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What is bright indirect light? How to find the perfect spot for your houseplant.


Plants get most of the energy they need to grow, thrive, and stay alive from sunlight.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to understand

what some of the lighting terms actually mean and where the best place is to put your houseplant! Probably the most confusing term that I get asked about regularly is 'bright indirect light'. So what does it actually mean?

What is a bright (indirect sun) location?

When the plant is in a bright light-filled room but the sun’s rays are not directly hitting it. However, depending on the intensity of the light some direct morning sun for a few (less than 4) hours can be ok. Morning sun is cooler than afternoon sun, so you don't have to worry about your plants leaves being scorched or it wilting in strong sun.


Examples of where to place your plant for bright indirect light:

  • Within 3-5 feet of a south or west facing window out of the suns direct rays.

  • On or near (within 2 feet) of an east facing windowsill.

  • On or near a bright windowsill where light is shining through a net curtain or frosted glass.


Other examples of lighting terms and where put your plant are as follows:


Direct sun locations:

  • On or within 2 feet of a south or west facing windowsill.

  • A conservatory


Partially shaded (low light) locations:

  • An east facing window where the morning sun shines into the room for only a few hours.

  • Directly in front of a north facing window gives a plant low to medium light intensity.

  • At least 4-5 feet away from a window that faces south or west.

Shady locations:

  • More than 6 feet away from a south or west facing window.

  • Hallways, stairs, and corners of rooms.

  • Near windows that are shaded by trees.

The best way to find the right place for your plant is to follow these guidelines and experiment with putting your plant in different locations to see where it is happiest. Your plant will tell you if it is in the wrong place. Here are some things to look for...


If your plant isn't getting enough light:

  • It will stretch towards the light and growth will be spindly

  • You won't see any new growth or growth is slow

  • New leaves once they have fully formed are smaller than existing ones

  • Variegated plants loose their lighter colour and turn solid green

  • Flowering plants bloom poorly or don't bloom at all

Signs your plant is getting too much light:

  • Leaves have brown scorched marks on

  • Leaves look faded and not as vibrant

  • Wilting in the afternoon

Hopefully this article has armed you with the tools you need to understand indirect light and other lighting conditions. Primarily you will need to know what type of light your plant needs which is why at Pure Plants all houseplants come with detailed care labels. Understand that it is not an exact science and that you may need to do some experimenting to find the perfect spot for each plant.



Happy growing!

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