House Plant Lighting Requirements


Thanks to photosynthesis, light is essential for plants to grow. When buying a houseplant, it is important to know the light requirements for your plant so you can properly place it in your home.

Light Intensity and Duration

Light intensity measures the brightness of light coming into a room while duration is the amount of light that comes in during the course of a day. Both need to be considered when evaluating light requirements.

Low Light

Plants with low light requirements, like pothos and philodendron, do not need direct light and can be grown in weak light, away from windows.

Medium Light

Medium light plants include ferns and African Violets. These grow nicely in well-lit rooms facing east or away from southern or western windows.

High Light

Plants needing lots of light, like cacti and succulents, grow well next to windows and doors providing direct light and usually facing south or west.

Artificial Lighting

Insufficiency in light sources can be supplemented by the use of artificial lighting in the form of fluorescent or special incandescent lights. Be sure you get the right kind of incandescent light, as plants don't grow well under ordinary ones.


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Light Requirements for Houseplants
  • Savvy Gardener: Houseplants

Who Can Help

  • Plant Oasis: House Plant Directory
Keywords: light, plant, window

About this Author

A Kansas-based writer, Alecia Stuchlik has been writing since 2007. Her articles have appeared in “K-State’s Statements” and “Manhattan Magazine.” She has a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas State University in anthropology and English.

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