If your plant doesn’t look like a thriving, larger version of itself when you first brought it into your home, then it may be suffering from lack of enough light. For plants, light is food, so if they don’t get enough they “starve,” and it shows in how they grow and what their leaves look like. Well, Pueblo’s top florist, Campbell’s Flowers, is going to help you make sure your plants remain healthy by telling you what to look for in your plant to determine its light requirements.
How Your Plant “Speaks” to You About Its Food Source
Leggy is a term that pertains to plants with stems that have become long and skinny as it strives to reach enough light. Another sign is elongated spaces between the leaves. The area between leaves on the stem is called the internode, and wide internodes indicate the plant is not getting enough light.
In addition to getting skinny and leggy while searching for more light, smaller than usual leaves are another sign of adequate lighting for the plant. If you’re unsure the leaves are smaller than they are supposed to be, compare new growth with older growth to see if there is a difference in size.
If you notice one side of your plant leaning towards the light, then it’s a sure sign the whole plant is not getting enough food. Move the plant closer to the light source and give it a quarter turn at least once a week so all of its leaves can get plenty of light.
Abnormal Leaf Color
Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their rich green color and facilitates the photosynthesis process whereby the light is transformed into food for the plant. When there is not enough light, the chlorophyll stops working as well as it should. The results are leaves that have turned pale, yellow, and will eventually fall off the plant.
Slowed Growth or No New Growth
A lack of quality light can cause stunted growth or slow 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 insufficiency, then the subsequent course of action is to increase the amount of light your plant is getting. This could be as manageable as moving it closer to a window, opening the blinds fully, or hanging in a planter to receive more sun.
Just be careful that your plant doesn’t get too much direct light or is too close to a bright window where it may overheat. Only sun-worshipping plants like succulents, cacti, or palm trees should be in direct sunlight. Indirect bright light that is somewhat diffused is proper 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 exhibits is all you need to make sure it continues to be happy and healthy.