Helping a plant that hasn’t been getting enough light

Helping a plant that hasn’t been getting enough light

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Get individual care schedule and reminders for your plant with our app Planta. Never kill a plant again!

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Light is one of the key factors for everything that’s alive - including us and our plants. Some plants can tolerate being placed in darker spots, but some require very bright locations to live. It varies depending on the type of plant, but here are a few signs indicating that your plant would like some more light:


  • Yellow leaves

  • Dropping leaves

  • Leaves fade in color

  • Flowers fall off

  • Normally variegated leaves turn green


Placing plants in too dark a location can cause many different issues. The first thing you should do is:

Move your plant to a spot with more light and make sure that it doesn't get too much water.

Marks on leaves: If there are marks on your leaves - they won't heal, but you can stop it from happening again:

  • Move your plant to a brighter place.

  • Make sure it gets the right amount of water

Spindly growth Spindly growth in plants is quite a common problem - mostly caused by insufficient light.The plant is desperately looking for the sun and starts to stretch towards the light - this leads to the leaves starting to grow really far apart.

  • Move the plant to a sunnier location and hopefully the plant will start to grow in more densely. ☀️

Damage on variegated leaves

  • Move the plant to a brighter location - but avoid direct sunlight (since this can burn the sensitive, variegated parts of the leaves.)

  • Consider investing in a grow light for your plant

  • Pinch off the green leaves to promote new growth of variegated leaves. If the above doesn't work, consider pausing fertilizing for a while (since this also can be a reason for the green leaves).

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:

  • Firstly, Open Planta > Find plant > Light Meter OR My Plants > Choose Site > Settings (gear in top right corner) > Light > Use Planta 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 meter bar will shift to indicate which light level best represents your room, and will give a Lux value

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

  • Then confirm which light type applies to each site based on what the Light Meter recommends

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.

Light meter


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 simulated sunlight (representing the full spectrum), providing them with the essential energy they need to photosynthesize.

You should position your grow lights above or next to your plants. You can look for lights with different intensities in order to choose the best one for your plant’s needs. Some plants will also need to be exposed to this light for longer durations than others.

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.

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