03 March 2013

low light houseplants

I'm so ready for winter to be over. In the spring and summer we fling open the curtains and allow in all those magnificent extra hours of sunlight. As my indoor potted plants have fared well for another dark season I count myself lucky.

However, luck has little to do with why they've thrived. Choosing the right plants for low light spaces is a must.  Here are a few of my favorite that can live just about anywhere in the home:

Dracaena - This beautiful houseplant offers variegated leaves and a single upright stem -- so it resembles a decorative corn stalk without the ears. Plant several together in a large container for a fuller appearance.
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F.; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: To 10 feet tall and 3 feet tall
Note: Corn plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed on by dogs.

Snake Plant - This carefree succulent plant tolerates neglect extremely well. If you've had no success with houseplants other than plastic ones, give snake plant a try. In addition to the tall form pictured here, shorter, bird's-nest forms are available. All types withstand low light but appreciate brighter conditions. The only problem likely to develop is root rot if you over-water the plant.
Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-85 degrees F.; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: To 4 feet tall and wide.

Philodendron - Heart-leaf philodendron is a durable foliage plant that has long been the backbone of indoor gardening.
Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-80 degrees F.; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: Trailing or climbing to 8 feet or more
Note: All parts of this plant are poisonous.

Snake Plant

Spider Plant - It offers tons of old-fashioned appeal and an easy-care nature. Name: Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum'
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-75 degrees F.; keep the soil evenly moist
Size: To 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide

Rubber Tree - An old-fashioned classic, rubber tree gets its name from the sticky, milky sap it exudes if injured.
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 60-80 degrees F.; allow the soil surface to dry between waterings
Size: To 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Pothos - This low-maintenance vine is also commonly called pothos, and is often confused with heartleaf philodendron.
Growing Conditions: Low to bright light; 60-75 degrees F.; keep the soil moderately dry
Size: Trailing plant 8 feet long
Note: All parts of this plant are poisonous