Shade Tolerant Plants Indoors

Feb 24 09:58 2012 chris meagher Print This Article

Shade tolerant plants work quite well as houseplants, in such areas as the end of the hallway, or say, a bathroom with only one tiny window. A low light indoor plant will also work well in a dark area, provided it gets rotated out regularly with other plants.

Low Light Indoor Plant Basics

To grow shade tolerant plants indoors,Guest Posting does not mean that you can just sling them into the darkest corners of your house. A low light indoor plant still needs some light in order to survive.

Yes, there are a number of shade-enduring plant varieties that have become readily available as house plants. To facilitate healthy growth, reproducing conditions similar to where the plant would normally have grown, will always give the best results.

To define low-light, if you can still cast a shadow, or still read a book by the available natural light, then it is low-light. Anything with less light is, well, dark. If it is necessary to use artificial light to enter a room, then it is too dark to grow plants in.

The idea that all house plants can tolerate low light conditions is simply not true. Some indoor plants require bright light, if not direct sunlight in order to survive.

However, if you are determined to have living plants in some dungeon-like area, there is a way to achieve this. It relies on already having a handful of other houseplants, and the idea is to rotate their positions every few days.

Rotating Your Indoor Plants.
You will need to have indoor plants already growing in more light. These are the plants you are going to be rotating with the ones from dark areas.

Most important - never leave a house plant in one of your dungeon-like areas for too long, no matter how low-light tolerant it is. Three to five days maximum. In order to keep the plant viable, you must rotate it with your other house-plants.

Replacing the one that was in the best spot, with the next closest house plant and continue to shuffle each plant forward one spot. The plant that was in the dark area, replaces an existing plant that was in the spot with the least light.

Never take a plant from the dark and plonk it outside in the sun. Straight away, the leaves will burn and go crispy. Also, the shock will be the death of it. You must submit it to the sunlight again, in small doses.

Along the same lines, If the plant has not regained its full health by the time you have run out of other plants to replace it with - get some more. If you put an already weakened plant back into some dark recess, it will only continue to weaken.

Sounds like a lot of effort? You bet. It all depends on how determined you actually are, to have a living plant right down the end of the hall. A simpler idea would be to buy some artificial plants, or possibly some statuary. Personally, I wouldn't bother, unless it was for a client.

Hardy Shade Tolerant Plants Indoors
Below are a few low light indoor plant varieties.

The Aspidistra - often called the Cast Iron plant.
Having dark green, leathery leaves, this beauty can tolerate neglect, heat, cold, drought and low light. Along with the Kentia palm. the aspidistra was a favorite indoor plant in the Victorian era. Cast Iron plant is a good name, as it is one of the toughest and most adaptable of house plants.

Weeping Fig - Ficus benjamina
Shiny, smallish, green leaves. Often used as a Bonsai specimen, just as commonly as a "lollipop" tree. The trunk of this plant is commonly twined around itself for decorative purposes, with aging, the branches fuse together. Extremely tough and easy to grow.

Sanseviera - also known as Snake Plant or, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.
This beastie can put up with all the neglect you can throw at it. An evergreen, with waxy, upright, strap-like leaves, dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and cream-colored edges. The leaves usually grow to 70-90 cm in length and 5-6 cm in width. Very, very, hardy and hard to kill. Do not plant outside.

Japanese Holly Fern.
For the apartment dweller, this is perfect, it thrives in low humidity, hot dry atmospheres and drafts. The name comes from the fronds, looking like Christmas holly. Grows to about 60 cm indoors.

Dracaenas are mostly long-legged plants with a crown of strap-like foliage. Simple to grow from cuttings. If you lay cuttings down horizontally, they will shoot from a number buds. Does well with neglect.

Happy Plant - Dracaena Fragrans
Looking a bit like a miniature tree, with long, glossy green leaves and a greenish-yellow central band. Suited to low light conditions, will cheerfully handle all the neglect you can throw at it. A definite set-and-forget plant.

Dracaena Marginata - The Dragon Tree.
Strap-like, dark green, red edged, stiff leaves crown the leggy branches. When it gets a bit too leggy, hard pruning will bush it out. Generally indifferent to conditions.

Parlor Palm - Neanthe Bella.
Used extensively in the Victorian era, this was a most popular plant to have in one's parlor. Leaves are a stiff spike at first, to open as a handsome fan. Primarily a low light specimen, this fellow is very hardy.

Kentia Palm - Howea forsteriana
Another popular and decorative palm. With a slender trunk and dark-green, elegant, drooping, fan-like fronds. Will put up with dark to bright areas and dry atmosphere.

Chinese Evergreen - Aglaonema commutatum
Able to grow in very low light conditions, with low humidity. It is perhaps the easiest of all houseplants to grow. As an example, it can be used as an aquarium plant, submerged for at least 6 months. That is tough.

Zamioculcas - Zanzibar Gem
Long succulent stems, each growing to around 90cm, covered with deep green glossy leaves. Great for high or low light conditions and tolerant of long dry spells. Virtually indestructible.

This was never intended to be a full list of low light indoor plants. As a rule of thumb, practically any shade tolerant plants will grow indoors. This short list was merely to indicate that there are, indeed, low light indoor plants commonly available.

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chris meagher
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