A Comprehensive Guide to Lighting For Houseplants

Knowing how to meet houseplant light needs helps us develop healthy, happy plants. Gardening expert Wendy Moulton discusses plant light, how to measure it, and which plants fit each lighting category in this article.

1. Measuring Light

Lumens and lux measure visible light brightness. Lumens measure visible light output per unit of time, while lux measures area. Lux equals lumen per square metre (3.2 feet).

2. Use Technology

The problem is that no list of plants can guarantee that a watermelon peperomia needs 1000 lux of light to thrive. Since it can change its chloroplasts, making a list is impractical for a researcher.

3. Understanding Light Indoor

Growing plants indoors and outside are different. This may seem apparent, but windows may intensify or dilute light, influencing its intensity. Move plants a few feet from a window to greatly lower light intensity.

4. Window Aspect

North is the darkest side and is appropriate for shade-loving plants. In summer, this works, but in winter, you need to bring plants indoors or use grow lights.

5. Direct Light

Windowsill plants like trees, cacti, succulents, and kitchen herbs prefer direct sunlight. These plants thrive in full sun or as houseplants. They like at least six hours of direct sunlight and lots of light the rest of the day.

6. Bright Indirect Light

The most common houseplant term. This group includes climbers, tiny trees, and tropical large- and small-leaved plants. Under tropical rainforest canopy, they originate. They like partial shade but not direct sunshine.

7. Medium Light 

Plants cultivated on the floor of a tropical forest sheltered from sunlight by trees, shrubs, and vines above them can thrive in medium indirect light. The dark corners of low-light spaces are farther away from windows than these plants. 

8. Low Light

Anyone with a gloomy bathroom understands how hard it is to fill. Small or north-facing windows and dimly lit back rooms fall under this category. Most of these plants prefer bright light but can tolerate dim. 

9. Artificial Light

If you care about your houseplants, artificial light may be needed. Plant illumination is available for houseplants, kitchen herbs, and sowing seeds indoors in the winter. Standard house lights won't work.

10. Final Thoughts

Getting adequate light into a home for houseplants to grow is a trial-and-error effort. Moving plants to acquire what they need is fine.

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