Snake plants are highly versatile, hardy, and indestructible, making them excellent for many gardeners. But because they are almost indestructible, it can be pretty difficult to know where to position them in your home and the kind of care to provide. One of the things that these plants are famous for is their high tolerance to darkness. But the big question is, do they require direct sunlight to survive? Let us find out.
So, does a snake plant require direct sunlight? Snake plants are highly adapted to growing in a wide range of lighting conditions. They can grow in both low light and bright direct/indirect sunlight. However, the general growth rate of your plant will vary greatly depending on the amount of light it receives. Under low lighting conditions, the snake plant tends to grow slow but thrive well under bright indirect sunlight. Be sure to watch for signs of leaf burn when you place your plant in direct sunlight.
In this blog post, we take a closer look at the snake plant lighting requirements and what you need to do to ensure your plant thrives. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Why Is Light Important for a Snake Plant?
Light is the source of energy for all living things, including plants. The fact is that plants were never meant to be grown indoors. They are supposed to be cultivated outdoors where they can receive plenty of light.
Therefore, bringing these plants inside your house doesn’t change anything. They still need to receive plenty of light to manufacture their own food. All green plants depend on light and carbon dioxide to manufacture their own food through photosynthesis.
The sugar produced during the process of photosynthesis acts as a great source of energy for the plant. Without adequate lighting conditions, the process of photosynthesis won’t be efficient. This will only result in stunted growth and a wide range of other problems for your snake plant.
Sunlight: The Ever-Moving Target
Plants need sunlight for photosynthesis. The availability of sufficient light can pose a seemingly insurmountable challenge for gardeners.
While you can adjust factors like soil quality, moisture levels, and pruning, the amount of sunlight remains a limiting factor.
Regardless of how careful you are, it is almost impossible to determine the amount of sunlight available to your plants.
While you do have the option to invest in artificial grow lights, these light sources designed to mimic sunlight can be both costly and complex to manage.
Sometimes, you may consider choosing houseplants based on the natural light levels within your home. But still, that doesn’t solve the light issues entirely because you never know when the climatic patterns will change.
For spaces with limited natural light, snake plants are an excellent choice.
Many plants struggle to thrive in areas with inadequate light, but snake plants flourish even in dim, neglected corners, adding a touch of greenery to such spaces.
Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks associated with placing snake plants in areas with low light.
Some varieties of snake plants may lose their distinctive variegation if not exposed to sufficient sunlight. Additionally, snake plants will only produce flowers if exposed to bright indirect sunlight.
Direct vs. Indirect Light
Sometimes, differentiating between direct and indirect sunlight can be quite tricky, especially if you are a beginner. But you need to know how to differentiate the two to provide your snake plant with optimal light conditions.
Generally, when the light received by a plant is unfiltered and direct from the source, it is referred to as direct light. Such a type of light usually forms a distinct shadow that can easily be identified.
However, when the plant is positioned in a spot where direct light doesn’t fall on its foliage, it is referred to as indirect light. In this case, the light may be filtered through a sheer curtain or reflected through the floor or walls.
Can a Snake Plant Survive Direct Sunlight?
The truth is that a snake plant is a nearly indestructible succulent that can still thrive even if it is ignored. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners and people who don’t have much time to look after their plants.
The plant is so hardy that it can survive full-blown drought and a ton of other problems. Therefore, exposing your snake plant to direct sunlight shouldn’t be an issue at all.
These plants can survive direct sunlight, but they tend to thrive when placed in indirect sunlight. You need to keep in mind that direct sunlight makes the plant leaves susceptible to leaf burn.
If your snake plant receives too much direct sunlight, it will let you know. Typically, if you start to notice your plant’s leaves turning pale, yellow, or brown, you should consider moving it away from direct sunlight.
These are signs of leaf burn that is mainly caused by heat and overexposure to direct sunlight. If your plant is turning pale, it could be a sign of overexposure to light in general, not just direct sunlight.
Even if you fail to notice the signs early and your plant develops leaf burn, don’t worry too much because these plants are hardy and will easily bounce back from any form of damage.
You should only be worried if the damage is severe because it may take some time before the plant heals. Rarely will exposure to direct sunlight kill a snake plant.
How Much Light Does a Snake Plant Require to Thrive?
Generally, a snake plant requires 8-10 hours of bright indirect sunlight daily to thrive. However, it can still tolerate up to six hours of direct sunlight every day. Ensure you position your snake plant near an east-facing window or use plenty of artificial grow lights for the best results.
