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How much is enough light???

Posted by maidinmontana 5 ( on
Sun, Sep 20, 09 at 11:17

Hi all,

This is kind of a complicated question, (I will try to word it so it makes sense). And Denise, please forgive the repeated question, as I have picked your brain on this before. I guess I'm either an idiot or trying to complicate it too much.

From what I've read, most hoyas like bright, indirect light. If the light's too bright it makes the leaves look washed out. Others say they sacrifice the washed out look for flowers. Being, the more light they get the more likely they are to bloom.

When reading about a certain hoya, they say bright, shaded/filtered light. But I'm assuming they're talking about outside b/c they mention the temps must be above 40 degrees.

I realize outdoor light, even shade, is much more intense than indoor light. So when a hoya requires shaded light can they tolerate direct indoor light?

I'm currently growing all of my hoyas in eastern light. It's only direct for an hour or so, but then it's bright for the rest of the day.

My H. wayetti has new growth that's very dark green with a lot of maroon/bronze on the new growth. They all currently have new growth to some extent. None of them are *washed out*, the ones that are supposed to have silver flecks do. Is this a good indication that they are where they need to be?

I do have a spot I can move them to that gets western light, much more direct and stronger light. Should I move them to that location?

I know, *if it ain't broke don't fix it*, but maybe just some maintenence to help them perform better?

What are your thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How much is enough light???

Hi Maid,
I have found an Eastern exposure to be just about perfect for my hoyas and there is someone on another forum that grows her hoyas on the inside walls of her house, several feet away from the windows, and they grow and bloom for her just fine.

I have always thought that hoyas needed to be right in the window to do well, and I guess that's just not the case. Now this does vary with the species of hoya so some may need to be right in the window, but I think the vast majority do not.

I am going to experiment and see if this works for me. Another person on the forum only has North windows, with a balcony overhanging the North windows, and her hoyas grow and bloom very well, according to her.

You're right, if it ain't broke, no need to fix it, but if a plant is having trouble, then maybe move it around to see if that fixes the problem. If you've had a plant for many years and it has not bloomed, then I would consider giving the plant a much brighter spot in your house.

In brighter light, many of the hoyas leaves develop a very beautiful reddish color and/or the leaf veins become even more pronounced. I find this very attractive so I try to give my plants all the light I can.
My .02

RE: How much is enough light???

Hi Debi,

When growing indoors, light is probably the variable we most like to control - at least that's me. You really never have to worry about them getting the washed out look when growing indoors unless you're growing right in a south window in winter. West in summer can be pretty intense, too, but it's only few hours, so it probably won't be a problem.

And there are some variables... I have close neighbors who, fortunately, both have white houses. Reflected light off white is almost as good as sun coming right in the windows. So everything on the east gets a little sun in the morning, then bright reflected light the rest of the day. One the west, bright reflected light morning with a bit if sun in the afternoon. Now in my greenhouse, some will get washed out, but others love the sun. Obovata flowers up a storm in the GH, but the leaves are thick and pale and not particularly pretty. In the sunroom (east), it gets no direct sun, only bright indirect light and it looks very attractive, but I don't get a lot of flowers.

It also makes a difference what color your walls are. White, of course, reflects the light about the room. I don't have a white wall in my house (spent too many years in "eggshell" apartments, so color makes my eyes feel good...) So I don't grow any plants too far in from the windows. If you have white walls, you can probably get away with growing them against an opposite wall if you have lots of nice, big windows.

And one more thing to consider - a lot of people who are building new homes, or getting replacement windows in old homes, are buying windows with a coating that blocks some of the stronger rays. I know a lady who replaced all her windows a few years ago with these "energy efficient" windows and she can't get anything to flower inside her house since the new windows were installed. Bummer. And yay for old houses with old windows!

Denise in Omaha

RE: How much is enough light???

Thanks Mike and Denise,

Like I said, I'm probably making it more difficult than it needs to be. It's starting to get a little bit more clear now, Thanks.


RE: How much is enough light???

I agree with what Mike said. Like you and I discussed in a private email, I think Eastern exposure is best, and I don't think you'll get washed out leaves if the plants are indoors...hasn't ever happened to me (only when they are outdoors, and only my carnosa becomes slightly washed out...but then it goes back to its darker color once the Fall/Winter comes around).

I'd leave them where they are. I know you moved them once, and then back again to where they are now (in what I understood to be a very short period of time). That being said, I wouldn't stress them by moving them around a third time. Just my opinion though.


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