Plants & Light
Want to learn more about Light
Get individual care schedule and reminders for your plant with our app Planta. Never kill a plant again!
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.
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
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 & Calathea
This light condition can also be described as: Dappled sunlight, medium light, filtered sunlight, bright - indirect light
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: ZZ-plant, Pothos and Snake plant
This light situation can also be described as: Low light
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)
“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.
“All Plants require plenty of light to be able to thrive” — PLANTA INFO