9 Signs that Indicate Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Worried about your houseplant’s light requirements? Wondering what to do? Here are the telltale Signs Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight.

Every plant needs a different amount of light to grow, and you have to be a little careful when it comes to their sun exposure. So, is there any way to be sure of it? Yes, there is. Here are the most important Signs Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight.

Have a look at the best plants that grow without sunlight here

Signs Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight

1. Leggy Growth

Signs Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight

One of the best signs to watch out for is leggier growth. Watch out for new leaves that are growing farther apart in search of more light and stem with thin growth.

2. Moving Towards the Light’s Source


This usually occurs when the specific part of the plant does not receive enough sunlight and starts stretching towards the light, making the plant look sick and not lush.

It makes the plant look unbalanced in its growth and shape. Rotate the plant from time to time to ensure even distribution of sunlight on the whole plant

3. Brown Tips & Leaves

If you notice the tips of several leaves turning brown, then it could be due to the lack of light. However, it is possible that there could be other reasons for the plant parts turning yellow and brown, like shortage of water or overwatering–you can learn more about this here!

To correct this, improve the intensity of light and water only when the soil is dry.

4. Smaller Leaves


Another indication that your plants require more sunlight is that the new leaf growth is underwhelming and small.

Light is a crucial factor in helping the plant grow properly, and it is most often underrated. Any plant bearing smaller leaves than it should be and dull foliage than usual could be facing a shortage of sun.

Note: Other factors like a smaller pot size, plant in a root-bound state can cause smaller leaves!

5. Pause on Growth 

Signs Your Indoor Plants Need More Sunlight 3

Is your houseplant only trying to survive and not thriving? If it has been a few months and the plant refuses to show any growth, then this is an indication that the plant is not getting enough sun.

It is best to keep it at a spot where it can receive at least 2-3 hours of bright sun every day.

6. Dull Foliage


Variegated plants usually have a pop of colors throughout their leaves when they get the right sunlight exposure. For nonvariegated ones, the foliage is always bright and lush when the light is proper.

If you notice dull foliage with a lack of luster and colors, then it’s an indication that the plant is not getting the right amount of light.

7. Soil Stays Wet for Long

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If the soil doesn’t dry out for 3-5 days, then it indicates that the plant is not in a well-lit and airy position.

Sunlight is a crucial component of performing photosynthesis, and whenever there is a lack of enough sunlight, the plant fails to draw up as much water as is needed. Also, lack of air circulation and light impact evaporation and transpiration. This results in the soil standing wet for a long time, which leads to root rot.

8. Faded Colors


Faded foliage colors indicate that the plant is not getting the right amount of sun. Varigated plants suffer the most of it and tend to lose their vividness over time.

Do make sure that the plant is exposed to at least indirect sunlight during the day.

9. Mushy Foliage

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Mushy foliage is an indication that the plant is getting water but not enough sunlight. Check the leaves and if they feel too soft and squishy to touch, then place the plant at a bright location.

How to Help Plants Get the Right Amount of Light?

  • The best way to make for the lack of sunlight is to change the location. Where they can get more light, depending on the type of plant you’re growing.
  • You can also put them near a west or south-facing window but make sure you are not exposing the plant to harsh sun.
  • If the sunlight (direct or indirect) in your home is not enough then you can also go for the supplemental grow lights.

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