DPA/THE STAR – Be it in the kitchen or office, it just isn’t home for many people without indoor plants. But whether your potted companions thrive depends greatly on where you put them.
“The location is defined by the room temperature and light situation,” said a gardening expert and board member of Germany’s Federal Association of Retail Gardeners Olaf Beier.
If a window faces south it will be very bright there and get warm quickly, which limits the choice of adjacent plant life: “A spot right by the window is not an option for many plants,” said Beier. But some plants feel right at home there, like cacti.
Other succulents like the money tree can also handle the higher temperature, even when the glass acts like a magnifying glass and burns its leaves on sunny days. But for many species, it’s best to select a bright location without direct sun, by windows that face west or east.
“This way the plants get enough light,” said master florist Ute Kersting.
However, you should not rely on the human perception of brightness. Check the light intensity with a measuring device like the digital lux metre. A plant needs at least 600 lux – a unit of illuminance – to survive, and 1,000 lux to grow, said Kersting.
The window glass, curtains and also the distance to the window reduce the illuminance in a room. Plants that can get by with less light work well here.
“These are mostly large-leaved green plants that come from the lower layers of vegetation in the tropics,” said Beier, naming the tropical vine pothos – also called devil’s ivy – peace lily and Calathea as good candidates. Monstera and creepers also grow well in low light, while room temperature for all should be around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius.
The narrow-leaved dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) is also recommended for living spaces.
“All types of Ficus can be used in bright areas that are not in full sunlight,” said Beier.
Climbing plants such as ivy and philodendron are not only very easy to care for but also fit well on the sideboard, cupboard or shelf.
In the kitchen, aromatic herbs like spearmint, chives, basil and parsley are perfect for the window sill, said Kersting. These can be harvested regularly and will just keep growing while being a great addition to drinks.
When airing the kitchen, remember that drafts can carry in pests that settle directly on plants, so put them to the side when airing, not just in the kitchen but any room.