Which Type of Plant is Best for Low Light Apartments?



Living in the city can be quite restricting especially when you want to have a garden in your home. Having little or no outdoor space would push you to explore other options like indoor gardening. And choosing the right plant can be quite confusing especially with all the options available in the market.

What type of plant is best for low-light apartments?

Some indoor plants are less tedious to care for and considered easier for beginners with low light apartments. Plants like the Spider Plant, Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, Lucky Bamboo, Peace Lily, Dragon Tree, Bromeliads, Heart-leaf Philodendrons, Umbrella Papyrus or Maidenhair Fern thrive in low-lit apartments and are ideal for indoor gardens especially for beginners.

Cat owners might want to click here before buying a low-light plant.

Why Do Plants Need Light?

Before buying a plant, let us discuss the basic principles of its growth. This way you would be able to understand the importance of certain elements in taking care of them and keeping them healthy.

Unlike humans, plants don’t eat food to get nutrients. Instead, they make their own food by combining Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and water. In order for this process to take place, sunlight is needed. The chlorophyll, which is responsible for the green pigment in leaves, trap the energy from the sunlight in order to power the process. This is what we term as photosynthesis.

When there is no sunlight, chlorophyll will not be produced, therefore the plant will start losing their “green” color and eventually die. Plants that do not have green leaves are more resilient to dim-lit areas since they have a different variety of chlorophyll that is masked and would not require direct sunlight.

You might also notice that some plants thrive in shady and dark areas, these plants would require little exposure to light but would still need some in order to produce food.

How Do Indoor Plants Thrive with Little Light?

All plants need light in order to photosynthesize. For indoor plants, where there is little or no sunlight at all, artificial light is used. Homes would usually have fluorescent lighting which should be enough to help your plant grow, but if you are looking for a better option, LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights are quite popular nowadays due its benefits and efficiency.

Compared to High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Light and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) light, LED lights are more beneficial, here are the reasons why:

  • LED Light is More Efficient
    In terms of energy consumption, LED light is more efficient. A total of 30% of energy is saved when you use LED lights. This means you are spending less on electricity.
  • LED Lights are Cooler than HPS/HID lights
    An LED panel is more flexible and are relatively cooler versus HPS and HID lights. This eliminates the need for additional ventilation.
  • LED Lights Have Full Spectrum Color
    With LED lights having a full-spectrum color, you would not need to switch lights in different stages of the plant’s life cycle.

Using LED light technology is definitely the best option available for indoor gardening, especially for beginners. It may cost more upfront, but the significant difference in electricity consumption will definitely compensate for that.

In the event you do not want to purchase additional growth lights, you can simply place your plants in areas where there is sufficient fluorescent lighting. Do not use incandescent lighting, these lights are harsh and would eventually kill the plant due to the heat it emits.

How to Take Care of Your Indoor Houseplants?

Taking care of indoor houseplants is relatively easier compared to taking care of an actual outdoor garden. Here are some of the basic steps in taking care of your indoor houseplants.

  1. Do Not Water Your Plants Everyday
    Since the environment indoors is not as harsh as that of the outside environment, watering every day is not necessary.
    Although water is vital for plant’s growth, watering the plant every day will cause it to rot. Remember, moist soil is good but we do not want it to be completely wet. When the soil is too dry or even overwatered, the root of the plant will be damaged and hinder its growth.

    In order for you to tell if a plant has been overwatered, watch for mold forming on the surface of your soil or if there is standing water in the container – in this case, you must hold off on watering your plant and let it recuperate.

    If you are not too keen on managing a whole watering schedule, you could choose to take care of aquatic houseplants. These plants would require the least maintenance of all indoor plant types.

  2. Use Room Temperature Water
    By using water that is too cold will cause the roots to stop breathing and hinder any growth. Whereas, using water that is hot will cause extensive root damage, eventually killing your plant.

