Is your basement lacking some green space? Looking to add life to your office desk? Some of the most colorful and easy-care indoor plants thrive in low-light conditions. Use them in almost every room in your home. Be sure to rotate your plants every few weeks so that the side of the plant facing the wall is getting its fair share of sun. Check out our top picks of houseplants for dark rooms; these plants are known for longevity in low-light conditions.
Probably the most popular houseplant in the world, philodendron is super tolerant of dark interiors. This fast-growing vine works well in hanging baskets or trained to climb a small trellis or totem. All you have to do is water it when the soil feels dry to the touch. Two newer varieties offer colorful foliage. ‘Brasil’ has gorgeous gold-and-green variegated foliage. ‘Micans’ sports purple flushed leaves with a satinlike texture.
Looking for a houseplant that tolerates dark corners AND neglect? Check out ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. This African native will do just fine even if it only gets fluorescent light in an office or shop. It also tolerates dry conditions, so it’s ideal for someone who travels frequently. ZZ plant looks great, too; it produces upright, slightly arching stems covered in shiny, dark green leaves. Water ZZ plant when the top inch of soil dries out.
Although Gloxinia can’t survive in a completely dark room, it will bloom beautifully anywhere it can receive bright, indirect light away from full sun. A close relative of African violet, Gloxinia develops large velvety, trumpetlike flowers in a variety of jewel-like colors. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Use warm water and avoid getting the foliage wet. Feed once a month with a liquid houseplant fertilizer while the plants are in bloom.
Create a tropical getaway in your living room with Monstera deliciosa. Occasionally called Swiss cheese plant, Monstera produces huge, bright green, attractively cut leaves. Monstera has a dense, bushy shape, but over time, it will begin to stretch and climb a trellis or wood totem. If you want to keep the plant compact, simply prune back the vining branches. Water Monstera whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, and fertilize once a month during the spring and summer.
Over the past few years red Aglaonema has taken the houseplant world by storm. With spectacular bright green leaves, this houseplant will brighten even the darkest room. Aglaonema doesn’t mind dry soil either, so it makes a great gift for forgetful gardeners. Originally called Chinese evergreen, Aglaonema is almost foolproof.
Easy and elegant: that’s how we describe peace lily. This low-light houseplant sends up pure white flower spaths on tall, graceful stems. Peace lily also has shiny green foliage that looks great even when the plants aren’t blooming. Often sold under its botanic name, Spathiphyllum, peace lily grows 18-36 inches tall and makes a relatively undemanding houseplant. However, it does require regular watering and will wilt dramatically if allowed to dry out completely.
Dracaenas add a touch of elegance to any room of your home. This plant is often sold as a standard houseplant or in tree form, so you can cluster several together to create a miniature forest. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch and remove any faded leaves as they appear.
Add a touch of elegance to any room in your home with Phalaenopis, commonly called moth orchid. These easy-care beauties hold their blooms for up to four months and are ideal for low-light locations. Moth orchids come in a wide selection of colors and bicolors. They are generally sold in two sizes: standards that grow 18-24 inches tall and dwarfs that stay under 12 inches in height. Moth orchids grow in bark or moss and should only be watered when that material feels dry. More orchids die from overwatering than under watering.
The jewel-like leaves and flowers of begonia will turn any dark room into a festival of color. There are many species of begonia to choose from, but one of our favorites is rex begonia that comes in different varieties sporting multicolor leaves in an assortment of silver, green, pink, red, orange, and burgundy. Growing 4-8 inches tall, rex begonias can also be used in terrariums or dish gardens. Rex begonias do best in soil that’s kept just slightly moist at all times.
A gorgeous slow-growing vine, Hoya, or wax plant, thrives in bright indirect light, but does almost as well in darker locations. Hoya comes in either flat-leaved or crinkled- leaved forms and will occasionally produce clusters of highly fragrant white flowers. Flat-leaved Hoya also comes in solid green or variegated cream-and-green leaves. You can train a Hoya up a trellis or totem or allow it to trail over the edge of a pot or urn. Water only when the soil feels dry to the touch.