Indoor plants viewed from above.

What Plants to Choose for Indirect Sunlight Places in Your Home

This is a warm, position that receives little or no direct sunlight, although the overall level of brightness is still high.

Many of the main living areas in our homes offer good natural light. Rooms situated on the east side of the house are often bathed in sunlight for a few hours in the morning, while those on the west receive soft light during the afternoon.

These sorts of conditions are ideal for many houseplants, since very few enjoy basking in hot summer sun all day long. If your home offers good natural light, you have many choices available to you from nurseries, with flow­ering and foliage plants to choose from throughout the year — from gerberas, busy lizzies, and Cape primroses in summer to chrysanthemums, kalanchoes, begonias, and poinsettias in winter.

One of the most popular rooms in which to display houseplants is the living room, as this is where we spend much of our time. However, since this is probably one of the warmest rooms in the house, you must take precautions to prevent the atmosphere from becoming too dry. Many house- plants enjoy a warm position, but very few thrive in dry conditions and none like to be placed near a direct source of heat. If you have an open fire or central heating, you must find ways of providing humidity for your plants.

Regular misting is beneficial to many plants, especially ferns, but it is not suitable for those with hairy leaves, such as African violets, because the water can get trapped in the hairs on the leaves and cause them to rot. A helpful tip is to place the pot on a saucer of moist pebbles, which provide humidity as the water evaporates off the stones and into the surrounding air. Make sure the plant isn’t sitting in water, because this encour­ages bacteria which rot the roots.

Another solution is to place your flowerpot inside another larger con­tainer and surround the inner pot with damp moss. A useful tip is to place fresh moss over the surface of the potting soil, which riot only preserves mois­ture and provides humidity, but also looks most attractive — especially if you replace the moss reg­ularly with a fresh supply.

Cheerful gerberas – The striking, large, daisylike gerberas are perhaps more familiar as cut flowers from florists’, but the flowering pot plant is now widely available in orange, yellow, red, pink, and white throughout the summer.

Telltale signs that your plant isn’t receiving enough humidity are that the leaves begin to shrivel or show signs of scorching, or the buds or flowers fall off prematurely If your plants have been displayed in a warm, dry atmosphere for sev­eral months at a time, they will often benefit from a short vacation in a slightly airier part of the house. Bedrooms and hallways that have good light, but are not as warm as the main living areas of the house, are good places to move your plants to for short periods of time when they are starting t’p show signs of poor humidity. Do not overwater these plants because they are likely to rot.

Centerpiece of peperomias – A selection of different types of peperomias arranged together in a basket makes a very good center- piece for a dining- room table This basket has been lined with plastic, a few pebbles have been added to the base for drainage, and the plants removed from their original pots. The surface of the soil has been covered with fresh moss to conserve moisture.

One of the advantages of growing houseplants in containers is that they are portable, which means you can move them around according to the season. Different rooms offer different levels of light throughout the year, so if your indoor plants are not receiving enough light in one area of the room, you can move them to a brighter position with little effort. A begonia or African violet, for example, that thrives in the center of the living room in summer when light levels are high, may need to be placed closer to the windowsill in winter, when the sun is weak and the days are short – especially in northern latitudes.

Temperatures, too, can fluctuate — especially at night. So if you move a plant onto a sunny windowsill in winter, remem­ber to bring it back into the middle of the room at night when temperatures plummet. The same applies in summer when you must take care that your plants aren’t pressed up against the glass, which will scorch their leaves and cause them to turn brown around the edges.

Rotating your plants is an important part of caring for them, because if you leave a plant in a perma­nent position all year round it will eventually grow towards the main light source and lose its shape. If your plats are grouped in the middle of, per­haps, a dining-room table, make sure you turn them each day so that all sides receive equal shares of light. This is especially important during the winter when light levels are low.

If you like to display your plants together in a large container or cachepot, try to leave them in their own pots so that you can tend to them on an indi­vidual basis. Different plants require different levels of food and water, and if you keep them in separate pots you can remove them one at a time, check for dead or yellowing leaves or flowers, and water them individually, before returning them to the main container.

Here are some examples of flowers arrangement for your home:

Red and white – Flaming katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) can be bought in flower at any time of the year, and in a wide range of colors — including red, orange, arid yel­low. It has fleshy, succulent leave s and a long flowering season. A new plant to look out for and one that flowers during the winter months, pentas requires a warm bright position. To maintain a compact shape, pinch out the stem tips.

Dramatic, single color displays – The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is one plant that everyone associates with Christmas, with its large colored flower heads in brilliant red, pale pink, or butter-cream. The flowers are not really flowers, but are colored Leaf bracts with the tiny real flowers at the top of the bracts. This attractive plant, known as the Lipstick Vine (Aeschynanthus pulcher), produces a mass of bright red lipstick-shaped flowers on long stems with pointed leaves edged in purple. Place it in a bright position with average warmth, and water with tepid water. Provide some humidity by misting the leaves.

Single planting – Begonia rex, with its large striking leaves, makes an attractive plant for a permanent display. Water well, but allow the top half of the soil to dry out between watering. Mist the leaves frequently and sur­round the inner container with damp moss to maintain humidity levels.

Grouped display – The Rex begonias, with their attractive and varied foliage, do really well in a warm bright spot away from direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves and make them turn brown. Several different varieties planted together in a bowl, as here, make a long- lasting, colorful centerpiece. Try to leave the individual plants in. their plastic pots, rather than planting them together.; so that you can tend them on a personal basis.

Single foliage display – The fresh, grassy sterns of these house bamboos (Fargesia nitida) are set off by their straight- sided, aluminum containers. A group of t.100 or more plants is particularly eye-catching and works well in a modern room setting.

Harmonizing colors – A popular flowering plant, which is available from garden centers and nurseries. the Hiemalis begonia comes in a wide range of colors with single or double flowers. For maximum impact., group several plants together in a large container. This basket contains red and pink flowers.

Plants for indirect sun

The following seasonal plants are all suitable for a warm position out of direct sunlight:

Spring: Brazilian jasmine (Mandevilla sanderi), Camellia iaponica, Flamingo flower (Anthurium scherzerianum)

Summer: Begonia x hiemalis,  Busy lizy (Impatiens cvs.), Cape primrose (Streptocarpus cvs.) Gardenia augasta, Gerbera jamesonui, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Italian bellflower (Campanula isophylla), Nut orchid (Achimenes longiflora)

Winter: Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum), Ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum), Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)