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I've read that calathea plants require indirect sunlight in order to thrive. I'm currently keeping my two calathea about 8 feet away from a window, where I know the direct light won't hit them. But I'm worried that they aren't getting enough light. I'm thinking of buying a light-diffusing screen similar to the below photos, placing that in between the plants and the window, so the plants can be closer to the window, get more light, and still be safe from tip burn:

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My question is- will a screen like the above accomplish the job of diffusing the light in such a way that the plants will be safe from leaf burn? If not, is there another product I can buy which will do the job?

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We have a calathea at home and noticed the following:

  • direct south exposure can cause burn on the leaf margins
  • well lit north exposure works well

Given that light reduces in intensity by the square of the distance I would say that eight feet from a window is not enough light. A common solution is a translucent window covering sometimes called sheers which may be easier than the screen you are thinking of.

Another thing you can do is to raise the local humidity by putting the plant on a tray full of pebbles with water. If you were to add a capillary wick system as described here this will ensure that the plant has ready access to water but is never waterlogged and will go a long way towards reducing tip and edge burn.

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