Even though your plant probably came labeled with the best type of lighting conditions for it, it’s still tricky to figure out exactly how much light your type of plant really needs. Luckily, your plant is a great communicator and lets you know visually if it’s in any distress. Here at Wilmington’s top florist, Boyd’s Flowers, we’ve put together a list of signs you need to look for to determine if your plant is getting enough light to thrive.
Symptoms of Inadequate Light in Your Plants
Skinny stems with sparse leaves is what’s known as “leggy,” and is a primary sign of insufficient light. Contributing to the leggy look are wide spaces between each leaf. This space is known as the internode, and plants with large internodes are not a pleasing or healthy look.
If it looks like new leaves are not growing as large as older, healthier leaves, then the plant is not getting enough light to do so. Improve its light source and see what happens.
Giving your plant a quarter turn when watering, or at least once a week, can help prevent leaning. If you notice that your plant is beginning to lean or is getting lopsided, then turn it around and/or improve the overall light source.
Abnormal Leaf Color
Pale green leaves that then turn yellow and eventually drop off is a sure sign of poor light conditions for your plant. If the chlorophyll in your plant can’t absorb enough light, then it can’t keep the leaves green. Also, with variegated leaves, a lack of sufficient light will make them revert to a full green color so the plant can better absorb light.
Your plant should show signs of obvious growth, particularly in the spring and summer. If there’s no noticeable growth, then an improved amount of light should provide a quick fix.
Getting the Light Right
Quickly moving your plant to the sunniest spot in your home may not be the best solution. Plants can get too much light resulting in scorched, dried, and dying leaves. Only sun-loving plants such as cacti, palms, and succulents should be in direct sunlight. For most other indoor plants, indirect bright light should suffice. An example of this is a well-lit room that gets dappled light or sunlight diffused by a sheer curtain or shadows.
Just remember the further away your plant is from a light source, the more the light’s power drops. Even though you love how that corn plant looks in the far corner of your room, the light may not be strong enough for it to survive. If you are unable to get a plant into an optimal area of light, then invest in a grow light. This will allow you to have your plants placed anywhere in your home with the assurance it’s still getting plenty of light.
Finding the correct amount of light for your plants may take time and patience, but as long as you pay attention to what your plant is telling you, you will eventually find its sweet spot.