Houseplants forum: "Good" Low-light Plants

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Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 2, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Hi folks I tip my hat to you.

I don't have the best green thumb and the lighting I have is limited. I have an East window, but I it seems more like a North window for a good part of the year.

I do have a patio, but I prefer not to load it full of houseplants, so that's not really an option (Although, my 'Florida Beauty,' which is outside on the patio, has grown considerably since I purchased it earlier this year...).

I'm looking for houseplants that can take low-light for a good part of the year (mainly Spring, but it does go into the Summer; I get a good bit of winter sun apparently).

I do have a small windowsill, but it's not that wide at all, so I'm not sure it'd be an option for a plant depending on the size.

I need something that doesn't need humidity, can afford to dry out if I forget to water, and that can afford to stay "too wet" if I goof up. The way I'm starting to make this plant sound, it sounds like I need to invest in a silk plant. Hilarious!

I already have a light green cultivar of 'Arrowhead Vine' and just purchased a second one that has pink veining in the leaves. I also have a 'Bichetii Grass' Spider plant.

Will these three plants do well with my stated conditions? What other plants do you recommend?
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 2, 2016 10:57 AM CST
See if Amazon has a used copy of one of my favorite books: House Plants to Grow if you have no sun. 1975, Elvin McDonald. Gene

EarthGrl
Sep 2, 2016 11:21 AM CST
In my opinion, Snake plants do very well in low light conditions, and can handle a bit of a draught. Mine is kept away from the windows and is still thriving. Although, I do have CFL bulbs in all of my lamps. Replacing your regular bulbs for CFL would be beneficial.
Another option is a Red Aglaonema.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 2, 2016 11:38 AM CST
No, not Red, you want Green = needs less light. Sans. yes. CFL are not really that efficient. T5 HO is. Gene
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Sep 2, 2016 11:55 AM CST
I agree with EarthGrl, snake plants (also called sansivera or mother-in-law's tongue plants) do well in low light.

I, too, don't get a lot of light in my house. We don't have any East/West facing windows except one, which is very small/narrow and most times of the day (/days of the year) it only gets a matter of minutes of sunlight through it because of where the sun comes up in relation to our neighbor's house on that side.

Anyway, another low-light plant you could try is Peace Lily. My inch plant (AKA 'Wondering Jew'), spider plant, prayer plant, Hoya kerri (although no flowers, yet), bamboo (small type you see near bonsai plants...I forget the name of it), african violets (more or less), fittonia, and pepperomia plants all seem to do well with lower light levels.

In my well-lit-but-little-to-no-direct-sun areas, my other hoyas, my succulents, my amaryllis (especially!), ferns, bromeliad, and tillandsia do well.

I hope that helps. It's really just a generic listing, but it might give you some ideas, depending on how much light you truly get.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 2, 2016 12:20 PM CST
Plants I've had in no direct sun for years at a time:
Philodendrons are great for low light (except P. bipinnatifidum.)
Green Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Dracaena 'Janet Craig Compacta'
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
Prayer plant (Maranta)
WJ (Tradescantia zebrina)
Inch plant (Callisia repens)
Most Begonias don't need any direct sun.
ZZ (Zamioculas zamiifolia)
Purple waffle & 'Snow White' (Hemigraphis)

I'm not really into them, but ferns.

Snake plants (Sansevieria) can stay alive in low light, but aren't from deep shade naturally. A thriving snake plant can at least double its' mass annually.
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Sep 2, 2016 1:11 PM CST
That's a great list there.
I'd avoid Spathyiphyllum - for me, if they dry out completely and wilt, they do recover, but will suffer yellow leaves. (Since you said, can dry out and not suffer)

I care for neglected plants in the public library. Aglaonema modestum (the old green kinds) are bulletproof. Heartleaf philodendron also went on forever, twining around a basket. Pothos of course is good. Dwarf Schefflera also was pretty happy
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Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 2, 2016 3:45 PM CST
Thank You! everyone for the ideas! I will go plant browsing soon, altough it seems to be the time of year the local BBSs here are getting fall plants in and less houseplants. Thumbs down
[Last edited by Hamwild - Sep 2, 2016 3:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 2, 2016 4:05 PM CST
eBay always has lots. Gene
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 2, 2016 4:19 PM CST
gasrocks said:eBay always has lots. Gene


Is there a particular seller you recommend?
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 2, 2016 8:24 PM CST
No, there are many, many good ones. Gene
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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madcratebuilder
Sep 3, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Hamwild said:

Is there a particular seller you recommend?


