As a homeowner or apartment dweller, bringing nature indoors is a wonderful way to breathe life into your living space. House plants not only add a touch of greenery and natural beauty to your environment, but they can also provide numerous health benefits, such as improving air quality and reducing stress.
However, not all living spaces are created equal regarding natural light. If you have a low-light living space, you may think indoor plants aren’t an option. But fear not; plenty of plants can thrive in low-light conditions.
This comprehensive guide will introduce you to the best house plants for low light and how to care for them. We’ll cover everything from understanding what low light means for indoor plants and the benefits of low-light plants to our top ten recommended plants and how to care for them.
But first, it’s essential to understand what we mean by “low light.” For plants, this term refers to the amount of natural light they receive, with low light indicating that the amount of natural light available is less than what the plant needs to thrive. This can be due to various factors, such as the orientation of your windows, the presence of trees or tall buildings blocking sunlight, or simply the layout of your living space.
Understanding what low light means for indoor plants is important because it affects which plants will do well in your space. Not all house plants are suited for low-light conditions, and trying to grow plants that need high levels of light in a low-light environment will likely result in disappointment.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s dive into the world of low-light house plants and explore the benefits of bringing them into your living space.
What is Low Light?
Low light is a term used to describe the amount of natural light available for plants to grow. For indoor plants, low light refers to conditions without enough natural light for the plant to thrive. Low light conditions can occur due to various factors, such as living in an apartment, having windows that face north, east, or west, or being surrounded by trees or tall buildings.
Understanding the different types of low light conditions is important to choose the right house plant. There are three types of low-light conditions:
- Bright Indirect Light: This is the ideal condition for most house plants. Bright indirect light refers to the light available in a room with windows facing north, east, or west. Bright indirect light does not mean direct sunlight, which can burn plant leaves.
- Moderate Low Light: Moderate low light conditions occur in rooms with small windows or windows blocked by trees or buildings. These conditions are not ideal for most house plants, but some plants can thrive in these conditions.
- Low Light: Low light conditions occur in rooms with no or small windows. These conditions are challenging for most plants, but some can survive and even thrive.
Determining the light levels in your living space is important to choose the right plant. You can use a light meter to measure the amount of light available in your space or observe how the light falls. Plants that need bright indirect light should be placed near a window that receives a lot of natural light, while plants that can tolerate low light can be placed in areas with very little natural light.
Benefits of Low-Light Plants
Having house plants in your living space can provide numerous benefits, and low-light plants are no exception. Here are some of the benefits of adding low-light plants to your indoor environment:
- Air Purification: Low-light plants can help improve the air quality in your home by removing toxins and pollutants from the air. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, certain low-light plants, such as the snake and peace lily, effectively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air.
- Stress Reduction: Adding plants to your living space can help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that interacting with nature, even indoors, can calm the body and mind.
- Natural Beauty: Low-light plants can add a touch of natural beauty to your living space. Even in low light conditions, many plants have beautiful foliage and unique textures that can enhance your home decor.
- Low Maintenance: Many low-light plants are easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. This makes them ideal for busy people or those who don’t have a lot of experience caring for plants.
- Improved Productivity: Plants in your living space can help improve focus and productivity. Studies have shown that plants can increase cognitive function and improve overall well-being.
Low-light plants are a great way to bring nature indoors and benefit your living space. From improving air quality to reducing stress levels, low-light plants are a great addition to any indoor environment.
Top 10 Low-Light House Plants
Choosing the right low-light house plant can be challenging, but there are many options to choose from. Here are our top ten recommended low-light house plants, along with tips on how to care for them:
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata):
The snake plant is a popular low-light plant that is easy to care for. It has tall, sword-like leaves in various shades of green and yellow. Snake plants purify the air by removing toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. They thrive in bright indirect light but can also tolerate low light conditions.
Care Tips: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and avoid overwatering. Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefer warmer temperatures between 60-85°F.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia):
The ZZ plant is another low-light plant that is easy to care for. It has glossy green leaves that grow in a feather-like pattern. The ZZ plant is known for its ability to thrive in low light conditions, making it an excellent option for offices or rooms with limited natural light.
