Looking around my home, I realized it’s a little lopsided. There is only one room that gets direct sunlight, and it is filled with all of my sun-worshipping plants, as well as where all the outdoor, non-hardy plants come to overwinter.
Needless to say, that is my favorite room. Just because there are rooms in your home that have low light, though, doesn’t mean that plants won’t grow there.
Being in a room full of plants makes me want to take a big, deep breath. The air seems cleaner – because it is. Plants purify the air, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air, and they release water as part of their respiratory process, lending humidity to the air.
Although all plants need some light to survive, some do extremely well with minimal light, making them perfect for the low-light rooms in your home.
Aglaonema, or Chinese evergreen, is a low-maintenance, low-light plant. There are about 30 cultivars, each one slightly different.
Red aglaonema is a stunning plant with red-tinted leaves. Emerald Beauty has rich, dark green foliage with striking gray-green markings. Other popular varieties include Silver Queen, Silver Bay and Painted.
The Snake Plant is one of the toughest houseplants around. This succulent plant can endure neglect for weeks at a time, and their long, sword-like leaves will still look fresh. They can tolerate low light and drought.
Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, is the most common cultivar of snake plant. However, there are a few other species with interesting traits that are worth checking out.
Calathea is a tropical houseplant native to Brazil. Due to its origins, it prefers warm temperatures, adequate humidity and avoiding drafts to look its best and thrive. Most calathea foliage have a pinkish to purple underside and unique markings in various shades of green on interesting foliage. Although tropical, most calathea prefer indirect light, as direct sun can burn the foliage.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia, commonly called “the ZZ plant,” is an attractive plant that can live in bright to low, indirect light. For this reason, it is commonly used in offices and indoor malls. The deep green, oval-shaped, shiny leaves jut upward to a height of 3 to 4 feet tall.
Polka-dot plants are attention-grabbing little plants that break up the monotony of groupings of green plants, or they can stand on their own. The foliage generally is pink with green spots; however, there are several varieties that produce leaves studded with white, red, burgundy and purple.
Another beauty that prefers bright but indirect light in anthurium. Commonly known as tail flower, flamingo flower and painted tongue, this genus of flowering plant has about 1,000 species. The heart-shaped flower of the anthurium is actually a spathe, which is a modified leaf. The spathe is usually red, pink or white.
The small, delicate leaves of the Maidenhair Fern are clustered on thin, black stems, giving them a wispy vibe. They are moisture-loving plants that require ample humidity and consistently moist soil. Water regularly so the soil never dries out. If leaves start to yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering.
The majority of these houseplants are toxic to humans and pets. If you have small children or pets that may nip at plants, it is best to keep these out of reach — or not at all. Aglaonema, Snake Plant, ZZ plant and Anthurium are all considered toxic.
Although most houseplants do perfectly fine with indoor temperatures and humidity, some plants, such as Anthurium and Maidenhair Fern, require a little more humidity.
Grouping plants together helps raise humidity for the plant or it can be sustained by placing plants on a tray of rocks with water just below the surface. Warm air humidifiers and regular misting also helps plants obtain the humidity the require.
Brighten up low-light rooms with natural air-purifying plants. Until next week, happy gardening.
—Irland, a member of the Limestone County Master Gardeners, can be reached at email@example.com. Visit https://mg.aces.edu/limestone for more information on the Limestone County Master Gardeners.