Plants need moisture, nutrients, and light to survive. However, you should provide all these ingredients in moderation.
Indoor plants, in particular, require moderate sunlight and intermittent watering. However, if you expose them to too much sunlight, they wilt, wither and die.
Fortunately, you will easily tell when your indoor plant is exposed to too much light. The plant will fade and look pale or yellowish. This post highlights the effects of too much sun for plants.
So, let’s dive in and learn more…
Excess Light On Indoor Plants
Indoor plants don’t need too much sunlight. So exposing them to excess light will damage their foliage.
Damaged leaves often emerge pale or bleached, while in other cases, they will appear faded. The pale or faded areas will turn brown, making the leaves crumble under your fingers.
Signs Your Plants Are Getting Too Much Sunlight
You can easily tell if you’ve exposed your plant to excessive sunlight. Here are the telltale signs that your plant is receiving too much sun.
i. Droopy Leaves
It’s common knowledge that photosynthesis in plants has a light-dependent stage. The light enables them to produce the food they need to grow.
Also, most plants can convert excess energy into heat, which they then send back into space through transpiration. Unfortunately, when you expose plants to too much sunlight, it damages the leaves.
If the light energy is too much, it burns the leaves, preventing photosynthesis. Consequently, the plant will fail to grow and develop, causing the leaves to die and fall. With time, the plant loses too many leaves and will die if you leave the problem unattended to.
ii. Brown Patches On Leaves
When a houseplant receives too much sunlight, the leaves develop brown patches. In some cases, they develop spots.
Assuming you are keeping monstera, and your plant’s health deteriorates, you may mistake it for nitrogen deficiency seeing brown monstera spots. While nitrogen deficiency can turn the foliage brown; such leaves fall off with time.
Excess light also causes the brown patches you see on houseplants, especially when the leaves get too hot.
So, when you notice widespread brown spots from the center of the leaves, you’ll want to shade your plant.
Alternatively, relocating the plant to an area with bright indirect light could help alleviate the issue.
iii. The Leaves Have a Faded Look
There are cases when your indoor plant will spot faded leaves due to too much sun. Moving the plants to shaded areas could help them recover from the effect.
As plants get older, it’s natural for them to shed leaves. However, the plants remain green and look healthy throughout the year. So when you notice faded leaves, something is likely to be aloof.
iv. The Plant Feels Hot
You can tell that your plant is receiving too much direct sunlight when the leaves or stem feel hot.
The hotness indicates that you’ve exposed the plant to too much direct sunlight. In this case, the plant will be better off if you move it to a shaded area with partial sun.
v. Crispy leaves
If you expose your plant to too much light, the leaves will dry and crumble easily. In case of severe sunburn, prune the dry leaves away to create room for new growth. Also, remember to relocate the plant to a shadier spot.
vi. Dried Out Soil
Some plants will not show that they are exposed to too much light. In such cases, you may need to assess the state of the soil.
If the soil dries fast, it implies that you’re exposing the plant to too much sunlight. Placing the plant away from direct sunlight may reduce this effect.
Does 24h Light Harm Plants?
Although most plants like light, exposing indoor plants to consistent light daily will affect them. Most of these plants need a dark cycle to rest and develop.
The dark cycle allows respiration to take place, enabling the plant to move nutrients to different parts of the plant.t.
Can Plants Recover From Sunburn?
When leaves suffer from sunburn, you can do little to nothing to restore their lush color. However, you may cut the damaged leaves to allow new ones to develop.
So, if you suspect that your plant is exposed to too much sunlight, think of how you can moderate it.
Moving the plant away from direct sunlight will also allow it to grow new leaves and save it from wilting or drying.
How To Prevent Leaves From Getting Too Much Sun?
Unlike outdoor plants, indoor plants will die if you expose them to too much sunshine for extended periods. So it would help if you shield the leaves from too much sunlight.
If moving the plant away from direct sun seems unattainable, create an artificial shade. You may use a shade cloth pinned onto a frame. Also, avoid placing indoor plants, such as snake plants and ferns, in the southeast-facing windows
As a general rule of thumb, remember to:
- Keep seedlings and young plants out of direct sunlight
- Keep the soil moist
- When the temperatures rise, move the potted plants out of the scorching direct sun
Moving Indoor Plants Outside
Although excessive sunlight is harmful to your indoor plants, there are times you should allow them to receive more sunlight.
If the plant drops its leaves, you can boost the amount of sunlight it receives. To do this, take it outside for a few hours per day.
Moving the plant outdoors often increases the amount of light it receives, speeding up photosynthesis. Besides, it exposes the plant to more air, making it grow faster. Typically, the right time to move the plants outside is at the start of spring, particularly at night.
While moving your indoor plant outside makes it healthier, you’ll want to shield it from strong winds and low temperatures. In addition, plant owners must protect their plants from heavy rainfall and direct sunlight.
Houseplants adapt to low light conditions when grown indoors. So, relocating the plants suddenly will have some effect. Also, exposing them to heat causes the chlorophyll in the leaf to break down. This makes the leaf appear bleached, rendering it unable to manufacture food.
With time, the leaves become brittle, which is why they will crumple if you touch them. So if your plant shows signs that it needs more light, start by moving it out for a few minutes to allow them to adjust to the extra light.
You may increase the duration to an hour and, later, two hours per day. Working gradually towards your goal will make the plants healthy.
Of course, some houseplants, such as snake plants, could be indifferent to the duration they get exposed to the direct sun but will do well in shady places.
On the other hand, some plant species need more hours of darkness to develop and flower. So how much sun the plant needs depends on the type of plant. The general rule is to minimize the exposure hours to avoid sunburn.
Can Sunburn Damage Be Reversed?
Sunburn damage is irreversible since it degrades chlorophyll. Consequently, the leaves cannot regain their lush green color. So the viable option is to cut the damaged leaves to allow for new growth. Afterward, move the plants to less bright areas or filter the light it receives.
How Do You Revive A Plant From Heat?
You can revive a plant from heat stress by removing it from the area with excess sunlight. You’ll then need to provide the right temperature conditions and water the plant regularly. If the plant still has some green foliage, it could recover.
How Long Does It Take For Plants To Recover From Too Much Sun?
How long it takes for sunburned plants to recover from burns depends on the sunlight intensity and extent of the damage. If the damage is severe, the plant will hardly recover. However, if the leaves are still green, it may take a week or so to recover.
Can Sun Damage Be Treated?
You cannot treat sun exposure damage. Even if you relocate the plant away from the direct sun, the leaves may fail to recuperate. So the best option is to prune the damaged leaves away. You’ll then need to move the plant to a shade.
Do House Lights Affect Plants?
House light affects plants if they fall in the yellow and green color spectrum. This spectrum is less helpful to the plant compared to the blue and red spectrums from full sun exposure. Also, house lights dissipate too much heat, which could scorch the leaves of nearby plants.
Wrap Up: Too Much Sun For Plants Will Damage Your Plant
Indoor plants will thrive in a conducive environment. You’ll need to water them regularly while maintaining ideal temperatures and humidity conditions
Also, houseplants require at least 6-8 hours of light exposure everyday. However, too much sun for plants may scorch the leaves, causing them to lose their color.
Unfortunately, you can do nothing to reverse or heal the leaves. So, to prevent damaging the plant’s foliage, provide the ideal lighting conditions