Orchid Growing: How Much Light?

How Much Light Do Orchids Need?

As I talk about in our orchid book, different varieties of orchids require different amounts of light. Determining the correct level of light exposure for your orchid will lead to a long and happy life for your orchid, in which it blooms for you over and over again…

Pay Attention to Your Orchid’s Leaves

The color of the orchids leaves are a big indicator of the amount of light your orchid is receiving. If you leaves are a dark green color and soft to the touch, then that could mean that your orchid is not getting enough light. If the leaves are a reddish-purple color around the edges or become yellow or lightened in color than this could indicate too much light. It is important that you do not place your orchid in direct sunlight, because if orchids receive direct sunlight, they can often become sunburned which can create brown spots on the leaves of the orchids.

In another article about orchids care and light, I talk about how you can use the “hand test” as an alternative way to measure light intensity.

Best Exposure: East, West, North, or South?

Orchid GrowingExperimenting with several different spots and light exposures in your house will help you discover the most ideal lighting for your orchid. The brightest light exposure is from the south, which in most cases, is too much sun exposure for many types of orchids. For orchids requiring medium and low light, eastern exposure works well for the majority of the year. When the seasons change, so does the light intensity. For this reason, during the winter months, orchids grown in eastern-facing windows may need to be moved to a southern-facing window.

You will probably need to experiment with different spots and light exposures in your house before you find the ideal spot for your orchid, although depending on how much lighting your orchid requires, you can try some of the suggestions below to help you find the best location to place your orchid.

Low Light Orchids

If you have a low light orchid the most ideal places to grow your orchid is on an eastern-facing windowsill, within one foot of a western-facing window, within two feet of a southern-facing window, or within one foot of a shaded southern-facing window. If your orchid needs medium light, the best place to set the plant is on a western-facing windowsill, or within one foot of a southern-facing window. If you have an orchid that requires high light then the most ideal spot to place your orchid is on a southern-facing windowsill, or within one foot of a southern-facing window that receives only indirect light.

A Few Final Tips…

Every time you water your plant, you should do a visual inspection of the leaves to get a good idea of whether you’re providing your orchid with the ideal amount of light. Making sure that your orchid receives the correct amount of light will ensure that your orchid will continue to grow, remain healthy, and live a long (and happy) life!

Next Steps: Where do you go from here?

A couple options:

#1 – More Free Orchid Tips!
At a minimum, I strongly recommending signing up for our orchid tips newsletter (it’s free!). That’ll give you some additional (more detailed) step-by-step tips you can start using with your Orchids right away…

#2 – Get Access to ALL My Orchid Articles…
If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about orchid care (ALL types of orchids) we also have something called the Orchids Made Easy Green Thumb Club.

The Green Thumb Club includes a number of different benefits – including weekly lessons on all different orchid care topics delivered to you in a special, password-protected members area. You also get the opportunity to get YOUR actual questions answered in my weekly “Ask The Orchid Guy” column, which you can check out here.

The Green Thumb Club costs less than a meal at McDonald’s – and ALSO includes all sorts of ADDITIONAL benefits, including exclusive discounts at orchid suppliers from 20-40% off as well access to our “orchid diagnosis tool” which helps you identify what problem might be plaguing your plant.

Because the club is backed by a full 100% money-back guarantee for a full 30 days, if after checking it out you decide that it’s not for you or that you didn’t get value you out of what you learned – no problem! Simply send us an email to let me know, and you’ll receive a fast and courteous refund. Put it this way: If you’re not happy, I’m not happy!

(By the way, this link here will give you access to 50% off the cost of membership. A little “gift” for reading this article all the way to the end :-))

Take Care,


Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)

IMPORTANT: To learn everything you need to know about caring for your orchids, if you haven’t already I strongly recommend signing up for the “Orchid Care Tips & Secrets Newsletter” my wife and I publish by clicking here.

It’s completely free – and the best part? You can even choose the type of information you’d like to receive (reblooming tips, basics of orchid care, etc.) Join over 20,000 fellow orchid enthusiasts young and old and sign up for our free orchid care newsletter today! :-)

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