Aiding a light-deprived plant

Aiding a light-deprived plant

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Light is one of the key factors you need to consider when you're deciding where to put a plant. Different plants have different preferences and some can tolerate a broader range lighting. Many prefer only bright indirect light while other require a lot of both indirect light and direct sunlight to thrive. No plant can live in a dark room.


  • New foliage is paler than usual

  • Stretched, etiolated growth with longer distance between the leaves.

  • Unusually large, thin or fragile new leaves, different from what the plant usually produces

  • Leaves are dropping

  • Losing more leaves than the plant is producing

  • The bottom of the plant is bare and leaves are only produce from the ends of the branches


In addition to the symptoms above, being placed in a dark location can cause plants to suffer from overwatering, fungal and bacterial diseases, and make them more susceptible to pest infestations. If your plant is suffering from low light:

Move your plant to a brighter spot but shelter it from direct sunlight. Even plants that prefer direct sunlight must be slowly acclimated to the stronger light to prevent it from getting burnt. You can move it closer to the sunnier location over the course of one or two weeks.

If your plant has spindly, etiolated growth, increase the light by moving your plant to a brighter location or adding a grow light overhead. If it is severely etiolated, pruning it back may encourage healthier growth.

Using the Planta Light Meter

By using Planta’s Light Meter to measure the light conditions of each of your sites, you can make sure that your plants are placed in a suitable location for their needs.

How to use it:

  • Open Planta > enter the site you want to measure > settings in the right corner > Light > and enter the light Meter

  • For best results, you should measure the light at 12:00 noon

  • Position your device’s camera as close as possible to where you intend to place your plant

  • Point the camera towards the window (or other main light source)

  • Try to keep your device straight and not tilted

  • The light ‘types’ range from Dark, Shade, Part Sun, to Full Sun

  • Then confirm which light type applies by tapping the text next to the bar

Note! If you use the Light Meter on a particularly sunny day, you will get a higher value than on a day where the weather is cloudy or gloomy. Therefore, if it’s an unusually bright day, it may be better to wait until a more ‘average’ weather day in order to best represent the typical light condition.

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I HAVE NO BRIGHTER PLACES THAN THIS, HOW CAN I GIVE MY PLANTS MORE LIGHT? Don’t worry, even if your home is naturally quite dark, there is a solution - grow lights! By investing in a good grow light, your plants will be provided with additional light, providing them with essential resources they need to grow.

You should place your grow lights above your plants so that they don't start to develop a lean. Plants will grow towards the light source and they're used to the light coming from above. Different plants have different needs but most do well with around 10-14 hours of supplemental light a day. You can use a digital timer switch so you don't have to keep track of it yourself.

Note! Unless you're using a commercial grade grow light, most will provide the equivalent of bright, indirect light. Don't cover them or place them too far from your plant.

More light needed

HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH LIGHT MY PLANT NEEDS? Check the light recommendations for each plant in Planta. It ranges from full sun, bright indirect light to shade. If you’re not sure what the light conditions of your sites are, you can use the Light Meter to measure this. Check the guide above if you’re not sure how to use the Light Meter.