All plants need light in order to survive - this is what gives a plant the energy it needs to function and grow. However, while some plants, such as the Marble Queen Pothos, are able to tolerate a large amount of shade, others need plenty of bright light through the day, with the Calathea Rattlesnake being a good example.
Your very first step should be to do a little research into the specific plant you have, looking into its sunlight requirements. If you have purchased your plant from Modern Garden, you will find this information on the product page for each plant.
The Different Types of Light
From partial shade to medium light to full sun, there are a few different terms used in the gardening world to describe how much light a plant needs. Here’s a quick breakdown of what all of those mean:
- Bright Light: this means that your plant needs direct sun, without any barriers, such as trees, buildings or curtains, for at least six hours each day. The Calathea White Fusion is an example of a plant that requires bright light.
- Medium Light: also known as filtered or dappled sunlight, or partial shade, meaning that your plant needs a small amount of shade from the sun. The Rubber Tree falls into this category.
- Low Light: some plants, such as the ZZ Plant, do quite well in low light conditions, which means a location that’s a few feet away from a direct light source.
Signs That Your Plant Needs More Light
Every location and environment is different, so while you may think that you’re giving your plant all of the light it needs, the reality could be the opposite. Fortunately, there are a few signs that you can look out for that will tell if you your plant is struggling with a lack of light.
- Stems look spindly and lanky
- The plant is leaning towards its light source
- Plant turns a pale green/yellow color
- Leaves, especially the older ones, start to drop
- Flower buds fail to form
Signs That Your Plant is Getting Too Much Light
Not all plants enjoy bright light - too much light can really take its toll on certain plants, meaning that if you see any of the following signs, you may need to reduce the amount of light your plant is receiving.
- Leaves, especially their edges, look dry or burnt, with brown spots and a crisp texture
- Soil around the plant is baked hard and dry
- Flower colors look washed out and faded
- Plant looks droopy, because it is weakening
If you notice any of the above, don’t be tempted to move your plant too far away from its light source. It may just require a slight filter, such as another plant placed in front of it, rather than less hours of light.
It can sometimes take a little trial and error to work out how much light a plant needs, which is why it’s important to always be aware of any changes in your plant. This way, you’ll be able to tell if your plant isn’t happy, and can then try to find a more appropriate location for it.