I have had excellent service from ebay seller "cowboyflowerman". Nice healthy plants well packaged, fast shipping. He has nice wax plants (Hoya).

Just search using the plant name you are interested in and check sellers feedback. I tend to stay away from sellers with less than 50 feedback's or more than 1 or 2 negative feedback's. I hope to sell a few Spider plant collections and maybe a Hoya or two next year. Help buy pots.
Spectamur agendo
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional interior landscaper
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WillC
Sep 3, 2016 3:29 PM CST
I won't add to the plants listed previously. However, I do know from experience that most folks tend to overestimate the available light. An east window can be good for low light plants provided that the window is not too small, is completely uncovered throughout the daylight hours and is not blocked outside by leafy trees, roof overhangs or large buildings. Even then, if you place a plant more than about 4-5 feet from the window or off to the side of the window, the plant will not get adequate light. I know those are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but that is why many folks over estimate the light for their plants and then wonder why they don't do well.

As a general rule of thumb, low light for plants must be bright enough to read newsprint comfortably for at least 8 hours each day. Incandescent lights will not help your plants, although they certainly help with reading!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
[url=www.HorticulturalHelp.com]www.HorticulturalHelp.com[/url]
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 3, 2016 4:39 PM CST
WillC said:I won't add to the plants listed previously. However, I do know from experience that most folks tend to overestimate the available light. An east window can be good for low light plants provided that the window is not too small, is completely uncovered throughout the daylight hours and is not blocked outside by leafy trees, roof overhangs or large buildings. Even then, if you place a plant more than about 4-5 feet from the window or off to the side of the window, the plant will not get adequate light. I know those are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but that is why many folks over estimate the light for their plants and then wonder why they don't do well.

As a general rule of thumb, low light for plants must be bright enough to read newsprint comfortably for at least 8 hours each day. Incandescent lights will not help your plants, although they certainly help with reading!


I can definitely read comfortably next to the window for that amount of time! Hurray!
[Last edited by Hamwild - Sep 3, 2016 4:41 PM (+)]
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Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 4, 2016 8:33 PM CST
Question...

I think this might be 'White Butterfly,' but I'm not sure and would like your input.






Edit: Making a new post to ask for a proper ID (Putting it in my old topic was probably not the best place for it).
[Last edited by Hamwild - Sep 7, 2016 10:06 AM (+)]
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Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 24, 2016 1:16 PM CST
In case anyone is still reading, I've since purchased a Pothos, 'ZZ Plant,' 'Snake Plant,' and 'Peace Lily' (of which, I will be sure to keep watered! Hilarious! ).

Crossing Fingers! Hurray!
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 24, 2016 3:37 PM CST
Not too much water. Gene
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
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Pistil
Sep 24, 2016 4:00 PM CST
Be careful to not overwater the zz. I can say I did that and it almost died. It's doing much better with less water.
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents
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Hamwild
Sep 24, 2016 4:29 PM CST
I apologize, that was poorly worded. I meant that I will water the 'Peace Lily' well. I will be careful about the 'ZZ Plant' and 'Snake Plant;' I have managed to kill a few already with overwatering. Sighing!
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Sep 24, 2016 9:39 PM CST
Indoors, both ZZs and snake plants need to be kept on the dry side. Both will get root rot very quickly if not allowed to dry out well between waterings. Best to always err on the dry side with both of those.

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