What Are House Plants for a Balcony Facing North?

Compared to other sides of a building, north facing windows and balconies provide the least amount of light and are also the coldest, making them a poor fit for most house plants. However, a few plants will tolerate these low light conditions. You could also provide artificial supplemental light to your houseplants to increase your options. If you live in an area that freezes in the winter, bring any potted house plants indoors when the weather starts to get cold.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Chinese evergreen produce large, elongated leaves that are either dark green, silver or variegated, depending on the variety. Chinese evergreens prefer warmer temperatures but will tolerate some cold. They do best in average to low humidity. Apply indoor plant fertilizer once a month.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Also know as barroom plant, cast iron plants do well in conditions that other house plants will not tolerate, such as low light or low humidity. Cast iron plant has long, dark green leaves. There are also varieties with multicolored leaves, but they generally require a bit more light. Water cast iron plant sparingly.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

Peace lilies are one of the few low-light house plants that will reliably produce a flower, which is flat, white and somewhat cup-shaped. The long, dark green leaves need to be dusted or misted occasionally. Water occasionally but keep fertilizer to a minimum.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Also know as mother-in-law's tongue or bowstring hemp, snake plant is very hardy and can grow up to four feet tall. The thick and fleshy leaves are either green or yellow, and snake plants sometimes produce cream-colored fragrant flowers. Snake plants like low humidity levels and you should allow the soil to dry out completely before watering.

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

As a house plant, the rubber plant can grow as tall as 10 feet with a stem up to three feet wide. It requires little fertilizer. The leaves of the rubber plant are large, glossy and usually dark green. People with latex allergies may experience an allergic reaction from handling broken leaves or sap from the rubber plant.

Asparagus Fern (Asparagus sprengeri)

Asparagus ferns have gracefully trailing stems and thin, bright green leaves. This plant looks nice in a hanging basket in front of a window or in a pot at the edge of a balcony where the stems are allowed to drape over the railing.

Keywords: low light plants, north facing window, house plant guide, balcony plants

About this Author

Sonya Welter worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn., including "Zenith City News," for which she writes a regular outdoors column. She graduated cum laude in 2002 from Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college.