Skylight as only light source?

WindyCityCassie(8)August 5, 2014

Hi everyone (1st post here!),

We are moving house soon and our current house has lots of large windows, on both floors. However, the house we are moving to, while bright to a human eye, is probably going to be a lot less suitable for plants in at least some of the rooms.

In a south-facing room with a skylight, am I pretty much going to be stuck with lower light plants like ferns or my monstera? Or do I need to measure the lux in the room to find out?

Just trying to figure out where to put all my plants in the new house! The south windows (that aren't skylights) are in the kitchen, utility room, a bathroom, and the painting studio. No east or west windows and the living room and master bedroom have 1.8m x 2m north windows. Other rooms are skylight-lit only, unfortunately.

Thanks so much and nice to make your virtual acquaintances!

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I have a skylight in my kitchen along with 2 south facing windows. I have most of my plants in the kitchen as it is so large and there is a "window" in the wall for plants, too. Skylights are great source of light for plants. Good luck in your new home!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hithere, welcome to GW!

Those other rooms sound like perfect places to put plants, I usually have them in every room when they come inside for winter. You'll probably need to live there a few weeks to watch the light patterns before you stop tweaking plant placements. Or, if you're like me, you'll tweak them often, indefinitely. The plants will visually let you know if they're unhappy, but I'm sure you're trying to avoid that as much as possible up front.

I have no advice regarding skylights in particular, daggone unfortunately! But I've always wondered about hanging 4 pots from one, at staggered heights, one from each 'wall...'

Went looking for pics of such a thing, and found THIS - OMG!:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Thanks for the replies so far. :) I wish I had both a skylight and the south windows in my kitchen!

Love that pic with all the plants in the skylight. I'm now pondering getting a few plants to hang from one skylight. :) Too bad the skylights in this house are about half the width of the one in the picture.

Looks like my kitchen and utility rooms are going to turn in to jungles in the new house. Not that I mind, of course...we'll see what the rest of the family thinks.

I'm mostly bummed that my office will not be south facing - it has a small .6m x 1.25m north window and not even a skylight. Perhaps I'll try my hand at ferns - other than a bird's nest fern and one I never found the name to that I've now had for a few years I'm usually good at killing ferns for some reason.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you have any Philodendrons, they are usually happy by a north window, at least here in the south part of the US.

If you'd like to show a pic of your mystery fern, somebody will probably know what kind it is.

Good luck with your move, BTW. Everybody hates doing that, even when they want to move.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:56AM
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Thanks! I don't have a philodendron now, but have had one in the past. Are they all equally happy in low light? Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a pretty one...

In regards to my mystery fern, I attached an image file, but forgot to rotate it first. :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:48AM
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It's a little difficult to tell with the lighting in the picture, but I believe that's Microsorum diversifolium, AKA 'Kangaroo Paw' Fern.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Sorry about the lighting - very sunny here today. :)

Ahh yes, it is indeed a Microsorum diversifolium. At least I've seen a few pictures that show identical leaves - so it's a a variety within it I guess. It's one trooper of a fern I must say! I have had people tell Nephrolepis exaltata is easy, but I've not had as much luck with those.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:32AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Windy, from what I know about the Philos (very little considering there are just under 1,000 species,) I think you picked the most sun loving one from the realm of those people in the US are likely to have. That's the one Philo of mine that doesn't sit in the deep shade under trees, (my plants are outside while it's warm enough,) but gets a few hours of direct light late in the afternoon.

Something like this thrives with no direct light.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This pot is hanging under several trees, no direct light on it either. When I bring plants inside, these Philos are always in the back row, by the north window, spots that wouldn't be enough light for most other plants, comparatively. Those that keep plants inside all of the time might have different opinions.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:25PM
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Thanks for the additional replies! The last philodendron is definitely one I've seen more than a few times - it is popular in offices here.

I do live in the UK, near the Peak District so we get a bit less light than some places, even if we are zone 8. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:01AM
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