Even if you have a lot of lamps or lighting in your home, most areas away from windows are still considered low light. Technically, anything farther than eight feet away from a large window with no direct light is defined as low light. Examples of these areas are hallways, foyers, stairs, basements, and rooms with dark walls or rooms with large draperies over the window.
Luckily, not all plants thrive in strong lighting conditions. The houseplants described below have evolved to survive in low light conditions. These plants will not likely grow quickly, but they will still be healthy. The following plants are just some of the many options that you have for growing houseplants in low light.
Cast Iron Plant
Aspidistra elator is a traditional foliage plant with long, dark green glossy leaves. It grows in the worst light conditions, where most other plants would fail to survive. It also is tolerant to a variety of temperatures, and it doesn’t need constant waterings. Basically, this plant is great if you are just starting with gardening or if your schedule may not allow you to provide constant care.
One thing that you should keep in mind, however, is that the leaves tend to collect dust. Simply rinse them with water to get rid of the dust. Possible problems and pests include mealybugs, mites, and scales. Propagation: division of roots in spring.
The Aglaonema species is also great choice for low-light areas. They don’t even need soil, actually. They can be grown directly in a rock. You can typically find these plants in homes, offices, or shopping centers, either on tables or in floor planters. The plant does not do well in temperatures below 60 degrees F.
They do best in rich, loamy soil that is allowed to dry out between waterings. It’s leaves can also attract dust, so rinsing them off when needed is recommended. Problems and pests include mealybugs and scales. Propagation: cane layering, terminal and sectional cuttings, air layering.
Haworthia fasciata is a succulent with thick, white spotted leaves. The leaves form rosettes and tube, similar to flowers that hang on long stalks. It is a small plant, and it grows will in low light dish gardens. After watering, you should allow the soil to dry out before watering again. The Haworthia needs cool temperatures at night (55 degrees F). Problems and pest are not a problem with this plant. Propagation: seeds, offsets, cuttings.
Sansevieria trifurcate, more commonly known as the Snake Plant, is an African plant with thick, upright leaves that are striped or banded with yellow or light green. The plant should be potbound, and in needs morel light once it is older.
The soil should consist of sterile soil, sand or vermiculite, and peat moss, in equal amounts. It should be fertilized, but only every 3-4 months. The snake plant is easy to grow, and it can tolerate a wide variety of conditions. It needs watered thoroughly, but only when the soil is dry. You should not allow the plant to be in a drafty area. There are no major problems or pests to worry about.
Propagation: Leaf section cuttings, division.
Spathiphyllum sp., or the Peace Lily, is a wonderful plant to use indoors as a houseplant. There are plenty of different varieties of Peace Lilies for you to choose from, in difference sizes to fit your specific needs. Most varieties have glossy green leaves with white flowers.
Peace Lilies do best in medium light, although it can survive in low light if needed. The soil should never completely dry out. It should be moist at all times. It needs temperatures above 55 degrees F. Rinse off the leaves to get rid of dust. The only potential pest problem are mealybugs. Propagation: division.
Depending on the variety, most have glossy green leaves with long-lasting, spathe-like, creamy white flowers. The care of these house plants tolerates low light, although it will flower more profusely in medium light. Keep soil slightly moist at all times. A quick grooming tip: its leaves can be dust attractors; give plants a quick shower to wash away dust. Do not allow temperatures to drop below 55-60°F. Don’t be too hasty to repot, it enjoys being potbound.