Yes, it’s possible. You can grow beautiful, thriving low light plants in the darker areas of your home. My windows are crowded with plants, but I also like to have them throughout the house. If all your plants are sitting in just one east facing window, it’s going to limit their ability to purify the air and boost your mood. Having plants in low light areas is doable. I got the t-shirt and the mug, so anyone can. I’ll share what I’ve learned, and a couple of scientific studies on this subject.
All plants need light in order to have the energy to produce food from carbon dioxide in the air and water. But some plants don’t require as much as others. Choose plants that can tolerate lower levels of light. I’ve seen lists that include plants I would never put in a low light area, so be wary. I’ll give you a list, but watch your plants to see if they cope well. Everyone’s home and window placement is different. Your climate can affect it too. If you live in an area with a lot of overcast days versus one with a lot of sunny days, you may have to take that into consideration. This will take some experimenting on your part, but it will be so worth it.
Foliage plant producers have ‘acclimatized’ many species to prepare them for indoor use. That gives us a larger list of plants for low light areas. Following is a list of 11 plants that I have had success with in my hallway. The hall, of course, doesn’t have any windows. It just gets light coming from the bedrooms, but if it’s cloudy, forget it. I have a lamp that I keep on most days. Considering the large number of varieties of each of these plants, you can have quite a display going on.
Kalanchoe in winter
The following 7 plants are known to live successfully in low light areas, although I haven’t tried them out. One reason is because some that I own are just too big to fit in my dark area. And I don’t have enough humidity in the hallway to try the ferns. They’re certainly worth experimenting with, though.
Here are a couple of things I do to ensure they don’t just stay alive, but thrive.
- I make certain there is a lamp around, and turn it on for the day. I’ve used just an ordinary light bulb with success, but recently I purchased plant light bulbs.
- I swap them out with other low light plants that have been growing in better light conditions. I do this about 2 to 3 times a year. When they get back into better light, you should see them flourish. In lower light they experience slower growth. But I think the rest does them good. I don’t have any science to back me up, but it sure seems like it to me.
If you want to learn more about low light plants and their requirements, see this study by the University of Florida. This publication from the National Institute of Health explains why ferns tolerate low light.
Have fun shopping for plants!