Meeting and maintaining the proper watering requirements for indoor plants is a major obstacle to increased plant use in the home or office. Introduction of “self-watering” containers to the marketplace has been only marginally successful because of limited acceptability by consumers. Water use levels were determined for Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Blume ‘Petra’, Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd) G. Don ‘Camille’, Dracaena fragrans (L.) Ker-Gawl. ‘Massangeana’, Epipremnum aureum (Linden & André) Bunt. ‘Golden Pothos’, Spathiphyllum (Schott.) ‘Gretchen’, and Syngonium podophyllum (Schott.) ‘White Butterfly’ established in self-watering containers and maintained under 2 light intensities commonly found in the home or office [12 and 24 μmol · s−l · m−2 (75 and 150 ft-c)]. Plant growth was better at 24 μmol · s−1 · m−2) (150 ft-c) than at 12 μmol · s−l · m−2 (75 ft-c) for all plants tested except Dieffenbachia, Dracaena and Spathiphyllum. Water utilization varied widely among plant genera, from a low of 1.4 ml H2O · cm−2 (0.3 oz · in−2) to a high of 4.8 ml H2O · cm−2 (1.0 oz · in−2) of leaf area over a 6-month period. All plants utilized more water at 24 μmol · s−1 · m−2 (150 ft-c) than at 12 μmol · s−1 · m−2 (75 ft-c) but water use was also dependent on plant genus and size.

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Author notes

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series No. R-01980.

2Center Director and Professor of Environmental Horticulture, and Professor of Plant Physiology, respectively.