The large aesthetic leaves of the Philodendron plant get more pronounced when you meet their light requirements just right.
Thus, continue reading till the end, so your Philodendron never goes lanky by failing its light requirements.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of Philodendron
- How much light does Philodendron Need?
- How to Ensure Optimum Light for Philodendron?
- Signs Your Philodendron Requires Less or More Sunlight
- Does Philodendron Grow in Artificial Light?
- Final Thought
Overview of Philodendron
Philodendron is a tropical aroid popularly grown for its large green foliage of the Araceae plant family.
There are more than 500 Philodendron varieties, and they all share similar light requirements.
|Native Area||Tropical Americas and the West Indies|
|Life Span||20 years or more|
|Growth Size||1–20 ft in height 1–6 ft. in width|
|Foliage||Green heart-shaped leaves with a white, cream or lime-colored strip down the middle of the leaf|
|Flower||White or Yellowish white|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
How much light does Philodendron Need?
Philodendrons seamlessly proliferate in 4 to 6 hours of filtered or indirect sunlight, whether it is growing indoors or outdoors.
In addition, they do not mind growing under artificial grow lights for 8 to 10 hours in winter.
That said, Philodendron species with high light requirements can only sustain their stature for about 4 to 10 days.
After that, they die due to chlorosis, i.e., yellowing leaves due to loss of chlorophyll.
Similarly, the amount of light required by Philodendrons varies depending on their leaf color.
However, almost all Philodendrons can not stand the direct sun. They easily get sunburned if exposed for too long.
How to Ensure Optimum Light for Philodendron?
As in their natural habitat, Philodendrons shelter under canopies and avoid strong sunlight.
Thus, for optimal growth, you can mimic their natural habitat-like condition while keeping an eye on the following factors.
1. Light Intensity
Philodendrons thrive best when provided with medium bright indirect sunlight.
Aim for the bright light of intensity 2,500 to 10,000 lux (or 250–1,000 foot candles) for your Philodendron.
To measure the light intensity, you can use a light meter and use drapes to adjust the intensity.
However, Moonlight, Imperial Red and Pink Princess Philodendron need 400 FC and not less than 200 FC for ideal growth.
2. Light Duration
Philodendron requires dappled sunlight for 4-5 hours to thrive indoors. But can survive under 1-2 hours of direct sunlight.
That said, the light duration may vary depending on Philodendron varieties.
Aim for incandescent lamps to meet the light needs of indoor Philodendrons in winter.
Also, the morning sun can do wonders. Thus, strategically place the plant so direct morning sunlight shines on them.
3. Light Quality
Natural sunlight, white light, consists of all color spectrums.
So, it would be wise use to grow light of the full spectrum to mimic natural lighting conditions.
Generally, red and blue light encourages optimal plant growth, seed germination and root development.
Furthermore, red light especially boosts plants flowering, while violet enhances foliage color.
Combine blue and red wavelengths (400–700 nm) and trace amounts of green, yellow, and infrared wavelengths to aid photosynthesis.
4. Location for Philodendrons
East or south windows to facilitate your Philodendron with optimal light requirements.
Below is the table showing where you need to place your plant.
|Low||250-1,000 lux||North facing window|
|Medium||1,000- 5,000 lux||East-West facing window|
|Bright||5,000-10,000 lux||South facing window|
|Direct Indoor||above 10,000 lux||4-6 hours of direct sunlight|
Signs Your Philodendron Requires Less or More Sunlight
Although Philodendrons can tolerate a wide range of light, too poor lighting can push them over the edge.
Philodendrons begin to show tell-tale signs whenever they are not getting proper light.
So, let me walk you through those signs Philodendron exhibit under improper or harsh lighting.
Signs your Philodendron is Light Deprived
In general, lack of sunlight results in loss of green pigment, chlorophyll, in the leaves leading to discoloration. In other words, yellowing leaves.
Severe discoloration without prompt treatment can eventually kill the Philodendron.
Thus, here are some of the signs of a light-deprived Philodendron so you can take action before anything happens.
Inadequate light increases internodal distance, making the Philodendron appear lanky with fewer weak leaves.
This will cause the Philodendron to become thin and sparse.
Similarly, stems are relatively weak, often wilting and droopy. They will break even with minimal effort.
