Light Requirements for Spider Plants

I am awestruck by how my spider plants enhance the ambience of any space in my house because they are tolerant of a broad spectrum of lighting levels. However, your plant will flourish best in a light environment that is optimal. This article will help you learn more about the lighting requirements.

Spider plants require between 8 and 10 hours of bright to medium, indirect sunshine. In the majority of cases this means that you must put it in front of the east side of your window. Make sure it gets some shade throughout the day when you place it next to an east-facing or west-facing window.

Read on to find out whether your spider plant is receiving too little, too many, or just enough light. Make sure to read my helpful tips on how to get the best lighting for your spider plant.

Can Spider Plants Live in Low Light?

Spider plants are adored by both gardeners who are new and long-time gardeners. They’re not without reason. They’re not just super easy to cultivate and flexible, but they also tolerate the majority of light levels.

In reality spider plants are among of the few houseplants that are tolerant of low light as well as reptile plants, lucky bamboo, as well as golden pothos.

But, spider plants thrive in light to bright, indirect light. Do not expect it to flourish in a dark space. It will experience slow growth and might not produce its impressive spiders or plantslets.

Additionally, dim light conditions can exacerbate the negative consequences of drafts, overwatering as well as disease outbreaks and deficiencies in nutrient levels.

How Much Light My Spider Plant Is Getting

The eyes can’t precisely determine the intensity that the lights emit. That’s why it’s not possible to say that the spot is receiving moderate light, low light or bright light simply taking a look.

This is why I suggest using one of these simple techniques:

[1] The Hand Shadow Test

The test of hand shadows is known as the simple test because it’s a great reason. It’s it’s simple to perform and doesn’t cost any money. It’s as simple as it sounds – by measuring the intensity of the shadows cast by your hands to measure the intensity of light that hits a particular region.

  1. The first step is to select a location in your home in which you will put the spider plant.
  2. When it is noon and the sun shines the most brightly, place your hand approximately 12 inches (30 centimeters) just above the location. It is possible to lay down on a white piece of paper to get more effective outcomes.
  3. Take a look at the shadow that is created by your hands.

If you can see a clear high-contrast and well-defined hand shadow, it’s an area of light.

Medium-light can cast a distinct hand shadow that’s a blurred, fuzzy, or even hazy.

A low light can create an elongated shadow with a blurred lines. It’s hard to see.

It is important to remember that the test of hand shadows is not the most precise method. It will give you an approximate estimation of the brightness of the light. If you’re looking for an accurate method, continue reading.

small spider plant in pink patterned pot

[2] Using a Lux Meter

To get a precise measure of the amount of light your spider plant is receiving it is best to use an instrument for measuring light. I’ve found that an middle-range lux meter is the best for the task. For the price, it also gives you more bang for your buck.

Just walk around the space using your light gauge. Begin with the obvious areas, like near windows or skylights, doors and so on. You’ll get an LUX number, which will tell you the strength or brightness of light of a specific area.

There are some conversions that you must be aware of when using the lux meter, like:

  • 1 lux = .0929 foot-candle (FC)
  • 1 lux = 1 lumen per sq-m

Fortunately, the majority of light meters, like Dr Meter, permit users to switch effortlessly to LUX as well as FC modes with just a pressing of a button.

How can you read the luxmeter reading?

  • Low light typically falls between the 25 and 100 FC range.
  • Medium-light is a range of between 100 and 500 FC.
  • The brightest light in the sky is usually between 500 FC and 1000 FC.
  • Direct sunlight can give an amount of more than 1000 feet

(Source: University of Florida).

In general it is not advisable to place any of your home plants, spider plants included in any location with a an intensity reading of less than 25 FC.

3. Using the direction your Window is facing

If you’re seeking an easier method to figure out how much light your spider plant receives take into consideration the direction that the window closest to you is facing.

The sun is at its highest in the east, therefore east-facing windows receive gentle morning sun. Contrarily windows facing west typically receive the majority of the hot direct sunlight of the afternoon.

The US is located within the Northern Hemisphere which means that the sun is in the southern portion of sky. According to this, the south-facing windows are the sunniest or brightest. This is also applicable to windows facing north.

To summarize:

  • Windows facing east – Your spider plant will benefit from the bright, indirect light here
  • South-facing windows: They provide the brightest, direct sunlight
  • Windows facing west – Receive direct, bright sunlight most of the time in the afternoon
  • North-facing windows receive low light.

