Light requirements

Light requirements houseplants

Just like us, some plants love to be in the sun and others prefer a place with a little more shade. The light requirement of your plant is very important, because it determines how your plant looks and how fast it grows. The location of a plant also affects its watering, so there are a lot of factors to take into account!

How much light does my plant need?

The origin of the plant in question actually determines how much light the plant needs. Many houseplants come from tropical regions and are therefore used to a lot of light, warm temperatures and high humidity. They prefer to grow up in a similar environment.

Sun

Putting your plant in a sunny place, but what exactly is meant by a sunny place? A sunny place for a plant is a place where your plant gets up to 5 hours of sunlight. This is often a location in front of a window facing south, west or east with a distance of up to 2 metres. A sunny position naturally has an influence on the water requirements, as these will increase. In fact, it is comparable to people; at tropical temperatures we also need more litres of water.

Keep in mind that too much sunlight can burn the plant. Of course sun cream won’t do the trick on your darling. Make sure that you place your plant a little further from the window when you see signs of burning. Symptoms of burning can be brown spots or dry leaf edges.

Partial shade

One of the trickiest descriptions when it comes to light requirements is half-shadow. Yet this is a requirement for most plants. In a full tropical jungle many plants grow on top of each other. As a result, most plants do not get the full sun, but only a few rays of light through all the vegetation. We can therefore describe partial shade as a place where your plant receives 3 to 5 hours of sunlight. This is often a location about 2 to 3 metres from a window or directly in front of a window facing north.

Shade

A major misconception about the location of shade is that your plant receives no light at all and is therefore literally in the shade. Shaded plants do need light for photosynthesis, only at a much lower intensity. Shade can therefore be typified as a place where your plant receives less than 3 hours of sunlight. For example, a place further than 3 metres from the window or in front of a north-facing window.

Tip: the further you place your plant from the window, the lower the light intensity.

Do you want to know how much light your beauty has? On our PLNTSdoctor page you will find an overview of care for each plant family. Here you can see for each family how much light they need.

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Sunny plants

You may be a sun lover or not, but plants can be dangerous too. To prevent burning, it is important to let your new plant get used to the sun in your home and then gradually move it closer to the window. The plants listed below do not mind being literally put in the sun.

Strelitzia Nicolai

The Strelitiza Nicolai is a true tropical plant that is not allergic to a little sunlight. This beautiful 'bird of paradise' plant often impresses with its gigantic length, which is partly due to the amount of light. In a somewhat darker place she will also be fine, but the more light this lady receives the more you stimulate her growth!

Monstera Adansonii

Like the rest of its plant family, the Monstera Adansonii likes a lot of light. Be careful with full sun as its leaves are vulnerable and burn quickly. A bright spot with indirect light is perfect. Do you want to brighten up your bathroom and does it get enough light? This beauty goes down very well in a humid area, that way it feels completely at home!

Musa Dwarf Cavendish

This popular 'Banana Plant' is a real sun worshipper. They grow all over the world in places with high humidity and lots of sun! It does well in a little more shade, but do you want it to grow really well? Then put Musa Dwarf Cavendish in the sun! An ideal eye-catcher if you have a larger space to fill.

Oops, have your babies been in the sun a little too long? You will see some scorched leaves. Cut off the affected leaves and move your plant to a place with a little more shade.

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Partial shade plants

Most plants grow best in partial shade, because of the origin of the plants. Besides, half-shadowing is always good. Your plant will not receive too much, but also not too little light. Here are some easy types for the half-shadow.

Scindapsus Pictus Trebie

This cutie has a beautiful heart-shaped leaf with silver-coloured markings. Okay okay back to the subject, its light requirements, semi-shade. In more light, the leaves of the Scindapsus Pictus Trebie will become lighter and in a place with more shadow a little darker. An easy lady to grow on hydroponics!

Peperomia Pepperspot

This cool hanging plant originates from the warm, shady Amazon region. Here, many plants grow through and over each other so that they do not receive full light. This is why the Peperomia Pepperspot will appreciate a semi-shaded spot in your home.

Areca Lutescens

The Areca Lutescens, also known as 'Butterfly Palm', is a true tropical plant. Its appearance gives your home real jungle vibes, but its care also clearly shows that this is a plant from the tropics. Not too much light, just a few rays here and there, so that she grows into a nice big houseplant!

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Shade plants

You would think that everyone would love to be in the sun? Yet there are a lot of plants that really can't cope with this. On the other hand this is also very nice, because then the dark spots in our house can be filled up. Examples of plants that can survive in low light include:

Calathea Makoyana

This motile plant is also known as the peacock plant. This is because of its beautifully coloured leaves in the shape and pattern of a feather! The Calathea Makoyana likes to grow in a place with a little less light, so that its beautiful leaves do not become dull. It would be a shame if this beautiful leaf would discolour, wouldn't it?

Spathiphyllum Diamond Variegata

The Spathiphyllum Diamond Variegata is all you need, because everybody knows: diamonds are a girl's best friend! Besides that, it is very easy to take care of. It will do fine in a darker spot in the house, because this special lady is used to that from her origin: the Amazon region. Would you like to bring out the variegated leaves (light stripes) in this plant? Then put her in a lighter spot.

Sansevieria Fernwood Mikado

This family is known to be indestructible, except with too much water. As a desert plant, the Sansevieria Fernwood Mikado can, however, do very well in a shady spot. Be aware, however, that when plants receive less light, the colours of their leaves can change too. This spiky lady's tough tiger stripes will become less visible when in shade.

Light hacks for houseplants

Many plants show by their appearance that something is wrong. Maybe they are thirsty, or receive too much or too little sun, you name it.

When a leaf turns yellow it probably receives too much light. When your pride drops leaves, it is probably not getting enough light, also when you notice that it has not grown for a while it probably doesn’t receive enough light.

With these symptoms you can already solve a lot about light. Does this not solve your problem? Then read the other topics on our PLNTSdoctor page to reach a conclusion.

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

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