Do Poinsettias Need Sunlight? Find Out!

Keeping your poinsettia healthy and beautiful requires daily attention to the quantity of light it receives. Insufficient or excessive light might cause it to become sunburned and produce lanky, unattractive growth. So, do poinsettias need sunlight to thrive?

Poinsettias need at least 6 hours of intense, indirect sunshine every day to grow. East-facing windows are ideal, but even if they don’t get direct sunlight, a south- or west-facing window will provide adequate illumination. Leggy growth and defoliation arise from a lack of light, whereas burnt foliage suggests an abundance of light.

You’ll find out more about poinsettia lighting needs as you continue reading. I’ll also go through some of the telltale signs that your poinsettia isn’t getting enough or too much light.

Do Poinsettias Need Sunlight?

Poinsettias are resilient plants that can tolerate a wide range of light intensities. They do, however, get enough of light. I propose that you give your plant at least 6 hours of indirect and intense sunshine each day.

A lot of sunlight will help your poinsettias grow to their full potential. Photosynthesis and the formation of healthy green vegetation require it. Regardless, you should keep your plant out of direct sunlight, especially in the summer.

Only 1-2 hours of direct sunshine are tolerable. The leaves will not only be scorched if they are exposed to too much direct and scorching sunlight. Additionally, the leaves will turn a brownish-yellow color as a result of the bleaching. That’s not the worst of it; excessive heat will fade the bracts’ vivid colors.

What Kind Of Light Does A Poinsettia Need?

So, what kind of light does a poinsettia need? 

Poinsettias can handle a wide range of lighting conditions, but they thrive in bright, indirect sunshine. They will withstand insufficient light, but they will not grow to their full potential in these conditions. Chlorosis causes the green leaves to turn yellow or pale.

Your poinsettia can be left in direct sunlight for a short period of time. Too much exposure to direct sunlight will result in the leaves becoming dry and brown. Your poinsettia should be placed somewhere in your home that is well-lit, but you should keep the strength of the light in mind.

1. Sunlight Exposure

I must emphasize that poinsettias are extremely sensitive to direct sunlight. They are tolerant to the early morning sun. During the afternoon, though, when the sun is at its hottest, your plant will need filtered light.

There is no way your poinsettia will get the 6+ hours of brilliant light it needs each day if you place it towards west or east. Winter’s shorter days only serve to exacerbate things further already precarious conditions.

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You can move the task around during the day if you don’t mind it. Use an east-facing window to get the best sunrise views. There are times when a west-facing window will suffice, such as in the afternoon.

It is, nevertheless, imperative that you use a light curtain, sheer or sheers to soften the intense sunshine from a window that face west.

It’s a good idea to keep your poinsettia a bit away from any windows that face south. It ensures that your plant receives sufficient of both indirect and direct sunshine. Remember to utilize drapery.

Because poinsettias don’t mind artificial light, they’re a great choice for the holidays. Make sure your plants are getting at least 12 hours of sunlight each day by using some LED grow lights.

2. The light’s position 

The location of your poinsettia would be determined by the amount of light that enters the space. It’ll be enthralled by the lovely morning light streaming in through a door or window that faces the east. As a result, there won’t be much sunlight streaming in through that window later in the day.

North-facing windows are darkest in spring and summer. As a result, it will not work in the direction of your poinsettia.

During the hottest part of the day, the sun’s glare is most intense via western windows. As a result, the leaves would be the ones to carry the burden of the direct sunshine. A poinsettia, thankfully, benefits from some diffused light.

It’s best to put it near a west-facing window, where it’ll be protected from the wind and rain. It will be exposed to bright light without being directly exposed to the sun. Will it, however, receive more than 6 hours of bright light from this direction?

Most likely not. That’s where a location’s southern latitude comes in handy.

The brightest light will come from a south-facing window. Indirect sunlight can be provided by parking your plant a few yards from a south-facing window. Your poinsettia will receive an even amount of sunshine throughout the day if you place it here.

3. The Light’s Intensity

During the growing season, the amount of sunshine your poinsettia receives is at its peak. From early spring through late summer, that is. Poinsettias need a lot of strong, bright light to do photosynthesis, make energy, and store food.

When November approaches, light intensity drops dramatically. During the winter, it stays at a low level. Your poinsettia will also go into hibernation during this time, and you may expect little to no new growth.

During the months of November and December, poinsettias require around 14 hours of darkness per day. It will take about 8 hours for it to generate its vividly colored bracts. Lack of dark hours prevents blooming in these flowers.

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Do Poinsettias Need Sunlight or Shade?

do poinsettias need sunlight

Do poinsettias need sunlight or shade?

