Based on personal experience!
Is your home suffering from a lack of natural light? Have you excitedly brought home gorgeous tropical houseplants only for them to invetibly lose all of their leaves and die because they aren’t getting enough light? If you are reading this article, chances are the answer is yes and you have finally accepted the reality that you don’t have enough light for a lot of those popular houseplants out there. Not to worry, there are still lots of cool and interesting houseplants that can survive in low light! The most important thing to know when it comes to light and houseplants is that “low light” does not mean “no light.” All plants need some kind of light in order to grow, so if you are hoping to grow a plant in your windowless bathroom it is probably best to throw a grow light in there first. In any case, here are 7 of the best low-light houseplants for that dark corner of your home.
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1. Snake Plants (Dracaena trifasciata)
You truly can’t go wrong with a snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata). They are drought-tolerant, grow well in low-light, and are known for being nearly indestructible houseplants. Plus there are more than 70 different types of snake plants to choose from!
2. Prayer Plants (Maranta leconeura)
Prayer plants (Maranta leconeura) are largely underrated houseplants in my opinion and are honestly some of the easiest plants to care for indoors. They do very well in low light, and if you are someone who tends to overwater your plants then you will do well with a prayer plant. They do best with regular watering and enjoy having consistently moist soil, but can withstand missing a watering or two. There are a few different kinds of prayer plants to choose from – my favourite is the lemon-lime prayer plant!
3. Nerve Plants (Fittonia spp.)
Nerve plants (Fittonia spp.) are creeping perennial plants that grow best in medium to low light and are popular houseplants. Some people find them difficult to grow since they have high water needs and should not be allowed to dry out, but if you can remember to keep them hydrated they are great plants for those darker spots in your home. Plus, they come in a variety of cool and interesting colours – from green and white to green and bright red!
4. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Another great low-maintenance option for that low-light spot in your home is a pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum)! These vining houseplants are super easy to care for and do well in a variety of lighting conditions. That being said, certain varieties adapt better to low-light than others. Try to avoid highly variegated varieties like the marble queen pothos or pearls and jade pothos if you are hoping to grow it in low light, since variegated plants require brighter light in order to support their colouring. Instead, opt for varieties such as the jade pothos or golden pothos which are known for growing well in low light conditions.
5. ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) are gorgeous tropical perennial plants that are native to eastern Africa and are some of my favourite houseplants. They have shiny, dark green leaves and long arching stems and can range in size from small table plants to large floor plants. Since they are tuberous plants that grow from rhizomes, ZZ plants are extremely drought-tolerant plants and are also known for adapting to low-light conditions well. This makes them low-maintenance houseplants that are great for beginners and experienced growers alike.
6. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
Often confused with pothos plants, heartleaf philodendrons are vining houseplants with dark green, heart-shaped leaves that do well in low-light conditions. They are relatively drought-tolerant plants and are known for being easy to grow, making them popular houseplants. Personally I have found that heartleaf philodendrons are not as adaptable to low light as some of the other plants on this list, but they are worth mentioning nonetheless.
This is a large group of plants, but generally ferns are a great choice for low light spaces. They are accustomed to growing in the dense forest understory where light is minimal and therefore do well indoors in medium to low light. That being said, I personally find ferns difficult to care for indoors for other reasons. They like lots of humidity (like lots!) and require regular watering too. However, if you have a humid room like a bathroom or laundry room then it may be more manageable to keep these finicky plants happy indoors. You can also place a small humidifier near the plant which will help increase the humidity.
Certain types of ferns are also slightly less demanding than others. For example, I find staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.), Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata), and birds nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) fairly easy to grow indoors, while others like the maidenhair fern (although it is SO pretty) tend to die almost as soon as they cross the threshold into my house.
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