You love houseplants, but your home or office space doesn’t get a lot of light. Are there plants that do well in low light? If so, which ones and how should you care for them? If you are asking these questions, we have a few suggestions for you in this post. (Find out more about understanding houseplant lighting in this post.) We will keep the list pretty short and limit it to plants we usually have in the garden center.
The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is our top choice for low light conditions. While it probably would die if you closed it in a closet (so don’t do that), it handles the lowest light conditions pretty well. The ZZ is also extremely easy to care for. It naturally grows in the very dry conditions of Eastern Africa, so if you forget to water this plant even for weeks, chances are it will still do just fine (making it the perfect houseplant for newbies). We suggest watering your ZZ plant once a month in winter months and twice a month during the summer. When you do water, allow the water to drain completely. You don’t want the roots to sit in water (very few houseplants will handle this well).
If you move and light conditions change, a ZZ plant will do just fine in medium or even indirect bright light conditions as well…see why we love this plant?
Snake plants (Sansevieria) will also be happy in low to medium light conditions. There are many different varieties of Snake Plants–the most common variety is the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Gold’ (pictured above). It grows rather tall. But other Sansevieria varieties grow to many different heights, widths and colors. A Sansevieria is a succulent, so it does not need to be watered very often. When you do water, be sure to allow all the excess water to drain. Due to its ability to tolerate different types of lighting and not needing a lot of water, Snake Plants are considered to be a very “easy” plant to grow and care for.
Pothos is another houseplant that can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions. If you don’t have a lot of light, pothos still do well. Pothos grows vine-like and drapes beautifully over pots or even trained to grow up a pole, a wall or an indoor trellis. Some varieties can grow as tall or long as 6 to 10 feet! Varieties we usually have in stock include the Golden, Marble Queen, Neon, Pearls and Jade, and Silver Satin pothos. Pothos are very forgiving when it comes to watering, so it is a great houseplant for beginners. It does like to dry out between waterings.
Calathea varieties are best known for their beautiful foliage that look almost painted. Although they will tolerate brighter conditions, they do best in medium to low light. Calathea are also pet-friendly and a great choice for cat and dog owners. Calathea are on the more challenging side to grow. Sometimes they are susceptible to the dreaded spider mite. However, you can treat your Calathea and stay on the defensive to keep these pesky pests at bay. Calathea prefer humid conditions, so consider using a humidifier or set the calathea on a tray with pebbles or marbles that are nearly covered with water. Just make sure the base of the plant is not sitting in water.
We hope these varieties have given those of you with low light conditions a little hope. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are other houseplants that do well in low light conditions–these are just some of our favorites. No matter what type of lighting you have, we’ll help you find the perfect houseplant! Everyone deserves some green in their life!