Houseplants Light Needs of Plants

Morning Sun: Ideal for Houseplants

In many ways, a window facing east is the perfect orientation for houseplants. Since the morning sun is cool, a window facing east is never too hot, even in the middle of the day … unlike its hot-as-coals opposite, the west window. The light intensity there is excellent during the summer and very good in spring and fall. Okay, the light could be better in the winter, but at least there is enough light there to keep most plants alive until the spring, when longer days and more intense sun will come to their rescue. 

Of course, if you do have that option, moving your plants to a south window in the winter and back to an east window the rest of the year would be even better, but if you only have the choice of a single window for houseplants, an eastern exposure is simply the best.

House Hunting?

Many smart phones come with a compass included. Photo: Ze Kitez,

If you’re an indoor gardener, make sure you always bring a compass with you when you are looking a new apartment or house. It can be very disappointing to discover after the fact that all your windows face north, the least interesting exposure for plants, and that, as a result, they are dying one by one. 

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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