10 Signs Your Plants Are Getting Low Light And How to Fix It

10 signs your plants are getting low light include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and leaning towards light sources. To fix this, increase natural light exposure, move plants closer to windows, or use artificial grow lights.

Improving lighting conditions will promote healthier plant growth and prevent further damage. Having indoor plants can bring life and beauty to any space, but it’s important to ensure they are receiving adequate light to thrive. Low light can negatively impact plant health, leading to issues like yellowing leaves, weak growth, and overall poor vitality.

Recognizing these signs is crucial for addressing the problem promptly and providing the necessary solutions. This article highlights ten signs that indicate your plants are not getting enough light and offers practical tips on how to fix this issue. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your plants receive optimal lighting conditions, promoting their overall well-being and enhancing the aesthetics of your indoor space.

Yellowing Leaves:

Yellowing Leaves: Chlorosis

Chlorosis is a condition that causes leaves to turn yellow due to a lack of chlorophyll. If you notice that some of your plant’s leaves are yellowing, it could be a sign of low light levels. Here are some key indicators that your plant may be experiencing chlorosis:

  • Pale yellow leaves: The leaves may appear pale or even almost white in color. This is a clear indication that your plant is not receiving enough light to produce chlorophyll.
  • Leaves turning yellow from the tips: If the yellowing starts at the tips of the leaves and gradually spreads towards the center, it could be a sign of insufficient light reaching the entire leaf surface.
  • Leaf veins remain green: In some cases, the veins on the yellowing leaves may still retain a green color while the rest of the leaf turns yellow. This happens because the veins are able to transport nutrients more efficiently than the surrounding tissues.
  • Stunted growth: Lack of chlorophyll due to low light levels can also lead to stunted growth. If your plant’s growth has slowed down or if new growth appears weak and small, it may be an indication that your plant is not getting enough light.

To address chlorosis and prevent further yellowing of leaves, here are some steps you can take:

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  • Provide more light: Identify a brighter spot in your home or consider using artificial grow lights to supplement natural light. Place your plant closer to windows or invest in full-spectrum grow lights that provide the necessary light wavelengths for photosynthesis.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: While plants need light to produce energy, direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. Make sure your plant is not exposed to intense, direct sunlight for extended periods.
  • Rotate your plant: If your plant is near a window, rotate it every few weeks to ensure that all sides of the plant receive an equal amount of light.
  • Prune affected leaves: Remove any severely yellowed or damaged leaves to redirect energy towards healthier foliage.
  • Consider plant preferences: Different plants have varying light requirements. If you have a low-light plant, it may be more tolerant of lower light levels compared to a high-light plant. Make sure to choose plants that are suitable for the light conditions in your space.

Remember, each plant has unique light requirements, and it’s important to observe and adjust accordingly. By understanding the signs of chlorosis and taking appropriate measures, you can help ensure your plants thrive in optimal light conditions.

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10 Signs Your Plants Are Getting Low Light And How to Fix It
10 Signs Your Plants Are Getting Low Light And How to Fix It

Stunted Growth:

Plants are fascinating living organisms that thrive on sunlight, using it as their source of energy for growth and development. However, not all plants receive adequate light and can end up with stunted growth. If you notice that your plants seem to be struggling, with limited growth and smaller leaves, it might be an indication that they are not receiving enough light.

Here are some signs to look out for, along with tips on how to fix the issue:

Lack Of New Growth:

  • Plants that are not receiving sufficient light will exhibit a lack of new growth.
  • This means that you may notice little to no new leaves or stems being produced.
  • The existing foliage may not develop as it should, and the overall growth of the plant will be hindered.
  • Lack of new growth can be caused by placing the plant in a location with insufficient natural light or by not providing enough artificial light.

Smaller Than Usual Leaves:

  • Another sign of low light is when your plant’s leaves appear smaller than what is typical for its species.
  • Inadequate light hinders the plant’s ability to produce the necessary energy for photosynthesis.
  • This leads to smaller, less developed leaves that may also have a paler or lighter color.
  • Smaller leaves result from the plant’s attempt to maximize its light absorption by reducing surface area.

