Umbrella Plant Light – How Much and What kind of Light Required?

The umbrella tree, with its brilliant green oval leaves and umbrella-spoke pattern, is an aesthetically pleasing and modern house plant. 

Umbrella plants, also widely recognized as umbrella trees, are low-maintenance houseplants that are popular due to their hardiness and ease of care. An umbrella tree’s clusters of shiny broad leaves cascade from its branches, filling up a lot of space and instantly bringing life to dull corners.

The umbrella plant prefers medium to bright light, though it can tolerate bright light on occasion, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn and discolor the leaves, and poor lighting will stop the growth of your umbrella plant, making it leggy and droopy.

You must correctly understand the light requirement so that the plant grows in good health. Assume you recently purchased one of these trees and are wondering how much light it requires. How long do these tiny trees live? We looked into these questions and discovered amazing findings to share with you!

Do you want to learn more about umbrella trees? Or how frequently do umbrella plants need to be watered? We investigated this topic and have quality research findings to share with you.

Umbrella Plant Growing Places

Although umbrella plants grow in bright, indirect light, they can usually tolerate direct indoor light as well. In medium-to-low light, they will grow more slowly and become leggy. Humidity is generally not a problem, but if the air is too dry, the plants may be more sensitive to pests such as scale and spider mites.

Umbrella plants grow in temperatures ranging from 55°F to 75°F (13°C to 24°C). In USDA zones 10-11, they can be grown outside all year. 

Umbrella Plant Light Necessities

Umbrella Plant Light Necessities

Umbrella plants grow in bright, indirect light. What does this mean? It’s ideal to sit near a bright window. 

However, it does not tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves. You can train it, like many other patient houseplants, to grow in low-light environments. It will simply grow more slowly and may appear sparse.

It will also grow toward the nearest light source, like many plants that prefer brighter light but can survive in lower light levels. You can slightly spin the plant once a month to keep your umbrella from growing sideways.

The Significance of Sufficient Light

Light is one of the most important elements required for plants to continue photosynthesis. This process aids in converting light, water, and oxygen into carbohydrates, which is how the plant obtains its energy and food.

This energy enables the plant to live, grow, bloom, and bear seeds and fruits. Without sufficient light, carbohydrates or this energy cannot be produced, causing the plant to become weak and eventually die.

The plant cannot produce food in the absence of sufficient light, which has an impact on its health. As a result, the plant must receive sufficient light for proper development.

What Kind of Lighting Does an Umbrella Plant Require?

The Umbrella plants require medium to full sun to grow and reach their full potential. The Umbrella plants tree grows in direct sunlight for at least six hours per day on average.

For the best results, place your umbrella plants near a window that receives direct sunlight and leave the curtains open. If you don’t have a window with direct sunlight, place the plant where there is the most sunlight.

Can Umbrella Plants Survive In Low-Light Conditions?

Can Umbrella Plants Survive In Low-Light Conditions?

Yes, the Umbrella plants can survive in low light conditions. The leaves, however, will be noticeably smaller, and the tree will not grow three or more feet per year as it would in its natural habitat. 

To help offset the effects of reduced sunlight, feed the umbrella plant food regularly to replace the nutrition that the Umbrella plants are not getting from sunlight.

It is also critical to provide the Umbrella plants with quality potting soil, which will nourish their cramped roots in the pot and allow for proper drainage, improving their aesthetics and overall health.

How Much Sun Does an Umbrella Plant Want?

Indoors, the best place for your Umbrella plants is in a spot with plenty of bright indirect light.

Avoid too much direct sunlight. Sunburn can be detected by dry, brown spots on the leaves. Remove your plant from the window, or use a sheer curtain to filter the light.

When grown in low light, colors may fade and growth may slow and become leggy. The only way to fix a leggy plant is to prune it back and then give it more lightly. With more light, new leaves will grow closer together rather than spaced out along the stem.

Variegated umbrella plants require more light than regular green umbrella plants. They lose their beautiful mix when not exposed to enough light.

Indirect vs. Direct Lighting

Indirect vs. Direct Lighting

When discussing light requirements for your plants, the terms direct light and indirect light are frequently used.

Let’s get a quick grasp on what these terms mean.

Direct Sunlight:

The sun’s direct rays that fall on the plants are referred to as direct sunlight. This is intense, and the direct sunlight in the afternoon can be scorching. Certain plants, such as fruits and flowering plants, outdoor plants, and cacti, require direct sunlight to produce the most energy.

Indirect Sunlight:

Indirect light is the most common type of light required by houseplants. These are less intense and hot, and no direct sunlight falls on the plant; however, the plant uses heat and light to produce food.

The Sun’s Position

Knowing the direction and position of the sun can help you choose the best spot for your Schefflera. Since morning sunlight is milder and less intense than afternoon sunlight, an east-facing window is ideal for the healthy growth of the umbrella plant.

On the other hand, the west-facing window occasionally receives more intense sunlight in the afternoon, which is not always suitable for your plant. In the summer, the burning sunlight may cause sunburn and dehydration in your plant.

If you keep your Umbrella plant on the west side, you can protect it from direct sunlight by hanging a curtain or keeping it 5 to 7 feet away from the window.

In most cases, a north-facing window is a quite dim and low light, which is not ideal for your plant. A south-facing window may not receive direct sunlight, but it does receive plenty of bright light and air circulation, which is ideal for most plants like the umbrella plant.

Sunlight Exposure

Houseplants like Schefflera grow in indirect light that isn’t too bright but is just right for the plant to grow efficiently. Too much direct sunlight can harm this plant by burning the leaves and dehydrating them.

You must understand that keeping it out of direct sunlight does not imply that it will grow in low light. To grow, the plant requires plenty of bright but indirect light.

Understanding this equilibrium is critical.

Summer Lighting Requirements vs. Winter Lighting Requirements

Since the intensity of sunlight varies with the seasons, it is critical to understand the role of seasons in the amount of sunlight as well as the sun’s direction.

The sun’s rays are at their strongest during the summer. As a result, the plant is more likely to become dehydrated and burned. To keep your Schefflera cool, cover it with a curtain or keep it away from windows.

Schefflera, unlike some other plants, does not go completely dormant during the winter. The sunlight is gentler, which reduces the likelihood of sunburn. In winter, you can expose your Schefflera to a few hours of morning sunlight, which you cannot do in summer.

This provides some warmth to the plant, which is beneficial to it. One of the reasons plants go dormant during the winter is a lack of warmth and intense light, so it is recommended to provide some sunlight during the winter.

Schefflera’s Best Habitat

The Schefflera plant is known to grow in full shade, in contrast to plants such as crotons, which require bright light. However, if you keep this plant in low light for an extended period, its health will suffer.

As a result, it is advised to choose a location with plenty of bright light but not direct sunlight. This will provide the plant with all of its warmth without burning the leaves. This will also keep the plant from becoming leggy and feeble-looking, and will encourage more healthy growth.

In the winter, keep your plant in an east-facing window if you have a south-facing window. Your Schefflera will grow on a shady balcony. However, if your home does not receive enough bright light, please invest in artificial lighting to provide the necessary warmth and light for photosynthesis. 

If your home does not receive enough bright light, please invest in artificial lighting to provide the necessary warmth and light for photosynthesis.

The Effect of Excessive Light on Schefflera

The Effect of Excessive Light on Schefflera

Indoor Scheffeleras, like most tropical plants, cannot tolerate direct sunlight. You risk harming your plant if you place it in a location where it receives direct sunlight.

Several signs indicate that your plants are getting too much sunlight.


Container-grown Scheffleras are susceptible to sunburn. When they are kept on windows and the glass heats up, contact with this windowpane can burn the leaves of your plant. These leaves begin to turn yellow, then brown, and eventually fall off. Even though browning is irreversible, it is best to remove these leaves.

Crispy and dehydrated leaves:

Too much direct light, combined with dehydration, can cause the leaves to become dry and crispy. The solution is to relocate the plant to a more shady location and thoroughly water it until the water runs out of the drain hole.

Dry soil:

Excessive sunlight will accelerate the evaporation process. This causes the soil to dry out frequently, leaving the plant dehydrated.

What Should I Do If My Schefflera Receives Too Much Light?

Do not be alarmed if you notice the above-mentioned symptoms on your plants.

Do not be alarmed and proceed to the next step.

  • To begin, if you notice signs that your Schefflera is receiving too much light, you should relocate it.
  • Move the plant to a location where it will receive bright to medium indirect light but not direct sunlight.
  • With a clean pruner, remove all of the yellow, brown, and pale leaves. Since these leaves will never return to their original color, it is best to remove them.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and immerse it in a bucket of water to allow the soil to absorb all of the moisture it requires.
  • Fertilize the plant only after it has recovered, as this can cause additional stress.
  • Water the top 2-3 inches of soil drying out when you notice it.

Check Out: Umbrella Plant Care And Growing Guide!

The Consequences of Low Light on Your Schefflera

Schefflera can tolerate some shade but not very low light.

Long-term exposure to low light conditions can have an impact on the healthy growth of the Schefflera plant. If these plants do not receive enough light, they become leggy and malnourished, hampering their growth.

Certain plants, such as ZZ and snake plants, can tolerate low light conditions; however, Schefflera cannot. Under low-light conditions, their growth slows and the size of their new leaves shrinks. Overwatering, root rot, and pest infestations are all increased by low light.

Some signs of insufficient lighting include:

Leggy Plant:

In search of light, the stem of your Schefflera grows long and thin. However, it does not expand in width. Due to the decreased light available, the leaves become smaller and weaker, and the disparity between the leaves widens.

Smaller Leaves:

As the availability of sunlight decreases, so does the size of your plant’s leaves. This occurs because low light gives the plant less energy. As a result, to conserve energy, the plant fails to grow to its full potential.

Plant with a Slant:

The plant begins to grow tall in search of light in the direction of the light. This causes the plant to grow crooked. To avoid this, rotate your plant every week so that all sides receive equal light.

Growth is Slowed:

Low light reduces the plant’s capacity for photosynthesis. As a result, the plant’s growth rate decreases.


Is direct sunlight required for umbrella plants?

Umbrella plants prefer medium light, which means they should be kept in bright light but not direct light.

Can an umbrella plant withstand direct sunlight?

It’s ideal to be near a bright window. However, it does not tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn.

What is causing my umbrella plants to droop?

Light levels are insufficient. Umbrella plants prefer bright, indirect light, and if left in a shady spot for too long, their lower leaves may begin to droop and then drop off one by one.

Is an umbrella plant a suitable indoor plant?

Umbrella plants can grow in almost any indoor environment, but they prefer medium light, moderate humidity, and temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees F.

How often do I need to water my umbrella plants?

Overwatering is the most common mistake made with these plants. You should water your umbrella plants no more than once every 10 days.


Proper lighting is essential for any plant to produce food and grow. Umbrella plants are easy-to-grow, hardy plants that can withstand bright to medium indirect sunlight. If you continue to neglect an umbrella plant and keep it in an unfavorable lighting situation for an extended time, the plant’s health will suffer, making it leggy and skinny.

At the same time, too much light can burn the leaves and turn them yellow. Understanding the right balance between too much and too little light is essential for selecting the best location for your plant. A healthy, growing umbrella plant requires plenty of light to produce enough food and grow. 

We hope this article has answered all of your questions about the proper lighting conditions for your umbrella plant. Do let us know in the comments below which kind of plant is your favorite.

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  • Vaishnavi

    Vaishnavi is a student of organic chemistry. She is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener who enjoys sharing plant information and ideas. She also enjoys writing inspirational poems. She portrays her love for plants and nature through her poems.

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