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Light problems, please help :)

Hi everyone :) i got my new cool gadget yesterday that i've been beyond excited about haha! I can now measure my soil ph, moisture and light. Which brigs me to my question.. I don't think there is enough light in my house. My south facing window is about the only spot where there is any sort of decent light. All other places are very low in light. 100FC at best and one spot at 200FC. Is this normal? Is it just because it's winter time? Do i need to provide extra light or do my plants know it's winter and will be fine come spring/summer time? Sorry, may seem like a silly question but i know absolutely nothing about light and i'm debating whether i need some lights for my plants or if i should just hold off until we have 'brighter' days. Most my plants are doing ok. I have moved my ficus benjamina to my south facing window as it's the brightest spot and my ficus is looking very sad, however, i'm worried in case the only bright spot in the house might be too bright for my ficus. 
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,600
    I think you're overcomplicating things.
    I've grown house plants for over 50 years and have never once "measured" light levels.
    "100FC at best and one spot at 200FC" means absolutely nothing to me. If it's bright enough for you to function indoors without artificial light, I'd say it's light enough. 
    Do a little research some plants like more light ( generally those with flowers ) some are happy in pretty low light, ( eg ferns ) 
    Devon.
  • Hostafan1 said:
    I think you're overcomplicating things.
    I've grown house plants for over 50 years and have never once "measured" light levels.
    "100FC at best and one spot at 200FC" means absolutely nothing to me. If it's bright enough for you to function indoors without artificial light, I'd say it's light enough. 
    Do a little research some plants like more light ( generally those with flowers ) some are happy in pretty low light, ( eg ferns ) 
    Oh I 100% like to make things complicated and look into things wayyyy to much 🙈😂 haha! I read too much into things to try give all my babies the best care as I would definitely say that I wasn’t born a green thumb 🙈 all my plants are doing well, however, my ficus benjamina is not perking up no matter what I try which is what led me to getting the meter in the first place. Any tips appreciated:) 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,600
    Ficus benjamina, in my experience, tend to shed some leaves over the winter ( which can be alarming ) but will soon perk up. 
    Don't overwater them, especially in Winter months. 
    Devon.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579
    I have a rather large variegated ficus benjamina that always looks sad in winter and loses leaves.  I just give it a shake to loosen them and then sweep them up and I keep it's soil on the dry side of moist.  I've had it about 35 years since it was teeny.  I have never used a light metre either.   In winter I give it a spot in front of a window and in summer I give it light but not direct sun cos that would burn the creamy bits.

    Once nighttime temperatures get to 10C I move it outside onto a north facing terrace where it gets plenty of light but no direct sun except around sunset in midsummer.  It then puts on loads of new growth and foliage and last year it even had teeny fruits.  I top dress its compost each spring and give it a feed and it is watered by the rain, when we have it, plus regular top ups from me along with all the fuchsias, hostas and mints that enjoy that terrace in summer.

    Have a look at this info - https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/7197/ficus-benjamina/details 


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Wow, thank you so much! Wish winter was over already! Thank you so much for your replies. Going to see how he gets on on the window and go from there ☺️ 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579
    Just make sure your window doesn't get too cold at night.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
    Just to add here that your plants will let you know if they're unhappy. I have a few houseplants and one (an asparagus fern) which is usually placed in my living room out of direct sunlight, was starting to turn a bit yellow in about December. I knew it wasn't from overwatering and assumed it must be light. I moved it closer to a window and it's thriving, even growing! I expect come spring/summer when it warms up and the light is stronger, I'll move it back to it's normal home. So definitely don't be afraid to try them out in different locations at different times of the year :) 
  • Aw thank you! I’m just going through trial and error with my ficus for now. I think the window might be too cold as when I put my hand closer to the window it definitely feels colder, although I doubt it’s less than 10 degrees Celsius. Time will tell. 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,089
    I've had Ficus benjamina on both east and west windowsills with net curtains and they're fine (we don't have any south-facing windows so that's not even an option). The double glazing is pretty good at keeping out the cold though.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579
    Mine no longer fits on a windowsill.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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