5 signs your houseplants aren't getting enough light

5 signs your houseplants aren't getting enough light

As the days are starting to get shorter, it's a good time to do a light check! Here are the telltale signs that your plants are lacking in the sunshine department!


1. Lopsided growth 

Ever noticed your plant reaching to one side? In the rainforest, plants will generally grow towards the light that filters through the canopy. The same goes for at home. To avoid lopsided growth, rotate your plant weekly so that all sides get a nice sun bake. 


This leggy lady is a nearly unrecognisable Monstera deliciosa. It's become leggy and growth new growth is shrinking due to a lack of light.

2. Leggy stems 

If the leaves on your plant are sparse on the stem (we call it 'leggy'), or you’ve noticed that your Philodendron stems are becoming taller rather than bushier, your plants could be searching for more light.


3. New growth is abnormally small 

You bring home a new plant. She’s lush, ripe for growth; the future is bright. But when that first new leaf pops out, it’s half the size! This is almost always due to a sudden decrease in light. Chances are, it’s been growing in much brighter light before coming home with you. Check out the nearly unrecognisable Monstera to the left - its new leaves are smaller and the stem to leaf ratio is off. 


4. Loss of variegation 

Got a Pink Princess that’s no longer pink? Maybe your devil’s ivy has lost its golden streaks? Plants use light for energy, and growing and maintaining variegation requires a lot more of it than non-variegated leaves. That’s why the loss of variegation is a key sign that your plant isn’t getting the sun it needs. The Pink Princess on the right has lost all its pink and its leaves are teeny tiny because of a light deficiency. 


5. Browning leaves 

Browning leaves can be caused by a few things, and a lack of light is one them! First, rule out the most common culprits; under and overwatering. Check for pests and leaf damage to rule out creepy crawlies. If you've completed your troubleshoot and everything else seems hunky-dory, there’s a good chance your plant isn’t getting enough light. 

So, now you know what to look for, how do you fix it? Check out our guide on lighting for houseplants to get a better idea of where to position your plants, and some tips on increasing light in your home. Of course, if your plants are slow growing because of low light, a little boost with some bioactive plant food should keep things rolling 😉

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