Pilea Sunlight Requirements

Plants collect sunlight to survive. Sunlight allows plants to undergo photosynthesis, which is the process of creating food for the plant. Each plant has unique sunlight requirements, and pilea requires bright indirect sunlight. In nature, pilea plants grow in rocky forests that filter direct sunlight before it reaches the foliage. The plant needs similar conditions in a home. Pilea plants can live in medium light, although the stems will become leggy, and the foliage may appear darker. Low light is unacceptable, and the plant will slowly wither. Pileas are fast-growing plants, so plenty of sunlight is needed for them to thrive.


Best Rooms To Grow Pilea

As a houseplant, pilea thrives several feet from a south-facing window or close by an east- or west-facing window. These spaces provide plenty of indirect light, so the pilea can grow without scorching the foliage. If the furniture placement doesn’t allow the pilea to be set back from a southern window, hang sheer curtains that diffuse the light.

Finding the right spot for a houseplant, like pilea, can take some time. Find the right place in your home based on the direction of the windows, but also consider trees or buildings immediately outside the windows. Observe the sunlight throughout the day to understand what to expect. Pileas grow quickly, so give the plant a few weeks to test a spot. If you notice stunted or sunburned foliage, it's time to try another location.


The amount of light streaming through windows will change each season. Factors beyond the windows, like mature deciduous trees, also impact sunlight levels inside a home. Pilea plants are dormant in the winter and do not need as much sunlight when not actively growing. However, be aware of these conditions and be prepared to move the plant as needed. 

Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Pilea

Pilea plants can grow full and lush and have earned the nickname friendship plant because they are so easy to propagate and share. Plenty of bright indirect sunlight is necessary for pileas to grow quickly. You can help your plant receive the proper amount of light by utilizing mirrors to redirect and maximize sunlight. Grow lights are another option to ensure a pilea plant always gets the appropriate amount of light.

Sunlight Needed For Growing Pilea Outdoors

Pileas need 12 to 16 hours of bright indirect sunlight daily. Plants grown outside cannot tolerate any direct sunlight. These plants grow outside in zones 10 through 11 and prefer dappled sunlight. Houseplants are not acclimated to direct sunlight. Partial shade or a spot under a covered porch that blocks direct sunlight is ideal.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 11-16-2023