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Plants That Do Well With Fluorescent Lighting

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you have a houseplant in your office, you might have noticed that it does very well under fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights are often a long, thin glass tube with electrodes at both ends and a mercury vapor arc between them, which creates ultraviolet radiation. It is a low-cost, efficient type of light. This kind of light is cool and emits more blue spectrum than incandescent light. Plants favor blue light for growth.

Low Light Plants

The aluminum plant, arrowhead vine, artillery fern and moon valley pilea grow well under fluorescent lights. Other low light plants include the Chinese evergreen, birds nest fern, Boston fern and maidenhair fern. The common split leaf philodendron can perform well under low- or medium-light conditions. The pretty peace lily will grow well under low light but needs medium light to flower.

Medium Light Plants

African violets grow and bloom very well under fluorescent lights. Others include asparagus ferns, begonias, grape ivy, dieffenbachia, gloxinia, hoya, Norfolk Island pine, schefflera, peperomias, dracaenas, pothos, mother-in-law tongue, spider plant and Swedish ivy, also known as creeping Charlie.

High Light Plants

A small variety of croton with yellow spotted leaves is appropriate for areas with high fluorescent light levels. Many culinary herbs do well under bright fluorescent lights, but they benefit from some natural light. Dwarf potted citrus trees respond well to high fluorescent light levels. Some orchid species can grow under bright fluorescent lights.


About the Author


Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.