Unlike what most people insinuate, indoor air can be far more polluted than outdoor air. This among other enthusiastic attachments to gardening means that indoor gardening can be a great venture for you and your home. In the late 20th century (precisely in the 80s) NASA and ALCA –Associated Landscape Contractors of America- conducted studies on houseplants and how they help to purify the air around them and the results were overwhelming. This is why having Air Purifying Plants in your home is a great addition! However, it is common knowledge not all plants can thrive under the low light that your house encompasses. This posses a huge challenge when selecting the perfect plant to grow in strategic places around your house.
Not anymore! We have compiled a list of some low light indoor plants that will astonish you with their endurance and beauty as you care for them. Since most green plants require sun rays to manufacture food and grow, the plants that manage to grow well indoors are those that often survive under tall trees in the woods, where sun rays barely reach. Here is a list of top 5 plants that will not strain you with your indoor gardening activities. Read along.
The Lucky Bamboo Plant (Dracaena Sanderiana)
Considered the world’s best low light indoor plant, the lucky bamboo plant can thrive in the darkest corner of your house. A grower in Minnesota received a present of a pot of a lucky bamboo and decided to place it in his dark room to find out whether it will survive; 13 months later, the plant had still fresh leaves and was doing well.
How to care for the Lucky Bamboo Plant
They survive best in a pot with soil and water, though you can place them in a vase with water only. The West African native plant can grow to a height of 5 feet in their natural habitat and about 2-3 feet when growing inside. However, they may not flower if grown inside, but they still maintain a pretty look.
· Temperature- warm room temperatures are fine, about 18- 32 degrees C
· Light – in their natural habitat they thrive under tall trees. Place them in a pretty bright spot without direct sunlight
· Soil and water – if you are growing them in a vase, change the water every 7 days. On the other hand a draining pot with well mixed soil (with fertilizer) is perfect.
· If you are looking to propagate the plant cut the biggest shoots.
Spider Plant – Chlorophytum Comosum
This is a very common indoor plant and almost everyone has owned or owns one. Though it requires a fair amount of light it can survive well in a low lit house. The biggest challenge in leaving the plant uncared for is that it becomes somewhat untidy over time. The South African native plant can grow up to about 60cm tall with 45 cm of leaves
How to care for the Spider Plant
They look best when hanging in a basket. But as hinted earlier, they present an untidy look if they are not cared for; brown leaves and falling. Here is how to care for them
· Temperature- recommended temperatures should be between 15 – 24 degrees C and not lower than 7 in winter.
· Light- they need a fair amount of light but not direct sunlight.
· Water and soil- they require more water especially in summer and spring. The pot should be a well draining one and well mixed.
· If you want to propagate them, divide the plant into pieces each with roots.
· Spider Plants are known for being one of the top Air Purifying Plants.
Mother In Laws Tongue / Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
This West African native plant survives well with minimum water and low light. It commonly known for its sword-like long leaves. It is a flowering plant and very easy to care for. The only challenge is if a gardener over waters it or they are grown in very cold and continuous temperatures; this leaves the plant in snafus. It can grow up to about 70 cm though it may not produce flowers when grown inside.
How to care for the Mother in Laws Plant
Their evergreen leaves grow in an upward fashion and it is recommended that they grow on a pot sitting on the floor. Since there are varieties of this plant, you may have probably noted some with golden-edge leaves and some without. They are also known, from research, to purify air around them.
· Light- they can endure both in direct sunlight and low lit rooms. Bright conditions are preferred though; near a window for instance.
· Temperature- medium temperature is perfect about 15-24 degrees C and not lower than 9 in winter.
· Water and soil- the plant is succulent, so avoid too much water. Just a little water in spring and summer will suffice. Obtain a well draining succulent pot for the soil from any store.
· Propagate by dividing the plant with each piece having roots.
Ps. do not over water Mother in Laws Plants.
Cast Iron Plant – Aspidistra Elatior
The Cast Iron Plant is one of the easiest plants that will thrive well under low light though its natural habitat is fairly bright. It can survive with less care, but despises too much water and too much sunlight or both. The Asian (Japan and Taiwan) native can grow up to a height of about 90 cm indoors. Other variations are the corn plant that is also a dracaena species and should not be confused with the former.
How to care for the Cast Iron Plant
The plant creates an aura of attraction when placed in a wide room, say the living room for instance. It can be an ideal piece to put in your office or hotel front.
· Temperature – the plant will not grow well in very low temperatures of below 12 degrees C. so a moderated room with 15-24 degrees C will suffice.
· Light – a little sunlight and shade makes a perfect environment for the Cast Iron Plant. But avoid too much direct sunlight.
· Water and soil – a damp pot is advisable in spring and summer and a relatively dry one in winter. Soil should be well mixed and fine. Normal room humidity is perfectly fine for this plant. Only water the once you notice the top inch of the soil is dry.
· When propagating cut any rosette and replant; you may also propagate step tip cuts.
Peace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
This South American native plant is very common for indoor growers and very easy to care for as it thrives fairly well in low lit homes. It can grow to a maximum of 60 cm when grown indoors, though this totally depends on the location. The plants is known, from the NASA findings, to remove VOCs in the space around them; things like benzene, trichloroethane and formaldehyde. They produce white pretty flowers, known as spathe, especially in summer – and they are beautiful to look at.
How to care for the Peace Lily Plant
· Light- they prefer pretty brighter places but not direct sunlight. Too much light will make the leaves yellow.
· Temperature- moderate room temperature is perfectly fine for these plants. Anything below 11 degrees C is not conducive.
· Soil and water – with the broad leaves, the plant consumes more water in spring and summer, so keep the pot dump but not over watered. A peat based well mixed soil is an ideal condition to enhance growth. Though this plants matures fairly slowly.
· When re-potting the Peace Lily Plant you can divide the main plant and replant in different pots. Re-potting is advisable at the onset of spring. You can also remove drying leaves regularly, but the plant requires little to no pruning at all.
If you are too busy and have no time for gardening then indoor gardening could be a shrewd venture for you. Indoor plants require very little care but the benefits that accrue due to their presence cannot be over emphasized. It is important to select plants that are non toxic, especially if you have kids or pets. Try planting some low light indoor plants and you will have something to look up to when you get home. All these Air Purifying Plants will also be a great addition to your home adding clean air for you day in and day out.