Email is always coming in with questions about what houseplants are the best indoors and what light they should have.
Plants add decoration, softness and say “welcome” when you have them inside. I guess that is something at times I take for granted… seeing plants indoors. When I don’t I ask …why?
Recently I had to catch a plane that took me through the Atlanta airport. On my way through I had a layover of about an hour.
I sat down to review some things in my briefcase. Looking around I noticed – no plants. So I said to myself – why?
The airport is busy, but does that mean a professional plantscaper is unable to care for plants? Do they not want to spend the money on maintenance… or do they think they don’t have enough light?
Since I had some time to kill, I started doing a little mental “interior plantscaping”.
The ideal location of a plant for decoration may not be the ideal spot for plant growth.
Without the correct light a plant, no matter how “perfect” it may be for its setting, limits the growth.
So I began to ask myself:
- What kind of light was available for plants?
- What plants could I use?
The plants are broke down into 3 groups.
- Medium light
- Low light
Remember, this is a very general breakdown, some of the plants can cross over and/or work well in another group. Included are links to other articles for more information on those plants if available.
I plan on digging into lighting much more in the near future… but, here is a quick list of plants to start with.
High Light Houseplants
These plants obviously need bright light or a direct sunlight. Do you have a very bright area? These plants should be placed within six feet of a window.
- Croton plant care
- Ming Aralia Plant – More on using Aralias Indoors
- Schefflera Arboricola – Dwarf Umbrella Tree
- Araucaria Plant – Norfolk Island Pine
- Ponytail Palm Tree
- Columnar Cereus peruvianus cactus
- Yucca Plant
- Ficus Benjamina
- White Bird of Paradise
Medium Light Houseplants
These plants do well in rooms with windows that can give good light, but they are away from the window. In rooms without windows, these plants will also do well but plenty of overhead lighting is needed.
- Bamboo palm plant (Chamaedora seifrizii)
- Marble queen pothos
- Rhapis palm
- Kentia palm
- Dracaena Janet Craig, Warneckii, and Marginata
- Neanthe Bella
- Aglaonema B.J. Freeman & Cecelia
Best Houseplant For Low Light
These indoor plants are the really low light performers. They can survive in areas with no windows (like a bathroom) and soft lighting.
The aspidistra plants, also known as cast-iron plant or Monrovia, are great indoor plants love by many homeowners without a bright and airy surrounding. This plant sporting dark green leaves is known for its hardiness and ability to outlive most plants. Famous since the Victorian era, many homes used this indoor plant as a decoration before the peace lily plant, aglaonema, and spider plants became well-known.
Also known as the Chinese evergreen, the aglaonema sports attractive, oblong leaves with colors ranging from solid medium gray with various shades of gray and green. This indoor plant loves potting soil, warm temperature, reflected light, and frequent watering.
Mass Cane, corn plant, also known as Dracaena Massangeana tolerates indoor lighting conditions making it a good houseplant. It costs lesser than other indoor plants and grows slower making it easier to maintain.
Another species from the Dracaena genus is Dracaena deremensis. It’s known as one of the sturdiest indoor house plants that exist today.
They can’t be killed easily and they are built to last different growing conditions.
Dracaena deremensis can stick with low light however, their leaves will become narrow.
A well-drained soil or a well-drained potting mix will be best.
Lucky Bamboo or Dracaena Sanderiana make a great decor in office desks, businesses, homes, and almost anywhere. Although the name suggests, they are not a member of the bamboo family. They are easy to grow in a low light setting and even in a dark bedroom.
Sanseviera, also known as snake plant and mother-in-law tongue, holds many varieties to please the different tastes of many plant lovers.
Their long and tall leaves make a great addition to a small to middle-size apartments. They do well in low light and requires less watering. The snake plant also makes an excellent natural air filter.
ZZ Plant, Zanzibar gem or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, can survive months of drought and low light.
The plant’s rhizomes store water in dry seasons. Households with pets need to take care though as some sources claim that ZZ plant may poison your cats and dogs.
Hedera Helix or English Ivy
This plant makes a great indoor houseplant given the right conditions. It loves bright indirect light, cooler temperature, and a bit of humidity. The leaves of English ivy come in different shapes depending on the variety.
Peace lilies possess single-petaled flowers and large leaves. Some species grow between one to four feet while the tallest species reach up to six feet. Although they perform better in bright light, the peace lily plants can survive low light settings.
This is a quick list of some of the plants that can be used in low, medium and high light levels.
Now sit down and look over your indoor rooms. You’ll need to take into account, height, and width, besides the light.
How much light do you have and what plants could you use to make your “house friendly” …don’t let your house look like the sterile Atlanta airport.