Ryan Ferland - December 22 2019
Indoor Plant Light Guide
If you're a tropical plant collector like I am, there's a few pieces of advice you've almost certainly heard before. "Put it in a south-facing window" "Make sure it gets bright indirect light" "This one will do well in a sunny window". That's right - light is one of the most important considerations when making any indoor plant purchase. Here are some things to think about when getting started.
What Kind of Light will your Plant Get?
This is one of the top things to determine before you even make it to the plant shop. The best way to figure this out is to choose the space your new plant will go before you decide what kind of plant you want. Will it go in a hot, sunny, south facing window? Or a north facing window that gets little (if any) sunlight. Choose your spot and monitor the light to ensure your new plant will thrive.
Different Types of Light
There are a number of different terms you'll hear thrown around when seeking plant advice - things like "bright indirect light", "low light", or "direct light". It is important to understand how to qualify these types of light, and it helps to understand, in general, what kinds of light come through windows facing different directions.
North Facing Window
- The least amount of light
- No direct sunlight - classify as "low light"
- Can usually get away with low-light or shade plants
- Supplement light with a full spectrum grow bulb
South Facing Window
- The hottest, most direct light
- Direct rays of sunshine coming through - "direct light"
- Ideal for succulents, cacti and heat-loving tropicals
- Can damage plants that are overly sensitive to sunshine or heat
East Facing Window
- Usually 3 to 4 hours of morning sun
- A great source of "bright indirect light"
- Not too hot - more sensitive plants will do well
West Facing Window
- Full afternoon and evening sun
- Can be hot in the summer
- A great spot for sun-loving plants
- Excellent in the winter for plants that require a bit more light
- Not as intense as south-facing, but a great option for direct light
Plants for Every Situation
Whether you live in a 10 bedroom estate or a one-bedroom apartment, there is a plant that can survive in your space. Here is a helpful diagram to help you determine what light you have.
For those who have to think a second about whether or not they have a window in their space, these are the plants for you. Just to clarify there needs to be a window somewhere in your space, these plants will die in an underground bunker.
Low Light Plants
- Peace lily
- Snake plant
- Check out our blog for our Top 5 Plants for Low Light for more options and detail!
Medium Light Plants
Seen but not touched by light, medium light-loving plants like to know there is a window in the room but don't need to share a cab with it.
- Spider Plant
- Wide Leaf Dracaena
Bright Indirect Light Plants
When it comes to bright indirect light, most tropical plants will be pretty happy with this light. In fact, it is the ideal scenario for most. A few examples include:
- Ficus Benjamina
- Rubber Plant
Bright Direct Light Plants
These sun-loving beauties adore bathing in a window sill full of light. The more light the better, skip the sunscreen. Think Desert.
- Snake Plant
- Ponytail Palms
- Sweet Basil
Hopefully, we have helped shed some light on this confusing topic. If you are ever unsure what the best house plant is for your space, come into Parkway Garden Centre and let one of our plant experts guide you in the right direction!