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Choosing The Right Houseplant For Your Light At Home

Every home has a different amount, style, and direction of lighting. Lighting can be very influential in the overall growth of houseplants inside your home. The right type of light can lead to healthy and abundant growth, and conversely, the wrong type of light can lead to stagnation, difficulty growing, and other problems. The following is a guide to window directions and their light intensity and will help you determine what types of plants are best for your particular space.



Window Directions And Light Intensity: A Guide

The light intensity in your home will largely depend on the direction that your primary windows face. When taking the window direction into consideration, make sure you note where the windows in each room are facing.


If there are windows on more than one side of the room, you may need to observe the intensity and amount of light that each window experiences throughout the day.


Since lighting is crucial for the health of your houseplant, keep the following window direction information and guidelines in mind when choosing a houseplant for your home.



East-Facing Windows

Windows that face the East will get direct sunlight during the morning hours only. Since the sun rises in the East, the sun will shine through your windows for at least a few hours. By the afternoon, this direct sunlight will turn into indirect, but still bright.


Best for: plants that need a good amount of indirect light and bright light for a few hours a day. Plants placed in rooms with East-facing windows should have good tolerance to light and need medium-low to medium amounts of light to thrive.


Avoid: placing any plants that are sensitive to light. The direct sunlight from the morning and the bright indirect light will likely be too much for them. Light-sensitive plants can do well here if you place them several feet away from the windows or at least keep them away from the window during the morning when the light is at its most intense.



South-Facing Windows

Windows that face the South will get intense amounts of light for most of the day due to the fact that after rising in the East, the sun will shine directly on the windows for several hours; this light will be even more intense during the summer when the days are longer.


Best for: plants that need lots of sun and can withstand direct and more intense sunlight; plants that need indirect but bright light can do well in spaces with South-facing windows, but you will need to keep them at least a few feet away from the window and provide sheers or blinds.


Avoid: placing any plants that are sensitive to light, even bright but indirect light, in this area. The harsh, intense light for most of the day will be too much for them.



West-Facing Windows

Windows that face this direction will receive the second most intense sunlight throughout the day. The sun will set in the West, so the windows facing the West will be directly in the path of the sun from about late afternoon until the late evening when the sun begins to set.


Best for: plants that need high amounts of light; plants that need indirect but bright light can do well here if you have blinds or sheer curtain installed, or you place them in a spot not directly in front of the window.



North-Facing Windows

Windows that face this direction get the least amount of light during the day. Since the sun will not shine directly through a North-facing window, it will not get any intense light.


Best for: plants that do not require a lot of light and can thrive in low-light conditions


Avoid: any plants that require anything past low-light to thrive.



Ideas For Plants Based On Their Light Needs

Every plant has different lighting needs. The following are some ideas for which houseplants you should choose based on the amount of light that your space receives through its windows.


If you have North-facing windows (low light)

· Ivy

· Snake Plant

· Maidenhair Fern

· Philodendron

· Peace Lily

· Parlor Palm

· Cast Iron Plant

· Pothos

· Rubber Plant

· Sago palm

· Dracaena Warneckii

· Prayer Plant


If you have East-facing windows (moderate light)

· Bamboo Palm

· Pilea Peperomioides

· African Violet

· Kentia Palm

· Monstera

· Peperomia

· Calathea

· Alocasia

· Anthurium

· Yucca

· Ficus Benjamina

· Areca Palm

· Croton

· Christmas cactus



If you have West-facing windows (intense light)

· Desert rose

· Aloe Vera

· Geranium

· Hibiscus

· Purple Heart plant

· Succulent And Cacti Varieties

· Datura

· Coleus

· Kalanchoe

· Zebrina

· Mandevilla



If you have South-facing windows (most intense light)

· Sweet Basil

· Ponytail Palm

· Jade Plant

· Aechmea Fasciata

· Ardisia Crenata

· Crassula Minor

· Ensete Lasiocarpa

· Ficus Lyrata

· Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

· Opuntia



The plants recommended for the West and Southern facing windows would likely do fine in either category depending on the amount of light that rooms with windows facing these directions will get throughout the day. It should also be noted that some of the plants recommended for low-light can also do well with moderate light.


Choosing the Right Plant

In general, you should consider how much sunlight a room or space in your home receives first; this will help you narrow down your list to plants within a light category. Then, consider other needs related to your space – such as the size of the plant, whether or not you have a pot or planter that can fit, and so on – afterward. Once you have these details sorted, it will be much easier to choose a houseplant that suits your needs – and your home.



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