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JAMES HODGES


With the onset of cooler temperatures we often turn our attention to indoor plants. Many of our indoor plants spend the summer outside on a porch or patio. Most of us have to move them inside and often purchase more indoor plants as the holiday season approaches. We often get plants as gifts during the season too. These plants may quickly deteriorate inside if we don’t provide the right light, water and/or temperature conditions.

Holiday plants, such as poinsettias, are intended for short-term display. They are carefully grown to be at peak bloom or color for quick sale at the right time. They are grown in the lap of luxury in greenhouses. They are pampered with just the right amount of light, water, temperature and fertilizers to maximize their appearance.

Holiday seasonal plants are not expected to last more than a few weeks, but matching the light and cultural requirements as closely as possible will maintain them longer than is typical. Proper lighting that fits their needs is essential to a longer life.

All plants for indoor use have specific light and growing condition requirements that are often listed on the tag or can be found in bulletins from Clemson University’s HGIC website: clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/indoor/.

Perhaps the best bulletin for general light and care is HGIC Bulletin 1450, Indoor Plants -- Cleaning, Fertilizing, Containers & Light Requirements. It provides information on numerous indoor plants.

The best way to improve your odds for indoor plant success is to get information first, before you buy or move plants. You need the light requirements of your plant and an estimate of light intensity for various indoor plant locations. There are many bulletins on popular indoor plants, such as peace lily or orchids on the Clemson website too.

If you plan to purchase a specific plant, first check to see if you can provide the light conditions needed by using the definitions for light levels provided by bulletin 1450 and listed below:

-- Low Light -- Areas more than eight feet from windows such as the center of rooms, inside walls or hallways. Windows with northern exposures often fall into this category, even next to the windows. Areas that only receive artificial light.

-- Medium Light -- Locations four to eight feet from south and east facing windows or a west window that does not receive direct sun.

-- High Light -- Areas within four feet of east, south or west facing windows.

-- Very High Light -- Areas with large windows facing east, south or west with much direct sun exposure or indoor sunrooms or greenhouses.

You may have to choose different plants or place them differently to have success.

You can do friends a favor by giving plants that are in the low or medium light requirement categories unless you are certain they have a high sunlight area in their home.

Programs below are provided free to the public.

Lawn Renovation, Establishment after Drought Program is offered in the Abbeville County Extension Office, 265 Industrial Park Rd, Abbeville, SC 29620, and is free.

The class is also offered 9-11 a.m. Wednesday. Call 864-446-2276 to register by Monday.

Farm Financial Recordkeeping is offered atAbbeville County Extension Office, and is free.

Financial analysis is important for businesses to know where they stand and to create a plan of action. Learn how to gain confidence in understanding your own accounting dates and be able to plan your farm business. Class is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday. Call 864-446-2276 to register.

Honey Bees program Lakelands Master Gardener is offered 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Greenwood County Library. It also is free.

Donna Boozer will discuss the history of beekeeping, honeybee colonies, creating a pollinator friendly garden and there will be honey tasting.

James Hodges is a Clemson Extension agent in Greenwood County. He can be reached at 864-223-3264.