House plants can be difficult to keep alive, especially in low light areas of the home. There is no plant that likes very low light conditions but there are some that are better than others at surviving conditions that might be nice for you and me but pretty inhospitable for a light-craving plant.
The thing to realize is that your goal in low light is to simply keep the plant alive. It more than likely will not grow but they can survive for years if you pick the right kind.
Here are some key things that everyone should try to remember when they plan on keeping houseplants in low light areas:
Aside from choosing the wrong plant, most people make the mistake of overfeeding their low light houseplants. If a plant is not getting a lot of sun it doesn’t need a lot of water or fertilizer. Low light plants generally don’t grow much if at all, so they don’t need the same nutrients and amounts of water that say an outdoor direct sunlight plant would require. Over fertilizing can kill the plant and overwatering will cause root rot and possibly gnats.
Here are our recommendations for low light house plants
Some ferns need a lot of light but most are just fine in the low light conditions you may encounter in your home. You want to steer clear of the tropical varieties which require higher temperatures and humidity, unless of course your area can support them.
Where I live in northern California the redwood forests are about as low light as you can get. The trees make a permanent sunblock on the forest floor, yet several species of fern thrive in this environment.
There are a number of ferns that live well indoors, here are a few:
- Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
- Boston (Sword) Fern (Nephrolepis)
- Brake Fern (Pteris)
- Birdsnest Fern (Asplenium)
- Button Fern (Pellaea)
- Holly Fern (Cyrtomium)
- Ball (Rabbit’s Foot) Fern (Davallia)
- Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Snake Plant or Mother in Law’s Tongue
These plants are great looking and super easy to take care of. There are species of this plant that rank up in the top half of plants that need very little light, they are one of, if not the most low light house plants.
This is a tropical plant that is part of the bromeliad family. They are sold while in flower or just before and can be kept well in low level light conditions for a long time. Some people choose to use artificial lamps to keep these plants longer, because they are so beautiful.
The majority of the dracaena variety makes for a low maintenance type plant. Requiring low humidity, infrequent watering, and of course, low light, it proves to be an ideal plant for the blooming botanist. Ensure that these plants are well rooted in a well-draining potting soil to ensure longevity of plant life!
If you’re looking to travel but can’t afford the trip, there is always the option of bringing the plant to you. It is very plentiful in a variety of species, boasting a number that’s quickly approaching sixty. They are able to sustain life even in the most neglectful and darkest conditions, both inside and outside.
Specific to Lord Howe Island, this particular palm can creep up to ten meters in height. For those looking for an indoor beach-like feel, this is a great option, as they bring the outdoors inside.
The Peace Lily is one of the few flowering plants that require low light. It not only is a low light plant, but also has been shown to reduce air toxins.
The peace lily is not actually a lily as it comes from a different family. It requires water generally once a week. Just make sure the soil remains damp! This plant is toxic to people and animals. It’s something to consider if you have pets!
Mostly suited for counter tops and hanging baskets, this Epipremnum species are commonly found in cubicles of offices to bring a nice air of being outside. Pruning seems to happen more often, because it is a climbing plant.
This is the top choice among planters for indoor low light houseplants. It grows easily, and can reach up to three feet in height. It is tropical looking and can make a plain stark white wall have a nice splash of color.
Spider plant is one of the easiest plants to grow. It doesn’t require a lot of light or care.
If you are interested in a low-maintenance plant that you can grow easily, you are going to love the ZeeZee Plant. This plant is originally native to Zanzibar and Tanzania. With this plant, you can give your home or office an attractive look without any fuss.
Caring for Low Light Plants
Here are some simple tips to remember:
- Don’t overwater
- Fertilize sparingly
- Try to move low light plants to indirect sunlight once a week or more so they can get some light
- Tropical and warmer climate plants tend to need more light
Here’s a short video about how to care for house plants: