A Light Discussion About Plants and Sunlight

If you’ve ever gone shopping for plants and been confused by tags that suggest different lighting needs, you’re not alone! Some plants require low light, others need full sunlight, and other greenery almost warns that with too much light, they will burst into flame. 

What do all of these different light requirements for plants mean?

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Many plants don’t need full direct sunlight all day, every day, and actually, too much sun can harm them. An abundance of sun rays can have the following undesired effects on your house plants:

  • Drooping leaves
  • Faded, desaturated leaves
  • Flowers that shrivel up and quickly die
  • Leaves that wither and perish

Indirect light can be attained by sunlight filtered by something before reaching your plants, such as a tree outside the window, light reflected off a wall, or light through sheer curtains.

Low Light or Full Shade

Some plants do well with little light (which is excellent for beginners). Plants in a north-facing window will get full shade; low light plants need a dim room or a shady corner. 

Shade and Partial Sunlight

Many plants that need partial sunlight or shade will do well a foot or two from a window that faces west or east. This will give the plant some morning or evening sun without bearing the midday heat.

Not Enough of a Good Thing?

If plants don’t get enough sunlight, they will let you know. Some of the symptoms of a lack of daylight include:

  • New leaves that remain smaller than normal
  • Slow, weak growth
  • Yellowing leaves that fall
  • Flowers that don’t bloom

If you notice these signs, you’ll want to move your plants to a different area where they can get more sunlight.

Bright, but Without Direct Sunlight

Most house plants fit into this category, and the best placement for them is in a window that faces south. Set the plant a few feet away from the window. You can also use west-facing and east-facing windows but set the plant back from the window enough to avoid the early sunset light and the early midday sun.

Full Sunlight

Many people don’t know that most house plants are not at their best in full sunlight. Many will become extremely damaged, and some will not survive long in too much direct light. Only cacti or succulents enjoy tons of summer sun. 

If you have plants that require full direct sunlight, placing them in a south-facing window right at the window will do the trick.

Know Your Plants, Know Your Windows

Different plants require different amounts of sunlight; too much or too little can have nasty effects. Fortunately, plants give warning signs if they get the incorrect quantity of light, allowing us to adjust accordingly. If you have to move your plant because they’re exhibiting signs of wrong lighting, give them some time, and they’ll recover nicely. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help! For more information about caring for your green friends, visit us at plantsonbroadway.com.