Almost all tropical plants need a lot of indirect light, but the amount and type of light differs from plant to plant. It is therefore important to adjust the location of your plant accordingly. However, you should bear in mind that this location can differ from season to season because the strength and position of the sun change from season to season.
Types of light
Whether the plant thrives in direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, semi-shade or shade depends on what the plant is naturally used to. You can find the specific light requirements for each plant in the description on the plant page. These light requirements must be met as much as possible in order for the plant to flourish. Give a plant too much light and it may be damaged. If there is too little light, the plant will not be able to achieve optimum growth.
Below, we briefly explain the possible light requirements:
This is the light that shines directly through the window onto the house plants. This is suitable for the real sun worshippers among the plants. They prefer to be in the sun all day just as they would be in nature. These plants need at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. They will grow best if placed in front of a window.
A south-facing window usually gets the most sunlight during the day. Please note that the sun will provide more light intensity in summer than in other seasons. This intensity can also be influenced by any window decorations.
This is filtered natural light and light from the sun that does not reach the plant's leaves directly when it shines. In nature, plants which like this are often surrounded by larger plants on which the sunlight bounces. These plants get up to five hours of brighter, but indirect sunlight per day.
They will feel most comfortable in a place about 3 metres from the window or, if this is not possible, in a place next to the window. A filter could be created with window decoration, for example by using transparent curtains or net curtains.
Plants which like to be in the semi-shade like to have filtered light with a little direct sunlight now and again. These are often the smaller houseplants which are naturally shaded by large trees and plants. Make sure that these plants do not receive more than three to four hours of full sun a day. And avoid direct sunlight.
Plants which like partial shade are best placed 3 to 5 metres from the window or in a spot next to the window. A place in front of a window facing north is also a possibility as little to no direct sunlight gets through there.
This does not mean that the plant wants to be in full shade, but in a place where it can receive highly filtered sunlight. They prefer to receive brighter but still indirect sunlight for a maximum of 2 hours a day.
The ideal position for these plants is usually around a corner or behind a large piece of furniture. Please note that this plant can never be placed completely dark.
The number of hours of sunlight and the intensity of sunlight vary throughout the year and change considerably with the seasons. The light requirements of the plant should therefore be taken into account throughout the year and the location should be adjusted accordingly. For example, a plant placed in front of a window in the autumn may no longer be happy there in the spring and may even be damaged. However, try not to move a plant too often, because a plant needs time to acclimatise to new conditions. It is best to move the plant once every six months at the most, if you have to.
If the days become shorter and there is less light, it may be wise to move plants a little closer to the window in order to still meet the light requirements. Another possibility is to use a grow light, but more about this next time....