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How Much Light Do Anthuriums Need? Anthurium Light Tips

How Much Light Do Anthuriums Need? Anthurium Light Tips

How much light do Anthurium need? Anthuriums, such as the Flamingo flower, grow in the understory of tropical rainforests. They are mostly epiphytes that live on other trees and objects.

The Anthurium genus consists of more than 1000 species and belongs to the Araceae or Aroid family.

As Anthuriums outside grow under trees and are protected by the rainforest canopy, they do not tolerate too much direct sun.

How Much Light Do Anthuriums Need?

Bright yet indirect light is the optimal light intensity for Anthuriums. Bright indirect light is when the light doesn’t shine directly onto the leaves, making the plants produce a defined shadow. Bright indirect light is about 1000-2000 lux. Don’t expose anthuriums to direct light for more than 4 hours daily.

How Much Light Do Anthuriums Need?
How Much Light Do Anthuriums Need?

 

Anthurium Light Requirements

An Anthurium plant needs 8-10 hours of bright light per day. 92-185 foot candles are ideal. Foot candles are defined as lumen per square foot. It is often abbreviated as FC or lm/ft2.

They tolerate low light but will grow much slower. They won’t produce many blooms in low light conditions.

For anthuriums to grow faster and bloom, they need to be exposed to bright light 8 hours a day
For anthuriums to grow faster and bloom, they need to be exposed to bright light 8 hours a day

 

Where Should You Place An Anthurium?

Place your Anthurium in a bright window. The ideal placement is a western– or eastern-facing window. These window directions allow for a couple of hours of direct sun daily. If direct sunlight does not fall on the Anthurium for more than 4 hours daily, it does not hurt the plant.

Place your anthuriums about 3 to 5 feet away from a bright eastern- or western-facing window
Place your anthuriums about 3 to 5 feet away from a bright eastern- or western-facing window

The eastern-facing window has direct sun for 4-5 hours in the morning, and then it gets bright indirect light for the rest of the day.

This is perfect because the sun is less strong in the morning.

The sun goes down in the west. Therefore houseplants in a western-facing window direction will get direct sunlight in the afternoon.

Place your indoor plant 3-5 feet (91-152 cm) away from the window.

 

Direct Sunlight vs. Indirect Sunlight

Direct sunlight: Direct sun is unfiltered direct sunlight. Its intensity is 98000 lux. South-facing windows have direct sunlight for most of the day.

Indirect sunlight: Direct sunlight filtered by a curtain or blocked by an object. The sun’s rays don’t directly fall onto the foliage. It has an intensity of around 1000-2000 lux.

 

Grow in Artificial Light

If you cannot provide sufficient light for your Anthurium through sunlight, you can use artificial light. There is a variety of professional grow lights to choose from.

Plant growth bulbs produce different light levels. They can help your indoor plant grow faster and healthier.

Plant growth bulbs produce light of different levels that help your indoor anthurium grow healthy and fast
Plant growth bulbs produce light of different levels that help your indoor anthurium grow healthy and fast

When buying a plant light, the following factors are important:

  • Wattage
  • Light intensity indicated in lux, foot candles, PPF, or PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density)
  • Dimmable

I do not recommend buying a cheap light. Most red and blue grow lights have very low wattage and produce insufficient light for your plants. Select a grow light with at least 50 watts. Ensure the light level indicated by the producer matches the light requirement for your plant.

I also recommend selecting a growth bulb that produces a light color that is as close to natural sunlight as possible. This does not only look better, but it is also much more natural.

Last but not least, choose a dimmable light. If you can dim the light, you do not have to adjust the light level by how high you place the light above the plant.

Choose a grow light, like what's used with these petunias that not only produces light that is close to natural sunlight, but one that is dimmable as well for growing your indoor anthuriums
Choose a grow light, like what’s used with these petunias, that not only produces light that is close to natural sunlight but one that is dimmable as well for growing your indoor Anthuriums

You can place it closer to the anthurium and dim it more. This way, you do not lose a lot of light, and your energy bill will thank you.

I support my Anthurium plants with artificial lights in wintertime. This is when the light is low and the days are short.

We often speak of the growing phase in spring and summer when plants grow the most. But I discovered that you could maintain healthy and vigorous growth even in autumn and winter.

What’s crucial is providing the right humidity, temperature, and light throughout the seasons.

 

How Will I Know if My Anthuriums are Getting too Much Sunlight?

The following signs occur when your Anthurium is getting too much sun:

  • Pale green foliage
  • Burnt foliage
  • Wilting leaves
  • Crispy leaves
  • Blooms falling off
  • Dying leaves

After looking into whether your Anthurium receives too much light, let’s look at the opposite.

 

How Will I Know if My Anthuriums are Getting Insufficient Light?

