Not every room has plenty of light for growing plants, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without live plants.
Just because your living spaces don’t get much daylight, that doesn’t mean you can’t have houseplants. Luckily, there are several fabulous varieties of plants that can grow with less than full sun.
However, it will take some detective work on your part to make sure the light your plant is getting is enough.
Too much light can be harmful, as well, so it’s important to be aware of the danger signs. But even a plant that seems to be at death’s door can be pulled back from the brink and experience a full recovery.
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What Plants Can Grow in Low Light or Heavy Shade?
Some people are lucky enough to have south-facing windows that get hours of bright sunlight each day, but if your windows face north, or even east or west, you probably don’t get much natural daylight coming in even when it’s bright and sunny outside.
Large trees or buildings can also cast shadows over your home, reducing the available sunlight. Luckily, there are several beautiful plants that grow in low light, and we’ve rounded up a list of a few of them.
- Lucky Bamboo – This plant does best in a dark corner of the room. All it needs is some occasional indirect sunlight and fluoride-free tap water to thrive. Just keep it out of the sun, so its leaves don’t turn yellow.
- Crotons and Pothos – Both these plants are popular for their gorgeous multi-colored foliage. Don’t worry if it starts dropping leaves as soon as you bring it home. This is pretty common, and it will quickly start growing new ones.
- Kalanchoe Plants – These unusual plants are reminiscent of a blooming succulent and are popular for their bright flowers and ease of maintenance.
- Spider Plants – This plant is perfect for people who hesitate to have houseplants because they don’t have a green thumb. Spider plants are hard to kill and often seem to thrive on neglect. In fact, they seem to prefer it when their owners forget to water them since the quickest way to kill a spider plant is to overwater it.
- Peace Lily – This elegant flowering plant does well in low light or medium light, but it behaves differently depending on where it is placed. More light gives it more flowers, and less light makes the foliage come front and center.
Can Lack of Sunlight Be Killing My Plants?
Sometimes lack of sunlight can kill your plants. All plants, even plants that grow in full shade, do require at least some sunlight so they can produce food through photosynthesis.
It’s important to know the amount of sunlight your plants need, so you can ensure they get it.
Keep in mind that all plants can also get too much sunlight, which can kill them, as well. Shade-loving plants are especially susceptible to this.
Often, well-meaning plant owners will put their ailing plant into full sun with the hope of reviving it, only to find that it was too much for their plant to handle.
In a Room with Low Light, What are Some Planting Tips?
While low light plants may require less maintenance, there are still a few things you should do to ensure they are thriving.
Before planting, it’s important to choose the right container. Even if your plant looks small, it may need a larger pot than you think, especially if you see root growth breaking through. You may need to repot your plant every year or so as it grows.
Low light indoor plants need high-quality organic potting soil, and you might want to consider using a good organic fertilizer as well. Indoor plants are totally reliant on you to provide them with what they need, so don’t forget to be good to them.
Watering can be a bit tricky when it comes to low light plants, and certain varieties may require more or less than others. Too little water can be harmful to your plants, but too much can be just as bad.
Resist the temptation to water on a schedule, as convenient and logical as that may seem. Instead, check each plant regularly by feeling the soil. If it feels slightly moist but not saturated, go ahead and give that plant a drink.
What are Some Signs that a Plant Needs More Light?
How can you tell if your plant might need more light? There are several clues to look for.
- It leans. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will actually start to lean toward a light source in the hope of soaking up some more rays.
- It’s leggy. Similar to leaning, a plant can actually make itself grow taller in an attempt to find more light. The result is that you will start to see leggy and sparse growth with spaces between the leaves and stems.
- There is no new growth. Some plants tend to go dormant during the winter months, but if your plant doesn’t seem to be growing, it may be that it needs more sunlight to produce enough food to grow.
- Browning leaves and tips. Browning on leaves and tips can be a sign of low water, but it can also be a sign that your plant needs more sunlight. If you know you’ve been watering your plant properly, consider moving it to an area with greater light and see if that solves the problem.
- Soil isn’t drying out for weeks. It’s not the temperature of the air that causes potting soil to dry out. Plants drink water up through their roots to undergo photosynthesis, so if your plant seems like it’s not drinking water, it could be because it isn’t receiving enough sunlight to produce its food.
Can I Recover a Plant that Hasn’t Had Enough Light?
Yes! It is possible to bring a dead plant back to life (or at least one that looks dead). The solution may be as simple as moving your plant to a location with more sunlight and seeing if it recovers.
If you don’t have a sunnier location, try cleaning your windows to let more light in. Light-colored gravel can reflect more light onto your plants, too, so consider putting some into your plant pots if they are not getting enough light to thrive.
Are Artificial Plants Better in Rooms with Low Light?
There are plenty of reasons to opt for artificial plants over the real thing, and insufficient lighting in your home is one of them.
Artificial plants may be better in rooms with low light. After all, while there are some live plants that can tolerate low light, ALL artificial plants can tolerate low light.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful, and you’re inspired to decorate your low light area with plants. Do you have a plant that thrives in low light? Let us know about it in the comments!