Indoor Garden Light Requirements by Plant Type

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When growing an indoor garden, you need indoor garden lighting, and you have options on how to get light to your plants to help them thrive. If your indoor location is lucky enough to have plenty of natural sunlight, then you are blessed. If you are not so fortunate to have ample natural sunlight, artificial lighting will work just fine.

It is crucial to figure out what your handpicked indoor plants need when finding your indoor garden light. How many hours of sunlight per day? How many hours of darkness? Direct or indirect lighting? So many factors go into having an indoor garden.

We have curated a list of 25 indoor plant types and their indoor lighting requirements. 

1. Rubber Plants

Rubber Plants

Rubber plants are great indoor plants that do not require too much work. However, they do like their light. Rubber plants can tolerate low lighting conditions, but they do best with 6 to 8 hours of bright indirect light per day if you want to watch them grow and thrive. 6 to 8 hours is easy for most since it is achievable during average daylight times. If you are using artificial light, use lighting with a timer to get your Rubber plant precisely what it needs.

2. Pilea

Pilea

Pilea are delicate plants and will quickly burn if in direct sunlight. Pilea plants do best with bright, indirect sunlight for 8 to 12 hours per day to prevent burning. Pilea can survive in lower light conditions, but you may notice signs of your plant starting to separate and gap more since it will actively search for the light it desires. Pilea plants will grow towards the sun; if you use natural lighting and not evenly dispersed artificial lighting, then rotating your Pilea plant every few weeks will help prevent leaning.

3. Sweetheart Plant

Sweetheart Plant

Sweetheart plants or Hoya Hearts will survive well in low indoor light. However, if you want to watch these beautiful garden additions bloom, they need bright lighting for an average of 6 hours daily. Artificial lighting is an excellent option for these indoor plants but, they do great simply placed in a windowsill.

4. Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise are tropical plants. They love bright sunny lighting; however, they do best in ample amounts of indirect light. A sheer curtain over a sunny window will help filter sun rays yet, still provide the light Birds of Paradise love. You will quickly notice if your Birds of Paradise plant is not getting enough light since the leaves will begin drooping and then splitting. These plants do not do well in low light at all. Providing as much light as possible during regular daytime hours to mimic natural habitats is ideal for these indoor garden additions.

5. Begonia

Begonia

Begonias love bright indirect sunlight as well as most other plants. However, if you have Begonia indoors, consider artificial indoor garden light because plenty of fluorescent light will help these beauties shine. Some Begonias produce flowers, and some just have beautiful color patterns. Artificial lighting will help bring out the best in these plants. If using natural sunlight, be careful not to let your Begonia leaves burn.

6. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe prefers a South facing window with ample amounts of bright morning sunlight. Too much direct sunlight will burn your Kalanchoe plant, but they tend to do well with morning light. Find the window in your home that gets the most sunlight first thing in the morning and place your Kalanchoe plant there. Kalanchoe plant will produce beautiful blooms if given optimal lighting.

7. Air Plant

Air Plant

When you think of an Air plant, your second thought should be a rainforest. You want to mimic rainforest lighting conditions for Air plants. Picture sunlight constantly peeking through the canopy treetops brighter in the morning and less as the evening approaches. Your Air plants want plenty of bright indirect sunlight, and they do best when the sunlight is more saturated in the morning hours.

8. Split Leaf Philodendron

Split Leaf Philodendron

Indoor garden light for a Split Leaf Philodendron will vary by season. Split Leaf Philodendrons want bright indirect light in the harshness of the summer, and in the winter, they thrive with bright direct sunlight. You can use artificial lighting to help your Philodendron survive, but they typically will not fully develop under artificial lighting.

9. Jade Plant

Jade Plant

Jade plants need a minimum of 4 hours daily of bright sunlight. If your Jade plant does not receive enough light, they will become slow growers and develop a leggy appearance. Jade plants are from the desert family and love the sun; giving them the light they need will help your plant flourish indoors. Jade plants have a dormant season during the Fall and Winter months. During this time, they will require less watering and other upkeep but still need adequate sunlight.

