Different types of orchids can be found growing everywhere from deep shade to full sun. These pigments are essentially the plant’s sunscreen, protecting it from burning. First, plants need a night just as we do. For orchids requiring medium and low light, eastern exposure works well for the majority of the year. These include Vandas and some Epidendrums. Orchids do well with indirect morning or evening sun but never direct hot sun in the middle of the day. Orchid phalaenopsis is one of the most popular plant to grow at home and its maintenance is quite easy. Phalaenopsis orchids need bright but indirect light and are best placed in an east or west facing window. How Much Sunlight Does My Orchid Need? When exposed to sufficient light, the foliage of some orchids will darken with reddish pigments. The brightest light exposure is from the south, which in most cases, is too much sun exposure for many types of orchids. Orchids thrive on light. Dark green leaves indicate insufficient lighting. Orchids require different light then normal house plants. They are adapted to the daily cycle of the sun and different parts of their metabolic cycle are accomplished during light and dark periods. Still a lot of people are confused when the conversation turns to the growing conditions. Pale leaves with brown patches indicate excessive light. In nature, orchids like partially shaded areas. “How much sun does orchid phalaenopsis need?” – they keep asking each other. In wintertime when the sun is lower in the sky, many orchids can … For the Phalaenopsis, a south-facing place where it can get about 12 hours of sunlight per day is best (on many websites, I have read that a Phalaenopsis only likes places with low lighting, but according to my experiences, this is not true—the more, the better). Some varieties of orchids, such as the Phalaenopsis, only need 10-15% sunlight in a normal day, which isn’t a great deal: even on a mostly cloudy day, you will have 10-15% of sunlight, so places that don’t get abundant sunshine should still be suitable to grow these types of orchids as long as you have the correct temperature and relative humidity (see below). Checking For Too Much Light. Orchids that grow at the tops of trees and in other exposed conditions can handle full sun. This is called photoperiodicity. How much light/sun does my orchid need? In addition, many orchids, especially species, are adapted to changes in day length. They do not require the kind of bright direct sunshine that, let’s say, a tomato plant does. An easy way to tell if your orchid is getting too much sun is to feel the foliage; if it's hot to the touch, your orchid needs more shade.