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Landscape contractor Jenn Nawada meets a plant expert at a local greenhouse to talk about different houseplants and tropical plants. The two discuss the importance of the direction windows face, as it determines how much sunlight the room will get. Matching this sunlight to the right type of plants will allow them to thrive.
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Room and Window Layout Come First
Before deciding on which plants you’d like for a particular room, it’s important to consider the room and window layout. Different plant species thrive in different light conditions, and the direction the window faces determines the amount of light.
In the northern hemisphere, windows on the south side of a home will get full sunlight. Windows on the east or west are considered partial sunlight. Windows on the north side of the home are considered full shade.
Keep in mind that these are general rules. Structures like tall buildings, trees, and other obstructions can greatly reduce the amount of sunlight a window gets.
Plants in shaded windows need to thrive in low light conditions. Floor plants like bamboo palms can fill up a shaded corner, while a Chinese evergreen will bring interest as a table plant. For hanging plants, look for different varieties of pothos.
Windows on the east and west side of a home, or south-facing windows semi-obstructed by buildings or trees, will receive partial light. Floor plants that thrive in these conditions are Dracaena or dragon trees, as do tabletop plants like birds nest ferns. When it comes to hanging baskets or trailing plants, consider Swiss cheese vines.
South-facing windows are the most likely to see a lot of sunlight, and the plants in these windows need to be capable of handling it. Crotons do well as floor plants in these windows, and snake plants are a great choice for tabletop interest (they’re incredibly hardy, as well). String succulents like String of Pearls, String of Bananas, String of Hearts, or String of Dolphins plants can also thrive in these bright, intense windows.
Where to find it?
Jenn Nawada and Chris Bell, the houseplants and tropical plants expert at Weston Nurseries [https://www.westonnurseries.com/locations/hopkinton-garden-center/], gives insight on how to choose houseplants for different areas of a home.
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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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Houseplants for Different Areas | Ask This Old House