Houseplant Lighting 101

Posted on January 18th, 2021

Sunlight. It’s one of the most fundamental things that a houseplant needs to grow and thrive, but of course every plant is a little different. What works great for one plant may end up killing another. With each area of your home receiving different amounts of light throughout the day it can be challenging to know exactly where to place each plant in your collection. To set you up for success, we’re sharing our lighting 101 tips and tricks to keep your houseplants thriving.

Types of Light

To break it down, we’ve divided your home into five distinct levels of sunlight:

Bright Light (Direct Sun) This comes from those south facing windows in your home which receive direct light all day long. These will be the brightest areas in your home.

Bright Indirect Light This can either be filtered light from a south facing window, or light that’s just to the side of a south facing window.

Medium Light Medium light can typically be found in the interior of a room where there’s a south or east facing window providing light.

Low Light Areas in your home which are near north facing windows, or those dark corners of a bright room can be defined as low light areas.

Little to No Light Rooms with no windows at all or rooms with windows where the sunlight os being blocked by a tree or building fall into this category.

 

 

Troubleshooting

There’s nothing worse than bringing a new plant home, and after a week or two having it start to develop crispy leaves or seeing the leaves start to turn yellow. These can be signs that your plant isn’t happy with the light it’s getting.

Not Enough Light: Have you ever seen a plant growing lopsided with all of the new growth leaning toward a window? This is the plant saying it needs more light. Limbs that appear leggy or otherwise stunted growth are sure signs that your plant needs more light. Additionally if you see yellowing or dropping of leaves, that can also be an indicator of poor light.

Too much light: Similar to the way we get a sunburn, plants exhibit similar characteristics when they’re exposed to too much sun. If your plant develops brown, crispy leaves (especially at the tips), or you notice burned patches on the plant, you might want to try moving your plant to a darker area.

Keep in mind that some of the above symptoms like leaf drop can be caused by a few things, so lighting may not necessarily be the culprit. Check your plant for signs of over or under watering, and look for bugs or disease as well as lighting conditions. When in doubt, call us or pay us a visit. We’re always here to help.

The Right Plant for the Right Space

So you’ve identified the type of light your space gets. Now it’s time to fill it with plants! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to get you started.

Bright Light (Direct Sun)

Jade

 

Aloe

 

Croton

 

Kalanchoe

 

Peperomia

 

String of pearls

 

Cacti

 

Succulents

 

Citrus

 

Hibiscus

 

Hoya

 

Crown of thorns

 

Bright Indirect

Norfolk Island Pine

 

Fiddle leaf fig

 

Ficus

 

Schefflera

 

Orchid

 

Ivy

 

Money tree

 

Medium Light

Palms (Areca, bamboo, majesty, parlor palm)

 

Bromeliad

 

Rubber tree

 

Cyclamen

 

African violet

 

Pilea

 

Spider plant

 

Ferns

 

Monstera

 

Philodendrons

 

Begonias

 

Dracaena

 

Pothos

 

Low Light

Cast iron plant

 

Anthurium

 

Calathea

 

Snake Plant

 

ZZ Plant

 

Chinese Evergreen

 

Ferns

 

Peace Lily

 

Polka dot plant

 

 

Little to No Light

Snake Plant

 

ZZ Plant

 

Keep in mind that many of these plants are tolerant of a wide range of light conditions and may fall into several categories. If you’re considering moving your plant to a location with different lighting conditions, try to slowly acclimate it so you don’t shock the plant, and closely monitor it to make sure it’s not showing signs of too much light or not enough light.

Don’t see your plant on the list? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you.