Whether you live in a house with floor to ceiling windows or a North facing flat, there is a houseplant that suits you and your home. With a huge variety of indoor plants out there, there are many that don’t need bright light, in fact some thrive in shadier spots. So, here are a few of the best houseplants for low light.
1. Epipremnum aureum (golden pothos or Devil’s ivy)
First up is a plant that gets its common name, Devil’s ivy, due to it growing in forests in Asia in shaded areas, trailing up the trunks of trees.
It’s a versatile plant, that won’t demand much from you – making it an extremely popular houseplant. Water this plant when the top couple of inches of soil dry out to keep the soil moist.
2. Cycas revoluta (Japanese sago palm)
Although its common name suggests it’s a palm, this plant is a Cycad. However, the palm-like foliage will still bring a soft, tropical feeling to your interior. It’s a slow growing plant and for that reason won’t need repotting very often.
Bright indirect light is preferrable, but they can tolerate shadier spots too. For a low maintenance pick these are a great option. Although, bear in mind that if you have pets and children than this plant is toxic to animals and humans.
3. Philodendron scandens (sweetheart plant)
Next is a plant that looks wonderful in a hanging basket where its heart-shaped leaves can cascade down or trail along shelves. It’s versatile as it is best in medium light but can also tolerate bright light as well as shady spots.
So, there’s definitely a spot in your home for a sweetheart plant. Water to keep the soil moist and your Philodendron will be quite content.
4. Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
These plants will put on a spectacular show in your home. Most Dieffenbachias do best in filtered light, but the majority of cultivars will be quite happy in low light too.
Bear in mind that in low light their growth may slow or stop – even if this occurs the plant will still look great and be healthy.
5. Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant)
Spider plants are incredibly popular because they are adaptable. Tolerant of a lot of growing conditions, and the occasional period of neglect.
To get started, they should be in well-drained soil, watered regularly to keep the soil moist. Although they flourish best in bright, indirect light, they will grow happily in a spot with low light too.
6. Aglaonema crete (red Chinese evergreen)
Red and green variegated leaves like those of the red Chinese evergreen are sure to add something special to your décor. These are another low maintenance pick that makes them great for any jet-setters as you can leave them whilst you go on holiday and it will be happily waiting for your return.
This plant is happy in any light apart from direct sunlight – and the more light they get the brighter the colouring.
7. Peperomia obtusifolia (baby rubber plant)
The thick waxy leaves of this houseplant and thick stems bring a wonderful compact appearance. Perfect for a home or office space that’s a little low on light because too much sun can damage their leaves.
Water the baby rubber plant when the soil has mostly dried out as they don’t cope well with overwatering.
8. Asplenium nidus (bird’s nest fern)
Or opt for the waved and crinkled textured fronds of the bird’s nest fern for your home. These plants will appreciate a warm and humid environment and thrive in a medium or bright but indirect light but will tolerate low light spots too.
It’s best to allow the soil to dry out before watering again too. Their preferences make them a great choice to place in kitchens or bathrooms where the humidity levels are higher.
9. Howea forsteriana (Kentia palm)
Another houseplant for low light is the Kentia palm which is a beautiful collection of thin stalks and leaves that combine to create a tropical ambience.
It grows well in a shaded spot, making it suitable for any room in your home. Water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist, as overwatering can result in yellowing foliage.
10. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant)
Last is a robust plant that will tolerate nearly every condition, apart from direct sunlight. The fleshy, oval-shaped leaves give the plant a waxy look that almost makes the plant look artificial.
Also, they are so easy to care for, so don’t kill it with kindness. Instead, water it when the soil has dried out.
Hopefully you have found a plant that will bring some greenery to the shadier spots in your home with my recommendations of houseplants for low light. To find out more about houseplants and how they can benefit you and your home, take a look at my new book, My Houseplant Changed My Life. You can order it here.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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