How Much Light Do Orchids Need?

How Much Light Do Orchids Need?
How much light do orchids need?

If we talk about the ideal light conditions for your orchids, then you need to know in what environments orchids thrive in the wild. Orchids are a diverse group of flowing plants (Angiospermae) and are found in a wide range of natural habitats, from the tropics in South America to temperate meadows in the United States.

This means you need to know what orchid you have and learn about the ideal light conditions for that particular species or hybrid. Search this website to find the species or hybrid you have and learn about the ideal conditions it needs to thrive. In the remainder of this article, you learn more about the dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

In General

Most orchids need bright light to thrive, but it is important that the light isn't direct. Direct sunlight can damage your orchid more quickly than you might think. Does your orchid have yellowing leaves or do some of the unopened flower buds start to wither or fall of? That may be the result of intense, direct sunlight.

Orchids don't like bright, direct sunlight.

The intensity of the light an orchid receives is often crucial for it to thrive. Orchids are plants that convert light energy to chemical energy through a process called photosynthesis. In other words, an orchid needs sufficient light to for photosynthesis. Too much direct sunlight can damage the plant and even result it its death.

Location, Location, Location

With the above in mind, it is clear that the location of an orchid is crucial for the health of your plant. Putting it on a windowsill is fine, but the location or orientation of that windowsill is important. A windowsill of a west-facing window is often a good idea as the light of the sun is typically milder.

The location of your orchid is key.

If the sunlight is filtered in another way, through a curtain or a large tree near the window, then that might be an ideal environment for your orchid. If you notice that your orchid isn't at its best, try moving it to a different location. That simple change may be enough for your orchid to prosper.


Many of the orchids we can buy these days are tropical plants and that means they receive a lot of sunlight year-round. As long as the sunlight isn't too intense, the duration is less of an issue. It is also something that is more difficult to control, unless you start to work with artificial light or shade.

Know Your Plant

As I wrote earlier, it pays to spend a few minutes learning about your orchid. Start by figuring out what species or hybrid you have and study its ideal growing conditions. Phalaenopsis orchids are pretty hardened and can cope with bright, direct sunlight although they won't thrive in such conditions.

If you want your orchids to be and stay healthy, then study up on the species or hybrid you have. Other orchids are much less tolerant and will die in no time if they are growing in unfavorable light conditions.


I have the following tips for you. First, take some time to learn about your orchid. Search this website to find your species or hybrid. Second, most orchids don't like bright, direct sunlight. Avoid locations that receive intense sunlight to make sure your precious plants thrive instead of wither. Third, inspect your orchids frequently. If you see that unopened flower buds start to shrivel or leaves are yellowing, then it is time to move your friend to a more suitable location.