To address these signs of low light, here are a few solutions:

  • Move the plant: If your plant is in a low-light area, consider relocating it to a spot with more natural light. Find a bright, but not direct, light source like a north-facing window or place it closer to a south-facing one.
  • Supplement with artificial light: If you cannot provide enough natural light, try supplementing with artificial light sources, such as grow lights or fluorescent lamps. Position the light source close to the plant to provide sufficient intensity.
  • Rotate the plant: Ensure that all parts of your plant receive equal amounts of light by rotating it every few weeks. This practice helps prevent uneven growth due to unequal light distribution.
  • Prune the plant: If your plant has become leggy or bushy due to inadequate light, consider pruning it. Trimming back excess foliage can help redirect energy towards healthy growth and encourage the development of new shoots.
  • Choose suitable plants: Some plant species are better suited for low-light conditions. If you consistently face low-light situations, select plants that are known for their tolerance to low light levels. These plants can thrive with less sunlight compared to others.

By identifying the signs of stunted growth and taking appropriate actions, you can help your plants regain their vitality and ensure their healthy development. Remember, providing adequate light is essential for their overall well-being.

Leggy Appearance:

Plants are beautiful additions to any space, but sometimes they don’t look as healthy as we’d like them to. One common issue is a leggy appearance, which happens when plants don’t receive enough light. This can cause their stems to grow long and weak, with fewer leaves at the bottom.

If you’re noticing this problem with your plants, don’t worry! There are several steps you can take to fix it.

Long, Weak Stems:

  • Insufficient light is often the main culprit behind long, weak stems. When plants don’t receive enough light, they stretch and reach towards the available light source, resulting in elongated and weak stems.
  • One way to remedy this is to provide your plants with more direct sunlight. Place them near a bright window or consider using artificial grow lights to supplement their light intake. Aim for at least 6-8 hours of light daily to promote compact and sturdy growth.
  • If moving your plants to a brighter location isn’t an option, you can also prune the leggy stems. This will encourage new growth and help your plants become more bushy and full. Use clean and sharp pruning shears to carefully remove the long stems, cutting just above a node or leaf to stimulate new growth.
  • Another technique to counteract a leggy appearance is to rotate your plants regularly. By turning them every few days, you ensure that each side receives an equal amount of light. This promotes balanced growth and prevents the plants from bending towards a single light source.

Fewer leaves at the bottom:

  • When plants receive inadequate light, they tend to shed leaves at the lower part of their stems. This is because the plant prioritizes resources to support new growth at the top where there is more light available.
  • To address this issue, you can gently remove the remaining lower leaves. This will redirect the plant’s energy towards new growth and encourage it to produce leaves at lower levels. However, avoid removing too many leaves as they are essential for photosynthesis and overall plant health.
  • Providing additional light, as mentioned earlier, will also help prevent the dropping of lower leaves. By ensuring that your plants receive sufficient light throughout their entire structure, you can promote a healthier overall appearance.
  • Lastly, consider fertilizing your plants to ensure they have access to essential nutrients they may be lacking due to low light conditions. Choose a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the packaging to avoid overfertilization, which can have negative effects on the plants.

By addressing the leggy appearance of your plants, you can help them thrive and regain their natural beauty. Whether it’s providing more light, pruning, or adjusting their position, these simple steps can make a significant difference in promoting healthy plant growth.

Remember, plants are living organisms, and they rely on us to create the optimal conditions for them to thrive.

Drooping Leaves:

Plants can truly bring life and beauty to any space, but sometimes they may not be receiving the optimal amount of light they need to thrive. One of the key indicators that your plants are not getting enough light is when their leaves start drooping.

This can be an alarming sign, but rest assured, there are steps you can take to fix this issue and help your plants regain their vitality. In this section, we’ll explore some common signs of low light and how to address them.

