After bringing your new, wonderfully lush, and vibrant green plant home from the nursery, make sure to take the proper precautions to keep it lush, healthy, and growing. Just as we do, plants also need air, water, and food. Plants get their food from light and making sure they get enough light is just as important as making sure your plant gets watered properly. Columbus’ best florst, Griffin’s Floral Designs, is here to help you recognize signs of distress in your plant and ways to ensure it’s receiving enough light to thrive.
How Your Plant Lets You Know It Wants More Light
Leggy is a term that refers to plants with stems that have grown long and skinny due to insufficient light. Another sign is wide spaces between the leaves. The space between adjacent leaves is called the internode, and large internodes indicate a lack of light.
In addition to getting skinny and leggy while searching for more light, smaller than usual leaves are other evidence there is inadequate lighting for the plant. If you are not sure the leaves are smaller than they’re supposed to be, compare the new growth with older growth to see if there’s a striking difference in size.
Since light is food for plants and they need food to grow properly and thrive, plants with insufficient lighting will start to lean towards the primary light source. If you notice one side of a plant leaning towards the light, it’s a sure sign the entire plant is not getting enough food. Move the plant closer to the light source and give the plant a quarter of a turn at least once a week so all of its leaves can get ample light.
Abnormal Leaf Color
The chlorophyll in a plant’s leaves is what makes the leaves vibrant green and enables the photosynthesis process where light is converted into food for the plant. When there is not enough light, the chlorophyll stops working as well as it should, resulting in leaves that become pale, yellow, and will eventually fall off.
Slowed Growth or No New Growth
If you suspect your plant is not growing as quickly as it should, move it closer to a window and watch what happens.
Getting the Light Right
If your plant has any of the above signs of light deficiency, then improve the amount of light it’s getting. This could be as simple as moving it closer to a window, opening the blinds or curtains more, or moving it to a window that gets more sun naturally, such as a southerly or westerly facing window.
Remember only sun-worshipping plants such as succulents, cacti, or palm trees should be in direct sunlight. Indirect bright light or medium-light that is somewhat diffused is better suited for most indoor plants — except shade-loving varieties such as ferns and orchids.
It may take some trial and error but paying attention to the signs your plant gives is all you need to make sure it remains happy and healthy.