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.
- How to Help Houseplants Cope With Winter (article)
- Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Houseplants (article)
- How to Water Houseplants (video)
- How to Repot Houseplants (article)