Put your plant in the sill of a window facing east. You can also place it next to the south or west-facing windows with a drapery or sheer curtain to block the sunlight.

Where Should You Place a Spider Plant?

The spider plants originate from South as well as West African tropical forests where they are cultivated under canopy of trees. They are used to partial shade and bright indirect light.

Try to replicate these conditions of light in your house. Spider plants can be found in the living room, bedroom or bathroom, and also on balconies or patios. The trick is to choose the spot that has moderate to intense, indirect lighting.

It is also nice to have shade for a time during the day. Be careful not to expose excessive direct sunlight. The leaves will begin to wilt then crisp up and become brown at the edges and tips.

Most of the time spider plants will be a good choice for the east side of your window. It will absorb all the gentle morning sun as it can. In the same way the spider plant won’t take the heat of the afternoon sun.

It is also possible to place your spider plant between five and six feet away from windows facing either south or west. Make sure that it is covered with an open curtain or drape to allow your plant to receive bright light.

How Many Hours of Light Do Spider Plants Need?

The spider plant will perform best when it gets between 6 to 10-hours of light, but not direct natural sunlight. The yellow or white on the leaves will appear more striking and stunning when it receives enough sunlight.

The exposure to direct sunlight should be kept to less than five hours. If the plant is exposed to too much sunlight for too long, the leaves be sunburned and form brown spots. The tips of the leaves will also turn brown.

Signs That Your Spider Plant Isn’t Getting Enough Light

Spider plants are extremely tolerant of dim light, which is why the majority of symptoms of light loss are not severe. In certain cases of indoor lighting the symptoms are so subtle that you might not even be aware of them.

However, these indicators could indicate the spider plant isn’t getting sufficient light to provide a bright medium.

[1] Soil Not Drying Out for Weeks

It’s a simple indicator. In the end, lighting plays a major part in the drying of the potting soil for your plant. The soil will dry quicker in bright lighting as it aids in the healthy absorption of water. It also accelerates the removal of soil moisture by the process of evaporation.

The most common guideline should be to utilize your fingers to check the level of moisture each four or five days. The top 2 or 3″ should feel slightly dry on your fingers prior to you decide to water your plant once more.

If the soil is moist or wet for a long time the spider plant could be located in a dark location. If you don’t relocate it to a brighter area or keep watering it and watering it, you’ll increase the chance of root decay.

The spider plant could be troublesome if your senses detect a decaying scent from the soil instead of the lovely earthy musky. If you dig it up, you’ll likely find the oddly rusty brown or black and mushy roots.

[2] Leaning Towards Light Sources

Like all plants spider plants require sunlight to photosynthesise and develop healthy. They’ll do anything to obtain enough light for their energy and growth needs. This is why the leaves or the entire plant could begin to lean towards any source of light in the event that it’s not receiving enough light.

There is no other option than to relocate your plant to an area that is brighter. Do not make the change abrupt. If the room is dark corner, move it to an east-facing window.

[3] Abnormal Leaf Color

If your spider plant gets adequate light, the leafy, grass-like arching are lush and green. Variegated plants will feature prominent stripes of yellow or white.

If it’s not receiving enough sunlight the leaves could start to turn yellow. The tender and new leaves will be the first to turn yellow, followed by the rest part of the plants.

The leaves can also appear light or washed out. This is because leaves begin losing their green color (chlorophyll) in an area of darkness.

Variegated spider plants can lose their white or yellow strips. Instead, they’ll turn solid green if the lighting shortage gets worse.

[4] Producing Small Leaves

Healthy spider plants typically produce large, long leaves. They might even produce plantslets or spiderettes if they are exposed to the right lighting and temperature conditions.

If the new leaves on your spider plant appear small, thin and uninspiring the plant might not be receiving enough light. The leaves that are smaller tend to be thin, sloppy, or loose.

[5] Drooping Leaves

Don’t be shocked when your plant’s leaves begin to droop in very dim light. The cause of this is typically of excessive watering, root rot or a general sickly appearance because of a severe light deficiency.

The leaves usually change color or become pale after which they begin to wilt, before dropping. If you don’t address the root cause of the lack of lighting, your plant could fall over.

Remove all foliage that is drooping. They’re unlikely to repopulate. If a lack of light or excessive watering have led to root rot, it’s best to trim the roots of diseased plants and treat the rest with a fungicide. Repot the plant using new pot soil.

[6] No New Growth

Although spider plants are tolerant of the smallest amount of light, they will not see their growth booming. If you do not see any new shoots, leaves, or plantlets at the time they should be appearing and growing, low light could be the reason.

It is important to remember that spider plants naturally slow their growth in the winter months. If your spider plant is not active or does not do anything during the summer and spring months, when summer weather is upon us, you’ll need to examine its lighting conditions.

How to Provide More Light

-Best Location for Snake Plants

It’s important to note that spider plants thrive in light to medium, indirect light. The ideal location is one in a location where these conditions are found, usually near windows facing east. Be sure that the area is comfortable and free of drafts and that the temperature stays at or above 50 degrees (10degC).

It is also possible to place your plant in an area with west or south-facing windows. It is important to not put your plant directly against the sill of your window. Additionally, windows should be screened to ensure that light is filtered through the plant.

Additionally, you can plant your spider plants outside to grow as annuals within USDA zones 9-11. Also, the plants should be able to enjoy some shade during the day, and limit exposure to direct sunlight to five hours.

-Get a Grow Light & Put Plants Wherever You Like!

The lighting of your houseplants can be dependent on factors such as season. The spider plant might not receive enough sunlight during winter.

Grow lights are a great option. be an excellent solution. Help your spider plant flourish by using grow lights. They will help your plant to photosynthesize and stay healthy, which means it will be able to fight off any possible pests and diseases.

The best option is to use the LED-based grow light. They’re stylish, energy efficient and durable. They also offer the red and blue rays of the spectrum of light.

LED grow lights can be useful for helping to maintain active growth. This is particularly important when you wish to create offshoots can be used for propagation.

If you are using lighting with LEDs, make sure that your plant is lit by at least twelve hours per day to ensure optimal variegation as well as lush leaves.

Signs That Your Spider Plant Is Getting Too Much Light

[1] Wilting During the Hottest Hours of the Day

A lot of light can accelerate water loss from the leaves as well as the soil. When your plants are losing more water than it is able to absorb from its roots, it could cause a decrease in the pressure of turgor. At the peak during the daytime, the leaves may exhibit signs of submersion with dry, crisp, and dying leaves.

Wilting can occur in conjunction with other signs such as curly leaves showing symptoms of sunburns or burning. It is important to note that wilting can result from excessive watering or low humidity, illness or the accumulation of salt in the soil as a result of the over-fertilization or chlorine.

[2] Leaves Curling

The healthy spider plant has leaves that are slightly arched. However, if they are exposed to excessive sunlight, the heat can cause excessive loss of moisture as well as tissue damages. In turn leaves begin to curl up or turn inwards.

The curling of leaves will be more noticeable if the air is dry or drafty. The wrinkles are another sign that usually is associated with the curly leaves. Be sure to provide it with direct, bright light and that temperatures remain in between 70 and 90 degrees (21-32degC) temperature range.

[3] Brown Leaf Edges or Tips

The heat resulting from too much sunlight can damage the leaf tissue , and cause sunburn to the leaves. It usually manifests as brown edges or tips of the leaves. If it continues for a long time the entire leaf will dry out, sunburn, and then turn brown.

[4] Drooping Leaves

Since the leaves are losing excessive moisture because of the excessive amount of light, they will not just wilt, but also drop. If this occurs, soak the spider plants for at least 15 minutes. Be sure to remove any all water.

[5] Yellowing and Thickening of New Growth

If you notice new offshoots appearing and leaves that appear extremely thick and yellowing the spider plant could be getting too much sunlight. This is an adaptation to protect itself from sunburn.

The process of yellowing leaves typically occurs along with wilting, dropping, and brown leaf edges. The new growth can appear pale, bleached, or brown. There may be tiny spots of light on the newly-grown leaves.

[6] Extra Flaky and Dry Soil

If your plant is exposed to excessive sunlight it will dry faster. Based on the drainage capacity the soil may become dense and dusty. If the top three inches of soil is dry and you want to soak it in water for at least 15 minutes will suffice.

How to Ensure Optimum Light for Spider Plant

-Light Duration

As we’ve mentioned above it is recommended that you give your spider plant 8-10 hours of moderate to direct, bright light throughout the day.

-Light Intensity

Spider plants thrive in bright to medium indirect light. To get the best results, you should ensure that the light intensity is in between 100 and 1000 FC range.

Final Words

The spider plant requires about eight hours of moderate to intense, indirect light every day. In the majority of cases this means you must place it near the east side of your window. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves and turn brown at the edges of the leaves.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)