be dormant they can stay in longer.


   
  

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