12 Best Low Light Plants
Not all indoor plants are created equal, which makes your job as a plant parent slightly complicated. All plants require a different level of care, especially when it comes to the amount of sunlight and water they receive. You might also feel like plants need tons of natural light and water to survive, but that’s not exactly the case.
There are many low light plants that can survive in the darkest and darkest places in your home, office or any other place that needs greenery. While some of the indoor and outdoor plants on this list are forgiving and tolerant under all conditions, most of these varieties actually grow faster and stronger when they have less light to work.
But let’s be clear: low light does not mean any light. “In order to thrive, low-light plants still require indirect lighting, often from a window facing north and away from the window sill,” said Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800-Flowers. While low-light plants can vary in their neglected appearance, leaf shape and color, many have one common characteristic: “wider and thinner leaves that allow them to adapt to this climate over time”. However, some types of plants require more TLC than others, so review the specifics of each green beauty to find the right solution for your space (and your green thumb).
Known by some as Sansevieria, this rigid and straight plant grows best in dry soil and only needs a little sun to survive. An additional bonus: “It can improve the air quality in the space in which it lives, just like the ZZ factory,” says Palomares.
No list of domestic plants is complete without mentioning the faithful and tolerant spider plant. “It’s a graceful plant that makes a statement anywhere – from a table to a coat, or with its beautiful arched leaves as a hanging plant,” says Mom Joyce Mast of Bloomscape Plant.
Although this common houseplant does not need a ton of sun to survive, it will not work well in dry and hot conditions. It really is a tropical plant, which means it prefers hot, humid weather – ideally between 70 and 72ºF.
This table plant, which has a two-tone pattern that resembles the skin of reptiles, does not like the feeling of sunshine on its leaves, which makes it ideal for low light environments. But there’s no reason to fear: although they bear the name of a poisonous snake, these bright greens are perfectly suited for pets.
This small but powerful plant is also called Devil’s Ivy because, well, it is immune to death. That means it will survive under hard fluorescent desk lamps, no light at all, or even a few weeks without water – take the word from our editor.
Monstera Deliciosa floor plant
It’s famous on Instagram for a reason: this ground plant can withstand conditions of low light and semi-drought. In addition to purifying the air, the heart-shaped leaves provide a soothing calm to any space.
When properly treated (weak, indirect light and weekly watering), this rubber plant produces tiny white flowers. But if you have a sunny spot or a window sill nearby, it won’t hurt to stick it near the sun as it also thrives in medium light.
Bird’s nest fern
Ferm plants are the all-and-all indoor plants. They have existed for millions of years, thriving in all kinds of light and water conditions. The bird’s nest fern, in particular, thrives in poorly lit areas. Pay attention to its leaves to see if it becomes too bright: the more wrinkled the leaves, the less light they need.
“This houseplant is ideal for parents of plants whose homes have little light and little time to take care of their plants,” says Palomares. Does that sound like you? Then try this brilliant green, available in table or floor plant sizes, in your space for more style and air purification.
Also called Fittonia, this small-leaved variety naturally grows as a ground cover in South America. To really thrive, it needs tons of water and shade, which makes it ideal for window sill planters, small containers, and terrariums. But the less light they receive, the less the leaves will be colored.
If you are a plant parent for the first time, consider the Philodendron Brasil: this trailing plant is “incredibly forgiving and will tolerate all kinds of neglect, including low light, poor soil and irregular watering,” according to Mast. Perfect for shelves or hangers, the vines spread fairly quickly, giving beginners the confidence they desperately need.
Symbol of growth, luck and prosperity, braided bamboo is appreciated by many because it brings feng shui in any room. It is also extremely easy to maintain: it grows best in low indirect light, slightly moist soil and temperatures ranging from 65 to 95 ° F.
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