Using a Light Meter for Low Light Houseplants

Every variety of plant prefers different light conditions. Using a light meter for houseplants and also in the garden will help you create the ideal growing environment. All houseplant enthusiasts know the benefits of a light meter for plants. The lighting is crucial for low light plants as well as those that need a lot of light.


You know there’s really no such thing as a houseplant. Plants want to be outdoors. Our indoor environments are very dark, shady if you will, and without a good amount of sunlight they’re just not going to thrive indoors.

Using a Light Meter for Houseplants

Let’s talk about some of those plants for low light areas. One of my favorite plants is the Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema. It puts up with low to medium light and comes in a wide variety of styles different heights and many different interesting leaf patterns.

There are many good Dracaenas that also do well in medium to low light. Warneckei is a good example of one there really brightens area. I like the variegated leaves that are offered in many of our houseplants as a way of adding interest to the home. And when it comes to really low light areas the Spathiphyllum or Closet Plant is the queen of the home. This one can put up with less light than any other species. It produces these little spathes or bloom structures that then turn white and could be quite attractive.

In order to have success with houseplants you want to make sure and not overwater them. We do tend to overwater our houseplants too often and that just causes root rot. In the low light environment they just don’t use as much water as they would in a bright outdoor environment. Secondly, don’t try to over fertilize. You can’t replace light with extra fertilizer and that just creates additional problems. And then if you’ll move them periodically to a brighter environment to let them gather some light, produce carbohydrates and replenish their strength then you can move them back in.

For more tips on success with low light houseplants check out our gardening with Skip website. With your common sense tips on success with low light houseplants, I’m Skip Richter.

Our Summary: As you can see there are many good low light houseplants. These can be used in your home or office.

Using a light meter for your houseplants is the only really accurate way to gauge the light intensity for your plants. What you consider bright light may not actually be that at all. It is very difficult to judge true light conditions just with the eye. That’s where the handheld types of light sensors come in handy. By using a test light gauge for plants you will get an accurate reading of the true amount of light coming to that area.

The light may be better for a particular plant by just moving it a few inches in another direction. For other plants you may find you need to move it to a completely different spot in the house.

You will find that light levels drop down significantly even just a foot away from a window. Even after you find the perfect spots for your plants there is another thing you can do to help them get more light. Just turn the plant a quarter turn every few days and it will help it tremendously.

A light sensor used along with a light meter guide that gives you each plants lighting needs is the best way to grow healthy plants, including succulents. Many light intensity meters on the market are also built with soil pH meters and soil moisture probes. These will also help you to provide the proper water and soil conditions for thriving plants.

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