Houseplant Light Needs

The spot you choose for your houseplant will determine its success; plants need light to grow.

Light intensity and duration are affected by such things as the angle of sunlight through a window, trees or curtains inside and out of the room, and reflective surfaces like mirrors or bright walls.

Most houseplants are tropical and therefore prefer bright, indirect, natural light. Cacti and some succulents are the exception to this; they thrive in hot, direct sun year-round.

The amount of light a space receives differs greatly season to season. A rainy winter day at noon may provide 1/20th the brightness than in the heat of summer. It may be necessary to move your plants to more light in winter, or shadier locales in summer.

Too much light causes foliage to burn at the edges, or become colorless and wilt.

Too little light can make a plant leggy and cause leaf loss. If you are unable to move the plant to a more ideal location in your home, artificial light may be used to supplement (the lighting must be bright enough to stimulate photosynthesis).

Light Levels

Low: Far from any windows, barely enough natural light to read by.

Moderate: Areas around sunless windows or 5-8 feet from a sunny window; easy for most plants to adapt to this light.

Bright Indirect: Areas within 5 feet of a window that gets direct sun, but no direct rays on the foliage; preferable for most houseplants.

Some Direct Sun: Less than 5 hours of direct sun daily (such as an east or west-facing windowsill or a few feet away from a south-facing window; plants on western sides may need protection from heat in the summer); flowering plants and herbs do well here.

Full Sun: At least 4-5 hours of direct sun each day. In summer, only cacti and succulents can handle this.

Houseplant Light Needs

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Houseplant Light Needs

Low Light Levels

  • Aglaonema - Chinese Evergreen
  • Aspidistra - Cast-iron Plant
  • Sansevieria - Snake Plant
  • Zamioculcas zamiifolia - Eternity Plant

Moderate Light Levels

  • Acrostichum - Leather Fern
  • Adiantum - Maidenhair Fern
  • Asplenium/Spleenworts - Mother Fern
  • Calathea - Peacock Plant
  • Chlorophytum - Spider Plant
  • Cissus - Grape Ivy, Kangaroo Vine
  • Dieffenbachia - Dumb Cane
  • Dracaena - Corn Plant
  • Epipremnum - Pothos, Taro Vine
  • Maranta - Prayer Plant
  • Nephrolepsis - Boston Fern, Sword Fern
  • Nephthytis - Butterfly Plant
  • Palmae - Palms (please ask about specific ones)
  • Polypodium - Rabbit’s Foot Fern
  • Sansevieria - Snake Plant
  • Spathiphyllum - Peace Lily
  • Strobilanthes - Persian Shield
  • Tradescantia - Wandering Jew, Inch Plant
  • Zebrina - Purple Wandering Jew

Bright Indirect Light

  • Adiantum - Maidenhair Fern
  • Alocasia - Elephant Ear
  • Anthurium - Flamingo Flower
  • Araucaria - Norfolk Island Pine
  • Bertolonia - Jewel Plant
  • Billbergia - Friendship Plant
  • Button Fern
  • Calathea - Peacock Plants, Zebra Plant
  • Ceropegia - String of Hearts, Rosary Vine
  • Chlorophytum - Spider Plant
  • Clivia - Kaffir Lily
  • Colocasia - Taro, Elephant Ear
  • Cyathea - Tree Fern
  • Cyclamen
  • Dieffenbachia - Dumb Cane
  • Dizygotheca elegantissima - False Aralia
  • Fatsia japonica - Japanese Aralia
  • Ficus - Figs, Rubber Plant
  • Fittonia - Net Leaf
  • Gardenia
  • Graptophyllum - Caricature Plant
  • Gynura - Purple Passion, Velvet Plant
  • Heliconia - Lobster Claws
  • Hoya - Wax Plant
  • Hypoestes - Polka Dot Plant, Freckle Face
  • Mimosa - Sensitive Plant
  • Monstera - Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Musa - Banana
  • Nepenthes - Pitcher Plant
  • Peperomia
  • Pilea - Creeping Charlie, Friendship Plant
  • Platycerium - Staghorn Fern
  • Rhipsalidopsis - Easter Cactus
  • Saintpaulia - African Violet
  • Schefflera - Amantie Stump
  • Schlumbergera - Christmas Cactus
  • Selaginella - Club Moss
  • Tillandsia
Houseplant Light Needs

Some Direct Sun

  • Acalypha - Chenille Plant, Copperleaf
  • Alpinia/Costus - Ginger
  • Begonia
  • Strelitzia - Bird of Paradise
  • Caladium
  • Caryota - Fishtail Palm
  • Clerodendron - Glorybower
  • Coffee Plant
  • Columnea - Furry Goldfish Plant
  • Cryptanthus - Earth Stars
  • Cyanotis - Teddy Bear Vine
  • Darlingtonia/Sarracenia - Pitcher Plant
  • Datura - Angel’s Trumpet
  • Dionaea - Venus Fly Trap
  • Gardenia
  • Iresine - Blood Leaf, Beefsteak
  • Nepenthes - Pitcher Plants
  • Oxalis
  • Stapelia - Carrion Flowers
  • Sedum - Donkey’s Tail (Burro’s Tail)

Full Sun

  • Abutilon
  • Agave
  • Allamanda - Golden Trumpet
  • Aloe
  • Citrus
  • Crassula - Jade Plant
  • Echeveria - Hen & Chicks
  • Euphorbia - Crown of Thorns, Poinsettia
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Hibiscus
  • Jasmine
  • Kalanchoe
  • Pelargonium - Geranium

Houseplants for all seasons

From Aloe to Zygopetalum, we cover the alphabet with choices for your home or office; plants for your brightest window or your darkest corner, those that willa love the humidity near your shower or prefer a dry, sunny spot. Orchids, succulents, indoor bonsai and cactus. We have them all. You'll find our featured houseplants below. We carry our largest of houseplants at our Division location. This is only a brief list.