10. Aloe Plant

Aloe Plant

Aloe plants need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily. If your Aloe plant does not receive adequate sunlight, it will grow weak at spacey. If you aim to keep your Aloe plant stems strong, tall, and vibrant, finding a window location with plenty of natural sunlight is ideal. Even though Aloe plants need light to thrive, they can survive in low light; however, they will not prosper well.

11. English Ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy plants need medium to bright sunlight to flourish. Ivy’s, in general, love the sun, and English Ivy’s are no different. If Ivy’s do not receive the light, they require they will be more prone to pests and dull leaves. Ivy’s can adapt to any amount of bright sunlight as long as they receive it daily.

12. Kentia Palm

Kentia Palm

Kentia palms are great additions to indoor settings. Kentia palms do well in low or bright indirect sunlight. As with most palms, they will grow faster and thicker with more light exposure, but they will do just fine in low lighting conditions like a bedroom or office corner. Never place your Kentia palm in the path of direct midday sunlight unless it has been conditioned slowly to more natural direct light. Kentia palms can easily burn; try to avoid direct light if possible

13. Gardenia

Gardenia

Gardenia’s need plenty of direct sun exposure during the morning or evening hours to properly develop buds. Even though Gardenia’s love direct sun, they prefer to be shaded in the scorching afternoon hours. If you are using natural indoor light for your Gardenia’s, it is best to place them in a window with plenty of morning light exposure. Artificial light will work for Gardenia’s if it can mimic a natural setting.

14. Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Spider plants have delicate stripping on the leaves, but these stripes will become less prominent with low light. In order to bring out the vibrancy of your Spider plant, bright indirect light is where your plant will flourish. If bright indirect sunlight isn’t available in your home, low lighting conditions will suffice fine.

15. Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree

Dragon trees are fun, whimsical plants with sword-like leaves and red tips. Dragon trees do well in indoor conditions and require minimal work. Dragon trees thrive in slightly shaded areas and plenty of indirect sunlight. Dragon trees will adapt to low light but will thrive in bright filtered sunlight.

16. Schlumbergera

Schlumbergera

The Schlumbergera is also known as the famous Christmas Cactus. These lovely holiday additions can survive many, many years indoors if provided the proper lighting and temperature requirements. Christmas cacti can survive in low lighting, but if you are familiar with Schlumbergera, they are capable of producing beautiful bright blooms. In low lighting, Schlumbergera will not create flowers the way we all know and love; to get these blooms, Schlumbergera will need plenty of bright indirect light.

17. Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus ferns are delicate lace-like plants, a beautiful addition indoors. When searching for your indoor garden lighting, Asparagus Ferns will be one of the easiest to accompany. Asparagus ferns like low lighting conditions; they prefer not to be exposed to much light since they will burn, wilt, and die if they receive too much.

18. Peace Lily

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily, simple, elegant, classic addition indoors. Peace Lilies do well in low light but prefer bright indirect light to thrive. Besides natural lighting, Peace Lilies will grow with artificial lighting and even fluorescent lighting. These plants are often livening up desks or office settings due to their ability to tolerate fluorescent lights.

19. Calatheas

Calatheas

Calatheas reputation for being finicky does not disappoint. These dark velvety green leafy plants love light but will do well in medium lighting conditions. If you’re searching a great indoor plant that can do well in average indoor lighting condition Calatheas will be that plant; just be sure to adjust watering requirements if your Calatheas is in a less than optimal lighting location.

20. Yucca Cane Plant

Yucca Cane Plant

Yucca Cane Plants are one of the plants that tend to thrive on neglect. They prefer to be cared for and left alone to some degree. One thing Yucca Cane Plants need that most other indoor plants do not is bright direct sunlight. Most indoor plants thrive on indirect light, yet the Yucca Cane wants all the rays it can gather. If you have a location indoors that is usually too bright for your other indoor garden plants, it is probably the best position for the Yucca Cane.

21. Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Snake plants are flexible plants to bring indoors. When figuring out indoor garden light requirements for snake plants, you do not need to do much research. Snake plants can live in all lighting conditions low light, bright light, indirect light, and artificial lighting. Snake plants are common for apartments, and small spaces to add a pop of greenery and not require much upkeep.

22. Anthurium

Anthurium

Anthuriums love windows. With ample amounts of bright indirect sunlight, they can produce gorgeous blooms. Find a window placement with tons of sunlight but no direct rays. You can add a sheer curtain to filter light if needed if direct rays are unavoidable. If you do not care much for Anthurium flowers, you can keep your Anthurium in low light to simply enjoy the foliage. Regular daylight hours provide plenty of light for these beautiful plants.

23. Fiddle-Leaf Fig

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

One simple rule to know about Fiddle-Leaf Fig plants is that they love and desire light. Fiddle-Leaf Figs do well indoors but grow optimally if they have a grow light available. Placing a grow light above your Fiddle-Leaf Fig and providing it with a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of light daily will be more than enough to thrive.

24. String of Pearls

String of Pearls

String of Pearls are great conversation pieces, adding dimension, color, and creativity to a room. String of Pearls need hanging baskets to allow the succulent to overflow and show off its beauty. Hang your String of Pearls in near a bright sunny window to give it the light it desires. If adding these pearls to your indoor garden, they will need ample amounts of bright sunlight, even direct rays; but will not do well with low light.

25. ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are relatively adaptable to indoor conditions. They will tolerate fluorescent lighting if natural light isn’t available, but they prefer bright indirect indoor garden light. Even though ZZ plants can survive on fluorescent lighting or artificial lighting, they will need a minimum of 12 hours of sunlight daily. Consider adding a grow light in addition to natural lighting to give your ZZ plant the daylight hours it requires.

Discover Your Light Conditions

Figuring out indoor garden lights for your indoor plants is one of the most challenging tasks plant owners must overcome. If using natural lighting for your plant, there is a way to help you decipher between low and direct or bright light.

Around noon, the brightest time of the day is the best time to go room to room, window to window, discovering your indoor lighting conditions.

Place your hand in the path of light coming from the windows and look at your shadow. If your shadow is faint with a vague outline, you have low light; if your shadow is well defined, crisp, and deep in contrast, you have bright light. If you are dealing with bright light to make it more indirect for some plants, add a sheer curtain to help disperse direct rays.

FAQ

Aloe plants need a minimum of 6 hours of light daily. Direct sunlight is best for these succulents, and most bathrooms have a window to provide a light source. If you keep your Aloe plant in your bathroom, place it in your windowsill or as close as possible to give it the light it needs.

Every plant has different sunlight hour requirements. Plants need light ranging from 4 to 20 hours daily. A good rule of thumb, though, is to mimic natural conditions again. The number of daylight hours outside is a baseline for what most plants will need. Plants in their natural habitats have light for about 12 hours daily. So, if you’re completely lost with what your plant needs, start there.

If you have an indoor plant that needs more direct sunlight than you can provide, then definitely check out what a growth light can do for you and your plant. Growth lights have timer capabilities and can mimic natural direct sunlight.

Asparagus Ferns do fantastic in low light conditions and even prefer shadowy areas.

My plant needs direct sunlight, but I cannot provide that indoors. What can I do?

If you have an indoor plant that needs more direct sunlight than you can provide, then definitely check out what a growth light can do for you and your plant. Growth lights have timer capabilities and can mimic natural direct sunlight.

If your indoor location does not provide much in terms of lighting conditions adding an artificial growth light could solve all your problems. Manufacturers have developed all different kinds of growth lights to fit your needs and decor.

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