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Where do I put my plant?

The most important decision we make for our new plants is deciding where they are going to live.

Let there be light

In simple terms, plants eat light, so that is the starting place. Think about the kinds of light you have on offer. Light conditions have two main characteristics. The intensity of the light & its directness. Morning & late afternoon light, (as you will know from sunbathing), is much less intense so less likely to burn than that at noon when the sun is directly overhead. Directness refers to whether the light is actually shining on the leaf itself. Windows facing South will get the most direct light whilst those facing North none at all.

The Jungle in your House

Most plants that can put up with living with us are those whose leaves will burn if exposed to too much direct light. Adapted to live in the dappled light of the under tiers in sub-tropical & tropical evergreen forests they can feel very at home even in a North facing room as long as you remember to open the curtains. Try to avoid drafts & radiators as most of these plants are used to humid conditions & the dry heat from radiators can dehydrate them. But don't worry for every spot you have there is a plant which will enjoy living there.


The general rule of thumb is the thicker the leaf the more tolerant it will be of direct light. Only plants like cactus, with their capacity to store water & to protect their leaves or stems, can take the noon day sun. So these become your window sill dwellers. Others, like Ficus, Sansiveria, & most Philodendrons can carry on living in very low light levels so be further away from any windows. However they will enjoy a holiday in better light if you can give one to them.

The Fussy Ones

Then there are those which are very, very particular about where they are prepared to live. Some will perish if left in the cold, some if the the air around them becomes too dry, some because you missed watering them just for a couple of days. Even these plants can be accommodated in your home. You could plant up a terrarium to create the perfect environment for them? You just have to love them enough to want to make that space for them. It might sound like a lot of effort for the uninitiated but, believe us, when you have really fallen in love with a plant it can feel totally worth it.

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