Why do some house plants thrive on low light conditions?

  Aitchbee 22:36 04 Dec 2011

All of my indoor potted peace lillies were lookin' poorly this summer.Now they are thriving, shiny leaved, and proud, after 4 months of semi-darkness. I do not understand. Less Light, More Growth...it appears.

  Forum Editor 22:50 04 Dec 2011

The Peace lily's natural habitat is the rainforests of central and southern America. The lilies grow on the forest floor,and that means they don't get a lot of bright light - they live in dappled sunshine.

In the summer you should water them frequently,and spray them with mist - you're trying to simulate their hot, humid home territory. Keep them out of hot sunshine, but let them have some light. Their leaves will go pale, and curl if they receive too much light.

In winter they should be watered far less frequently, but never allowed to dry out.

  Aitchbee 22:54 04 Dec 2011

cheers FE. I am always amazed at what plant can do...even with humans about.

  Forum Editor 19:19 05 Dec 2011

You might be surprised by some of the amazing things plants do.

There is a tree in the Amazon rain forests that is vulnerable to predation by the caterpillars of a particular butterfly - they can strip it of its leaves quite quickly.

Another butterfly sometimes lays its eggs on the same tree's leaves, and those caterpillars can out-compete the first butterfly's caterpillars for the leaves, although they tend not to eat the whole leaf, and consequently do less overall harm to the tree.

The tree has evolved a defence against the first butterfly. On the surface of some of its leaves it produces tiny nodules that are precise replicas of the second butterfly's eggs. The first butterfly comes fluttering by, sees the nodules, and carries on fluttering; it knows that the eggs are bad news for its own caterpillars, so it goes in search of another tree - its caterpillars have evolved to be able to feed on more than one tree species.

There are many other examples of plants protecting themselves by evolving defences against animals and insects - some of them enter into symbiotic relationships with certain birds and ants, for instance.

  Aitchbee 19:40 05 Dec 2011

Fascinatin' stuff - FE, as a little adjoinder, can I say that I use my Venetian blinds cleaner, to moisten and clean my eleven, yuccas, the leaves are 'bout two foot long.And , also, one of my lilies was visited by a black slug. I placed it,(slug) gently, into another place.The 5 fig plants, that I have outside, in the landing, I will now bring into my house...otherwise the leaves will drop, in the cold weather.

I have also, leaf propogated about 100 ZZ plant leaves.

Thanks FE...I am sowing some new seeds for next year.

...I am also amazed at what some humans can do!

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