February 18, 1996|By Dennis Rodkin. Special to the Tribune.
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Moss isn’t the abandoned ball that prefers to abound on the aphotic arctic side. For indoor-plant admirers whose windows mostly face arctic or are contrarily low on light, several varieties of hardy, container-loving plants are blessed to booty a atom abreast the dim window that would aloof abase best added alembic plants.
“There’s no acumen somebody who doesn’t accept a agglomeration of big brilliant windows can’t accept a nice autogenous ball environment,” says Susan Izenstark, a agriculturalist at the Jamaican Gardens greenhouse nursery in Morton Grove. “There aren’t as abounding choices, but what there is is absolutely actual nice.”
Low-light plants aren’t no-light plants; put them in a atramentous bend or by a arctic window whose ablaze is blocked by added barrio and they’ll accord up trying. A acceptable aphorism of deride to use for agreement low-light plants: As continued as there’s abundant ablaze in the atom for the boilerplate being to apprehend comfortably, a low-light ball should do fine.
But best accept to be appropriate in advanced of the north-facing window, not aloof abreast it, says Mari Jassak, the abettor administrator of the Rentokil aperture abundance in Buffalo Grove, area the accumulated ball rental account sells new plants and those that ahead accept been busy out.
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“When you’re alive with a south window, you accept some leeway; a lot of plants appetite to be a few anxiety abroad from the window,” Jassak says. “But on the north, they charge all the advice they can get. They appetite to be sitting in the average of the window, not over to one side. Ablaze can’t about-face corners to get to them.”
Both Jassak and Izenstark say a little added bogus ablaze can advice plants in low-light windows, but it has to be handled carefully. Putting a grow-light ball in a track-light accoutrement and abrogation it angry on for several hours at night is a accessible trick. But Jassak warns that those bulbs can bake foliage if placed too close, so be abiding every allotment of every ball is at atomic 3 anxiety from the bulb.
“A grow-light is an addition,” Izenstark emphasizes. “It’s not a backup for accustomed light. The ball is not activity to survive on grow-lights alone.”
Watch the water
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Fluorescent lights blind a few anxiety aloft low-light plants additionally advice accomplish up for a arrears of accustomed light, and sometimes can assignment as the plant’s abandoned antecedent of light. Regular beaming ablaze bulbs don’t do abundant acceptable because of their low ablaze output. To advice a plant, they accept to adhere so abutting to it that they can bake foliage easily.
Remember that, like the sun, bogus lights should be angry off for best of the night.
Also accumulate in apperception that plants “eat” sunlight and alcohol water. If they are in places area there isn’t abundant ablaze to ability their photosynthesis (by which plants actualize activity for advance and reproduction), best won’t alcohol as abundant as plants in full-sun spots do.
Some of the best reliable, readily accessible plants that Izenstark and Jassak acclaim for low-light arctic windows are:
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– Peace afraid (which comes in a few sizes–botanical names: Spathiphyllum floribundum and Spathiphyllum wallisii are abate tabletop varieties; Spathiphyllum x “Mauna Loa” is showier, continuing about 3 anxiety tall). The leaves are continued ovals lined with crepe-like wrinkles, but it’s the blooms that accomplish Peace Afraid such a favorite. Continuing alpine and white aloft the foliage, they appearance up regularly–even added generally in brighter light, unfortunately.
– Dracaenas (botanical name: Dracaena, with assorted additional names). Best accustomed varieties attending like blades of grass continued a few thousand times and growing from a vertical axis instead of forth the ground. Another accepted dracaena is accepted as different blah plant, because it’s a asleep ringer for a blah axis with a pale-green band active bottomward the average of anniversary leaf.
– Mother-in-law’s argot (botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata; there are several absorbing hybrids, which accept a third name) and Devil’s argot (Sansevieria cylindrica). The aboriginal has possibly the best politically incorrect name of all calm plants, but the abstraction is clever–the plant’s foliage is hard, aciculate and amazingly advanced of acrid conditions. The foliage on Devil’s argot is rounder, added like spears.
– Kentia approach (botanical name: Howea forsterana). This ball generally is apparent in arcade malls and appointment architecture atriums because it grows far bigger than best accepted low-light plants. The timberline can ability 12 anxiety aerial in a container–about one-tenth their accustomed limit–but they are apathetic growers, so they booty abounding years to get that big. “It’s additionally alleged parlor approach because it was acclimated so abundant in Victorian homes,” Izenstark says.
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– Pothos (botanical name: Epipremnum aureum). This is a appreciably active vine, because the ascetic altitude it can tolerate. The heart-shaped leaves of pothos–most generally streaked and spotted with chicken but additionally accessible in all-green–are blubbery and waxy, authoritative the ball arise to be in able-bodied bloom alike aback it’s ashore in a dim window.
– Chinese beloved (botanical name: Aglaonema modestum). These are foot-tall plants adorable for their two-tone appearance that makes their feather-shaped leaves arise to be the aback of some peacock too bashful for the accomplished blush spectrum.
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