How to Choose the Right Plant for Your Space’s Lighting
Choosing a plant can be intimidating.
Especially when you read the phrases Bright, Medium & Low Light and think... “Wait, so what’s the difference?”
Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think.
These are the 3 main factors that determine lighting:
- how far the spot is from a window
- which direction that window is facing
- what’s in front of the window (i.e. is there direct or partial light coming in?)
Keeping those in mind, let’s figure out what kind of lighting your plant will need. And remember:
You should always pick where you want your plant, then choose what plant works best there.
It’s a common mistake to do this in the opposite order and that’s when you end up with a plant in the wrong kind of lighting. (If you want help choosing a good spot, see our Home Plant Guide or our Office Plant Guide.)
How to Know Your Light Level
Use the quick-start chart below to see which is best for the spot you’ve chosen.
Direct sunlight. Long sun exposure.
- South or Southwest-facing windows up to 10 feet away.
- East or West facing windows up to 10 feet away.
Remember: Intense, direct sun can burn plants. Filter light or place plants further away from the window or in a shady spot.
Partial, filtered, soft or indirect.
- East or West facing windows - min. 10 feet away up to 15 feet.
- South or Southwest facing windows — min. 10 feet away up to 15 feet.
- North facing windows - up to 3-5 feet away.
Minimal natural light or artificial.
- North-facing windows — min. 5 feet away up to 10 feet.
- South, West or East facing windows that are facing courtyard and/or blocked by another building nearby.
- Foyers & stair landings — with no natural light, but lots of fluorescent light all day.
Rule of thumb: if it’s too dark to read a book without turning the light on in the middle of a day, then it’s too dark for any plant.
THE 12 O’CLOCK LIGHT TEST
What’s outside your building can also affect the light your plant will get, so here’s an easy test to make sure you’ve got it right.
At noon — when the sun is brightest — stand in the spot where you want your plant to live. Look down at your shadow, and if it’s a...
- Strong, well-defined shadow, then you’re swimming in Bright Light.
- Weak shadow but you can still make out the silhouette, you’re working with Medium Light.
- Faint shadow without much definition, it’s a Low Light spot.
And that’s it!
Now that you know what light you have, all that’s left is finding the plant you want.
We deliver beautiful potted plants in planters with sub-irrigation system anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Jersey City, Hoboken & Edgewater.
If you have any questions about plants, planters, plant care or delivery, please don’t hesitate to contact us.