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Calathea light requirements: How much light do they need?

by Sylvia Matlock
Calathea light requirements: How much light do they need?

The calathea plant is a beautiful addition to any home, with its lush green leaves and delicate flowers. But how much light does it need, and how can you make sure it gets enough? In this post, we’ll take a look at the Calathea light requirements, and we’ll also share some tips on how to provide them with the right amount of light. Read on to learn more!

What are Calathea light requirements?

Calathea’s lighting needs necessitate consideration of three key elements: intensity, duration, and quality.

Calathea lighting requirements

1. Light Intensity

While Calathea plants enjoy bright light, they cannot tolerate direct sunlight, which will scorch their leaves. Calathea can tolerate low light levels, although it requires 10,000 lux or 1,000-foot candles of intense indirect light. If you are growing Calathea indoors, place it near a bright window where it will receive indirect sunlight throughout the day. A south- or west-facing window is ideal, but east-facing windows will also work as long as the Calathea is not placed in direct sun.

If you live in a particularly sunny climate, you may need to filter the light with a sheer curtain to prevent the leaves from getting scorched. Calathea will also do well under fluorescent lights, making them a good option for office spaces or other low-light areas.

Measurement of Light Intensity:

We often use a piece of paper and my palm to measure the brightness of the light, albeit it might not be precise.

Simply place your hand 8 to 10 inches from a white sheet of paper at the location where you wish to gauge the light’s intensity.

The lux level is between 10,000 and 15,000 lux if all you can make out is the vague contour of your hand. For Calathea, this is ideal.

You must use a light meter to measure the light intensity in order to be more precise.

2. Light Duration

The second criterion for light requirement is the photoperiod, generally known as the length of daylight. It counts the continuous hours of light that Calathea plants get each day.

Calathea plants require between 8 and 10 hours a day of strong indirect light. To give the same number of sunshine hours in the winter, you might need to utilize a grow light.

However, take care not to expose a Calathea plant to more than 16 hours of sunshine when growing it under artificial light.

Since they use respiration to disperse the energy created during photosynthesis for growth, Calathea plants require darkness to boost this rate.

3. Light Quality

The final condition for Calathea light requirements is the quality of the light. This is the quantity of blue, green, red, and far-red light that a light source emits.

The Calathea plant will benefit from a red light spectrum for photosynthetic activity, whilst blue light promotes deeper color in the plant’s many color forms.

Despite the fact that your window has a film, it only blocks ultraviolet light, not the red and blue light that the plant needs.

Read More: Why is my Calathea turning yellow and how to fix them

How much light does a Calathea need?

Calathea plants need bright, indirect light and about 12 hours of light each day to maintain their vibrant colors and patterns. If you are growing Calathea indoors, place it near a bright window where it will receive indirect sunlight throughout the day. You may need to supplement the natural light with artificial lighting to provide the plant with the minimum 12 hours of light it needs each day.

Calathea how much light

Can calathea tolerate low light?

The genus Calathea is indigenous to South America’s tropical regions. They can grow and thrive in low light circumstances to some extent because they are tropical plants. But too little light might cause issues for them.

  • Calathea will develop more slowly in low-light environments
  • If they don’t receive enough light, they can even cease developing
  • The leaves of calatheas, sometimes referred to as prayer plants, fold at night. As a result, when there is insufficient light, they cease praying but do not submit
  • They will grow toward the sun on long, lanky stalks. It shows that your plant is actively searching for additional sunshine

Tips for providing the right amount of light to your Calathea plant

  • Place Calathea near a bright window where it will receive indirect sunlight throughout the day.
  • Maintain humid conditions by misting the plant or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water.
  • Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering to prevent root rot.
  • Use filtered or distilled water to avoid fluoride and other chemicals often found in tap water.
  • Supplement the natural light with artificial lighting if needed to provide the minimum 12 hours of light each day.

If you’re considering adding Calathea light requirements to your indoor garden, be sure to read up on the plant’s needs so you can provide it with the best possible environment. At DIG Nursery, we have a wealth of information about growing plants indoors, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Visit our website today to learn more.

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