by Ken Lain, The Mountain Gardener, Watters Garden Center
Houseplants provide life and vitality to your home, even on the darkest winter days. You will be amazed at how easy these plants are to grow while uplifting the soul.
Many plants like it dark, and the short winter days only make them happier. Here’s the list and their best care.
Biology of low-light plants
Large leaves are designed to soak up more light. Others have a waxy outer layer that helps retain moisture and makes them low-maintenance indoor plants.
Caring for low-light plants
Low-light plants don’t require as much water, so caring for them can be as simple as planting them in well-drained soil and watering at 2- to 3-week intervals.
Chinese evergreen, Aglaonema, has striking variegated leaves in shades of red, pink, yellow and green. Don’t worry if you travel extensively, or forget to water, this dark lover is super drought hardy. Perfect for people new to houseplants or those who consider themselves black thumb gardeners.
Corn plant, Dracaena fragrans, look like small tropical palms, so they bring a ray of sunshine to that dim, drab area. Place it somewhere without direct sunlight and water occasionally. These plants like to go dry before watering again. Water evenly over the potting medium to avoid rotting the corn plant’s canes. These canes have small root systems and may need to be straightened after traveling home and later as they settle in. Dogs and cats become ill when chewing on this plant.
Moth orchid, Phalaenopsis, when you need bright flowers in a dark corner. Plant in breathable orchid pots using a soilless orchid mix for plants that bloom for months.
Peace lily, Spathiphyllum, have lush, dark green leaves and delicate white flowers. These plants like moisture and humidity, so water regularly and mist the leaves to keep your lily happy and blooming. When the leaves droop, simply give it a good drink of water and watch it perk back in short order.
Pothos, Epipremnum aureum, Ideally planted in a basket or pedestal so the variegated foliage trails down.
Prayer plant, Maranta leuconeura, adds a pop of color with variegated foliage in rich green, purple, yellow and red. In dark rooms, the variegation becomes more pronounced. Mist the foliage regularly. At night, the leaves point upwards like hands in prayer, where this plant gets its name.
Snake plant, Sansevieria, are perfect for small windowless bathrooms, stairways and bedroom corners. A type of succulent that only needs water when the soil feels completely dry to the touch.
Spider plant, Chlorophytum, thrives in low light and requires only occasional water when the soil feels dry. They send out long spindly leaves and small white flowers that cascade down the edge of containers, making them an excellent for hanging baskets.
Zee Zee plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is easy to maintain. Its glossy, bright green leaves add a cheerful dose of color. ZZs likes to be left alone for long periods so go on a worry-free vacation. This plant will look great when you get back.