    Ideally, the best temperature of water to use is 68o F. You can check the temperature with a thermometer or leave the water container in room temperature before using it for your plant.

  3. Choose an Ideal Spot for Your Plants
    As mentioned before, plants would require light in order to produce food for their growth. Placing your plants in a well-lit room is definitely the best option. However, if you do live in a dim-lit apartment, your best option is the installation of LED lights. Most indoor plants would need at least 4 to 6 hours of light in order to stay healthy.

    Other plants would prefer a dim-lit area, as long as they have minimal exposure or have growth lights in place, direct or indirect sunlight is completely optional.

  4. Prune Your Plant
    Depending on the type of plant, you will have to cut or prune roots that have outgrown their pots and remove dead parts. Doing so prevents bugs from infesting your plant, and if you do have other plants, these pests will infect neighboring plants creating a problem you wouldn’t want to deal with.

  5. Know The Type of Plant You Have
    Learning and researching about the plant you have can make a huge difference. There are a variety of indoor plants available, and each would have a specific routine. Before buying a plant, learn about how you need to take care of it and if it does have any special needs. Some plants are more dependent on humidity and air, these plants would thrive in dim-lit areas but would need other elements in order to survive.

Learning and researching about the plant you have can make a huge difference. There are a variety of indoor plants available, and each would have a specific routine. Before buying a plant, learn about how you need to take care of it and if it does have any special needs. Some plants are more dependent on humidity and air, these plants would thrive in dim-lit areas but would need other elements in order to survive.

Indoor houseplants are relatively low-maintenance and do not need that much attention. Having an indoor garden should be more therapeutic than a chore. By choosing the right plants, you can definitely enjoy the experience of an indoor garden.


The Best Indoor Houseplants in Low Light Apartments

Having dim-lit home can be quite problematic if you aim to have an indoor garden. However, you would be able to maximize the experience by choosing plants that thrive in low-light environments, such as:

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Care Tips: Water at least once a week or only when the soil is dry. This plan is prone to root rot when the soil is soggy. Indirect light is preferred but will still grow under LED lights.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Care Tip: Avoid getting the leaves wet when watering and take extra care during cold seasons. This plant is very tolerant in various light conditions.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Care Tip: Only water the plant when the soil is completely dry since it is prone to rhizome rot when overwatered. It thrives in low light levels and completely avoid direct sunlight.

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii)

Care Tip: Water sparingly and prune regularly. Avoid direct sunlight by keeping in low-lit areas or using growth lights instead of exposing to the sun.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Care Tip: Water adequately and mist the leaves once in a while. Even if they are tropical plants, they thrive in shady areas. Dim-lit areas will be good for this plant.

Dragon Tree – Madagascar Variant (Dracaena marginata)

Care Tip: They are highly drought tolerant and very resilient to various lighting conditions.

Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae sp)
Care Tip: Adequate drainage is needed to avoid soggy soil. Optimal humidity should be maintained. This plant is very forgiving in terms of light, since air is more important to its growth compared to other nutrients.

Heart-Leaf Philodendrons (Philodendrons scadens)
Care Tip: Even if they are tropical plants they do not like sunlight and is very tolerant of low lights. Water sparingly to keep the soil moist.

Umbrella Papyrus (Cyperus alternifolius)
Care Tip: Considered as a semi-aquatic plant, it would prefer muddy soil. It grows taller under sunlight, but can thrive in dim-lit areas.

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum sp)
Care Tip: This plant prefers small and tight containers and is very intolerant to hot air. Keep the soil moist and mist the leaves every now and then. It thrives in low-lit areas, absolutely great for dim apartments.

Having an indoor garden can definitely be enjoyable and educational at the same time. Choosing the best plant for you should depend on the time you are willing to invest in terms of care. With the list above, you have a great number of indoor houseplants to choose from.

RELATED QUESTIONS:

What low light plants are safe for cats?

There are many low light plants that are safe for cats. You can click here to find more information.

Recent Posts