Lavender plants require lots of bright light to thrive. I always aim to find a location that provides these plants with at least six hours of bright, direct sunlight daily. In my experience, the best indoor locations for lavender plants include near a south-facing or west-facing window.
The Role Light Plays in Plant Health and Growth
While humans receive their energy by eating food, plants use the sun’s energy to produce their own expendable energy. Therefore, light is an essential part of keeping plants alive and thriving.
The process plants use to produce sugars is known as photosynthesis. During this process, plants use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen, simple sugars, and water. The water and oxygen are released into the atmosphere, and the sugars are used to complete plant processes.
Without enough light, plants won’t be able to produce the sugars they need to grow, produce flowers and seeds, and remain healthy. Therefore, a lack of light may lead to a generally sad-looking plant.
Types of Light
It’s true that all plants need light. However, different plants prefer different types of light. Understanding the different types of light will help you choose the right light conditions for each of your plants.
- Bright, direct light: light that travels straight from the sun to a plant; casts a strong shadow; found in open areas outdoors and near uncovered south-facing windows indoors
- Bright, indirect light: light that passes through another object before it reaches a plant; occurs in understories with thin canopies and in the interior of a bright room
- Low light: this light occurs in dim areas; found in shaded areas outdoors and dim corners indoors
Light Conditions Lavender Receive in Their Native Habitats
When people say lavender, they may be referring to one of 40+ different plant species in the Lavandula genus. These plants are native to areas throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.
With that said, most types of lavender grow in rocky or sandy areas that receive full sun. They are rarely found growing in moist or shady areas.
Signs Your Plant Is Receiving Too Much Light
Since lavender plants love lots of bright light, it’s uncommon for them to receive too much light. However, if you are using grow lights, this is possible.
If you notice your lavender plant is dropping green leaves, it could be a sign you should reduce the amount of light your plant receives.
Signs Your Plant Isn’t Receiving Enough Light
If you notice any of the following signs, you may need to give your lavender plant more light.
Low light means your plant does not have access to the energy it needs to complete photosynthesis. Therefore, it may not be able to produce the sugars it needs to grow.
If you notice your lavender plant has not increased in size in multiple months, it may need more light.
A Lack of Flowers
Flowering is an energy-intensive process. Therefore, if your lavender plant is not producing flowers, it may be a sign it needs more light.
However, a lack of light can also stress out your plant and induce flowering. If this is the case, your plant will likely look weak but still produce flowers.
Lack of Vigor
If your lavender plant simply looks sad, it may need more light! Light allows for photosynthesis to occur, which produces sugars that drive lots of essential plant processes.
If plants cannot produce enough sugars, they may have difficulty fighting off disease, forming new tissues, etc. It’s also important to ensure your potting lavender plants are in a well-draining and aerated soil base.
The Best Light Exposure for Indoor Lavender Plants
One of the trickiest parts of growing lavender plants indoors is providing them with enough light. However, if you keep these tips in mind, you can end up with a healthy plant.
As mentioned above, lavender plants like lots of bright light—the more light they receive, the better! This means you should place them in the brightest area of your home or office.
The best option is often near a south-facing window, as the southern exposure provides lots of light. Since lavender plants don’t mind direct sunlight, you can place your plant directly on a windowsill or on a plant stand next to the window.
If you don’t have a suitable south-facing window, a west-facing window is often the next best choice. This exposure will provide bright afternoon sun, which tends to be more intense than the morning sun.
Placing your plant next to a window means it will receive light from only one direction. Therefore, you should rotate your plant every few weeks to allow for even growth.
Another option is to place your lavender plant in the interior of a brightly-lit room. While this will offer indirect rather than direct light, it can be a suitable option.
Consider using grow lights if you don’t have an indoor area that receives at least four hours of bright light each day. These lights mimic sunlight and give plants the energy they need to complete photosynthesis.
There are many different types of grow lights available, and many of them will work well. However, you should look for a full-spectrum light, as this will provide all the different types of light plants need.
One good option is this simple light (via Amazon). Its built-in timer allows you to set the light to automatically turn on and off for four, eight, or twelve-hour intervals. The eight-hour option is a good choice for lavender plants.
Lavender Light Requirements FAQs:
Can Lavender Take Full Sun?
Yes, lavender plants prefer full sun! To keep them happy, place them in an area that receives at least six hours of bright light each day.
What Kind of Light Does Lavender Need?
Lavender plants prefer bright, direct light. However, they can survive in indirect light as long as they receive more than a few hours of indirect light each day.
Will Lavender Live Happily Indoors?
Lavender plants can thrive indoors as long as they are growing in a proper environment. Provide them with lots of bright light, well-draining soil, and
How Do You Know If Your Lavender Is Getting Enough Light?
Lavender plants that receive an adequate amount of light will appear healthy, grow well, and produce many flowers. On the other hand, stunted growth and a lack of flowers can indicate inadequate light.
If you’d like to grow a healthy lavender plant indoors, remember to provide it with lots of bright light! Aim for at least six hours of sunlight daily to keep your plant happy.
For more, see our in-depth guide on how to harvest, dry, and preserve lavender at home, the uses and benefits of lavender, and our essential guide to propagating lavender if you’re looking to expand your collection.