All plants require different amounts of light to photosynthesize (manufacture food) and grow. Quantity and quality of light available indoors is significantly less than light in nature. Window size, distance from the window (to the side or under), the presence of curtains or shades, partial obstructions (awnings, overhangs, trees, etc.) influence the amount of light your plant receives.
Our light code is a guide for your plants, and should be adjusted to seasonal variations and individual locations. In Boston, it’s virtually impossible to give any plant indoors too much light, so plants in the lower light categories will grow in the higher light areas (although they may need more watering and fertilizer).
FULL SUN – Unobstructed south, southeast, or southwest window that receives direct sunlight for at least half the day. No curtains or shades. Plant should be directly in window (if plant is greater than 2 feet back, this is not Full Sun even if sunbeams are striking the plant) (1200-5000 footcandles). Plants that like this:
Floor plants: Most Palms, Orange Trees
Hanging Plants: asparagus fern, begonias, variegated English ivy
Table plants: Orchids, all cacti, Jerusalem cherry
PARTIAL SUN – Unobstructed east or west window that receives sunlight for 2-4 hours. Plant should be only 2 feet directly back from window (600-2000 footcandles).
Floor plants: Rubber Trees, Ficus Benjamina (weeping Fig), Areca Palms, Crotons, Aralias, Norfolk Island Pines
Hanging Plants: Spider plants, Swedish ivy, Ferns
Table plants: Succulents
VERY BRIGHT LIGHT – Directly in an unobstructed north window, full sun window with sheers, 2-4 feet back from S, E, W window, or fluorescent gardening light (300-800 fc).
Floor plants: Schefflera (umbrella tree), Philodendron, Ponytail Palm, Dracenenas (Corn Plants)
Hanging Plants: Boston Fern, Lipstick vine, Grape Ivy, Piggybacks, Gesneriads
Table plants: African Violets, Babies Tears, Bromeliads, Ferns
MEDIUM LIGHT – North window with sheers, or to side of sunny window, or 3-6 feet back of sunny window (150-500 footcandles).
Floor plants: Pleomele, Spathiphyllum (peace lily), Rhapis (Lady Palm), Arboricola (mini umbrella tree), Dracenena Marginata (Dragon Tree – green and white variety not “rainbow” this is Partial Sun)
Hanging Plants: English Ivy
Table plants: Mini Spathiphyllum (peace lily)
LOW LIGHT – Directly below interior office fixture, or more than 6 feet back from window, or more than 2 feet to side of window. Plant species must be carefully chosen for this light level (75-150 footcandles).
Floor plants: Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen), Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant),
several Dracenenas: Janet Craig, Warneckei, and Massangeana (Corn Plant), Sanserveria (snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue), Neanthebella Palm (Parlor Palm)
Hanging Plants: Pothos
Table plants: Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen), Sanserveria (snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue), Pothos
****Below 75 footcandles, even low-light plants have trouble thriving.
At Plantscape Designs Inc Boston, Ma we always place your indoor office plants according to their specific lighting requirements so that your office plants live longer and healthier.