The Q&A Archives: about light for plants

Question: on the papers that came with the plant it says filtered light could you please tell me what is filtered light> I have a Mother-in-law plant what is the b est light for it?

Answer: Let's see if we can clarify things for you. Indoor plants fall into one of five basic categories in terms of light requirements. They are: 1) Full sun, which is defined as an area with as much light as possible, within 2 feet of a south-facing window. This suits desert cacti, succulents and pelargonium. 2) Some direct sun, defined as a brightly lit area with some sunlight falling on the leaves during the day. Examples are a west-facing or east-facing windowsill, a spot close to, but no more than 2 feet away from an unobstructed window. This is ideal for most flowering houseplants. 3) Bright but sunless, an area close to but not in the zone lit by direct sunlight. Many plants will grow well in this area, which generally extend for about 5 feet around a window which is sunlit for part of the day. A large sunless windowsill may provide similar conditions. 4) Semi-shade. This is a moderately lit area, within 5-8 feet of a sunlit window, or close to a sunless window. Only a few flowering plants will grow here, but it's suitable for many foliage houseplants. 5) Shade. Defined as a poorly lit area, but bright enough to allow you to read a newspaper during several hours of the day. No flowering plants will grow here, but many foliage plants, such as Aglaonema, Aspidistra and Asplenium, will grow here.

Your Mother-In-Law's-Tongue, or Sansevieria, is quite adaptable to available light and will grow in bright filtered light to poorly lit areas (as defined in categories 3-5 above).

Best wishes with your new plant!

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