Placing your plant in a well-lit room may seem fine at the time, but if it starts exhibiting any of the below signs of light-starvation, then you may need to reassess its location. Light is food to plants and through photosynthesis, they are able to feed themselves and continue growing healthy and lush leaves. Rose Hill Flowers has outlined for you signs your plant gives you to let you know it needs more light.
Signs Your Plant Reveals About its Lighting Needs
Leggy is a term that refers to plants with stems that have grown long and skinny as it struggles to reach for enough light. Another indicator is elongated spaces between the leaves. The space between leaves on the stem is called the internode, and large internodes are a sign of the plant not getting enough light.
In addition to getting skinny and leggy while searching for more light, smaller than usual leaves are another indication there is a lack of adequate lighting for the plant. If you are not sure the leaves are smaller than they’re supposed to be, compare the new growth with older growth to see if there’s a difference in size.
Since light is food for plants and they need food to grow properly and thrive, plants with insufficient lighting will start to lean towards the primary light source. If you notice one side of a plant leaning towards the light, it’s a sure sign that then entire plant is not getting enough food. Move the plant closer to the light source and give the plant a quarter of a turn at least once a week so all of its leaves can get enough light.
Abnormal Leaf Color
The chlorophyll in a plant’s leaves is what makes the leaves a dark green color and enables the photosynthesis process whereby the light is transformed into food for the plant. When there is not enough light, the chlorophyll stops working as well as it should. The result are leaves that become pale, yellow, and will eventually fall off the plant.
Slowed Growth or No New Growth
Since light provides the energy for a plant to grow, a lack of enough light will cause stunted growth or slower than usual growth. If you suspect your plant is not growing as quickly as it should and shows signs of no new leaves, move it closer to a window and watch what happens.
Getting the Light Right
If your plants have any of the above signs of light deficiency, then the next course of action is to improve the amount of light your plant is getting. This could be as simple as moving it closer to a window, opening the blinds or curtains more, or moving to a window that gets more sun naturally, such as a southerly or westerly facing window.
Be careful not to just move your plant really close to a sunny window or to a place where it gets more than 4 hours of direct, bright sunlight, because it is possible for plants to get too much light. Only sun-worshipping plants such as succulents, cacti, or palm trees should be in direct sunlight. Indirect bright light or medium light which is somewhat diffused is suitable for almost all houseplants except shade-loving ones like ferns and orchids.
It may take some trial and error but paying attention to the signs your plant gives is all you need to make sure it remains happy and healthy.