What is the best light for houseplants? A visual guide.
If we had a dollar for every time we heard ‘bright, indirect light’, we’d be clinking glasses with the rich and famous. Every blog references it, but what is it exactly? To make matters a little easier, we’ve put together this nifty diagram:
What is direct light?
Direct light is sunlight that has no obstruction before it reaches the leaves. Your plants will cast stark, sharp shadows in this area. If you can see a perfect silhouette of your fern, it’s probably not the spot for it! In fact, not many of our indoor faves can handle this kind of light, but if you're growing succulents, this is the spot for them!
What is bright indirect light?
Ding-ding-ding! This is the light that most houseplants love. It's when your plant is near a window, but not in the path of direct sun rays. Your plant will cast a blurry, indistinct shadow.
What is medium?
Medium light occurs a few metres back from the window, as the intensity of bright light fades. Sheer curtains will filter light, and this is also considered medium light. Plants that do well in medium light include Peperomia, Pothos, Happy Plants, ferns and Chinese Evergreens.
What is low light?
Low light areas get no direct sun throughout the day. Think dark corners of the room that are furthest away from a window. While houseplants will almost always thrive better in bright light conditions, these are the plants that will tolerate low light: Peace Lilies, Snake Plants, ZZ plants, Heart leaf Philodendron and Spider Plants.
Quick light tips
- If you can comfortably read a book in a room with no additional light for 4-6 hours of the day, you have bright indirect light.
- In Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, plants will do best near East- and North-facing windows. South-facing windows don’t get very much light and West-facing windows get harsh afternoon sun.
- Boost the light in your room by adding large mirrors to reflect light.
- White or light walls will reflect more light too, so perhaps a fresh lick of paint will help your green babies thrive.
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