No career field in ornamental horticulture holds greater promise than interior plantscaping. The current technology and knowledge of grow­ing plants indoors is comparable to that when Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers began working in their professions. There is a need for fresh approaches to move us beyond Ficus trees and hanging bas­kets. More research is needed to introduce new species and varieties suitable for interior use. Also needed is better data on how to acclima­tize plants with less foliage drop and transplant shock. Further study of soil mixes, fertilizer needs, and lighting requirements is needed to replace the guesswork of today. Finally, more professional plant maintenance firms are needed. They need dependable studies of such matters as the time required to dust and clean various leaf sizes and textures. Buildings need to be designed as carefully for their planted occupants as for their human ones. Automated watering and fertiliza­tion systems are needed to ease the current labor-intensive methods. There is ample work for young people who wish to train themselves for it.


The use of plants indoors is not a new idea. Nevertheless, so explosive has been the recent demand for interior plantings in public buildings that the technology necessary to ensure their survival has not kept pace.

In general, tropical foliage plants have proved better suited than temperate zone plants for indoor use because they do not require a period of cool temperature dormancy. Nevertheless, when plants are used indoors, a number of problems can occur. The procedures neces­sary for the successful transplant of tropical foliage plants to an interior locale include acclimatization to reduced light intensity, reduced nutri­ents, greater moisture stress, and lower temperatures.

Although light acclimatization allows the plant to survive at a reduced light intensity, it is still vital that the proper quality of light be provided. Therefore, the designer of an interior plantscape must understand the differences in light quality and the lamps that provide them.

The provision of a proper growing medium is equally important to the successful acclimatization of interior plants. The medium must pro­vide structural support, water absorption, essential nutrients, proper pH, and good drainage. It is most often a mixture of natural soil and additives.

Plants may be set into an interior plantscape in ground beds or raised planters. the method of installation will be determined partly by the anticipated frequency of plant replacement. Whether planting in ground or in planters, allowance must be made for the removal of stand­ing water from the planters. More interior plantings die from overwater­ing than from any other reason.

Watering the plantings, like other procedures, needs to be done as part of a carefully planned program of maintenance. Scheduled main­tenance, rather than impromptu attention, is necessary to ensure opti­mum satisfaction with the plantscape.

The most successful interior plantings require the expertise and cooperation of interior plantscapers, plant growers, interior decorators, landscape architects, architects, maintenance professionals, and build­ing management. Each brings a distinct point of view to the project from which all others, and the plantscape, can benefit.

Подпись: A. TRUE/FALSE Indicate if the following statements are true or false. 1. Interior use of plants is a new concept. 2. Architects and interior decorators are trained to write correct specifications for interior plantscapes. 3. Tropical plants have proven to be better suited for interior use than temperate plants. 4. Interior plantings require less fertilizer than outdoor plantings. 5. Soluble salts originate from fertilizers and water. 6. Clear glass transmits 100 percent of the sunlight that shines on it. 7. Light intensity is measured in nanometers. 8. Light wavelength is measured in footcandles. 9. Most plants will survive after being acclimatized to a light intensity of 100 to 200 f.c. B. MULTIPLE CHOICE From the choices given, select the answer that best completes the following statements. 1. The most efficient natural light for interior plantscapes enters from . a. the sides of buildings b. skylights 20 feet overhead c. skylights 15 feet or less overhead d. incandescent bulbs
Подпись: 2. The most efficient skylight has . a. a shallow, wide well with vertical sides b. a shallow, wide well with 45° beveled sides c. a deep, narrow well with vertical sides d. a deep, narrow well with 45° beveled sides 3. In most single-story settings, the best lamp for lighting an indoor planting is . a. an incandescent b. a cool white fluorescent c. a warm white fluorescent d. a fluorescent plant growth lamp 4. Interior plantings illuminated with 100 to 200 f.c. of light require hours of lighting each day. a. eight c. twelve b. ten d. fourteen 5. The most important reason for using a synthetic soil in an interior planting rather than natural soil is . a. drainage c. structural support b. nutrient content d. cost 6. An interior planting that reflects seasonal changes through use of such plants as daffodils, mums, and poinsettias, would be best if designed . a. as an in-ground planting b. as a containerized planting 7. Deep watering of interior plantings will
Подпись: a. encourage deep rooting b. leach away soluble salts c. do both of these d. do none of these



Подпись: 8. Watering of interior plantscapes is best done . a. irregularly b. weekly c. when convenient d. according to an established schedule 9. The two major reasons why interior plants die are overwatering and . a. too much light d. incorrect pH b. too much c. too little fertilizer fertilizer Подпись: 10. Chlorine gas, dust, and ethylene are all possible affecting interior plantings. a. pesticides c. pathogens b. air pollutants d. toxins


Answer each of the following questions as briefly as possible.

1. Place Xs in the chart below where appropriate to compare the different lamp types.



Cool White Fluorescent

Fluorescent Plant Lamps


Metal Halide



High in red light

Low in red light

High in blue light

Low in blue light

Good color rendition

High initial cost

Low initial cost

Moderate initial cost

Low operating cost

Moderate operating cost

2. Label the parts of this containerized plant.


3. Indicate whether the following are characteristic of interior or exterior plantings

a. Rapid growth is encouraged

b. Pruning is minimal

c. Dusting of foliage is needed

d. High-analysis fertilizers are used regularly

e. Ventilation of the planting site is needed

f. Plants must be acclimatized to low humidity

g. Plants are most affected by insects and diseases

h. Plants suffer most from vandalism and abuse


Updated: September 30, 2015 — 10:47 am