Finding Light for Your Indoor Plants
I live in an old 1840s cottage. It has a weird layout and windows are in strange places. I guess it’s charming, but considering I possess an irrational number of indoor plants, it can be downright inconvenient. The windows can be drafty, with sun and light coming in a select few of those windows. I gush over Instagram pictures of homeowners with giant lofts with massive windows and skylights, but I do like my odd-shaped ancient abode, so I make it work.
Light is one of three important pieces in the happy plant puzzle. No light = unhappy plants. I wouldn’t want to spend everyday in a dark corner with dusty books, would you? Indoor plants can’t do their thing and function properly without sunlight, even those “tough as steel” plants that can be put “anywhere.” Plants need some kind of sunlight. Period.
How to you determine the best plant placement?
Take a compass (there’s an app for that) and find where your South windows are. These will most likely shed the brightest light for indoor plants like spider plants and rubber trees. Medium light is the West and East windows, depending on the time of day (a reminder, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West). I usually stick my medium and low light plants here. This includes Sansevieria, Fittonia, my Fiddle Leaf Fig, and palms go in either of these windows. The North window (which is my kitchen) houses only my ferns and Pothos, which like the humidity, no direct sun, and occasional brightness from my skylight.
Light also plays a crucial role in watering, but more on that later. To be super sciencey, you can actually measure sunlight in foot-candles, which is what is used in horticulture. And there’s actually an app for that – it’s called Light Meter and currently available on the App Store.
I also move my plants around quite a bit. This is partially due to acquiring one or more every month, but primarily so they get a change of scenery and a different view of the sun. Plus, my cats like it too.