How much light does my plant need?

All houseplants require some natural sunlight to survive, but they prefer different levels of light depending on their natural habitat, so check the product page for your plant to see what its requirements are. When choosing the next member of your plant family, use your smartphone's compass to determine which direction the windows face. Because we live in the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing windows will receive the lightest each day, while north-facing windows will receive significantly less. East and west-facing windows are in the middle.

Remember to turn off the lights to see how much natural light enters the room, as houseplants cannot feed on light bulbs. Then, looking out the window, estimate how much of the day is spent in the shadow of another building, keeping in mind that the sun moves from East to West throughout the day. If you are higher than the surrounding buildings, your window will receive far more light than if you are in a basement flat on a busy street.

When you've determined how much natural light the plant will receive, use the filters on our website to determine which Patch houseplants will be the most comfortable. The closer the plant is to the window, the more light it will receive, so place shade lovers in the back of the room and sun lovers near the windows.

If your plant is drooping, developing pale leaves, or shedding leaves, it may require more light. Move it to a bright spot and wipe the leaves to remove any dust (while you're at it, clean your windows to let in more light).

Plants that receive too much sunlight will have baked-dry soil, and their leaves may be crisp, bleached, or have brown spots or tips. However, don't move them too far away from the window; they may simply require less direct sunlight.

Complete guide to indoor light

All houseplants require some natural light to produce energy, but not all require the same amount. Everything you need to know about light is right here.

Before choosing plants for your space, work out what kind of light you have.

  • • All plants need light to survive
  • • If you have rooms with bright and shady areas, you can have any plant you like
  • • Shady rooms can still house plants, you just have to choose more carefully
  • • Light will be stronger in summer than in winter
  • • Plants won’t grow in a windowless room (unless you buy grow lights)
Different rooms will have different levels of light. It’s easy to work out what kind of light you have. You’ll just need your hand (or any other limb).

How do you know what kind of light you have?

Place yourself in the location where you want to plant a plant. It is best to do this in the middle of the day when the sun is at its brightest. Place your hand in front of the nearest window.

  • • If you feel the sun on your hand, this location has plenty of light.
  • • This location has medium light if you see light on your hand but don't feel it.
  • • This location has low light if your hand is mostly in the shade.
That's a rough test, but it should assist you in selecting the right plants. Let us fully enlighten ourselves if you want to know more.

How much light do plants need?

The answer is unhelpful: it depends. Plants, as we all learned in school, require sunlight to produce energy through photosynthesis. The amount of light a plant requires is determined by where it lives in the wild. Cacti are adapted to desert environments, so they thrive in direct sunlight. Most tropical plants, such as fiddle leaf figs, calatheas, and monsteras, are native to dense jungles and prefer medium light. Ferns and pothos are accustomed to deep shade and will accept whatever they can get.

What are the different levels of light?

Bright light - Usually near a window. Direct light is another name for it. Some plants require a lot of direct sunlight, but many can only handle a few hours per day. Medium-light - A location that appears well-lit but does not receive direct sunlight. Indirect light is another name for it. Low light - A location that receives little natural light but is not entirely dark.


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