Bring greenery indoors has been gaining popularity as the proven health benefits of plants have been making headlines. To keep your plants happy and healthy, you need to provide sufficient water and light. Signs of over or under-watering are sometimes more noticeable than signs of insufficient light. Here at Hollywood Florida’s top florist, Al’s Florist, we’ve listed the following guidelines for making sure your plants are receiving enough light to thrive.
Signs of Insufficient Light
Light is food for plants so when they don’t get enough their stems become skinny and sparse, also referred to as “leggy.” Skinny, light-deprived stems also have wide spaces between each leaf. The space between leaves is known as the internodal space and large internodes are clear signs the plant is not getting enough light.
If the new leaves your plant is developing seem much smaller than they should be, then the plant is likely not receiving adequate light. Just compare the new growth to the old growth to see if there is a marked difference.
When a plant needs to reach and face a light source to get enough, it’s evident in its shape. If one side is leaning much more than the other side, then there’s a problem. Move the plant closer or to a better 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, medium to indirect bright light is best. This consists of a room that gets light for most of the day but it’s not direct light 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.