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.

Updated: September 29, 2015 — 7:59 pm