Here’s a guide to growing houseplants in low light areas and tips on how you can add some light yourself!
In order for houseplants to thrive in any home, they must be carefully chosen. Light levels are a crucial factor that must be considered. While few houseplants outside of cacti and succulents will thrive in areas that get hours of strong, direct sunlight, there are quite a few that will do well in low light areas.
A low light area is defined as one that gets limited natural light or that is far from a window. Since many tropical houseplants originally grew on the floors of thick jungles, they’ve naturally adapted to lower light conditions. Here are a few of the best:
These popular houseplants actually prefer low light.
Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)
This plant really lives up to its name. It actually seems to prefer neglect! It will tolerate low light, infrequent watering, and even being rootbound.
It’s also very attractive with 1 to 1 ½ foot long dark green leaves that are ribbed and rolled at the base. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and avoid frequent repotting.
Sanseveria (Snake Plant, Mother In Law’s Tongue)
This plant is another stalwart that will thrive in almost any condition and tolerates neglect well. It has long fleshy, sword like leaves that come in a variety of patterns.
Sizes range from tiny rosettes to large floor specimens several feet tall. It’s easy to tell when it’s time to repot – just wait until it cracks the pot it’s in. Propagation is also very easy as this plant produces offshoots at its base that are easily removed and potted up. Allow to dry out between waterings.
Zamioculcas Zamifolia (ZZ Plant)
It prefers low light, shady areas and average temperatures.
Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
There are also ways to increase light in areas that don’t get enough natural light. Fluorescent lights are an easy and budget friendly way to do this. Most plants will happily thrive under such light.
Options range from bulbs that can replace the incandescent ones in regular lamps or more involved set ups for shelves and ceilings. High-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps are also available, but they are expensive and tend to get very hot.