Ficus Sunlight Requirements

Ficus, a perennial shrub/tree, is native to India and Southeast Asia and is best suited for tropical conditions. In its native habitat, ficus is accustomed to sunlight dispersed through a canopy. You can replicate this environment indoors by supplying your plant with plenty of bright indirect sunlight. 

Depending on the particular species, direct light may scorch ficus’s leaves, whereas bright indirect sunlight encourages production of healthy, glossy, green foliage. Place ficus in a room consistently receiving six hours or more of bright, indirect sunlight to keep this evergreen healthy and happy.


Best Rooms To Grow Ficus

An east-facing or west-facing room is best for ficus. Why? An east-facing room receives the morning sun followed by afternoon shade, and a west-facing room receives early morning shade followed by afternoon sun. Place the plant 3-5 feet away from a window to avoid direct sun, which can cause sunburn, and make sure it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight. A south-facing room can be tricky to grow ficus because the light is often too intense. On the other hand, a north-facing window may not have enough sunlight to support this perennial’s health. 

Finding ficus’s sweet spot is a trial-and-error process. This tropical perennial will quickly tell you whether it approves. If your ficus is unhappy about not getting enough light, you may notice stunted or leggy growth, yellowing leaves, or bending toward the window. The plant “bends” toward the sunlight because of increased growth hormone on the side of the stem opposite the sunlight. On the other hand, if ficus gets too much light, you will likely notice the edges of its gorgeous green leaves burning and eventually falling.

This ornamental enjoys a summer vacation outdoors. Make sure to transition it outdoors slowly. Ficus is sensitive to changes in its environment, and the outdoor sunlight may be too intense for ficus to handle all at once.


Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Ficus

If ficus is pouting about not getting enough light, don’t fret. There are methods you can utilize to better its situation. Consider moving the plant closer to the window or choosing a room with better sunlight exposure. You can add a mirror to reflect more light toward your ficus. Make sure there are no obstructions like a curtain or tall tree blocking the path of sunlight.

If you aren’t able to provide your ficus enough natural light, do not fear. You can add grow lights. Select full-spectrum bulbs such as fluorescent high-intensity – T5 bulbs.

Sunlight Needed For Growing Ficus Outdoors

When it’s time for ficus to live outdoors for the summer, remember to acclimate it slowly to the new light levels. Over a 1-2 week period, introduce it to its new conditions in increments. Place it in a location receiving at least six hours of indirect sunlight, such as under a pergola or on a porch. If you do not slowly transition this ornamental, it may sulk and drop its leaves.

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 Author Suellen Barnes - Published 6-01-2023