Typically, pale leaves or other abnormal leaf colors indicate overexposure to light or light shortage. Keep in mind that failure to provide your snake plant with sufficient light can lead to stunted growth.
Lack of enough light can also cause your plant to grow spindly since its leaves are forced to stretch fully for the light. If you notice your plant leaves overstretching, be sure to move the plant closer to the source of light.
Generally, you should avoid placing your snake plant directly on a window. While they can still do fine regardless of where you put them, snake plants usually thrive when positioned on a stand or desk just next to the window.
Can a Snake Plant Grow in Low Light?
The answer is yes, but you need to keep in mind that your plant’s growth will be much slower because it will not be producing enough sugars.
The most important thing you need to ensure is that the room isn’t completely dark because, without light, the plant won’t photosynthesize, and it will eventually die.
If you already have a snake plant in a dark room and want it to grow faster, consider moving it to a room with plenty of light for a few hours every day. This will also stop your plant leaves from overstretching in one direction in search of sunlight.
If your room doesn’t receive plenty of natural light and you don’t want to move your plants outside, consider installing artificial lights and turning them on for at least eight hours a day. Some artificial lights may not be suitable for your plant, but they are better than nothing.
While it is unnecessary, you can still purchase specialized grow lights for your snake plant to achieve the best results. With specialized grow lights, you will be 100% sure that your plant is getting enough of the right light it requires to thrive.
What Is the Perfect Spot for a Snake Plant in Your Home?
Since the snake plant is sturdy, you can keep it at almost every spot in your home. It can thrive on the cornered desk, bedroom, living room, or window sill. Your snake plant will thrive and grow into a beautiful houseplant as long as the conditions are right.
It doesn’t make a significant difference whether the spot you pick is near the window or far away from it. As long you the plant can receive plenty of light- whether artificial or natural, it will survive without any problems.
However, it doesn’t mean that your plant will grow equally when placed in different lighting conditions. Typically, the growth rate is going to vary depending on the lighting and general plant care provided.
Any spot that is approximately four feet away from an east-facing window will do exceptionally well for your indoor snake plant.
The only thing you need to do is avoid positioning your plant at a window sill where it can get caught by the intense afternoon sunlight since the stem and leaves can get scorched under intense direct sunlight.
What If My Designated Room for Houseplants Has No Windows
You don’t have to stress yourself even if your preferred houseplant room has no windows to let in natural light. It is still possible to grow a snake plant in an enclosed room as long as you find a way to provide an alternative light source.
You can purchase amazing grow light bulbs and install them in the room. These bulbs can be fitted in any standard household bulb holder and do a great job ensuring your snake plant receives the amount of light it requires to thrive.
Let your snake plant sit under the artificial light for at least six hours a day, and you will be good to go.
If you notice your plant isn’t doing well as it should be, consider taking it out occasionally so it can get its fair share of natural sunlight.
Where there is hope, there is a way, and don’t let anything stop your ambition of growing snake plants in your home. As long as you do the right thing, you will have a beautiful snake plant blossoming in your house in no time.
5 Signs Your Snake Plant Is Not Receiving Enough Light
- Tall, Leggy Growth: A snake plant may exhibit elongated, stretched-out growth if it does not receive enough light. The leaves might appear tall and thin, reaching for more light as the plant tries to compensate for the lack of sunlight.
- Fading or Yellowing Leaves: Insufficient light can lead to the gradual yellowing of the plant’s leaves. The vibrant green color may start to fade, and the leaves might take on a more pale or washed-out appearance.
- Reduced Variegation: Snake plants with variegated leaves, which feature contrasting light and dark patterns, may lose their distinct coloration when light is inadequate. The variegation might become less pronounced.
- Slow Growth: If you notice that your snake plant is growing much slower than usual or not producing new leaves, it could be a sign of insufficient light. Without adequate light energy, the plant’s growth processes may be hindered.
- Leaning or Tilting: Snake plants deprived of adequate light may tend to lean or tilt towards the direction of light. This is an attempt by the plant to position itself in a way that maximizes light absorption.
Snake plants are sturdy and versatile plants that can do well in varying light conditions. They are really forgiving and will tolerate both direct and indirect sunlight without any problem.
However, to achieve the best results with your plant, consider providing it at least six hours of indirect bright light and limiting exposure to direct sunlight.
I hope we have answered your question regarding snake plant light requirements, and you are now ready to start growing this succulent.
Last update on 2023-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API