When watering your plants, take a few moments to thoroughly inspect it. You may see some tell-tale signs that it’s not getting enough light. Plants use light to create their food which nourishes their stems, roots, and leaves. If they don’t get enough light, then they won’t grow as lush and vibrant as they could. Trias Flowers has put together an informative guide to help spot the signs of “light starvation” your plant may exhibit. Then, read on to find out the best solutions to making sure your plant gets adequate lighting all year long.
5 Signs Your Plant Requires More Light
Leggy is a term that refers to plants with elongated, tall, and skinny stems. This abnormal growth is due to insufficient light. Another sign is wide spaces between the leaves. The space between leaves on the stem is called the internode, and large internodes contribute to a plant’s leggy look, which is the opposite of lush.
Smaller than usual leaves on a plant also points to a lack of adequate lighting. 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.
Plants with insufficient lighting will start to lean towards their primary light source to absorb as much of it as possible. Move the plant closer to the light source and give it a quarter of a turn at least once a week so all of its leaves can get ample light.
Abnormal Leaf Color
The chlorophyll in a plant’s leaves is what makes them green and enables the photosynthesis process whereby the light is transformed into food for the plant. When there is not enough light, chlorophyll stops being produced. The result is leaves that become pale, yellow, and 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.