Slow or Stunted Growth
Due to restricted photosynthesis, Philodendrons barely have any energy to unfurl new leaves.
Thus, the plant does not grow or produce full-fledged leaves. If they do, new leaves will be small and weak.
In winter, slow growth is normal for Philodendrons due to dormancy. However, stunted growth, even in spring or summer, could be due to light deprivation.
The Philodendron plant will begin to lean toward any bright light source in search of light.
While doing so, the plant’s shape becomes irregular and will look weird.
Moreover, the part facing opposite or away from the light source turns pale.
Signs of Light Saturated Philodendron
Direct sunlight can scorch the Philodendron leaves. Here are a few signs of excess light exposure in Philodendron.
Despite proper watering, if your Philodendron has yellow leaves, it is most likely due to excess sunlight.
In addition to yellowing, the Philodendron leaves tend to have crispy, dry tips.
Similarly, yellowing one or two leaves could be because of age. However, if multiple leaves are turning yellow at once could be due to light saturation.
When Philodendron is exposed to direct sun for too long, the leaves eventually curl inwards to reduce the leaf area.
They do so to lower the increased transpiration rate, causing them to dehydrate faster.
The situation worsens when they do not receive water, resulting in permanent tissue damage.
Similarly, the stems will pull them away from the light source due to negative phototropism.
Under prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, brown spots can occur in the large green leaves of Philodendrons.
The brown spots are usually small at first but can cover the whole leaf if left for sunburn.
Additionally, leaves are light and dry, which can easily crumble on hand.
Tips to Maintain the Proper Light Condition
If you notice such symptoms in your Philodendron, immediately relocate them somewhere safe.
Generally, leaves that have gone completely yellow or brown can not be reverted.
Thus, you shall prune them off and proceed with proper lighting.
Here are some easy tips for maintaining Philodendron plants’ ideal light requirements.
- Keep your plant behind window sheers to avoid sunburn.
- Clean both sides of your windows, as dirty windows can block up to 50% of the sunlight.
- Rotate the Philodendron pots ¼ turn every few weeks so plants can grow evenly.
- Withdraw the plants if the windows deposit ice.
- Avoid exposing the plant to the light directly close to the window.
Does Philodendron Grow in Artificial Light?
If there is not enough light, like in winter, you can fulfill the light requirement of Philodendron by using an artificial grow light.
Though artificial lights can not replicate every color of natural sunlight, they can play a great role in mimicking the natural environment during winter and in dark places.
Right Light Temperature
The temperature of artificial grow light varies with the plant.
Most indoor plants need a cold white or daylight shade to flourish, particularly in the 6000–6500K range.
In contrast, a warm white shade, between 2700–3500K, can encourage fruits and flowers.
Since Philodendrons rarely flower, they need cool white or daylight bulbs (6000k-6500k) to provide full-spectrum light.
Right Grow Light
Choosing the right to grow light is also a factor to influence a plant’s growth. So, you can assign your Philodendron plants at least 12 hours of artificial light a day.
Here is a list of artificial grow bulbs that can be used for indoor plants.
|Phlizon Pro 2000W LED||Offers extremely large grow area and immable full spectrum|
|Lavish Home||5 feet tall light with adjustable neck floor lamp
|Abonnylv 60W Led Tri Light||Contains that warm white light(3000k) leds + day light(5000k) leds + red light(660nm) leds + Ir light(730nm) led|
|SPIDER FARMER SF2000 LED||Includes high efficiency, full Spectrum and new diode layout|
|Led Grow Light||Provides full spectrum with good cooling performance|
Proper Location for Grow Light
To ensure healthy growth, you might need to maintain a distance between the grow light and plants. You can your Philodendron plants at 10-12 inches from the light source.
Here is a table describing the distance between the plant and the artificial light source.
|HID Grow Lights (400W)||12”-19” away from the plant|
|HID Grow Lights (600W)||14”-25” away from the plant|
|LED Grow Lights (240-400W)||16”-30” away from the plant|
|LED Grow Lights (450-550W)||20”-30” away from the plant|
|CFL (200W)||6”-10” away from the plant|
Philodendron makes a great first-time house plant and gift for any plant parents, and the good news is that it needs lower light requirements.
If you live in a shady environment or your house can not store more light, you can use artificial light for Philodendrons.