Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When growing cacti and succulents indoors, light is one of the most important considerations.
The four kinds of exposures present different intensities and intervals of light during the different seasons of the year.
When considering light and selecting suitable cacti and succulents, the first thing you’ll want to do is to determine what sort of exposure you have. Not every house or apartment is set directly on a north/south or east/west axis. However, knowing the exposure for the different windows or glass doors will help you choose the best indoor spots for your cacti and succulents.
Northern exposures are the least desirable for most kinds of cacti and succulents. This will receive the least amount of light of all the exposures. This becomes an especially important issue during the winter months. Generally, cacti and succulents that prefer some partial shade would be the most suited to northern exposures. This area will be cooler for most of the year even during the summer months.
Eastern exposures are very favorable for many kinds of cacti and succulents during the warmer months. These get the soft morning sun that can benefit the plants without the harsh heat and glare one gets later during the afternoon. The downside to the eastern exposure is that it will receive less light during the winter months. If necessary, you could supplement the natural light with fluorescent tubes for part of the day.
With a western exposure, your cacti and succulents will get unrelenting sunlight from the early afternoon until sunset during the summer months. With this come high temperatures and high light levels that can scorch susceptible plants.
On the other hand, this sun is certainly welcome during the winter months as it can help warm the room as well.
Of all the exposures, the one most coveted by indoor gardeners is the southern. This shares some qualities with the western aspect. This will provide a maximum amount of light for your cacti and succulents year-round. As with the western exposure, the heat accompanies the lengthy hours of sunlight. This becomes an asset during the colder months but an unw