Plants Book

Indoor Plants

Low Light meaning for Plants

Low light is not NO light or light so dim you could not read comfortably. All plants, other than mushrooms, require at least some light and even the low light plants listed below require more light than most people realize. Low light is bright enough to read newsprint all day long. Here are the plants that do well in low light conditions.

You will note that this is not a long list and that is because there are so few plant species that have proven reliable in low light. Beware of retailers and plant labels that list other plant species as “low light”.

Artificial Light Plants

If the location you have in mind for a plant has no natural light at all, then it is still possible to grow the low light plants listed above. HOWEVER, it depends on the type of artificial light you have there. Standard incandescent and halogen bulbs produce light in the wrong part of the colour spectrum to be useful for houseplants. They are not good as either the sole source of light or as a supplement to low natural light. Incandescent bulbs labeled as ‘Grow Lights’ are huge energy wasters and I don’t recommend them.

Fluorescent lights are adequate for the low light plants listed above. Overhead fluorescent lights used in many offices are excellent for most low light plants. The spiral CFL’s used in home lamps work moderately well if the plants are within a few feet of the bulbs.

LED’s are new on the market and can be color corrected for plant use, but they are still hard to find and identify.

  1. Money Plant (Pothos plant)
  2. Philodendron
  3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
  4. Lucky Bamboo
  5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
  6. Dracaena (Songs of India)
  7. Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’
  8. Dracaena ‘Lisa’
  9. Dracaena Massangeana (Corn Plant)
  10. ZZ Plant
  11. Peace Lily
  12. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
  13. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)
  14. Redbird
  15. Syngonium
  16. Monster Money Plant
  17. Pachira/Money Tree
  18. Schefflera
  19. Rubber Plant
  20. Aralia
  21. Selloum Plant
  22. Xanadu Plant

Bright Indirect Light Plants

This is the light that you get just off to the side or just past the location from where the direct sun rays come through. It is also the light you get through any normally sunny window on a cloudy day. It is never more than a few feet away from any window.

All of the low light plants listed above will do even better in bright indirect light. However, those low light plants will suffer if exposed to the direct sunlight for even a couple of hours each day. Here are the plants that do well in bright indirect light:

  1. Bamboo Palm
  2. Kentia Palm
  3. Rhapis Palm
  4. Bamboo Palm
  5. Money Plant (Pachira)
  6. Dracaena marginata
  7. Phalaenopsis Orchid
  8. African Violet
  9. White Bird of Paradise
  10. Areca Palm
  11. English or Hedera Ivy
  12. Schefflera
  13. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
  14. Monstera
  15. Sago Palm (Cycad)
  16. Peperomia
  17. Calathea
  18. Dracaena Warneckei
  19. Prayer Plant (Maranta)
  20. Dieffenbachia
  21. Anthurium
  22. Alocasia
  23. Bromeliad species
  24. Most fern species

Low Sunlight Plants

Low sunlight location is where the plant would receive direct sunlight on the leaves for 2 – 4 hours per day, but no more.

  1. Christmas Cactus
  2. Ficus benjamina
  3. Ficus lyrata
  4. Ficus alii
  5. Norfolk Island Pine
  6. Ming aralia (Polyscias)
  7. Ponytail Palm
  8. Wax Plant (Hoya)
  9. Spider Plant
  10. Dracaena arborea
  11. Jade (Crassula)
  12. Most succulents
  13. Yucca
  14. Asparagus Fern
  15. Caladium
  16. Alocasia
  17. Aloe vera
  18. Purple Passion (Gynura)
  19. Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
  20. Christmas Cactus
  21. Syngonium
  22. Areca Palm
  23. China Doll
  24. Croton

Full Direct Sunlight Plants

Few homes and offices have locations with this much sunlight. This is a location very close to a large South or West facing window with no outside obstructions and no window coverings at any time during the daylight hours. This is too much light for any of the previously listed plants because this much direct light intensity will burn their foliage.

Note: Some of the plants listed here will also do quite well with a half day of direct sunlight.

  1. String of beads
  2. Banana
  3. Citrus trees
  4. Coleus
  5. Datura
  6. Desert Rose
  7. Euphorbia
  8. Geranium
  9. Begonia
  10. Hibiscus
  11. Kalanchoe
  12. Madagascar Palm
  13. Mandevilla
  14. Zebrina
  15. Purple Heart
  16. String of beads
  17. Sweet potato vine
  18. Most herbs
  19. Succulents

 

 

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