How much light does my plant need?
We’re all aware that light is one of the most important things in our plants’ life (we all remember those Biology lessons exploring photosynthesis) but getting the light right is key for your plants’ survival and the happiness of your jungle. Here, we try to make the complexity of identifying the right light conditions for your plants a little easier.
What light does my home get?
First things first. Do you know what type of light your home gets? If not, it’s time to get your compass out (all phones now have compass apps so this should be straightforward). We’ve listed the typical light strengths for UK homes here to help you as we further explore light.
North Facing: These windows typically get the least amount of light. Low light and shade tolerant plants will be best here.
East Facing: These windows usually get morning sunlight when light doesn’t tend to be super strong. These areas are ideal for moderate light loving plants.
South Facing: These windows typically get the most light due to the movement of the sun. These are great windows for your light loving plants.
West Facing: These windows are a good place for plants that need lots of light. They usually receive full sunlight in the afternoon and into the summer evenings.
What types of light are there?
Light is measured in footcandles but in the absence of a light meter, you can roughly work out the levels of light in your home.
Bright direct light: we’d consider these areas such as windowledges or in the path of that south/west facing light that comes through windows.
Bright indirect light: areas distant from those south/west facing windows or areas that catch that east light.
Low light: we’ve seen lots of plant lovers refer to this as areas where you could comfortably read a book and we’d agree that this is a good description, these are areas that just about get enough light to allow plants to survive.
Which plants need which type of light?
Light needs are down to individual plants. In all of our plant descriptors we have shared information about its light needs in order to help you give it the best care possible. We have shared some general information here.
Bright direct light: most cacti will enjoy this type of light alongside some succulents. Some foliage plants will also enjoy this type of light.
Bright indirect light: for most plants this kind of light is ideal.
Low light: there are a select few plants that tolerate and can do well in this kind of light, check out this category in our shop.
What can I do if I have poor light?
Unfortunately some of us are not blessed in the light department. However, there are things we can do to address this problem. Firstly, white walls are your friend! They help to reflect some of the light within your room which in turn aids plant growth. Secondly, keep your windows clean inside and out! Clean windows means more light and more light means happy plants. Finally, if there’s nothing you can do about your light then you can purchase some grow lights. These are not expensive or difficult to collect and can be found in a well known Swedish furniture store.
How will light affect my plants?
Light affects plants positively and negatively:
- Lush growth
- Flowers (in some plants)
- Bigger growth (in some plants)
- Browning and burning of the leaves
- Depletion of humidity
- In the absence of light there can be leggy and stretched growth.