Let’s start with drooping leaves:

Soft, Wilted Leaves:

  • Leaves appear limp and lack their usual turgidity.
  • This is often a sign of low light as the plant’s energy production is insufficient.
  • The plant may be stretching towards the limited light source, resulting in weak and floppy foliage.
  • To address this issue, consider providing the plant with brighter light conditions.
  • Move it closer to a window or consider using artificial grow lights to supplement the natural light.

Drooping Or Sagging Branches:

  • In addition to drooping leaves, you might also notice branches that appear weak or sagging.
  • This can occur when the plant is not receiving enough light to support its growth and development.
  • Insufficient light can cause poor structure and weakening of the plant’s stems.
  • To remedy this, try adjusting the plant’s positioning to increase exposure to light.
  • Find a brighter spot in your home or office where the plant can receive adequate light.

Remember, it’s important to be aware of these signs so you can take appropriate action to remedy the situation. By providing your plants with the right amount of light, you are setting them up for success and ensuring their overall health and vitality.

Keep an eye out for the additional signs we’ll cover in the upcoming sections to make sure your plants are thriving in their environment.

Pale Green Color:

Lighter Shade Of Green

Plants typically have vibrant, lush green foliage when they are receiving an adequate amount of light. However, if you notice that your plants have a lighter shade of green, it may indicate that they are not receiving enough light. The pale green color can be a sign of low light conditions.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Yellowish or whitish tint on the leaves: When plants don’t receive enough light, they often develop a yellowish or whitish tint on their leaves. This discoloration is a clear indication that the plant is not thriving in its current light conditions.
  • Lack of chlorophyll synthesis: Insufficient light can hinder the process of chlorophyll synthesis in plants. Chlorophyll is responsible for giving leaves their green color. When a plant doesn’t have enough light, it can’t produce enough chlorophyll, resulting in a lighter shade of green in its foliage.

To fix the issue of a lighter shade of green in your plants, it’s essential to provide them with more light. Here are a few simple solutions:

  • Adjust the placement of your plant: If your plant is placed in a location with low light, try moving it to a spot with more exposure to sunlight. Choose a location near a window or consider using artificial grow lights to supplement natural light.
  • Prune surrounding foliage: Overgrown foliage can block light from reaching your plants. By pruning nearby plants or removing any obstructions, you can enhance the amount of light your plant receives.
  • Rotate your plant regularly: Plants tend to bend or lean towards the light source, leading to uneven exposure. To ensure even light distribution, rotate your plant every few weeks. This will help all parts of the plant receive adequate light.

By being attentive to the color of your plant’s foliage and taking the necessary steps to increase light exposure, you can help your plants regain their vibrant, healthy green color.

Slow Growth Rate:

Slow Development Of New Leaves:

Plants rely on sunlight to produce energy through photosynthesis. When they don’t receive enough light, their growth rate slows down, particularly noticeable in the development of new leaves. Here are some signs that your plants are experiencing a slow growth rate due to low light:

  • New leaves are emerging slowly and sparsely.
  • Existing leaves may become paler or yellowish as they struggle to produce sufficient chlorophyll.
  • The growth of new leaves is stunted, appearing smaller or deformed.
  • Leaves may fall off prematurely due to the plant’s inability to maintain healthy growth.

To address the issue of slow growth rate caused by low light conditions, consider implementing the following solutions:

  • ###increase the amount of natural light:
  • Place the plant near a window with bright, indirect light.
  • Rotate the plant frequently to ensure even exposure to light.
  • Trim any surrounding foliage that may be obstructing light from reaching the plant.
  • ###use artificial lighting:
  • Supplement natural light with artificial lights like grow lights or full-spectrum leds.
  • Position the lights at the appropriate height above the plants to ensure optimal coverage.
  • Ensure the lights are on for the recommended duration to mimic natural daylight.
  • ###choose shade-tolerant plants:
  • Select plant varieties that are known to thrive in low light conditions. Examples include snake plants, pothos, and zz plants.
  • These plants have adapted to survive with limited sunlight and will exhibit better growth even in darker areas.
  • ###prune and propagate:
  • Regularly prune the plant to remove any diseased or damaged leaves, allowing energy to be allocated to healthier parts.
  • Propagate healthy stems or leaves to encourage new growth.