Care Tips: Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. ZZ plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefer warmer temperatures between 65-75°F.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum):
The pothos is a versatile, low-light plant that can be grown in hanging baskets or trained to climb trellises. It has heart-shaped leaves in various shades of green and variegated patterns. Pothos plants purify the air by removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
Care Tips: Pothos plants prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum):
The spider plant is a popular low-light plant known for its spider-like leaves that grow in a rosette pattern. Spider plants are great for removing toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene from the air. They prefer bright indirect light but can also tolerate low light conditions.
Care Tips: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering. Spider plants prefer temperatures between 60-75°F.
Dracaena (Dracaena marginata):
The dracaena is a low-light plant with long, thin leaves that grow in a rosette pattern. It comes in various shades of green and has a striking red edge on its leaves. Dracaena plants purify the air by removing toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde.
Care Tips: Dracaena plants prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.):
The Chinese evergreen is a low-light plant that has green and silver leaves with unique patterns. It is known for its ability to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
Care Tips: Chinese evergreens prefer low to moderate light conditions. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior):
The cast iron plant is a low-light plant known for its ability to thrive in low-light conditions. It has dark green leaves that grow in a rosette pattern and is an excellent choice for offices or rooms with limited natural light. Care Tips: Cast iron plants prefer low light conditions and can tolerate various temperatures. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.):
The peace lily is a popular low-light plant with glossy green leaves and white flowers. It is known for its ability to remove toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Care Tips: Peace lilies prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Aglaonema (Aglaonema spp.):
Aglaonema, also known as Chinese evergreen, is a low-light plant with green and silver leaves. It can tolerate low-light conditions and is an excellent option for beginners.
Care Tips: Aglaonema prefers low to moderate light conditions. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum):
The heartleaf philodendron is a low-light plant with heart-shaped leaves known for its ability to purify the air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde.
Care Tips: Heartleaf philodendrons prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid overwatering.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to low-light house plants:
Q: Can low-light plants grow without natural light?
A: Yes, low-light plants can survive without natural light. However, they may grow more slowly or produce fewer leaves or flowers.
Q: How often should I water my low-light house plants?
A: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and avoid overwatering. The watering frequency will depend on the specific plant and the conditions in your home.
Q: What are the benefits of having low-light house plants?
A: Low-light house plants purify the air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. They can also help to improve indoor air quality and add a touch of greenery to your home.
Q: Can low-light house plants be harmful to pets?
A: Some low-light house plants, such as snake plants and pothos, can be toxic to pets if ingested. It’s essential to research any plant before bringing it into a pet home and keep plants out of reach of curious pets.
Low-light house plants are a great way to add some greenery to your home or office, even if you don’t have access to much natural light. With the right care, these plants can thrive in low light conditions and offer a range of benefits, including improving air quality and reducing stress.
When selecting a low-light plant, consider your specific needs and preferences. Do you want a plant with colorful flowers or attractive foliage? Do you have pets that might be tempted to chew on leaves? By selecting the right plant and providing it with the appropriate care, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of low-light house plants for years to come.
Remember to research each plant before bringing it home to ensure it is safe for pets or individuals with allergies. Additionally, follow the care tips provided for each plant to help it thrive in your low-light environment.
Incorporating low-light house plants into your home or office can create a more inviting and comfortable space promoting health and well-being. So, go ahead and add some green to your life!
If you’re interested in learning more about low-light house plants or want to find additional resources on plant care, here are some helpful links:
- The Spruce – Best Low Light Houseplants: https://www.thespruce.com/best-low-light-houseplants-4846232
- Better Homes & Gardens – 10 Best Low-Light Houseplants to Grow: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/projects/best-low-light-houseplants/
- Houseplant Central – Low Light House Plants: https://www.houseplantcentral.com/low-light-house-plants/
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
By referring to these resources, you can expand your knowledge of low-light house plants and find inspiration for new additions to your plant collection. Always research any new plant before bringing it home to ensure it is safe for you and your household.