Plants are amazing to have around the house – personally, we’d put one in every room, nook, and cranny. However, as appealing as that would look, it may not be the best spot for a plant that needs plenty of light, and, really, most plants do need lots and lots of light. If you want to be sure your plants are receiving enough light to fully grow and thrive, then check the tips below we here at Ron and Alicia Robinson Florist have put together for you so you’ll plant stay happy and flourishing.
Signs Your Plant Is Not Getting Enough Light
Light is food for plants so when they don’t get enough of it their stems will become skinny and sparse, also known as “leggy.” Thin, light-deprived stems also typically have wide spaces between each leaf. The space between leaves is known as the internode and large internodes are clear signs the plant needs a lot more light.
If the new leaves your plant is producing look smaller than they should be, the plant is likely not absorbing adequate light. Just compare the new growth to the old growth to see if there is a marked difference in leaf size and then adjust the lighting.
When a plant needs to turn towards its light source to get more, then the entire plant is not getting enough. If one side is leaning much more than the other side, there’s a problem. Move the plant to a better-lit spot and make sure to turn it once a week to ensure all the leaves get adequate sun.
Abnormal Leaf Color
Pale yellow leaves or variegated leaves that have lost their colors are signs of light deficiency. The green color of the leaves is what helps a plant absorb light and create photosynthesis, so a lack of suitable light causes variegated leaves to lose their color and become greener to absorb more light. When photosynthesis can’t work properly because of too little light, the leaves will become pale green, yellow, and then finally fall off.
Slowed Growth or No Growth
If the growth of your plant seems stunted, then you may want to move it to a sunnier spot. Light is the lifeforce of plants and is what gives plants the energy to grow and thrive. If there’s no new growth or noticeably slowed growth, then there is a light problem.
Getting the Light Right
Seeing some of the above signs in your plant doesn’t necessarily mean the solution is as simple as moving it closer to a window. Sometimes, doing so will result in your plant getting too much light. The area around a window that gets direct sunlight is really warm and may be too much for your plant to handle. Only sun-loving plants like cacti, palms, and succulents should be in direct light for most of the day.
For most other plants, indirect bright light is best. An example of this light would be a room that has light for most of the day but it’s not direct — meaning there is a sheer curtain, or a bit of shade, a dappling effect coming in the window, etc. If you have a plant in a room like this but still exhibits some of the above signs, then moving it closer to the window is a good solution.
It takes a little trial and error to get the lighting just right, but know that your plant will let you know if it’s happy and healthy or not. Just pay attention to it.