You don’t need rays of direct sunlight to grow all houseplants. There are quite a few choices that will grow well in low light situations. Six of the most commonly found are the arrowhead plant (syngonium), cast iron plant (aspidistra elatior), Chinese evergreen (aglaonema), peace lily (spathiphyllum) and philodendron (from the Araceae family), pothos, (epipremnum aureum).
If you have ever received a planter from a florist, chances are good you have had one of these. The arrowhead plant is an easy plant to care for and it will live in many different containers, including pots, hanging baskets, terrariums and even outdoors in warm climates. It will climb vertically or horizontally and can reach heights of 12 feet under ideal conditions.
Syngonium, which is true to its name because its leaves do resemble Indian arrowhead artifacts, is native to rain forests and likes some moisture, but care should be taken not to over-water plants, which can be grown in several different colors including shades of greens and reds. Ideally, it likes temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bring another taste of the tropics indoors with the cast iron plant, which is very tolerant of dust, cold and heat, varying moisture levels in the soil, very low light and in general, neglect. The plant is slow growing, even under ideal conditions.
Aspidistra elatior, or the cast iron plant, which has shiny dark green leaves shaped similarly to cornstalks, is native to China, Japan, Taiwan and the Eastern Himalayas.
The Chinese evergreen, which come from Southeast Asia, are said to bring luck to their owners. While that may or may not be true, they do make good houseplants for a variety of conditions. Chinese evergreens grow well in a wide range of light, are fairly resistant to pests and can tolerate a bit of neglect.
Aglaonema, come in a big array of colors, including greens and deep reds.
The peace lily does not like direct sunlight at all. The light burns the leaves, so this plant is best for situations where there is no direct light. A transparent curtain can be used to curtail the light’s burning effect.
Spathiphyllum is a great plant to use to help purify the air. It has been noted that peace lilies help to remove chemicals such as alcohol, benzene, acetone and formaldehydes.
Philodendrons, which usually has leaves in varying shades of green, can be categorized as climbers or non-climbers. They are one of the most popular houseplants non-climbers are usually grown outdoors. The climbers do very well indoors. Less light is better for philodendrons, but they do prefer temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and like being misted. Philodendrons have few pests.
Want more info on growing house plants?
For information about low light houseplants visit the following sites:
Find information on hundreds of houseplants listed by type from North Carolina State Cooperative Extension’s house plant list.
The University of Florida IFAS Extension put together an article about Care of Plants in the Home covering everything from the types of containers to use to common problems with growing plants indoors.
Learn how to deal with specific plant types in low light settings from the University of Vermont Exention’s Low light houseplantsarticle.