What Plants Grow Indoors in Low Light?

House plants make a beautiful addition to any indoor space. They add color and texture to the room. However, there are some challenges when growing under low-light conditions. Sometimes, the light levels inside are too low to support the sturdy growth necessary for many indoor plants. Don't give up: there are beautiful plants that will do quite well under these conditions.

Peace Lily

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum clevelandii) is one of the most favored plants to grow indoors. It is easy to care for and can adapt well to the low light levels and comfortable room temperatures found in most homes. It can flourish under completely artificial fluorescent lighting commonly found in offices and commercial spaces, even though their preference is for bright, filtered, natural light. Furthermore, a study conducted by NASA shows that peace lily is one of the top ten plants that can help remove indoor air pollutants. Peace lilies prefer an evenly moist soil. Watering once a week using room temperature water will prevent drying. Peace lilies are sensitive to chlorinated water; therefore, allowing the water to stand overnight will help dissipate chlorine before watering the plants. Fertilize once a month using 20-20-20 fertilizer to replenish the soil with nutrients. Avoid over-fertilizing to prevent burning the tips of leaves and root hairs. Repot the plant every year or two in a rich soil consisting of equal parts of loam, peat moss and sand. The broad evergreen leaves benefit from regular wiping with a damp sponge to remove dust. Wiping with rubbing alcohol will remove mealy bugs.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema pseudobracteatum) is a multi-stemmed aglaonema that has oval leaves with creamy white variegation. It has white to green flowers. The foliage is either silvery green with some dark green or the reverse, with mostly dark green with light green streaks. Like peace lily, Chinese evergreen is an excellent indoor air pollutant remover. Keeping the plant in temperatures above 55 degrees F ensures that it will thrive well and prevent mottled brown spotting on the leaves, which can irreversibly damage Chinese evergreens. When left with too much moist on soil, the plant may have stunted new growth and rotten stunted growth. The leaves will turn yellow and fall off when soil is too dry. Cutting the stalks periodically will keep the plant leafy and full. Fertilize with regular 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month during the growing period.

Split-Leaf Philodendron

Split-leaf philodendron (Monstera deliciosa), also known as Swiss cheese plant or windowleaf, is another foliage houseplant that will survive under low light conditions. As the plant matures, it produces glossy, heart-shaped or rounded leathery leaves that develop deep clefts and oblong perforations. Creamy-white, Jack-in-the-pulpit type flowers rarely appear on houseplants. Split-leaf philodendron prefers bright light in summer and direct sun in winter; however, it can grow under fluorescent light. It will not develop the leaf perforations when light is inadequate. It prefers warm room temperature and medium to high humidity, but can tolerate a wide range of conditions once acclimated. It cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees F. Water once a week. Fertilize regularly with 20-20-20 fertilizer from spring until fall.

Keywords: shade-loving plants, low-light tolerant plants, Chinese evergreen, peace lily, philodendron

About this Author

Josie Borlongan is a full-time IT Manager and a writer. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines. Borlongan writes for eHow, Garden Guides, Business.com, OnTarget.com and ModernMom.com. She is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Cisco Certified Network Associate.