Five Best Houseplants for Low-Light Areas
Nothing brightens and softens up a room like a thriving green plant. While some people have a natural knack for keeping plants alive, it's not always that easy for everyone else. One of the biggest problems with indoor houseplants, is finding the right plant for the light level you have in your home.
You might be lucky enough to have plenty of south-facing windows with more than enough sun to accommodate any plant you choose, but that's not usually the case for most people. We all have shady corners and rooms with little natural light. What are the best plants to choose for these indoor situations?
There are several excellent candidates for your darker spots, and they are pretty easy to care for plants as well. Some of these plants will grow quite large, so make sure you have enough space before buying one. A cute little plant in the store may grow large enough to require a room of its own.
I've selected the 5 best plant species for low-light areas. I'm giving both the common name as well as the botanical (Latin) name, just in case your local plant store doesn't use the same common name. That can happen, so knowing the Latin name will eliminate any confusion. Besides, it makes you sound smart. The sp. means that any species in that family of plants will do.
This is the most popular shady-spot plant because it is lovely to look at and will grow easily for just about anyone. Though called an "evergreen", it looks nothing like a pine or fir tree. The leaves are large (1 ½ feet long) and often variegated, though you can select varieties with different patterns or plain dark green. The plant itself grows in a clump of upright leaves on short stems, and can grow to 3-feet tall. It's very tropical-looking and can fill up a whole corner of a room.
(Sansevieria sp.)This plant is also known by the other common name of Mother-in-Law's Tongue. The Snake Plant is a very dramatic looking plant, with long stiff leaves that stand straight up from the base of the plant. Most varieties have stripes or other variegation patterns, in yellow or silver. They are a desert plant, so don't overwater. Let the soil dry out between waterings. The leaves can grow between 2 and 3 feet in height.
(Spathiphyllum sp.)Most low-light plants are only foliage, but the Peace Lily offers you a gorgeous and huge white flower as well as large, dark green leaves. The single-petaled flower will rise up above the leaves for an attractive view. Not only will it grow in low light, it's considered an excellent plant for cleaning toxins out of your air. The Peace Lily prefers damp soil and shouldn't be left to dry out completely between waterings. The leaves are somewhat toxic, so should not be kept in an environment where children or pets might eat them. These plants will also grow between 2 and 3 feet high.
Unlike the large plants mentioned so far, the Devil's Ivy (often also called Pothos) is a smaller climbing plant, particularly suited for hanging baskets or table-top pots. Its leaves are green and mottled yellow, though other colours can be found as well. This plant is a common sight in offices, to brighten up cubicle desktops. When the runner vines get too long or unkempt, feel free to keep in pruned to a manageable size. You can let the vines hang free, or train the plant to grow upwards on a small trellis.
Cast Iron Plant
(Aspidistra sp.)Our final low-light plant is another large and leafy one, though a little less impressive in looks than the others. The leaves are usually plain green, and will grown to about 2 feet in length. It's a tough and sturdy plant (hence the name) and will grow in almost any conditions. A nice choice for someone with a brown thumb.