Plants & Light

Plants & Light

Plants need light to live, we do too, but for plants sunlight is actually their food - they use it to create energy in a process called photosynthesis. However, different plants need different intensities of light.

FULL SUN

A plant that requires full sun needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day to thrive. To find this place in your home, look for a sun-drenched site like a south-facing window (in southern hemisphere like Australia this is the other way around so the sunny window will be the north facing one instead).

This type of light also means that there is no barrier between your plant and the sun - like a building that cast a shadow, a curtain or a tree that dapples the sunlight.

Plants that need this light are: Aloes, Succulents, Cacti & Palm trees

You might also find this light need described as: Bright light or direct light

Light 1

PART SUN, PART SHADE

Plants that like this type of light are mostly plants that grow on the forest floor, where they are somewhat protected against direct sunlight during some hours of the day.

This is also a very normal light situation for many windows, usually with a west- or east-facing window with around 2-4 hours of direct light each day. This could also be a spot further away from a very sunny window - light intensity goes down quickly as you move away from the light source.

This is a good light situation for a lot of plants, for example: Monstera, Chinese Money Plant, Orchids & Ficus

This light condition can also be described as: Dappled sunlight, medium light, filtered sunlight, bright - indirect light

Light 2

SHADE

This is a site that gets no direct sunlight at all, and there are actually a few plants that are okay with this condition, however, they might not thrive since most plants require at least a little sun to stay happy.

A room with a north-facing window, for example, a dark bedroom might be considered as shade. It could also be a spot far away from a window.

Here are examples of a few plants that handle life well in the shade: Ferns, Pothos and some Calathea varieties

This light situation can also be described as: Low light

DARK

This is not really a light situation - but some plants can survive for a while in darkness. However, we do not recommend putting any plants in complete darkness for too long.

This site gets 0 hours of sunlight, for example, a bathroom without a window.

Plants that can handle this for a while are: ZZ-plant and Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

Light 3

“Plants tend to turn and grow towards the light - rotate your plant every couple of weeks to make them grow evenly.” — PLANTA TIP

Signs of incorrect lighting

NOT ENOUGH LIGHT

  • Leaves turn yellow and fall off

  • New leaves are smaller compared to the older ones

  • The plant starts stretching towards the light

  • New growth is slow and weak

  • Leaves are far away from each other

TOO MUCH LIGHT

  • Leaves are drooping

  • The edges of the leaves dry up

  • Fading of color

  • If there are flowers, they shrivel up and die


For the plant nerd

SHORT ABOUT PHOTOSYNTHESIS

Plants use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into energy (sugar). The plant stores the sugar in the stem, leaves, roots and fruits - from which it then uses it to grow. It’s also in this process that oxygen is made - which is great for us and our homes! If the plant doesn’t get enough light needed for this process - called photosynthesis - your plant will starve and start looking poorly.

“The more light a plant gets, the more sugar it produces - and the faster it will grow.” — PLANTA INFO