Determining indoor lighting for houseplants

Determining your homes indoor light for placement of houseplants

Step one when becoming a plant parent for the first time, is determining the kind of environment your home will provide for a plant. In order to have success with houseplants you want to mimic their natural environment as much as possible, whether that be dessert or jungle.

Too much or too little light can quickly lead to issues with plants. Luckily, all our plants come with care cards to let you know the best lighting for that plant, but knowing what sort of light your home gets and getting it right is a whole different ball game. 

There are three main types of indoor lighting:
  1. Bright light: Bright light refers to a spot that receives direct sun all day long, such as a southern or western facing window. Plants that require this sort of light need a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct sunlight a day. In the winter this might be tricky to accomplish but try and avoid moving your plants closer to the window because the cold draught will be bad for the plants.
  2. Indirect light: Indirect light occurs in east facing rooms, or in spots away from the direct light in a south or west facing room. You can also create indirect light by using sheer curtains to protect the plants from direct sun rays.
  3. Low light: Sadly, in the UK many rooms in our homes qualify as low light, any north facing room or rooms with a shaded/small window class as low light. There are plants that will be fine in these conditions as long as some light still reaches them, but indirect light is almost always preferable. You can view our favourite low light plants here. You can also using additional artificial grow lights to enhance the light in spaces like this.

Below is a helpful diagram to explain lighting in a home.

It is also important to take into consideration the duration of sunlight that a plant receives. Most 'bright indirect' plants will be perfectly happy to receive a few hours of direct sunlight a day. If a plant is receiving too much light, it will become 'sun-stressed', common signs of this are:

  • Crispy edges on leaves
  • Black marks
  • Loss of vibrant colours from foliage

Crispy edges could also be due to lack of humidity or a watering issue and black marks can also be caused by overwatering so it is always good to rule out other issues as well when diagnosing the problem. 

Signs of a plant not receiving enough light are:

  • Very little new growth
  • Any new growth is very small 
  • Large gaps between new leaves (etiolation)
  • Soil not drying out fast enough - can cause root rot

If you are still unsure about the lighting in your home and need some assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch!