How much light does a Chinese evergreen need?

The Chinese evergreen is a broad-leaved coniferous tree found in East Asia. It is also known as Chinese fir, Chinese pine, and balsam fir. In general, a Chinese evergreen thrives with 15 to 18 hours of bright light per day; indoor plants may require even more time in the sun to compensate for lower natural light levels.

What does this mean for your Chinese Evergreen?

In general, as an evergreen plant, your Chinese evergreen will need light throughout the year. That said, some plants can do just fine with reduced light levels. But if you are planning to grow a Chinese evergreen indoors and do not want it to be short like a dwarf variety of the same tree, you may want to invest in fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lights generate more heat than incandescent lighting does, so as electric costs go up, cheaper lights will heat up the air of your home or office quickly.

How much light does a Chinese evergreen need

Different Light Requirements for a Chinese Evergreen Plant

There are different light requirements for different Chinese evergreen varieties. These requirements include :

More important than the actual light levels for different plants is the fact that they need to be exposed to some kind of light in order to survive. As a general rule, houseplants require more light that trees and plants do. If a plant doesn’t receive enough light, it can die. When choosing a white-flowered Chinese evergreen, make sure it has been grown in full sun during summer time. This will ensure that the plant receives enough heat as well as moisture throughout the year when growing indoors.

Other Chinese evergreens such as the Chinese Elm or Japanese Maple (also known as the Flying Squirrel) will thrive indoors if they are grown in a room that receives plenty of sunlight.

The red-leafed Chinese evergreen (Abies firmaoides) prefers more warmth and tends to do better with fluorescent lighting. The Azaleas, hybrids and some varieties of Rhododendron, love cool nights and are very heavy growers.

Tips For Maximizing Your Light Requirements in a Chinese Evergreen Plant

  • Grow your Chinese evergreen plant in a sunny room or grow it in partial shade, but do not place it in full shade. If you have an open area that receives direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Check your Chinese evergreen plant for white-colored leaves. This is a sign that the plant is not receiving enough light; if this is the case, move it to a brighter location.
  • Place your plants near a sunny window for extra light.
  • Move your plants away from windows from time to time to keep them from getting too much light.
  • Set up an automatic timer for your lights so you know the exact amount of time they are on. There are timers that can be set for a specific number of hours each day, set by hour and by day, or you can buy a timer with an alarm function that will room you know when to switch the lights off.

How do you know your Chinese evergreen is getting enough sunlight?

You can tell if a Chinese evergreen needs more light by looking at the leaves of your plant. If they have begun to yellow, there is probably a problem. If you see any signs of wilting, it is likely too much heat or not enough water. You can fix the problem by moving your plant to a location that receives adequate light. Use pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut off lower branches. Be sure to trim the ends of the branches to improve air circulation and sunlight exposure to healthy parts of your tree.

Chinese evergreens are native plants that require little special care when it comes to light requirements. They are best grown outdoors in partial shade, and they will thrive indoors in a sunny window or under artificial lights. You can also grow them outside during summer and bring them inside for winter use as long as you provide enough light for them to survive without sunlight.


In general, Chinese evergreens prefer cool lighting. The lights should not feel hot to the touch. If they do, then you will need to turn your lights down or purchase lights that are more energy-efficient. Most of the time, fluorescent lighting will be more than adequate for your needs.

In terms of heat, your evergreen plant can easily handle a room temperature slightly warmer than the outside air temperature. If you keep your lights too hot, they can burn your plant. However, you’ll want to avoid lighting that is too cold as this will also freeze or kill the plant.

Remember, the Chinese evergreen plant is a very forgiving plant. Just keep it healthy and it can endure most conditions. Most of all get your lighting right in order to keep it happy and healthy.