Remember that each plant has specific light requirements, and it’s essential to choose the right location and light conditions accordingly. By addressing the issue of low light, you can help your plants regain their vibrant growth and overall health. Happy gardening!

Move Plants Closer To Natural Light Sources:

If you notice that your plants are not thriving as they should, it could be due to inadequate light. Lack of natural light can cause plants to become weak and leggy, with yellowing or dropping leaves. To ensure your plants get the light they need, consider moving them closer to natural light sources in your home.

Here are a few tips on how to do it effectively:

  • Place near windows: Position your plants near windows that receive the most sunlight throughout the day. South-facing windows tend to provide the brightest light, while east and west-facing windows offer moderate levels. Avoid placing plants too close to drafty windows, as this can damage delicate foliage.
  • Rotate plants regularly: Move your plants around to make sure each one gets sufficient exposure to natural light. Rotating them every few weeks allows different sides of the plant to receive adequate light, preventing uneven growth and promoting overall health.
  • Provide supplemental lighting: If your home lacks natural light or you have plants that demand high light levels, consider using artificial lighting sources. Led grow lights or fluorescent lights specifically designed for plants can provide the necessary light spectrum for optimal growth.
  • Consider light intensity: Different plants have varying light requirements. Take into account the intensity of the natural light available in different areas of your home, and match it to the needs of your plants. Some plants prefer brighter light, while others may thrive in lower light conditions.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: While natural light is beneficial, intense direct sunlight can be damaging to certain plants, causing leaf burns or wilting. If your windows receive strong sunlight, provide a sheer curtain or apply a window film to diffuse the light and protect your plants.
  • Monitor light duration: In addition to light intensity, the duration of exposure also affects plant health. Most indoor plants thrive with 12-16 hours of light per day. Pay attention to the light duration in the area you are moving your plants to ensure they receive adequate light throughout the day.

By moving your plants closer to natural light sources and paying attention to their specific lighting needs, you can help them thrive and maintain their optimal health. Take the time to assess your home’s lighting conditions and make adjustments as needed.

Your plants will thank you with vibrant foliage and bountiful growth.

Use Artificial Lighting:

If you notice that your plants are not receiving enough natural light, don’t worry! There are ways to provide them with the light they need to thrive. One effective solution is to use artificial lighting, such as led grow lights.

By installing these special lights, you can simulate the intensity and spectrum of natural sunlight, ensuring that your plants receive the right amount of light for photosynthesis. Here’s how you can use artificial lighting to help your plants flourish:

Install Led Grow Lights:

  • Led grow lights are a popular choice among indoor gardeners due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan.
  • These lights emit specific wavelengths that are optimal for plant growth, promoting photosynthesis and flowering.
  • When choosing led grow lights, consider the light spectrum they provide. Some plants need more blue light for leafy growth, while others require red light for flowering and fruiting.
  • Install the led grow lights in a way that evenly distributes the light across your plants. Avoid placing the lights too close or too far away from the plants, as this can interfere with their growth.

Adjust Light Distance And Duration:

  • Finding the right distance between your plants and the led grow lights is crucial for their well-being. As a general guideline, keep the lights approximately 12-18 inches above the tops of your plants.
  • Monitor your plants closely and observe how they respond to the light. If you notice they are stretching towards the lights, they might need them to be closer. On the other hand, if you see signs of light burn, such as yellowing or browning leaves, it’s a signal to raise the lights.
  • Besides the distance, adjusting the duration of light exposure is also important. Most plants require around 12-16 hours of light per day for optimal growth. Invest in a timer to ensure that your plants receive consistent light cycles.
  • Keep in mind that each plant species has unique light requirements. Research the specific needs of your plants to provide them with the ideal lighting conditions.

