Flower & Plant Care

The Best Houseplants for Different Amounts of Light

April 22, 2016

Spring has officially sprung, and that means it’s time to start thinking about this year’s garden. But before you get too wrapped up in the plants and flowers that you’re going to grow outdoors, don’t forget that you can also freshen up your home by growing some of your favorites indoors too. As part of this year’s Spring cleaning routine, we encourage you to make room for one, two, or maybe even a few, houseplants. Then, use this guide to determine which species is best for you depending on the amount of light your home receives:

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Low Light Houseplants

  1. ZZ plants: ZZ plants absolutely love low light conditions – you’d actually be surprised at how little light they really need. And in addition to not needing much light, they also don’t require too much maintenance, making them the perfect choice for homeowners who don’t have too much extra time on their hands – all you have to do is remember to water occasionally (they thrive better in dry environments)!
  2. Snake plants: Like the ZZ plant, snake plants (sometimes referred to as “mother-in-law’s tongue”) are super easy to care for. Where light is concerned, they could basically survive in a place as dark as your closet, although we’re sure you’d want to be able to see yours! When choosing where to place a snake plant, just remember that they prefer rather dry conditions.
  3. Orchids: While different orchid species will require different amounts of light, phalaenopsis, oncidium and paphiopedilum orchids are a few kinds that can tolerate low light conditions – pair a low light environment with standard household temperatures and you’re all set! Consider placing your orchids in a shaded southern or eastern facing window, and keep an eye on leaf color to determine if they are receiving the amount of light they need (dark colors may indicate that they are not getting enough).

Elegant Orchid Plant White

Medium Light Houseplants

  1.  African violets: African violets are one of the most common types of indoor houseplants, and they’re a great option for homeowners who are looking to give a houseplant a try for the first time. That’s because they’re a great plant to experiment with! For optimal growth, African violets require evenly moist soil, average to warm temperatures, and fertilizer during each watering. But remember, don’t get any water on the plant’s leaves!
  2. Begonias: If you’re looking to add some color to the inside of your home, choose begonias. Begonia plants are extremely colorful and are unique in that they showcase different types of foliage. In order to thrive, begonias require evenly moist soil, light fertilization and a nice average temperature, though at night they should be in a place where the temperature is warmer than 65 degrees.
  3. Ficus: For those who are more advanced when it comes to planting and gardening, the ficus is a great choice for settings that experience medium light levels. Ficus plants typically do best when their soil is left to dry for a few days before watering again, and they prefer to grow in a place where the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees. However, don’t go too long in between each watering, since waiting could cause the plant’s leaves to fall.

Bright Light Houseplants

  1. Zebra plants: Similar to the low light houseplant pothos, zebra plants can tolerate various lighting conditions; however, bright light is best. If you have a lot of natural light in your home but are new to gardening, choose this plant species – these plants are very easy to care for and can even go a few weeks without watering.
  2. Bonsai: Indoor bonsai typically require bright light to survive, with the best placement being somewhere that is exposed to sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon. Should you be struggling to find a place in your home that receives enough natural light, try using a grow light to create the environment that bonsai need.
  3. Cacti: We couldn’t name just one type of cacti plant here considering that they all grow best under similar conditions – conditions that include bright light. A tip to remember with these plants is that if you place them in a window that receives a great deal of sunlight, just make sure that you aren’t fussing with the window to open and close it too often as your cacti might get in the way and poke you!

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No matter which species you choose to go with, just the presence of an indoor plant can make your home seem that much more inviting all 365 days of the year! Will you welcome a houseplant into your home this year?