How to Grow Houseplants in Low Light Conditions

By: Julie Day


This pothos has survived windowless offices and dark corners without complaint.

“I live in a basement apartment and only have two windows. What are your recommendations for growing houseplants in low light conditions?” -Amy

For low light conditions, a general guideline is to choose plants with darker foliage. The dark green color means that the plants are very efficient at photosynthesis and can get by on less sunlight.

Here are some plants that are particularly well-suited to low light conditions:

  • Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
  • Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonemia)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
  • Philodendron (Philodendron sp.)
  • Pothos (Raphidophora aurea)
  • Snake Plant (Sanseveria trifasciata)

Some gardeners make the mistake of thinking that extra fertilizer can make up for the lack of sunlight, and they end up feeding and watering their low-light houseplants to death. Truth is, plants in low light use less water, and fewer nutrients, than plants in a brighter setting, so they’ll actually be happier if you treat them with a mild level of neglect.

Allow the plants to dry out somewhat between waterings, and feed them only about once a month during the growing season. Don’t let them get soggy, moldy, or too dusty, and don’t expect them to grow very rapidly – low-light plants are experts at conservation.

Julie

Further Information

Print


Comments

Please Leave a Comment

One Comment on “How to Grow Houseplants in Low Light Conditions”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.


  • Jack Says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Excellent advice. The key is to choose a houseplant that will grow in low light conditions. Then recognize that they will not need as much water as a plant would in brighter light, so only give them what they need.


We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.