Final Thoughts:

Using artificial lighting is an effective way to supplement the natural light your plants receive. Led grow lights offer the intensity and spectrum necessary for proper growth and development. By installing these lights and adjusting their distance and duration, you can provide your plants with the light they need to thrive in low-light conditions.

So, make sure to give your plants the artificial light they deserve and watch them flourish!

Choose Low Light-Tolerant Plants:

If you’ve noticed that your indoor plants aren’t thriving as they once were, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough light. Low light conditions can be challenging for many plants, but there are some varieties that can thrive in these conditions.

Here are two popular low light-tolerant plants that you can consider adding to your indoor garden:

Snake Plant:

  • Snake plants, also known as sansevierias, are exceptional low light-tolerant plants that can survive in almost any lighting situation. They’re ideal for those spots in your home where other plants struggle to thrive.
  • These plants have long, upright leaves that come in various shades of green and yellow. They add a touch of elegance to any room while requiring minimal care.
  • Snake plants are excellent for purifying the air and improving indoor air quality. They have the ability to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene, making them a popular choice for bedrooms and living areas.
  • These plants are drought-tolerant and can survive in low humidity conditions, making them perfect for forgetful plant parents or those living in dry climates.
  • Snake plants prefer indirect or filtered light, but they can also tolerate low light conditions. Place them near a north-facing window or in corners that receive minimal sunlight.

Zz Plant:

  • Zz plants, scientifically known as zamioculcas zamiifolia, are another great choice for low light environments. These plants have beautiful glossy green leaves that add a touch of lushness to any space.
  • Zz plants are incredibly forgiving when it comes to low light conditions. They can tolerate low light levels, making them perfect for offices or rooms with limited natural light.
  • These plants have rhizomes, which help them store water, allowing them to go for long periods without watering. This feature makes zz plants a low-maintenance option for those who often forget to water their plants.
  • Zz plants can adapt to different humidity levels and are known for their ability to thrive in low humidity environments.
  • Place zz plants in a spot that receives indirect sunlight, such as a room with a north or east-facing window. They can also tolerate fluorescent lighting, making them an excellent choice for offices.

By choosing low light-tolerant plants like snake plants and zz plants, you can still enjoy the beauty of indoor greenery, even in spaces with limited natural light. These plants not only survive but thrive in low light conditions, adding a touch of natural beauty to any room.

Frequently Asked Questions For 10 Signs Your Plants Are Getting Low Light And How To Fix It

How Can I Tell If My Plants Are Not Getting Enough Light?

Plants not getting enough light may show signs like thin and leggy stems, yellowing leaves, or decreased growth. They may also lean towards the light source. Observing these indicators can help you determine if your plants are lacking the proper amount of light.

What Are The Consequences Of Low Light For Plants?

When plants don’t get enough light, it affects their overall health and growth. They may become weak, have smaller leaves, and produce fewer flowers or fruits. Additionally, plants may stretch or become spindly as they elongate towards the available light source.

How Can I Fix Low Light Conditions For My Plants?

To fix low light conditions, you can try adjusting the placement of your plants to a brighter area in your home. Alternatively, you can supplement natural light with artificial grow lights specifically designed for plants. Remember to rotate your plants regularly to ensure all sides receive adequate light exposure.


Being able to identify the signs that your plants are not receiving enough light is essential for their overall health and growth. By being observant and looking out for indications such as leggy growth, pale foliage, and slow growth, you can take the necessary steps to rectify the low light conditions.

Implementing solutions such as relocating your plants to brighter spots, supplementing with artificial lighting, or choosing plants that thrive in low light environments can help ensure the wellbeing of your precious greenery. Remember to provide the appropriate amount of light for each plant species and avoid overexposure or placing them in direct sunlight.

With a little care and attention, you can create a favorable environment for your plants to flourish, even in low light situations. So go ahead and give your plants the light they need to thrive!

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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