5 minute read

Full sun, partial shade and shade houseplants: understanding the terms

As we all know, plants are living species that have special needs. Fulfilling these needs allows them to grow in their best form and therefore, be healthier and more spectacular. Providing the best growing and living conditions to your favorite plants requires an understanding of those needs and functioning.

One of the most impactful elements of nature on the growth of plants is light. However, this doesn’t mean that the more sun a plant gets, the more thriving it will be. It's more about providing your plant with its perfect light requirements.

There are 3 types of plants when it comes to (sun)light:

  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • (Half) shade

Every one of those types experience sun rays in a different and interesting way. So, let’s dive right into it and try to understand how each type works!

Full sun:

As the name suggests, full sun plants feel very happy when the weather is good and the sun rays are popping outside. A full sun houseplant is a type of indoor plant that requires bright, direct sunlight for most of the day to thrive. They really enjoy tanning and can even spend more than 6 hours in the sun. Very impressive, right? They love being directly exposed to intense light because it makes them feel thriving. So if you have a house with big windows and light entering all day, full sun plants will fit perfectly..

These houseplants love a fully sunny spot!

It's important to research the specific needs of the houseplant you have to determine if it is a full sun plant or if it requires partial shade.

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Partial shade (or partial sun):

A partial shade houseplant is a type of indoor plant that thrives in areas of your home where there is some direct sunlight, but not enough to provide full sun exposure. These plants typically require a few hours (3 to 6 hours) of direct sunlight each day, along with some shade during the rest of the day.

Partial shade houseplants come in many different varieties and can include both flowering and non-flowering plants. Examples of partial shade houseplants include Monstera, Philodendron and Alocasia.


When caring for partial shade houseplants, it's important to provide them with the right amount of sunlight and shade. Too much direct sunlight can damage their leaves, while too little light can cause the plant to become weak and leggy. We recommend placing them near a window that receives bright, indirect light or to provide artificial light through grow lights or fluorescent bulbs to ensure they receive the right amount of light.

(Half) shade:

A (half) shade houseplant is a type of indoor plant that is well-suited to grow in areas of your home where there is little to no direct sunlight. These plants are able to thrive in low-light conditions and can be a great addition to rooms that don't get a lot of natural light.

Full shade houseplants typically have dark green leaves that are optimized for capturing and processing as much light as possible. They also tend to have a slower growth rate than plants that grow in brighter conditions. Examples of full shade houseplants include snake plants, pothos, and ZZ plants.

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It's important to note that even though full shade houseplants can grow in low-light conditions, they still need some light to thrive. It's recommended to place them near a bright window or provide artificial light through grow lights or fluorescent bulbs to help them grow and stay healthy.

What makes you a great PLNTSparent is the time you spend caring for your plants and researching about them just so you can provide the most comfortable conditions for their growth. So, be careful and attentive to your plants and their reactions in different environments.


PLNTS instantly make Renée happy as she's always on the hunt for cool plant trends. Inspiring our community with interior tips, surprising DIY's and fun lists is what she does best!

27 March 2023