Over the past few years, houseplants have grown in popularity because of their many benefits.  Research has shown they help boost your mood, concentration, creativity, and production.  Some indoor plants also help clean the air by increasing oxygen and cleaning the air of toxins.  Plants also aid in reducing stress and anxiety.  Here are some factors to consider before you select your houseplant:

Where Will You Place Your Houseplants – There are houseplants to fit just about any environment in your home with the possible exception of the dark corners in your basement. The primary concern is knowing how much and how intense is the light your plant will receive.  Putting a plant that prefers low light in a bright location could burn the leaves on the plant, and putting a flowering plant in the wrong place will result in little to no blooms.  Also, try to keep in mind that the amount of light this location gets will probably change along with the seasons, so you might have to shift the plant closer to the window in the fall or winter.  

Light Exposures – As respects, a houseplant, horticulturalists describe the amount of light a plant receives as follows:

  • Bright light – bright indirect light to full sun
  • Medium-light – filtered or diffused light
  • Low light – Plants placed more than 3 feet from a window or location where the plant can see outside, but not see the sky.

Usually, a west-facing window receives higher intensity light and is warmer than an east-facing window.  A plant located in a west-facing exposure will receive indirect light through the morning and early afternoon, but at the end of the day, the plant gets direct sunlight.

An east-facing window generally will have indirect sunlight on most days of the year.  In the late spring through early fall, it will experience constant direct light which makes an east-facing location ideal if you want to grow flowering plants that favor cooler growing conditions.

A window facing south receives the highest quantity of direct sunlight.  Cacti and succulents do well in this location. Finally, north-facing windows receive the lowest amount of light with the weakest intensity.  In the summer, you might be able to grow shade-loving plants, but in the winter, it will not be a favorable location to grow houseplants.

Specific Plants For Light Exposure – Here are suggestions for houseplants based upon light exposure. 

Indirect Light – West Window – Most houseplants do well in this category

  • Aloe - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Christmas Cactus - Not a child and pet safe
  • English Ivy – Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Jade Plant – Child and pet safe
  • Monsteras - Not a child or pet safe plant

Indirect Light – East Window

  • African Violet - Child and pet safe
  • Areca Palm - Child and pet safe
  • Pothos - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Spider Plant - Child and pet safe
  • Staghorn Fern - Child and pet safe

Low Light Conditions – North Window

  • Bird’s Nest Fern - Child and pet safe
  • Parlor Palm - Child and pet safe
  • Snake Plant - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Striped Dracaena - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • ZZ Plant - Not a child or pet safe plant

Direct Sunlight – South Window

  • Barrel Cactus - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Burro’s Tail - Child and pet safe
  • Jade Plant - Child and pet safe
  • Kalanchoe - Not a child or pet safe plant
  • Stonecrop - Not a child or pet safe plant

Other Ways To Adjust Light - Here are some tips you can use to adjust the light in different rooms.

  • Mirrors can help if you need to boost light in a low light situation.
  • Experiment with artificial light or grow lights.
  • A white wall or background can help with brightness.
  • Try hanging plants to make use of windows. 
  • Use a delicate superfine fabric to reduce bright light.

Other Considerations For Your Plants – There are a couple of environmental elements that you should be aware of too.

  • Heaters and radiators can cook a plant.  A plant in proximity to such a heat source needs elevation off of the floor to moderate the temperature.
  • Beware of drafty windows. A cold breeze can kill a plant. You can tape them with plastic, use a curtain, or caulk the glass to seal them. Keep in mind most plants like locations that stay in a range between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Humidity is essential for plants.  Spritzing your plants is not the best way to increase moisture and it can even promote diseases. To increase humidity, try using a humidifier, putting your plants on a tray lined with pebbles, or grouping your plants close to one another.  
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