by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Adding plants is my favorite way to add life to any room. Having plants indoors makes everything feel lighter, brighter, and more alive. Houseplants add color and texture, purify the air, and look nice.
Basements and dark corners challenge houseplants through winter. Many plants like it dark, and the short winter days only make them happier. Here’s the list and their best care.
The Biology of Low Light Indoor Plants
Large leaves are designed to soak up more light. Others have a waxy outer layer that helps retain moisture and makes them low-maintenance indoor plants.
How to Care for Low-Light Plants Indoors
Low-light plants don’t require as much water, so caring for them can be as simple as planting them in well-drained soil and watering at 2-3 week intervals. Feed them monthly with Watters ‘Flower Power‘ at half the recommended strength bringing out their vitality and color.
Top 10 Low-Light Loving Houseplants
Here are a few of my favorite houseplants that thrive in dark rooms. I hope they bring as much happiness and cheer to your home as they do mine!
Chinese Evergreen, Aglaonema, has striking variegated leaves in shades of red, pink, yellow, and green. Set this plant in a space that needs color, and you won’t have any need for flowers. Don’t worry if you travel extensively, or forget to water, this dark lover is super drought hardy. Perfect for people new to houseplants or those who consider themselves black thumb gardeners.
Corn Plant, Dracaena fragrans, look like small tropical palms, so they bring a ray of sunshine to that dim, drab area. Place it somewhere without direct sunlight and water occasionally. These plants like to go dry before watering again. Water evenly over the potting medium to avoid rotting the corn plant’s canes. These canes have small root systems and may need to be straightened after traveling home and later as they settle in. Dogs and cats become ill when chewing on this plant. So be careful if you have a mischievous puppy, or you could find heaved piles of foliage.
Moth Orchid, Phalaenopsis, when you need bright flowers in a dark corner. Plant in breathable orchid pots using a soilless orchid mix for plants that bloom for months. Visit us on how to Repot and Care for Orchids
Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum, have lush, dark green leaves and delicate white flowers. These plants like moisture and humidity, so water regularly and mist the leaves to keep your lily happy and blooming. When the leaves droop, simply give it a good drink of water adn watch it perk back in short order.
Pothos, Epipremnum aureum, Ideally planted in a basket or pedestal so the variegated foliage trails down in an elegant display.
Prayer Plant, Maranta leuconeura, adds a pop of color to that drab corner with variegated foliage in rich green, purple, yellow, and red. In dark rooms, the variegation becomes more pronounced. Plant directly in Watters Potting Soil and mist the foliage regularly. At night, the leaves point upwards like hands in prayer, where this plant gets its name.
Spider Plant, Chlorophytum, thrives in low light and requires only occasional water when the soil feels dry. They send out long spindly leaves and small white flowers that will cascade down the edge of containers, making them an excellent choice for indoor hanging baskets
Zee Zee Plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is low light, care, and easy to maintain. Its glossy, bright green leaves add a cheerful pop of color to any dark space. ZZ’s likes to be left alone for long periods so go on a worry-free vacation. This plant will look great when you get back.
Houseplants provide life and vitality to your home, even on the darkest winter days. You will be amazed at how easy these plants are to grow while uplifting the soul. Plants do that!
Until next week, I’ll be helping gardeners grow better in the darker rooms of the house.
Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Houseplants.com.