Updated: July 2, 2023

The Queen’s Tears plant, also known as Billbergia nutans, is a stunning bromeliad native to South America. It is highly sought after for its unique hanging clusters of pink or purple flowers. If you are lucky enough to have this beautiful plant in your garden or considering adding it to your collection, understanding its sunlight requirements is essential for its health and optimal growth.

Natural Habitat and Light Conditions

In its natural habitat, the Queen’s Tears plant thrives in the shady understory of rainforests. It is often found growing on tree trunks or rocks, nestled among other plants. This indicates that it prefers filtered or dappled sunlight rather than direct exposure to intense sunlight.

Indirect Bright Light

When it comes to growing the Queen’s Tears plant indoors or in a garden setting, replicating its natural light conditions is crucial. The ideal light condition for this plant is indirect bright light. It should be placed in a location where it can receive bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day.

Indirect bright light refers to the diffuse light that is scattered or reflected before reaching the plant. This can be achieved by placing the Queen’s Tears plant near a north-facing window, where it will receive bright light without being exposed to direct sunlight.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

While the Queen’s Tears plant appreciates bright light, direct sunlight can be harmful to its foliage and flowers. The intense rays of the sun can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or brown. Additionally, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to leaf burn and dehydration.

To protect your Queen’s Tears plant from direct sunlight, consider using sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light. Alternatively, you can move the plant slightly away from the window or place it under a shade cloth if it is grown outdoors.

Adjusting Light Levels

If you notice that your Queen’s Tears plant is not flowering or its leaves are turning pale and elongated, it may be an indication that it is not receiving enough light. In such cases, you can gradually increase the light levels to stimulate growth and promote blooming.

One way to achieve this is by moving the plant closer to a brighter window or providing artificial light in the form of fluorescent or LED grow lights. When using artificial light, ensure that the plant receives at least 10-12 hours of light per day. This will help mimic the natural daylight cycle and provide the plant with the necessary energy for photosynthesis.

Outdoor Cultivation

If you prefer growing your Queen’s Tears plant outdoors, it is important to choose a suitable location that offers the right balance of light and shade. Partial shade or filtered sunlight is ideal for this plant. Avoid areas with full sun exposure as it can lead to sunburn and damage the delicate leaves.

A good spot for outdoor cultivation would be under the canopy of taller trees or against a wall that provides some shade during the hottest part of the day. This way, the Queen’s Tears plant can benefit from the dappled sunlight while being protected from intense rays.

Monitoring Light Requirements

It is essential to monitor your Queen’s Tears plant regularly to ensure it is receiving adequate light. Observe how it responds to its current lighting conditions and make adjustments accordingly. If you notice signs of distress, such as wilted leaves, leaf discoloration, or lack of flowering, it may indicate that the lighting needs adjustment.

Remember that every location and environment is different, so it may take some trial and error to find the perfect spot for your Queen’s Tears plant. Patience and observation are key in determining its specific light requirements.


The Queen’s Tears plant thrives in bright, indirect light conditions similar to its natural habitat in rainforests. While it can tolerate some direct sunlight, it is best to protect the plant from intense rays to prevent leaf damage. By providing the right balance of light and shade, whether indoors or outdoors, you can ensure the healthy growth and stunning blooms of your Queen’s Tears plant. So go ahead, find the perfect spot, and enjoy the beauty of this tropical gem in your garden or home!