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Got Low Light? Learn How to Grow These 5 Low Light Loving Plants


One of the hardest indoor environmental conditions to meet when it comes to plants is light. Yes, I know there are grow lights that can provide the proper amount of light but why would you use one of these when you have plants that love low light. Below are five plants that grow well in low light and are wonderful for beginning gardeners.

Prayer Plant

The name for this plant comes from the fact that the leaves fold up in the evening, which looks like praying hands. While some gardeners find this plant a challenge to grow, the key to success comes from proper watering. This plant does like a moist soil but not soggy. It is very important to check the soil moisture before you water. Also, this plant likes it humid. One approach to meeting this requirement is to group several plants together, say on a plant stand. Another way is to create a humidity tray. While you can buy one, it is just as easy to make one. To do this, take a shallow tray, add stones, pour water, and place potted prayer plant on top. When using a humidity tray though, make sure that there is not so much water in the tray that the plant is sitting in it.

Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is lucky for any gardener due to its ease of growing. It can simply be grown in a container with a layer of pebbles and about one inch of water forever or planted in the ground once it has rooted. Indirect light is what it loves but………there is one challenge for gardeners when it comes to this plant. The problem arises from tap water. This plant is very sensitive to the chlorine that is in tap water. You can use distilled or bottled water to water the lucky bamboo. If you do not want to go this route, you can still use tap water but it will need to sit out for 24 hours before using. This will give the chlorine time to evaporate out before you use it.

Parlor Palm

The parlor palm is a wonderful plant that does well in poor light. It really has no problems but………one. What is this problem? Well, it really likes it humid. As stated above, you can group plants together or create a humidity tray. Another technique is to simply mist the plant daily. If you notice that the tips of the leaves are beginning to turn brown, you may want to try a different humidity creating approach.

Dragon Tree

While the dragon tree does have the term tree in its name it will take some time to reach that height by which it could be called a tree. When small it looks wonderful sitting on table. After it has begins to stretch in height, which can be a mature size of eight feet, it can become a plant focal point in a room. Unlike the other plants discussed so far, you do have some choices in plant color. The leaves of this plant come in three types. One variety of leaf is green down the center with a dark red outer edge. The second coloration of leaf is one that green in the center with yellow and red stripes. The last one sort of looks like the first but the red edge on the leaf is really thick.

Care of this plant is simple. Place in a location that receives indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves. Humidity is not a problem in the late spring and summer but once the heat comes on, the humidity level is too low. To increase the humidity level, follow one of the techniques mentioned previously.

If you notice the bottom leaves beginning to turn brown along with the leaves falling off, do not worry. This is a natural process of this plant and is not an indication of a problem. While this plant can take up to 10 years to reach a height of 5 feet, you may want to prune it back to control growth.

Unlike some of the plants discussed, the dragon tree’s leaves can tell you what is going on. Brown tips on the leaves can be an indication that you are not watering enough or too much. This plant likes a soil that is slightly moist. Other problems that this symptom can hint at are exposure to a cold draft or low humidity.

Brown spots on the leaves can be a hint that the plant needs to be watered. If the brown spots are soft then the room is either too cold and/or the soil is water logged. Moving to a warm location will aid in taking care of the latter problems.

Finally, if you have pets in the house, make sure the plant is not in a location by which the pets can chew on it. This plant is very poisonous.  

Chinese Evergreen

This beautiful foliage plant is one that is great for the forgetful gardener. It can tolerate poor light, lack of watering, and dry air. As the name applies, this plant is green but older specimens my produce a flower that reminds people of the peace or calla lilies. While some gardeners prune the flowers away as soon as they appear, others leave the flowers and only remove them when they are spent.

When it comes to care of this plant, watering is a touchy chore. If you water too much, you will cause root rot. On the other hand, if you do not water enough, there is a less chance of a problem since this plant likes the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings.

Since this plant likes reduced light, it can become too large and/or leggy. If this happens, do not worry. A quick trim will take care of that but do not waste your cuttings. This plant easily roots in water, which is an inexpensive way of growing your supply of Chinese evergreen. If you choose to root your clippings, make sure to plant them in a DIY planting medium of equal parts of horticulture sand, potting soil, and perlite. This will give you the proper drainage required by this plant.

While you may feel that your plant choices are limited when it comes to low light, as you can see this is not true. Each plant described above is easy to grow and has limited problems. The best part is that even a brown thumb gardener can find success in indoor plants.


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Fertilize Container Plants

Because container gardens are usually grown to show off a lot color, the plants in them require more frequent fertilizing.

It's good to feed them every two weeks with a water-soluble complete fertilizer like a 20-20-20 or a hyrdolized fish fertilizer.

Regular feeding will help them fill in faster, and produce more flowers.

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