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How Much Light Do Rubber Plants Need?

Understanding the lighting requirement of a rubber plant is crucial as it determines whether your plant will thrive or die out. It can be challenging for some people to judge whether they are providing their plants with adequate lighting or not.

Today we shall learn all about how much light do rubber plants need and how we can provide them with adequate lighting.

Rubber plants need bright indirect sunlight for rapid growth. Although these plants can grow even in low-medium lighting conditions, the rate of growth will be slow. A spot around the east or west-facing window shall be perfect for your rubber plant. Make sure you use sheer curtains to avoid sunburn on the leaves.

Plants get most of their energy from light; thus, providing them with adequate lighting is critical for good growth.

If your rubber plant doesn’t get enough lighting or gets excess lighting, then they will show some visual signs.

Identifying these signs early on is the key to a healthy and thriving plant.

In this article, we shall learn all about different lighting conditions, the adequate amount of lighting for your rubber plant, and how we can provide the same to our plants. So, let’s get right into it.

Medium Light Spot


Understanding different types of lighting conditions

There are two major factor that comes into play when we try to measure the lighting condition of a place. These include:

  1. Intensity of light
  2. Amount of light

The intensity of light is the level of light, usually measure in Lux which can differ from full sun to full shade. Let us understand more about it with a simple table of data:

Types of lightLight IntensityLocation/Placement
Full Sun(Direct)32,000–100,000-Window sill
-Balcony
-Sunroom
-Within 2 feet of East/South window
Partial Sun(Indirect)10,000–25,000-Sun shines for a few hours from the window
-3 to 4 Feet from East/West/South window
-Behind a sheer curtain
Medium Light500-1000-No direct sun but still brightly lit
-5 Feet from a window
Partially Shaded(Low)100-500-North facing window with no-direct sunlight
-East facing window and 5-6 feet from a window
Completely Shaded(Little)<100-Staircase, Bathroom, Hallways
-Room with no windows
-Basements
-Window shaded by a tree
Source: University of Missouri

The other important factor determining the lighting requirement is the amount of light. It is pretty straightforward, the duration of time when your plants receive bright sunlight is the amount of light.

Lighting requirement
An example of living room indicating different lighting conditions

So what is the lighting requirement of a rubber plant? Rubber plants prefer bright indirect sunlight with a light intensity between 10000-20000 Lux. They cannot tolerate direct light, so make sure you keep them away from it or use a sheer curtain to filter the light coming in.

7 Signs your rubber plants need more light

If your rubber plant is not getting enough light, they will start showing some visual signs. Those signs include:

Apart from these signs, you may also notice your rubber plants are struggling to survive.



5 Signs your rubber plant is getting too much light

If a low lighting condition is bad for your rubber plant, then so is excessive bright light. Too much light can also lead to many problems in your rubber plants. These include:

  • Brown or sunburn patches in leaves
  • Leaves losing color
  • Plant starts wilting
  • Leaves become crisp and dry and may start drooping
  • Leaves curling downward

Also read: Why is my rubber plant dying?

Do Rubber Plants Need Direct Sunlight?

No, rubber plants do not need direct sunlight. In fact, direct sunlight can burn the leaves of your rubber plant, leaving brown spots and droopy leaves.

It is best to provide your rubber plant with indirect sunlight only.

How much sun does a rubber plant need?

Rubber plants require bright indirect sunlight for at least 4-5 hours a day.

Placing a rubber plant in the south-facing window filtered with sheer curtain is excellent for healthy growth.

If you do not have a south-facing window, you can move the plant closer to the east/west-facing window for more bright light exposure.

However, make sure the plant doesn’t get any direct sunlight during the day time as it can lead to scorched leaves.

You can let your rubber plant take a early morning or late evening sunbath, but anything more than that could burn the leaves of your plant. So, be aware of the same.

Can a rubber plant take full sun?

A rubber plant cannot take full sun, and you should be aware of the same while placing your rubber plant.

It would help if you never kept them in full sun, especially during the day time when the sun is shining at full blast as you may end up losing your plant really quickly.

If left at the full sun, it may damage the leaves up to an extend where it might not be possible for the plant to recover.

While some houseplants like crotons and succulents might enjoy full sun, rubber plant is definitely not one of them.

Can rubber plants survive in low light?

A house plant can survive at 10-20x lower value of the light intensity of whatever is mentioned.

For rubber plants, the optimum light intensity is anywhere between 10000-20000 Lux. However, it can very well survive in 500-1500Lux as well.

You may notice that your plant growth is really slow, and the leaves and foliage starts experiencing a change in their color and size.

If you move the rubber plant to a really low light condition, your plant may not grow.

It might start losing its leaves and might as well show other signs of lack of lighting, as we discussed earlier.

Where should I place a rubber plant in my house?

The East or west-facing windows shall be a perfect spot for your rubber plant. They do really well in bright light, so make sure the location receives plenty of light at all times.

As rubber plants can grow pretty large, they are excellent for filling up empty spaces as a décor piece. Placing the plant around the lounge, or near the balcony or patio doors would be perfect.

To learn more about the perfect placement of your rubber plant, you can read our in-depth article on the same. We have discussed all the factors affecting the placement and some of the best spots for the rubber plant in your home.

Also read: A complete care guide for rubber plants


Source: Plant Lighting Aspects for Plant Growth in Controlled Environments, Lighting Indoor Houseplants, Effects of growth under different light spectra, Influence of light intensity on growth

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