Philodendron Sunlight Requirements

In their native habitat of Central and South America, philodendron plants live under the forest canopy. Philodendrons make great tropical houseplants that can easily thrive when provided adequate sunlight. These plants are able to adapt to lower light conditions but prefer bright indirect sunlight. Philodendron’s native canopied environment rarely receives direct sunlight. You can mimic this lighting many different ways including placing your philodendron in front of a bright window with sheer curtains, or by providing an artificial light source. 


Best Rooms To Grow Philodendrons

Philodendrons have tender foliage that can easily get scorched in direct sunlight. Place them in a west- or east-facing window for best growing results. An east or west position will provide the plant with some coverage during the harsh afternoon sun. If you have a south-facing window, be sure to use a curtain that will filter the light, or make sure the plant sits a few feet away from the window.

Plants generally perform better with top-down light. If they’re on a high shelf, for example, you may see signs of declining health after being in low light for too long. These tropicals love to stay warm–move them away from any drafty doors or windows during the colder months. Adequate sunlight, warmth (and moisture) are the keys to getting your philodendron to thrive. 


Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Philodendrons

Providing supplemental lighting for your philodendron might be necessary if you only have a north-facing window. An additional light source can also be beneficial during the winter months. There are many great options for full-spectrum grow lights on the market. Look for a bulb with a color temperature rating that mimics sunlight. The grow light specifications should indicate its Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), usually next to a picture of a spectrum. Look for a light with a color temperature around 6500K, or the CCT of daylight.  

Sunlight Needed For Growing Philodendrons Outdoors

Philodendrons are hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11, and can be brought outdoors during the summer in colder climates. If you are lucky enough to be able to grow them outdoors, here are a few things to keep in mind. Philodendrons need bright indirect light but make sure to keep them out of direct sun, which can scald the leaves. You may want to slowly acclimate your plants to the different light and temperature conditions of the outdoors. Gradually increase the time your philodendron spends outside each day, and it will likely thrive in the fresh air and brighter light conditions.

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 Author Aimée Minard - Published 3-06-2023