Ask a Question forum: I am trying to find non-flowering low-light plants

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Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 15, 2014 6:57 PM CST
We don't have the best lighting in our apartment. We face south, but directly into trees. There is some light that makes it's way in, but not much. I am trying to find something that does not flower (or won't flower in lower light) due to bad allergies. I have a snake plant, but want to have some variation in plant life. Online searches have come up with very little useful information, so I am turning to those who may know from experience.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Feb 15, 2014 7:01 PM CST
Coleus! http://www.rosydawngardens.com/
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Feb 15, 2014 7:21 PM CST
Coleus doesn't spring to mind as being particularly amenable to low light indoors, but the usual tropical house plants would fit the bill... pothos, dieffenbachia, dracaena, aspidistra, some of the palms, etc.. The value of these plants is they're adapted to the low light conditions of the tropical forest floor, so can withstand the typical low light conditions inside a house. The greenhouse section of any big box store will have a selection of suitable plants for your conditions.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 15, 2014 7:31 PM CST
growitall said:Coleus doesn't spring to mind as being particularly amenable to low light indoors, but the usual tropical house plants would fit the bill... pothos, dieffenbachia, dracaena, aspidistra, some of the palms, etc.. The value of these plants is they're adapted to the low light conditions of the tropical forest floor, so can withstand the typical low light conditions inside a house. The greenhouse section of any big box store will have a selection of suitable plants for your conditions.


Any thoughts on what types of palm? The people at the local stores seem to only know "it's green" regarding plants. I spent a couple hours the other day and most required lots of light (according to the labels)
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Feb 15, 2014 8:42 PM CST
Parlor palm, Chamaedorea elegans, among others. Here's an article that lists several:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/303/#b
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Feb 15, 2014 8:48 PM CST
Of the palms, the smaller growing Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans), 3 x 3ft, is the very best for low light, and easiest to grow, too. You mostly find them sold in 4, 6 and 8 inch pots, and are common in big box stores, too.

I must agree, coleus does wonderfully outside in the shade, but inside you won't be happy with the spindly growth.

You may find other forms of Sanseveria (Snake Plant) available. All of them do well in low light inside. To growitall's list I would also add Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) and philodendrons.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 15, 2014 9:43 PM CST
Dracaena Marginata likes very low light and helps clean indoor air.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 16, 2014 1:06 AM CST
Greene, I really like that one!

Dog Lover
Leda
Feb 16, 2014 8:58 AM CST
Well Zorki, then I am an immature 14 years old then. Hilarious!

Let's see Chinese Evergreen, Cast Iron Plant, Lucky Bamboo, Pothos. There are more but can't think of the names of them right now. Sometimes I rotate my low light plants to give them a little more light. I have a couple more common ones and couple unusual ones if you want me to research the name of them.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Feb 16, 2014 9:12 AM CST
one of my all-time faves:
ZZ Plant โ€“ Zamioculcas zamiifolia
(it does flower for me, but so do the sans. I suppose you could just cut it off?)
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 17, 2014 9:25 AM CST
Another vote for Philodendrons. Syngonium would be another good one. A hanging fern? Are you able to add a pic of your window(s)? Might be more light than you think, especially right near the window. What floor are you on?

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Joe
Virginia (Zone 7b)
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Zorki
Feb 17, 2014 3:16 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Another vote for Philodendrons. Syngonium would be another good one. A hanging fern? Are you able to add a pic of your window(s)? Might be more light than you think, especially right near the window. What floor are you on?



This is pretty much as much light as we get in here. Mornings are a little brighter, but not much.

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Name: J.c. S.
Kansas (Zone 6b)
Sempervivums Sedums Lilies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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StaticAsh
Feb 25, 2014 10:40 PM CST
Yeah, I definitely agree with Philodendrons. I grow many in low light areas of my house. It actually appears you receive more light than some spots I have them in and they are still quite happy. They are also very low maintenance and VERY easy to propagate (just put cuttings in a glass of water).
[Last edited by StaticAsh - Feb 25, 2014 10:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Feb 26, 2014 4:51 AM CST
I would add Calathea which are very colorful. Most of these plants have some type of flower (as do the Sansevierias) but you could always remove them when still in bud.

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Leda
Feb 26, 2014 8:39 AM CST
I agree Me too. Hetty is always on top of her plants. She has helped me a couple of times. Thank You! Hetty

@Dutchlady1
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Feb 26, 2014 9:31 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
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bitbit
Feb 26, 2014 11:43 AM CST
A couple others I grow that I haven't seen mentioned: Aloe, Kalanchoe, and Hoya all make good houseplants for me. The Hoya is the only one that blooms in my house, and it does so very rarely so they'd be easy to remove. I think Aloe is the most tolerant of low light among those three, but I have them all in lower light than your photo (near a smaller, north-facing window... it's the best my apartment can offer), and they're surviving. The pineapples that were growing so well for me in the south have bitten the dust, so I'd only recommend them indoors for someone with good sunlight.

I can't agree more on the Philodendron, though. I don't have the plant myself, but my mother has one that trails all over her kitchen... it isn't near a window, so it mostly gets artificial light, but it thrives and grows beautifully. Hers has attractive variegated foliage, but there are many varieties. I have never seen it bloom.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 26, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Right, but Kalanchoe and Hoya both bloom, and Hoya flowers are very fragrant. Not a good choice for this person's allergies.

Btw, coleus also flowers for me here, late in the summer/fall. You can pinch and prune them to keep them from setting buds and just enjoy the colorful foliage, though.

That window actually has pretty good light. (but, your sanseveria is not getting much, around the corner there) You could hang a nice big plant - a Philo would be nice - in front of the left side so it wouldn't be in your way, or set a plant stand or table in front of it. A palm would be lovely, but they do flower, too. Also a good size one would be expensive.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
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bitbit
Feb 26, 2014 12:10 PM CST
Kalanchoe has never bloomed in my care, and I've had this lineage for over ten years. I'm not sure if it's because they aren't getting the conditions (light or otherwise) that they want to initiate blooming or if it has to do with the particular variety I have. Similar with the Hoya, which has bloomed only once in the 8 years I've had it, and the vine with the buds was quite obvious and would have been easy to remove before they opened. To make my list complete, aloe can also bloom - my family has had this line of aloes for 30+ years, and there have been two blooms, both in my brother's old apartment which got a ton of sunlight.

Almost all plants bloom (they have to reproduce somehow in nature), so the best suggestions are plants that bloom infrequently and with easy-to-snip buds if the poster can't be around any flowers at all.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 26, 2014 12:47 PM CST
No kidding!? Down here they sell them (Kalanchoe) as blooming bedding plants. I'd try putting it in a sunny window.
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill

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