Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Most Reliable Low Light Houseplants

(Dracaena marginata in a northern exposure with lots of bright, reflected light)

Can you please tell me what houseplants would do well in a Northern exposure with low light?

With limited or low light there are not many houseplants with showy flowers that would do well, but there are plenty of large leaf foliage plants that should be able to acclimate to your situation and perform well for you. Here is a list of plants that I have grown in low light conditions and/or northern exposures:

Aglaonema sp. Chinese evergreen
Calathea sp. peacock plant
Dieffenbachia maculata dumb cane
Dracaena fragrans corn plant
Dracaena marginata dragon tree
Epipremnum aureum pothos, devil’s ivy
Howea belmoreana sentry palm
Spathiphyllum wallisii peace lily

Aglaonema, Calathea, and Dieffenbachia all have interesting texture and color in their foliage. The foliage of Aglaonema is usually green and silver. Calathea often have combinations of green, yellow, and maroon in their leaves. Dieffenbachia leaves are mostly yellow with green edges. Dracaena will grow tall and upright, but they are very tolerant of low light as well as dry apartment conditions. Pothos is often sold as a hanging plant and does very well situated in a window. Sentry palms can be hard to find and many might try and sell you a kentia palm instead, thinking that they are one and the same, but I would not suggest a kentia as they are typically pricy and require more light. Lastly, the peace lily is one of the best houseplants for its ability to help purify the air in your apartment, and they can hold up well in low light, but do not expect a prolific flower if the light is limited.

I hope this helps. Let me know if we can help you further.

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