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What Type of Light is Right for my Plant?

Have you ever purchased a plant and looked at the care tag to read "grows best in indirect light" and thought what does that mean?

Light is one of the most important factors in plant’s growth and happiness. Incorrect placement can cause plants to lose colour, shape, and even regress. Therefore, it’s important to know what type of light your plant needs before buying and placing it in your home!

Direct Sun
Bright Indirect Light

How much light do I have in my house?

Having very bright natural light is The Holy Grail for growing plants indoors - but how do you tell what you have? This is one of my best analogies to help decipher bright natural light: Could you successfully pluck your eyebrows in this room without having to switch on an artificial light? Or, if you get down to the level of the plant, is there a large portion of sky. in your vision? If yes, you have pretty good natural light and you can almost take your pick of plants! If you’re struggling, you most likely have medium or low natural light, and will need to be more mindful when choosing plants to buy.

I've divided the amount of light into five categories to help you determine:

Medium Natural Light
Low Light

Direct Light / Direct Sun

Actual sun beams landing on the plant for large portions of the day. The best way to tell is if you feel warmth / yourself getting a tan, you are in the sun! 

Note: Direct sun in the very early morning or late afternoon is a good thing! While most indoor plants won't want any direct sun, a little bit of this softer sun is actually a great way to boost the plant's sunlight intake!

Bright Indirect Light

Very very well lit position, right next to a window or outside under the shade of a tree or undercover of a balcony or patio roof. This is optimal for indoor plants, but just watch if it's right next to a window that direct sun doesn't move to burn the leaves.

Medium Natural Light

There are multiple windows in your room, sometimes light is very bright but it may moves through the room during the day and may transition to lower light in the morning or afternoon.

No Natural Light

Low Light

Only one or two small windows or light sources into the room. The window may even be covered by a patio or outside roof. Corners of the room may be particularly low light and daylight blocked by furniture. Curtains often drawn closed

No Natural Light

No windows or doors to the outside, no daylight inside this room! Without an artificial light, this room is in darkness.

So which type of light is right for my plant?

The easiest way to know what is best for your plant is to know what type species you have! If you’re buying a new plant, make sure to know the name of what you’re buying and to ask us for its lighting needs. 

Or, if you already have a plant but may have forgotten the name, there are a few easy ways to figure it out. First, you can download apps like PictureThis and take a photo of your plant to be identified.

Take a read of our many Care Guides to see exactly what conditions your plant thrives in.

Don't forget to keep track and adjust your plant’s placement as needed in the winter or summer when sun direction or exposure may change.

The plant will talk to you if it's struggling, so make sure you watch for signs of unhappiness! This can include minimal or no growth, deformed or miniature leaves, growth patterns craning or leaning unnaturally, yellowing leaves or leaf droppings.

Want to know more?

You can learn more about what your plant is trying to tell you in the posts below, or, come along to one of our next Indoor Plants 101 workshop for a crash course in everything you need to know about keeping your plants happy and healthy.

None in the calendar? Sign up here be the first to know about upcoming workshops.

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