Top 5 Easiest Houseplants for Low Light

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If you have mostly north facing windows or a lot of shade, you may have difficulties growing certain houseplants successfully. Sometimes you just have to come to terms with the fact that not every plant is going to work for you and adapt.

Low light basically means any interior areas of your house that aren’t hit by direct sunlight during the day. This could include north-facing windows, windows that are shaded by outside trees or structures, and areas that are more than six feet from an east, west, or south facing window. The above plants will also live in windowless rooms, as long as there is a fluorescent light nearby that remains on for around eight hours each day, making them ideal candidates for office environments.

These aren’t the only plants that do well in low light situations, but these are plants that I have the most experience growing and consider the most reliable. Two other plants to consider, that almost made the Top 5, are Cast Iron Plants and Spider Plants.

Sansevieria (Snake Plant, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, etc.)

This is a very vertical and very low maintenance plant. It has stiff upright pointy leaves, often variegated with yellow or white/silver, that slowly form dense clumps from the base. Like a cactus, Sansevieria stores water in its thick leaves, making it a great plant for those of you who occasionally forget to water your plants.

Philodendron (Heart leaf)

Heart Leaf is a fairly slow growing, trailing vine with dark green heart-shaped glossy leaves. They are great as a hanging plant or spilling over the top of cabinets and shelves, and are easy to trim if they become too long: just cut right below a leaf (≤1/4” from leaf node). They need fairly consistent watering, but will forgive occasional over- or underwatering.

Pothos

Pothos are often confused with Philodendron because of their similar leaf shape and vining nature, but Pothos are often variegated and have thicker stems and larger leaves by comparison. Pothos grow much faster than Philodendron, but are trimmed just as easily and also look great as hanging plants. They have average water needs and are also pretty forgiving if occasionally over- or underwatered.

Agloanemas (Chinese Evergreen)

One of the lowest maintenance plants out there, Agloanemas (Chinese Evergreen) are live happily as long as you don’t overwater them. It seems like the more I ignore this plant, the better it does. Most available Agloanema varieties have dark green leaves with white or silver variegation (see picture), but there are also several varieties worth seeking out that have interesting pink and purple tones.

Dracaena

Dracaena come in many forms, but I highly prefer the thinner leaf varieties, like Marginata over their wide leaf counterparts, like Janet Craig and Massangeana. At my commercial interior plant accounts, the wide leaf varieties have me trapped in an endless cycle of trimming off yellow edges and leaf spots that other plants just aren’t as susceptible to. Marginata will get brown leaf tips too, but they are so narrow that it doesn’t really detract from the overall appearance of the plant. Dracaena won’t perform well if overwatered. Always touch the soil before watering and only water if it feels dry.

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