Low Light Houseplant Care Is It Different

Caring for indoor houseplants is a – “learning to adjust process” that one can master with the appropriate amount of time. If you live in an area or house with a low light problem, this could be a significant disadvantage to your plants.

Read on for some tips and tricks to keeping your plants healthy and vibrant when your plants encounter low light living situations.


You go through an adjustment process with your plants:

  • Where to place them?
  • What container to put them in?
  • Which way to face them?

We call this… driving ourselves crazy.

Plants moving indoors go through an adjustment process also:

  • Less light
  • Less water
  • Less food
  • Less washing of the leaves

We call this acclimation.

Did you catch the word – LESS.

When plants move indoors maybe we should push the word LESS more often.

In the case of lower light levels: Some plants are better than others at handling less. Here is a list of what most professionals would consider to be “low light houseplants.”

Just because these plants are recommended as plants that will do well in lower light levels does not mean we treat them the same as when they are in higher light levels.

For example:

Take the long time industry workhorse – Aglaonema. The Aglaonema is known for it’s ability to tolerate low-light situations. Even when it’s placed in really low, low light levels it can still remain attractive.

Is Watering in Low Light Different?

Yes, under low light levels we should allow the plant to dry out a little more between waterings.

Too many times the focus is on quantity of water and not the frequency of water.

We also look very often at the amount of light and not the duration of light. This is something to remember during the winter months. Will your plants be getting the same amount of light in the winter?

Also, you must take into account temperatures when looking at plants in low light levels. With lower temperatures the plants may not be drying out as quickly.

Here’s couple of rules for plants in low light:

With lower light levels, lower light duration or intensity, lower temperatures – use less than less.

When you water allow the plants to dry down a little more. If you normally allow the soil to dry 1/3 of the way down from the top before watering, try allowing the soil to dry 1/2 way down.

Make sure that the plants drain completely and don’t sit in a saucer full of water.

When watering plants that have root systems that are under developed or are young try to water closer to the stems.

You’ll also need less water as these root systems are not mature enough yet to handle the same quantity of water as more mature and older root systems.

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