What makes plants require light?
Water and nourishment are essential for all living creatures. Food is light to plants. They employ it in a crucial process called photosynthesis, in which chloroplasts absorb light energy and set off a number of metabolic events, one of which results in the production of carbohydrates (plant food). Because sugars drive plant growth, a plant will produce more energy and grow more quickly in response to increased light exposure.
Recognize these pairs:
- Color = Quality
- Intensity + Quantity
Understanding how and why a plant behaves in your house depends on these aspects of light.
The hue and type of light determine the quality. Light is energy that has several wavelengths, each of which corresponds to a specific color. Because plants “see” light differently than humans do, the colors we can see with our own eyes may not be useful to them. Green light is worthless to plants since it is reflected by them, giving them their green appearance. Instead, plants need visible light that they can absorb and use, such as yellow, orange, red, blue, and violet, as well as infrared and UV radiation from the sun.
The amount of light depends on how brilliant or how intense it is when it reaches the leaves. The leaf will capture more energy and grow more quickly the more light photons it receives. For example, begonias and oxalis require high light to support their rapid development. Any plant that bears fruit or flowers also needs a lot of light. Basic building blocks for complex compounds, such as floral colours, such water, CO2, carbohydrates, and nutrients are what these plants use, but only under the appropriate lighting circumstances. Some plants have self-regulating mechanisms, and if there isn’t enough bright light, they will even refuse to flower or will try to but fail halfway through the process.
The darkest shade outdoors is still brighter than the sunniest window indoors.
Light is bouncing from all directions outside, even in the shade, from 360 degrees around and from the 180-degree arc overhead in the sky. When a plant is indoors, light typically only comes from one source, such as a sunny window, drastically decreasing the amount of light and essential photons a plant needs as well as the angles from which it bounces off. We literally trigger something known as exponential reduction in photon exposure when we bring a plant indoors. This reality is a little bit easier for us to recall because of the lovely quote above.
The terms “bright light” and “low light plants” may have come up before, but what do they actually mean?
If there are no obstructions (curtains or blinds, a tall tree or building that casts shade, etc.) between the plant and the light source, it is said to be in bright light or “full sun” (a sunny window). When indoors, here is where your plant will be exposed to the brightest or most direct light. As sun-loving plants, ficus, succulents, and monstera should be positioned in or no farther than 2-3 feet from a window. In general, you should position them where the room is the brightest.
Light that has been dispersed (via sheer curtains) between the plant and the light source is known as “medium light” or “filtered sunlight” (a sunny window). Some call it what “shady sunlight This medium light is produced by anything that partially blocks the route between your plant and the light source. Ferns and aroid plants (ZZ and Philodendron) are accustomed to being shielded from the sun because they have evolved to survive on the forest floor. They prefer circumstances with medium light because they have not adapted to withstand the intense rays of direct sunshine.
“Low light means that your plant won’t receive any direct sunshine. It is most likely a short distance from your light source (a sunny window) or any other location where it can see the outside but not the sky. Having less light means having less food and energy. Even though some plants can survive in low light, they won’t grow well.
Remember that depending on the time of day and season, the sun’s position in the sky changes, impacting how much light your plant receives. Keep an eye on how the light varies throughout the year and move your plants as necessary.
Would you like to know how much light your plant receives? The solution should be a shadow test. When the sun is at its highest around noon, take a sheet of paper and hold it up to the source of light. Put your free hand about a foot or so above the paper you are holding. A softer shadow denotes medium brightness, while a sharp shadow denotes high light. Your plant is living in low light if it is a few feet away from a window, even a sunny window.
Remember that plants need light to survive. Before choosing your plants, make sure to know how much natural sunshine your plant need and how much light your location can supply.
What do indoor plants in medium light mean?
Try to evaluate your lighting circumstances before selecting the ideal plant for a certain area of your home. Although most plants enjoy direct, bright sunlight, some are quite content with more moderate lighting. Continue reading for advice on determining your space’s lighting conditions and selecting the ideal plant for moderate indirect (or medium bright) light.
For moderate indirect (medium bright) light, our preferred plants are:
What does medium bright light (or moderate indirect light) mean? Beyond the direct light that is dazzling. If you were simply passing through these locations, you wouldn’t turn on a light; however, if you were planning on spending some time there, even during the day, you would probably do so. Plants that tolerate moderate indirect light should thrive in the sections marked “medium bright” in the diagram below.
How can I determine the lighting in my area? When determining how much light reaches a given area in your home, take into account these three criteria.
The least amount of light, frequently none at all, will be in rooms with a north orientation. The light will often be bright to moderately bright up near the windows, but it will quickly dim to low light as it descends further into the room.
The second lowest light will be seen in east-facing rooms. This is due to the fact that morning sun is much less strong than afternoon sun. They frequently have direct sunlight coming in through the window, bright indirect light a little further into the space, and a swift transition to moderate indirect and low light.
The strongest light will be in south and west-facing rooms. These are typically distinguished by intense direct sunlight within the first six feet of the window, changing to diffuse direct sunlight farther into the room, followed by moderate indirect and occasionally (but not always) low light in the back of the room.
Exterior barriers like trees or buildings typically cut down on a room’s light source. A room on the top level that faces south may receive intense direct sunlight, whereas the garden apartment in the same building may only receive modest indirect light through the window. Other times, a barrier can actually improve the amount of light in a space. For example, a north-facing room facing a white wall will reflect southern light into the space.
