Low-light loving houseplants

Houseplants aren’t just for the brightly lit corner of your living room or in front of a big picture window. Certain houseplants can successfully grow and thrive in low-light situations. The key to success is choosing the right plant for the right place.

What counts as a low-light area? If your space is near an east or north-facing window, or several feet away from a window with no direct light, it is considered low-light. While large trees surrounding a house can help cool the space, they also block natural light leaving plants with little sunlight. Porches, overhangs, window coverings and nearby buildings can cause the same issue.

Low-light tolerant houseplants tend to grow slowly and need less water but may not have vibrant coloring or produce flowers. How do you know if a plant isn’t getting enough sunlight? It may become leggy or stretched, turn a pale greenish-yellow color, or even drop its leaves.

Houseplants can add unique textures and colors of foliage to any indoor space. Decorate your home with these beautiful, low-light loving plants.

Snake plant

This plant is perfect for those who consider themselves “brown-thumbs.” Snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, tolerates neglect and tough growing conditions. The leaf color, variations and height can vary depending on the cultivar, but can grow three to four feet tall. It will grow in a room with little natural light but also thrive in a brightly lit room.

Snake plants grow best in drier conditions; the soil needs to dry completely between watering. Propagate this plant and share it with others by simply dividing the plant or by taking leaf cuttings and rooting them in water. Studies have also shown this plant to improve indoor air quality by absorbing chemicals through the air.

ZZ plant

One of the most popular houseplants today is the ZZ plant. It is easy to grow and offers dark green, shiny foliage that almost looks too perfect to be real. These plants grow best in low, indirect light, but will also grow under fluorescent lighting if little natural lighting is present.

Water the plants when dry, every 2-3 weeks on average. Be aware that all parts of the plant are poisonous, so keep it away from pets and children. The best method of propagation for the ZZ plant is division, but leaf cuttings can also produce new plants, they just take a long time to root.

Bamboo palm

Most tropical palms need bright light to grow well, but the bamboo palm is an exception to that rule. This attention-grabbing houseplant has long arching leaves with an upright growth habit. Palms grow best in warm temperatures, ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity which can be achieved by misting the foliage weekly. Keep the soil moist, watering when the top inch is dry, and never let it dry completely. Replant palms in larger containers only when the roots fill the pot, as they grow best when their root system is restricted.

Other plants to consider for low light areas are peperomia, Chinese evergreen, prayer plant, staghorn ferns, spiderwort, pothos, philodendron, peace lily, cast iron plant and spider plant.