We believe in using LIVING soil. That means the soil is healthy & yes, Alive! Alive with mycorrhiza, a fungus that forms a symbiotic relationship with the plant through the root system. When each benefits from the relationship it’s symbiotic not parasitic. Soil & light, add water & love and you’re growing yourself a plant.
my•cor•rhi•za noun BOTANY, plural mycorrhizae
Lighting descriptions are confusing. How do you determine what indirect, bright light is vs. part shade & isn’t that the same as part sun? & just up front- NO plant can live, survive or thrive in NO light. Easy to remember right>> NO plant lives in NO light.
To add insult to injury, NO plant really ‘thrives’ in “Low Light”. I say that with quotations because strength of light is actually really, REALLY difficult for the human eye to determine. That is just a scientific fact. So when I see y’alls “low light” spots in your houses, it’s often times, basically zero light to the plant because our inferior naked eye cannot determine the light factor. It’s not us, it’s our humanity. & so, HMG brings you plants to reconnect us with the natural world of flora & funga.
To get to it, let’s break down what light descriptions even mean.
To simplify all these descriptions, here’s the main objectives of light descriptions.
- strength of light i.e. in natural light morning sun vs. 3pm sun. In artificial light, this is mimicked by how close or far the light source is from the plant. This is the part of the description that says how bright the light is. “Bright, medium, indirect…”
- length of exposure time This is not talked about in the indoor plant community much & this is important because we have A. the natural filter of windows [also cuts strength of light] B. lots of walls to create angles where light is cut off from reaching the plant for as much time as it otherwise could as the sun moves through the sky C. trees or buildings blocking light out- again, also cutting the strength of light. This is described as “part” this or the other.
- Described as quantity or intensity, this is a tricky one. Starting with an example, a common indirect light plant or “shade” plant is the peace lily, spathiphyllum wallisii. Shade is a whole other description confusion. the shade outside is about 1000x brighter than the brightest spot inside your house! So placing your peace lily in a dark place inside is really sentencing it to a slow death. Beautiful, but still death because it can tolerate low light conditions indoors for a pretty long time. Often, these ones will not give many blooms beyond the ones it had when you first brought it home- & this is why! Intensity of light is important for flowering or fruiting plants to produce flowers/fruits. So although the peace lily is a shade/indirect, bright light plant, this is where the bright part of the ‘bright, indirect’ description comes in. It cannot handle direct light outdoors, so to the shade it goes. Indoors, this now becomes a balance of getting a number of factors to align just right; strength, length of time & intensity of the light to try & mimick the perfect bright, shaded spot outdoors.
Light comes in 2 ways; from the sun & from light bulbs. Almost every single plant can thrive in ‘bright, indirect’ light. THAT is hard for the human eye to identify.
Natural & artificial light is measured in different terms like lux, lumens & foot-candles so we use a light meter. A simple way to determine sunlight is find which direction the window faces.
However, in the event you have a south window facing a building or looking out into a wall of tall trees, it is in no way as useful as a south-facing window wide open to the sun.
*Keep this in mind as we describe natural light in relation to direction.