Guide to Houseplants: The Lighting Edition
When selecting a plant for the home or office, most people base their decision on the shape, appearance and price of the plant. Determining the amount of light where you intend to place your new plant is by far the most important factor.
Think of it this way: the leaves on plants store energy the same way solar panels store energy for homes or offices. They use this energy to manufacture their own food. If you’ve chosen a plant that requires bright light for instance, and keep it in a dark corner, it will starve even with expert care.
Here are the 3 main types of lighting that plants need:
Great news: many rooms in our homes are low light. These include rooms that have partially shaded windows by outdoor trees or very small windows that let in a small amount of light. Even tables set in the middle of a room, far from any window, would be a low light situation. Think of it this way: if you can’t easily read a book, then it is probably a low light situation!
Plants for low light: Aglaonema, Snake Plant, Pothos, Peace Lily, ZZ Plant
Indirect (Bright) Light
This light can be either an eastern facing, bright windows or in the interior of a room that receives full light from a sun-facing window! While the plant is not receiving direct sunlight, it will still need light for 5-6 hours a day! Think of it this way: if your home faces the beach, you have an eastern facing window!
Plants for indirect light: Asparagus Fern, Spider Plant, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Air Plants, Moth Orchid
This entails a sun-facing window with bright, direct light all day long. Plants with this light requirement need a minimum of 5-6 hours of light a day. During the winter, this can get tricky! Resist the temptation to place these plants closer to the window as most of them cannot handle the cold air that seeps through. Try putting a plant light bulb in a nearby lamp to give it that extra sunlight!
Plants for bright light: Succulents, English ivy, Cacti, Croton, Red Edged Dracaena