If your Anthurium shows the following signs, it might get too little light:

  • Slow growth
  • Leggy growth (long stems or petioles)
  • No blooms
  • Small flowers
  • Reduced flowering
  • Deep green leaves
  • Green blooms

 

How to Correct a Lack of Light in Anthuriums

To fix a lack of light in Anthuriums, the easiest is to place them somewhere where they get ample sunlight. An eastern-facing window is ideal. A western-facing window will also work.

If you only have a southern-facing or northern-facing window, it can work as well. You need to put your plant further away from the window if the window direction is to the south. The opposite is true for northern windows.

Alternatively, use artificial lighting above your Anthuriums. Measure the light with a light meter.

You can download a light meter app like Photone or buy a light meter device.

 

My Anthurium is Getting Too Much Light

If your plant receives too much direct light, you can correct it. Move the anthurium a little bit further from the window. Too much Intense light can burn and scorch the foliage and should be avoided.

In addition, use a curtain in front of the window to produce bright filtered light.

If your anthuriums receive too much direct light, you can move them further away from the window and use a curtain on it
If your anthuriums receive too much direct light, you can move them further away from the window and use a curtain on it

If you are using a light source, move it further away. You can also change the angle slightly.

 

Does Anthurium Need Little Light?

Anthurium does not need little light but bright light. Anthuriums can grow in little light, but the amount of light it gets will influence their growth rate. Ensure enough light indoors for these tropical plants to thrive.

If the light intensity is insufficient, it will grow leggy and may not flower. The light quality influences the number of blooms. More blooms and more flowering can be achieved by medium to bright light.

 

The Role Of Light Exposure In Plant Growth 

Plants need light to grow. No plant grows without light. Light is needed to conduct photosynthesis. Photosynthesis processes light energy into chemical energy. It is stored in sugar or glucose.

In addition to light, plants also take in water (H2O), according to National Geographic. The water turns into oxygen (O2) by reducing its electrons. The carbon dioxide (CO2) is enriched with electrons and converted to glucose.

The oxygen is then returned to the atmosphere, and the energy is stored in the glucose molecules.

 

How Much Light do Anthurium Get in Their Natural Habitat

Anthurium is a tropical plant. In their natural habitat, Anthuriums grow in the understory of tropical rainforests. The Painter’s palette is native to Colombia and Ecuador.

The light intensity can be described as semi-shade as these plants grow below large trees in the forest.

As natives to Ecuador and Colombia, anthuriums thrive in a tropical climate with semi-shade as they grow below large trees in forests
As natives to Ecuador and Colombia, anthuriums thrive in a tropical climate with semi-shade as they grow below large trees in forests

But semi-shade outdoors cannot be confused with semi-shade indoors. Sunlight outdoors is much more intense compared to light indoors.

Therefore while Anthuriums grow best in semi-shade outdoors, they still need to be placed in a bright spot indoors.

 

How much Light is Needed for an Anthurium Plant to Bloom

At least 6 hours of bright light are needed daily for Anthuriums to bloom. Place the plant towards the light. An eastern window is ideal. Plants will produce small blooms in low light. Anthurium requires adequate light to flower.

Make your anthurium face an eastern-facing window so it can receive at least 6 hours of bright light daily and bloom
Make your anthurium face an eastern-facing window so it can receive at least 6 hours of bright light daily and bloom

The light that reaches the leaves is called direct light. The intensity of light determines how often Anthuriums bloom per year.

Temperature and humidity are other factors that play vital roles.

 

Anthurium Care

How to care for your Anthurium indoors.

 

Soil

Loose, well-draining soil using chunky bits. A potting mix consisting of peat, perlite, charcoal, orchid bark, and soil.

 

Water

Water anthuriums at least once weekly when the soil’s dry to the touch. Use your index finger and stick it into the soil.

If the soil is dry 1-2 inches into the soil (2.4-5cm), it is time to water.

 

Light Needs

Medium light throughout the day is best. This is a bright light that does not fall directly onto the foliage. Anthuriums getting too much light produce burnt foliage. It’s fine to expose the plant to a good strong dose of light in the morning. The light that arrives later in the day should be indirect.

Temperature

The Ideal temperature is 77-92°F (25-32°C).

 

Humidity

The optimal humidity is 70-80%. These plants will tolerate lower humidity.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilize once monthly in spring and summer. Use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. Alternatively, use a slow-release fertilizer every 5-6 months.

Potting / Repotting

Use a pot that has drainage holes. Repot every 1-2 years once the plant is about to become root or pot-bound.

Read our full Anthurium grow guide.

The Best Light for Anthurium

The best light for a healthy Anthurium is indirect bright light. It can also tolerate higher light for 4-5 hours in the morning.

The plant will suffer from slow growth and few blooms in lower light.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.