Have you been afraid to try growing houseplants in your home, or a particular room, because you think you don't have enough light? Fear not! These plants thrive in low light conditions and are also easy to grow. If you are not sure what kind of light you have, consider this: A south-facing room with lots of windows has high light. Medium light would be in an east or west facing room, north-facing rooms, or rooms with no windows are considered low-light rooms. If your room has no windows, you should leave lights on twelve hours a day, or rotate low-light plants into the room for a few weeks at a time before moving them back to a naturally lit room.
The bold, red, pink, orange, white, or purple flowers of Anthurium are a welcome treat during the dark days of winter. These tropical beauties don't like overly dry or wet soils, so it's important to keep the soil slightly moist at all times. Anthurium blooms best in bright, indirect light, but will do just fine in darker situations, although flowering may be limited. However, the plants have bright green, heart-shape leaves that keep the color show going even when they are not in bloom.
The jewel-like leaves and flowers of begonia will turn any dark room into a festival of color. There are many species of begonia to choose from, but one of our favorites is rex begonia that comes in different varieties sporting multicolor leaves in an assortment of silver, green, pink, red, orange, and burgundy. Growing 4-8 inches tall, rex begonias can also be used in terrariums or dish gardens. Rex begonias do best in soil that's kept just slightly moist at all times.
Columnea develops tubular orange or yellow blooms that give these jungle natives their common name, goldfish plant. Although Columnea blooms best in a bright location, the plants themselves will thrive in darker rooms where its trailing, shiny, dark green leaves will be appreciated. Columnea makes a great basket plant. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
A gorgeous slow-growing vine, Hoya, or wax plant, thrives in bright indirect light, but does almost as well in darker locations. Hoya comes in either flat-leaved or crinkled-leaved forms and will occasionally produce clusters of highly fragrant white flowers. Flat-leaved Hoya also comes in solid green or variegated cream-and-green leaves. You can train a Hoya up a trellis or totem or allow it to trail over the edge of a pot or urn. Water only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Add a touch of elegance to any room in your home with Phalaenopis, commonly called moth orchid. These easy-care beauties hold their blooms for up to four months and are ideal for low-light locations. Moth orchids come in a wide selection of colors and bicolors. They are generally sold in two sizes: standards that grow 18-24 inches tall and dwarfs that stay under 12 inches in height. Moth orchids grow in bark or moss and should only be watered when that material feels dry. More orchids die from overwatering than under watering.
Perfect for terrariums or dish gardens, Peperomia grows only 4-10 inches tall and offers a wide selection of different leaf shapes and colors. This plant grows best in medium to low light. It has few insect or disease problems. Here, Peperomia 'Watermelon' thrives in a location where it receives some indirect light from a north-facing window.
Perfect for any room in your house, ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, is virtually indestructible. It's a fascinating and unusual plant with long strap-like leaves sprouting from a large, fat base that gives this plant it's other common name, elephant's foot palm. If you travel a lot, ponytail palm is ideal because the plant stores excess water in its chubby base, so it can go for several weeks without being watered. Ponytail palms are sold in a variety of heights from tabletop to tree-size.
Don't let the common name of this amazing houseplant scare you off. Spider plant, also called airplane plant, gets its name from the many runners it sends out with baby plants at the tips. Available in dark green and variegated forms, spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, makes a great tabletop or basket plant in low-light conditions. During the winter, mist the plants frequently to help prevent the leaf tips from turning brown.
When you think of yucca plants, sunny desert conditions probably come to mind. But indoors, yucca cane is almost as happy in a dark corner where you can enjoy its leathery green, lancelike foliage and attractive tan bark. The plant won't grow as quickly in a dark room as it does in a sunny spot, but it will be just fine as long as you don't overwater it. Offer moisture only when the soil feels dry to the touch.