Are you looking for a plant to spice up your office? Or maybe you’ve got a dark room in need of some greenery– regardless of the situation, we’ve got the perfect plant for you! All plants need sunlight to photosynthesize to turn nutrients from the soil into glucose. However, some plants need more sun than others. Understanding natural light levels are key to finding the perfect houseplant for a given space.
Direct Light refers to areas in full view of the sun. Sunlight shines down on this location for at least eight hours a day, and you can physically see the sun without obstruction.
Bright, Indirect Light areas have access to bright sunlight for at least eight hours a day, but this light is slightly obscured. This light level is the most popular among houseplants, which need some protection from the sun’s UV rays.
Medium Light, Partial Shade, or Filtered Light includes areas with shade that receive less than eight hours of natural sunlight per day. Medium-light areas still get natural sun, but it’s filtered and a bit darker than bright, indirect light.
Low Light areas receive little to no sunlight, much less direct sunlight. Low-light areas may receive artificial light from lamps but are generally not exposed to natural sunlight.
What is a Low Light Houseplant?
A low-light houseplant does well away from direct sunlight. Most low-light houseplants have delicate leaves that burn easily in the sun, and while they still require sunlight, they do best with a little less. Low-light houseplants are often found in nature as ground cover plants that line forest floors and receive filtered sunlight through the trees. Ferns, for example, act as groundcover in forests worldwide: they need filtered sunlight and humid environments to thrive. These kinds of plants are great for indoor spaces that don't get a lot of natural light, like bathrooms, offices, and rooms with north-facing windows. Some houseplants, however, aren’t picky about light whatsoever. Snake Plants, Spider Plants, the ZZ Plant, and some varieties of Dracaena don’t have much of a preference for light level– they’ll do well in indirect sunlight, partial shade, or low-light areas.
Low Light Care Tips
Your plant’s watering schedule will change depending on how much light it receives. For most low-light houseplants, you can wait until your soil is completely dry to the touch before watering, but it’s always good to check your specific plant’s care needs just to be sure. Generally, houseplants exposed to more sunlight will soak up water faster, while plants in dimmer areas drink slowly. When finding a location for your low-light houseplant, ensure it’s somewhere away from direct sunlight. South and West-facing windows have access to harsh afternoon sunlight throughout the day, so keeping your low-light plant away from a window or by a north-facing window is best to ensure your leafy friend doesn’t get sunburned.