Grow Indoor Shrubs With Artificial Light

By: Susan Slobac

You might not think of shrubs as a top pick for a plant to grow indoors, but actually there are several beautiful shrubs that will thrive and provide much color to your home. The key to success with growing shrubs indoors is to give them adequate artificial light.

One lovely shrub choice for indoors is the Sasanqua camellia. These are early-blooming camellias, usually flowering October through February. These will also stay fairly compact, much more so that the sometimes huge Japonica camellias, and they will bloom for a long season indoors. Excess rain can truly damage their flowers, but this factor is removed when you grow them indoors. One beautiful variety to try is 'Jean May,' a double light pink beauty.

Azaleas can also be grown successfully indoors. Because they will be growing in your warm house, chances are that they will bloom in spring, in March. They should bloom for two or more weeks, and some rebloom in the fall.
The crimson bottle brush sports bright red bottle brush-looking flowers. This colorful shrub blooms in fall and winter.

Another gorgeous and fragrant flowering shrub you can grow indoors is the gardenia. The shrub is evergreen, and has creamy ivory-colored flowers. Gardenias like to be well watered and have soil that is free draining, and they also appreciate good humidity. You can put a shallow dish with small pebbles in it and add water. The water evaporates and helps provide moister air around the plant.

False heather is a gorgeous choice for an indoor flowering shrub. This evergreen has tiny bright green leaves, and tiny flowers ranging from pinkish-purple to light lavender and white. It boasts a long bloom time as well.
A shrub with very colorful foliage that does well in an indoor setting is the zebra plant. Glossy dark green leaves with white veining and edging, it also has yellow flowers. This plant, like the gardenia, also likes high humidity.

All indoor plants require the proper light. The best light for plants is sunlight, but since they are inside, you want artificial light that will mimic sunlight. HID lights are excellent for this purpose. Their light comes in both the blue and red/orange color spectrums, so your plants will receive light that promotes both growth and flowering. High intensity discharge lamps, or HID lamps, are used with a lamp ballast to control the electrical current flow that starts and runs the light bulb. Their intense light is just what your indoor plants need to thrive, especially in low-light times of winter, when the natural light is pale and weak. Enjoy your indoor shrubs under the proper light, and they will look great for years to come.

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