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Old 03-15-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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I am trying to keep some newly purchased African Violets and Begonias alive as indoor plants; and maybe, if I am not dreaming too much - to keep them blooming or just overall doing well.
I have done my homework, read lots about it - yet it is still not clear to me whether I placed these plants correctly or not.

I keep reading that these plants like BRIGHT yet INDIRECT light.

And just how is this supposed to happen? Have your cake and eat it too?
"Bright" and "indirect" don't seem to go hand in hand to me.

I placed the plants on a long/running table that separates our couch from the bay window in our living room. So they sit pretty much at the window, like on a window seal. The window is facing East and receives morning/first part of the day light. (Location: Georgia - so at some point, even that morning light is going to get pretty hot).

I read that light coming from the East (morning) is supposed to be indirect, whereas light coming from the West or South (in the afternoon) is considered direct because it is blazing.

My question is: given that I have a sheer white curtain at the window, should I keep it drawn away towards the ends, so the plants can get the morning sun directly through the window. (Again, I read that morning sun is technically considered "indirect" because it is milder, even if it falls directly on the plants through the glass).
Or should I keep the curtain covering the entire window so that the light will be truly INDIRECT? I am just afraid that if I keep the curtain on, the light will be too little and they will not bloom properly. The curtain is sheer but not the sheerest of sheer (I sound like an idiot, I know). It is just slightly dense, a tad more opaque than the sheerest of sheer curtains.

Any advice would be highly appreciated, thank you so much.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:41 PM
 
Location: The Mitten
751 posts, read 1,063,926 times
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Indirect light just means when the Sun goes into the window, the position of your plants don't get hit by the Sun's rays. Yet the window is the brightest window in your home.

So if your house sits along the direction of the Sun, West to East, then you can place your african violet in the front window (or back), as it won't get too much direct Sun light. It'll probably be OK to get a few hours of light from the Sun, but anything longer than 4 hours will probably prevent it from flowering again.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitopcat View Post
Indirect light just means when the Sun goes into the window, the position of your plants don't get hit by the Sun's rays. Yet the window is the brightest window in your home.

So if your house sits along the direction of the Sun, West to East, then you can place your african violet in the front window (or back), as it won't get too much direct Sun light. It'll probably be OK to get a few hours of light from the Sun, but anything longer than 4 hours will probably prevent it from flowering again.
Thank you so much. So given this is an Eastern Window should I leave the sheer curtain on or should I draw it away?
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 6,987,397 times
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If the sheer curtain blocks too much light, then get rid of it. You don't want direct sun, but you do want enough light bouncing around to keep the plants healthy.

My mother and grandmother used to grow award-winning African Violets, and they love indirect light - and in Southern California, we get a lot of light! But any direct sun at all, and you'll have problems. And when you water them, do it at a time of day when there is less light. Water drops on the leaves, and too much light is not a good combination!
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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My African violets grow best in an east or north window. They're right on the windowsill, and the only time I move them is when the temperatures get below freezing.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now a Rehoboth Beach Bunny
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I have the opposite luck my violets sit in my south facing window with a sheer on the window and they are spectacular. I only move them to water and feed and back they go. I always feed and water from the bottom saucer.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,752 posts, read 3,619,409 times
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Syracusa,
They should get light THROUGH the sheer curtain.
To answer your question.
They shouldn't have the sun beat on them at all.
So, if they are on the window sill, the curtain must be in front
of the plants between the plants and the sun coming in from the glass.
There are easy to stick on the window privacy panels that you can buy
from home Depo, if you need them.
Since the plants are small, you could cut the panels to fit
mabey a bottom portion of the front window so that it filters
the direct light for the plants. Just a thought.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:40 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly4u View Post
Syracusa,
They should get light THROUGH the sheer curtain.
To answer your question.
They shouldn't have the sun beat on them at all.
So, if they are on the window sill, the curtain must be in front
of the plants between the plants and the sun coming in from the glass.
There are easy to stick on the window privacy panels that you can buy
from home Depo, if you need them.
Since the plants are small, you could cut the panels to fit
mabey a bottom portion of the front window so that it filters
the direct light for the plants. Just a thought.
Oh, thank you! This makes it clear and also reinforces what I just read somewhere else on the net and which was saying that they should be behind a sheer curtain even in an East facing window.
If I don't have the sheer curtain on, the sun DOES fall directly on them during the first part of the day, until around 1:00-2:00 pm or so; and even though they call sun from the East "indirect", it does look like the sun rays come straight at the plants through the glass. Here in the South, even morning sun can be quite hot.

So I think I am going to leave the curtains drawn/on and see how they do.

But now I have a different problem, for which I might start a different thread because it is a completely separate issue.

A day or two after I brought these flowers in, I noticed a couple of very small insects, like some very tiny fruit flies around the curtain where the flowers are.

The flowers themselves are completely healthy and clean but it is not clear to me why those tiny little flies hover in that area. Right now there are just a couple of them but I have seen them consistently over the past few days and I am afraid they will multiply. To prevent any future problems, what should I do?
I don't even know what these are. I heard of gnats ...but I am not sure this is what these tiny flies are.

Any ideas would be, again, highly appreciated. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now a Rehoboth Beach Bunny
7,243 posts, read 9,588,980 times
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Have you tired insecticidal soap? I would spray the dirt being careful to avoid the leaves. Did you bring them in from outside your home or from the nursery? I am assuming the leaves look OK?
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:48 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuts2uiam View Post
Have you tired insecticidal soap? I would spray the dirt being careful to avoid the leaves. Did you bring them in from outside your home or from the nursery? I am assuming the leaves look OK?
I heard of it but being the novice that I am, I have no clue whether this is some special soap to be bought in the gardening section or you can just use any soap? Please don't laugh at me.

I definitely need to use something soon because I am afraid those couple of tiny flies will soon multiply and populate the entire area where the flowers are - in the living room. That is a major no-no.
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