In a nutshell, partial sun. Poinsettias may take moderate shade, but they thrive best in direct sunlight. It’s a question of if they prefer direct or indirect sunlight.

If you’re new to photography, you might be curious what the difference between indirect and direct light is. The answer is straightforward: poinsettias prefer bright, indirect sunlight. What is the distinction?

Your plant expert is on hand to explain everything. Direct sunlight occurs when your poinsettia’s leaves are exposed to unfiltered solar rays. That’s something you don’t want to do to your plant.

A hand-shadow test is the most effective approach to determine. Assuming you could see a distinct hand shadow in that area, it is very likely that it is exposed to direct sunshine.

Indirect light is what your poinsettia receives if it is placed in a spot where the leaves are not exposed to direct sunshine. The hand shadow is a bit hazy and fuzzy in this picture. However, the silhouette of a hand can still be discerned.

indirect lighting is light that comes from the floor, mirrors, and walls. Your poinsettia will thrive in a location with this amount of light. It’s dappled light, with some sun and some shade.

What Signs Do You Have That Your Poinsettia Isn’t Getting Enough Light?

1. Small leaves and stunted growth

Low light is not good for poinsettias. However your plant will not die from a lack of light, its growth will be hindered, deformed, or stunted. All things considered, light plays an important role in photosynthesis.

Due to a serious light deficiency, your poinsettia will not be able to create enough energy for optimum growth. The leaves would be significantly smaller, deformed, or scarred.

2. There is no new growth

Your plant’s lack of growth is only acceptable during the winter months. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for your poinsettia to go into dormancy in November.

You should be concerned if your poinsettia doesn’t produce new growth throughout the peak growing periods of summer and spring. It’s possible that this is due in part to a lack of light. As a result, it is unable to generate sufficient resources for future expansion.

3. Moving toward sources of light

It’s a common survival strategy employed by most plants in low-light environments. Leaves, branches, and stems may be orienting themselves toward the room’s lone window, crack, or light bulb.

Many trees have a little bend in their upper leaves and outside branches toward sunlight. It’s common for the side that’s closest to the light source to be in good health. Wilting, tiny leaves, yellow color, and other symptoms of malnourishment are common on the other side.

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What to Do If the Poinsettia Is Getting Too Much Light?

What can you do is your poinsettia is getting way too much light?

The first thing you should do is reposition your poinsettia. At least six hours of indirect sunshine are required for it to thrive in your home.

It should be kept out of direct sunlight. The simplest approach to achieve this is to move your poinsettia some feets away from a window that faces west or south.

You might also use blinds or sheer drapes to cover the windows. Direct sunlight will be filtered by this. As a result, your poinsettia receives only indirect light.

Trimming away burnt, damaged, or excessively browned leaves is more important. Indeed, they will not rise again. Pruning will help hasten the recuperation process.

Best Poinsettia Light Meters

1. Urceri Light Meter

Urceri is a relatively new brand of light meters, which means that most of its models are reasonably priced and might be a good alternative for consumers on a tight budget.

Urceri’s light meter comes in second since it’s one of the better entry-level models. Using this light meter, you can measure light levels from 0 lux to a maximum of 200000 lux. This light meter’s most impressive feature is its incredibly accurate readings of +/-3%.

You’ll be pleased to learn that, despite its small size, this light meter contains a 4-color digital LCD screen that provides a wealth of information. The reduced form size does, however, result in more difficult controls. Fortunately, Urceri hasn’t compromised on its dependability, as it comes with a 2-year warranty.


  • Light meter for beginners
  • Display that is simple to use and comes in a variety of colors
  • For the price, it’s fairly accurate and adaptable.


  • The controls are a tad clumsy.

2. SmartSensor Light Meter

Additionally, SmartSensor is a brand of sensors and measuring equipment that are quite economical and have numerous budget-friendly light meter types to choose from.

This SmartSensor light meter is ranked third in this article since it is the most affordable alternative available. Despite the fact that it is a low-cost light meter, it manages to provide a typical range of 0 lux to 200000 lux. It also features an integrated sensor that can be rotated for little more variety when obtaining light measurements.

A backlit LCD display makes it easy to see even while using this light meter in the dark. Light meter controls are likewise straightforward to use. The only problem with this light meter is that it isn’t very well made, even though it comes with a 2-year warranty.


  • The sensor can be rotated.
  • For easy reading, the display is backlit.
  • Controls are fairly simple, and there are multiple modes to choose from.


  • Not the most durable option available.


Famous holiday plants like poinsettias have remained popular year after year. Hybridizers have added even more eye-catching hues to the native Mexican red plant, including white, yellow, cream, pink, and salmon, in addition to the more well-known scarlet.