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Indoor Plants for Low Light

Updated on July 12, 2012


Indoor plants are a great addition to any home or office. Not only are they decorative, but they can help filter toxins from the air. Many people avoid keeping indoor plants because they believe that their space does not have adequate natural sunlight to keep plants healthy. But that's a mistake. There are several indoor plants for low light. The plants outlined here thrive in low light conditions.

What is Low Light?

Understanding what is considered to be low light conditions for an indoor plant is key to choosing the right plants for your home. Low light is any area away from bright sunlight from windows, etc. North-facing windows are often considered to be low light areas as they tend to have the least amount of sunlight. These are the sort of areas that are ideal for the following indoor plants for low light environments.

Ferns

The fern family is quite diverse. Ferns vary widely in their appearance, ranging from small and lacy to large and sculptural. All ferns require low light and should not be placed in areas that receive direct sunlight. Their optimal temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they prefer an environment that has high humidity, bathrooms are an ideal spot for ferns.

Like many plants, ferns do not thrive when their soil is kept too wet. Soil should be allowed to dry between watering. And, ferns should not be left to sit in water, so the potting soil and container should have good drainage. Ferns require feeding with a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Good fern varieties to try for novices are Boston ferns and rabbit’s foot ferns.

Rabbit foot fern in hanging basket

Rabbit foot fern in hanging basket
Rabbit foot fern in hanging basket | Source

Sansevieria

Sansevieria is a diverse group of plants that are members of the agave family. They are tall, up to 4 feet high, with narrow green leaves. Many varieties have striking variegated patterns. Ideally, sansevieria should be kept at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They can thrive in a wide range of light conditions from very bright direct sun to low light. Because of their height and dramatic appearance, sansevieria look wonderful in pots placed on the floor.

Sansevieria should be potted in soil and a container with good drainage. The soil should be allowed to dry between watering. They do not require fertilizer in the winter, and the rest of the year they should be watered once monthly.

Sansevieria trifasciata (commonly known as mother-in-law tongue) is good variety for beginners.

Potted sansevieria plant

Potted sansevieria plant
Potted sansevieria plant | Source

Bromeliads

Bromeliads are a good choice for livening up a darker area of the home or office because of their brightly colored flower structures. They do well in a wide array of light conditions. Their flower structures will last for some time in low light conditions, but it may be beneficial to rotate them to an area with brighter light to keep the plant flowering.

Bromeliads thrive in temperatures of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Like ferns, they prefer high humidity, making a bathroom an ideal place. Bromeliads need soil with good drainage, and prefer to be kept in drier soil. They do best with continuous feeding, so incorporating a controlled-release fertilizer in the potting soil is a good idea.

Bromeliad

Bromeliad
Bromeliad | Source


Ferns, sansevieria, and bromeliads are all ideal indoor plants for low light conditions. They will add beauty to your home or office as well as helping to purify the air. Your local greenhouse or garden center can be great resources to learn more about these plants.

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