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Thread: Large South-Facing Windowsil in upstate NY, Enough Light?

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    Large South-Facing Windowsil in upstate NY, Enough Light?

    The apartment I just moved into has a large south-facing windowsill, measuring about 6x5 feet. I'm in a high rise, so there is no shading from trees or other vegetation. I have heard that south-facing windowsills get the most natural light (in the northern hemisphere, at least), so I was thinking of trying some mexican pings and subtropical Drosera. The area where I live (upstate New York) tends to get among the fewest hours of sunlight per year of any region in the United States, particularly in the winter. It is nice and sunny now in August, but I have heard that winters here tend to stay perpetually overcast.

    Should these windowsill conditions be sufficient, or would it be best for me to invest in supplemental lighting?

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    i am very jealous. supplemental lighting would be used for the winter time.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    I have a couple windows that get a few hours of direct sun during the summer and zero direct sun in the winter (but bright shade). I experimented this last winter growing a couple tropical dews and Nepenthes in these windows only receiving bright shade (experimented with D. capensis, D. mutifida extrema, and N. ventricosa). While the lighting was certainly less than optimal, all plants continued to grow well. Though the dews were etiolated, they made an abundance of healthy leaves with decent dew, and the N. ventricosa surprised me by making an abundance of nice colorful pitchers. I imagine that you would probably have even better luck with a south facing window. Even if you have cloudy days much of the time, you would get several hours of direct sun on days when it wasn't cloudy (much better than my situation in winter).

    All that being said, I would definitely keep supplemental lighting in mind, but you might want to do a little experimentation to see how well plants will do for you in the winter without artificial lighting; you might be surprised, as I was. Or, you could try a few with and a few without supplemental lighting.
    Da' mishu
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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Your big south window should be fine for those plants..
    It will be a good amount of light, IMO you wont need any artificial lighting..

    yes, its overcast a lot around here in the winter..but the sun is also out a lot too!
    I say "go for it"..I think the lighting will be fine..

    Nearly all "house plants" are tropical plants..ficus, jade, schefflera, etc..
    all the classic "tropical house plants"..What makes them good house plants
    is the fact that they *are* tropical, and they dont require a winter dormancy..
    that's how they can live inside our houses year-round..

    In their native climates, many probably get more sun in the winter than they do here.
    yet they still still survive our winters indoors here...they just slow down a bit with the decreased light..
    they never go truly dormant, because they dont know how, but I think they "slow down" in the winter,
    go into a semi-resting state perhaps, then resume normal growth in the spring and summer..

    Scot

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    INFECTED Rball's Avatar
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    I live in the Adirondacks of NY state and i have a south facing window as well as a south west facing window and grow everthing from cephs to nepenthes and pings in them without a problem, no use of artificial lighting. The plants may take a few weeks to acclimate but will grow just fine. I mist them in the morning before work nd again before bed.
    DSCF3636
    DSCF3654

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    Rball, That's a really nice N. x Judith Finn! (I think).

    I also have a few questions about temperature. My apartment complex is heated to a constant 68f. This is a bit warmer than what most subtropical drosera and pinguicula prefer. In the summer, I can keep the window open. Summer night temps here are usually 55-60f, which seems ideal. In the winter, I was thinking of leaving the window open very slightly, but I am worried that draughts of very cold air could harm the plants.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I think that's pretty good for non-tropical sundews, as well as butterworts. Neps will stop pitchering from November to mid-spring.

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    Gigantea's Avatar
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    I grow several drosera in a slightly off of south window but I use a single 1600 lumen 6500K CFL bulb for supplemental lighting. It turns on at 7:30 am, goes off at 10am. Comes back on around 5pm, off at 9:30 pm. My Adelae just started reddening up from these conditions. So I think you'll be fine to grow about anything from your window.

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