Placing your houseplant near a window is always a good rule of thumb, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your plant is still getting adequate amounts of sunlight. Light is food for plants, and if underfed, it will not grow to be lush, full, and vibrant as it should. Read below to discover the signs your plant exhibits when it’s not getting enough sunlight and the course of actions to take to remedy that. Here at Fort Worth’s top florist, Gordon Boswell, we want to make sure you receive all the health and mood-boosting benefits plants provide by keeping them happy and healthy.
Red Flags Your Plant Exhibits When It’s Not Getting Enough Light
Tall and spindly stems reaching for light is a sure sign that your plant is not getting ample sunlight. And, if space between adjacent leaves, known as the internode, is wider than usual, then that indicates a problem.
In an effort to conserve energy when it’s not getting enough, a plant will grow much smaller leaves. Compare new growth to old growth to see if there is a marked difference in leaf size and improve the light to regain normal-sized leaves.
Leaning occurs when a light-starved plant moves turn all of its leaves and stems to the primary source of lighting its receiving. To prevent this, make sure your plant is getting plenty of light and give it a quarter turn at least once a week to ensure all of the leaves are being adequately fed.
Abnormal Leaf Color
Pale, yellowing leaves that drop off indicate insufficient light. When a plant doesn’t get enough light, then the chlorophyll that makes the photosynthesis process happen cannot do its job, resulting in pale, dull leaves. For plants with variegated leaf colors, lack of light will make them revert to a dull green with no trace of color.
When a plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, it will conserve energy by slowing down its growth, or if it’s really light-starved, shutting down new growth altogether. During the winter months it’s natural for plant growth to slow down, but if you’re not seeing any noticeable growth during the spring and summer, then move your plant to an area with more light.
Getting the Light Right
The species of plant, its size, and the amount of sunlight coming into your home are all factors in determining how much light each plant needs. It could take some trial and error but paying attention to the above signs will give you clues on how to proceed. There is such a thing as too much light for plant, though, so only place sun-loving plants like palms, succulents, and cacti in full direct light for most of the day.
Otherwise, moving the plants around to different widows, elevating them, or getting a grow light will keep your plant babies happy and healthy.