What Type of Houseplants Can You Grow in an Apartment That Does Not Have Much Light?

Overview

Plants require light to perform photosynthesis, the process by which plants take in light and water and nourish themselves. If you are living in an apartment where there is not a great deal of light, but you still want plants, there are options that are open to you. Growing plants in low-light situations is possible so long as you remember a few key tips.

Significance

Light affects how quickly the plants grow, the leaf color, how well the plant flowers and generally how healthy it is. Plants that do not receive enough light will suffer, but you can still grow a healthy houseplant in a dark apartment.

Placement

When you are choosing a spot for plants that have moderate light requirements, make sure that you place them as close to the window as possible. The closer the plant is to the light source, the stronger it will be. A plant close to the window will do better than a plant in ambient light or one that is set further away from the window. Increasing the intensity of the light in this way can help you widen the range of plants that you can use.

Supplementation

You can supplement the amount of light that a plant receives by introducing artificial light. Cool white fluorescent bulbs are helpful to foliage plants, while blooming plants can benefit from incandescent lights or horticultural fluorescent lights.

Considerations

When you are attempting to grow plants in a darker apartment, you can stretch the amount of light they receive by moving the plants. Smaller plants can be rotated from window to window during the middle of the day, while larger plants can be placed on casters and rolled.

Philodendron

Philodendrons are native to South America, where they grow on the rain forest floor. Because of this growth habit, they can thrive in low light conditions, though they prefer diffuse light. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight, as the direct sunlight will burn the leaves, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Peace Lily

Peace lily requires well-drained soil, and will survive well in low interior light. The plant should be kept out of drafts, and its soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. While the soil can dry slightly between waterings, it should not dry out completely.

Silver Lace Fern

The silver lace fern has clusters of fertile and sterile fronds. The fertile fronds project above the plant, and all fronds are variegated, with creamy pale yellow centers. This plant is hardy, with few care requirements. The soil should be kept very moist and the fern should be repotted every year to prevent the soil from becoming depleted.

Keywords: houseplants dark houses, low light plants, plants in dark

About this Author

Lanh Ma is a professional writer living in Wisconsin. She has been creating professional Web content since 2007 as well as occasionally publishing fiction. She has previously written for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. Ma holds one Bachelor's degree in political science and another in media studies.