Are there curtains or blinds? Plants enjoy constancy, so try to keep them set consistently. By adjusting the light, you can also influence which plants will thrive in your environment.
Your windows’ size is how big? You’ll have more light to work with the larger the window.
Seasonal variations in light durations are significant. There will be more light in the summer and less in the winter. This cycle is the basis for most seasonal watering modifications for plants, while others (such as euphorbias, pachypodiums, and adeniums) require a distinct dry and wet season. (See more below about watering!)
Here’s a clever hint! Plants that may survive in direct sunlight may not have been grown there, and if they are immediately exposed to extremely hot sunlight, they risk burning. In order for these plants to adapt over the spring and thrive once summer arrives, it can be a fantastic idea to start them in direct sunlight in the winter.
As summer transitions into fall and winter, the angle of the sun decreases. This lessens the brightness of the winter light and occasionally causes seasonal blockages. If your window is beneath a deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the winter, more light may enter your room through the branches than in the summer.
length of light:
Always take into account how long the light is coming from outside the room, since this will have an immediate impact on how much light your plant can absorb. Your plants might not be getting as much light as you believe if the sun only enters a room briefly during the day.
A plant that requires medium light should go where?
Find out the kind of natural light your room receives and how many hours there are of it before buying a plant or starting seedlings. Then pick plants whose light needs correspond to your indoor setting.
Even though a plant may be able to endure low light levels for growing, more light may be needed to encourage thick foliage and flowering.
- A north window or a rather dark corner would be ideal locations for a low-light plant.
- Low-light plants don’t need much direct light. These plants are “understory plants,” which means they grow beneath the branches of larger plants, in their natural settings.
- For indoor seed beginning, low lighting is insufficient.
- Plants require less water and develop more slowly in situations with less light. By feeling the soil, you can avoid overwatering.
- For east-facing windows or a location close to a west-facing window that is out of direct sunlight, a medium-light plant would be appropriate.
- To start seeds in medium light, artificial lighting is required.
- These plants won’t dry out as rapidly as the low light plants. By feeling the soil, you can avoid overwatering.
- For areas with strong lighting, like those with windows facing the south or southwest, a high-light plant would be appropriate.
- While you might be able to start seeds without artificial lighting, plants that require more time indoors, like tomatoes and peppers, might become lanky.
- The warmth of high-light locations can cause plants to dry out more quickly. More often check on these plants and water when the soil feels dry.
What window provides plants with medium light?
Our indoor plant light guide wouldn’t be complete without discussing where to find each light level in your house now that we’ve covered the various light levels. Take a couple daytime strolls to see where the light falls to better understand the lighting in your home (say at 9am, noon, 3 pm, and 6pm). Based on which way the windows in each room face, you can further divide the lighting in your house into several categories.
North Facing Window Houseplants
Windows that face north rarely receive any light. You might get an hour or two of light in the morning or late afternoon if your window faces northeast or northwest, respectively. Unless there is a nearby window facing another direction to increase the room’s lighting quality, low-light plants are suitable for these windows.
South Facing Window Houseplants
South-facing windows receive more direct sunshine in the late morning and early afternoon as opposed to their north-facing counterparts. Although direct sunlight will be most intense during these times, it will be there all day. The best houseplants for these windows are typically high-lighters. With the right protection from furniture, curtains, or other plants, medium-light plants can flourish close to south-facing windows.
East Facing Window Houseplants
East-facing windows receive the morning’s first dazzling rays of sunshine. However, at midday when the sun is directly overhead, their direct sunlight will begin to fade. Windows that face east still let in a decent quantity of light and heat without being oppressive. For windows facing east, medium-light plants are the best choice.
West Facing Window Houseplants
Windows facing west receive the most direct sunlight from late afternoon till sundown. It will be beneficial for plants to receive their light during the hottest portion of the day if they are positioned near a west-facing window. Some plants may burn as a result of this, while high-light plants will flourish in a west-facing window. With the right protection, plants that prefer medium light can also thrive.
How long should plants be exposed to mild light?
If they aren’t getting any sunlight, the majority of typical houseplants may thrive with 12 to 14 hours of artificial light. Medium-light plants thrive when placed no more than one foot from the lights and need around six hours of sunlight every day, so they benefit from a higher light intensity. You can place low-light plants 2 to 3 feet away from the light source because they normally thrive in shade or with less than four hours of direct sunlight.
Despite the fact that these plants require lighting with varying intensities, artificial lighting still lasts for the same period of time. Provide your plants with an additional two to six hours of artificial light in the evening if they get some midday sun but not enough of it, like from a nearby window.
Is indirect light coming in from a window?
Indoor plants have a wide range of light needs, and many are especially sensitive to direct sunshine. But does sunlight that comes through a window count as direct sunlight? Let’s together research this.
Is light coming in through a window regarded as direct sunlight? Since some of the light is scattered and reflected as it goes through the window and lessens in intensity, light coming through a window is not always direct sunshine. The most direct source of light inside, light through a window, is typically at least 50% less bright than direct sunlight outside.
Your indoor plants need the correct amount of light to grow healthily, but you don’t want to overdo it to the point where they start to struggle. Discover how powerful light coming through a window actually is by reading on.
What does medium indirect light entail?
Fairly light Direct sunshine that enters your room all day, yet is diffused but not prevented by blinds or curtains. A shaded area next to a sunny area is known as indirect sunlight.