Imagine how difficult it would be for humans, after countless centuries of living in sheltered dwellings, suddenly to be required to live permanently outdoors. Unlikely as the example may seem, it illustrates the difficulty of relocating plants from their accustomed and optimal growing sites to indoor locations.
When plants are used indoors, they must adjust to numerous changes that include:
• a drastic reduction in the quality and intensity of the light
• reduction and constriction of the plant’s root system
• the replacement of natural rainfall by dependency on humans for correct watering
• a reduction in nutrient requirements and a potential for buildup of soluble salts (fertilizers)
• a lack of air movement and rainfall, allowing dust to accumulate on the leaves, often plugging stomata and reducing photosynthesis
• potential damage by air conditioners, central heating systems, cleaning chemicals, water additives, and other irritants
Under these conditions, plants sustain themselves but seldom grow.