Congratulations! You’ve found yourself a new apartment and are all moved in. Now what?
One way to add a personal touch to your space and make it feel like home is to add some plants. Houseplants not only improve your home’s air quality, but they can also improve your mental health, boost your immune system, and reduce anxiety. Not to mention, a little color goes a long way. Even though the color green is often thought of as a calming color, it can also help boost creativity.
Many of the plants on this list were part of NASA’s Clean Air Study in the late 1980s. Not only are they colorful and homey, but they’re also helping you live a healthier life! However, it’s important to keep in mind that many of the varieties on this list are poisonous to pets. If you have pets, take care before purchasing and introducing new plants into your home.
Don’t worry if your new apartment doesn’t get great natural light – there are tons of plants that thrive in lower light conditions. So – without further ado, here’s our list of 11 plants that thrive in low light.
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus)
Bird’s Nest Ferns do well in a variety of lighting conditions. While commonly seen as a low light plant, it can thrive in direct morning sun or bright indirect light. Bird’s Nest Ferns love to be moist and warm, so consider keeping this plant in a bathroom with a window. Keep the soil moist, but beware – this plant is prone to rotting if too wet. Unlike other plants on this list, the Bird’s Nest Fern is not known to be poisonous to pets.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
If you’re looking for a plant with more than just a green leaf, look no further. Chinese evergreens boast beautifully patterned leaves and can come in a variety of colors, including red and yellow. Although a slow-growing plant, Chinese evergreens thrive in lower light conditions. The Chinese evergreen is a great air purifier and a great plant for beginners. Ranked by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as moderately poisonous, plan to keep this plant up and out of reach of curious pets.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
As a moderately poisonous plant, the Dumb Cane gets its name for the numbing sensation in the mouth and throat that occurs if ingested. It’s recommended to avoid contact with Dumb Cane’s sap, which can cause skin irritation. Don’t worry – washing your hands should take care of the problem. This house plant usually grows between 1.5 and 2 meters tall and likes moderately moist soil. Dumb Canes can handle a little neglect and are versatile plants. Don’t be surprised if occasionally the leaves roll up and fall off – it’s just making room for new growth!
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) A Lucky bamboo is a great option for new plant owners. Known for bringing good luck and feng shui, Lucky Bamboo is a must-have for any new space. As a low to medium light lover, beware that too much sunlight can burn the leaves. Lucky bamboo is easily grown in water or soil. Make sure to change the water every few months to keep things clean. You can add some rocks to your water for a zen feel, or just let the roots hang out in the vase alone. If ingested, Lucky Bamboo is mildly poisonous to pets.
Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)
The Madagascar Dragon Tree is another versatile houseplant. Able to adapt to brighter, indirect light or low light conditions, it can take whatever you can dish out, (except maybe too much water). Dragon’s trees are slow-growing but can get as tall as 1.5 to 2 meters. Moderately poisonous to pets, keep it up and out of the way if your roommates are curious. Cats especially seem to love this grass-like plant, so look out for nibbled on leaves.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
If you’re looking for a flowering plant, check out a Peace lily. Although not a true lily, its flowers resemble the calla lily. Usually blooming in early summer, Peace lilies put off beautiful white flowers. Although they tolerate low light well if the light is too low your plant may not bloom as well. This plant likes to spread its leaves, so a little room on the floor may be the best place for it. As is the trend, this plant is also moderately poisonous to pets so be cautious.
The Philodendron family is a big one. With more than 400 family members, you’re sure to find one that suits your space. Many varieties do well in low light, while also being able to thrive in brighter conditions. Most like the soil to dry out between waterings, so be careful of watering too often. This family is also moderately poisonous to pets so choose carefully.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Also referred to as Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothoses are popular plants for low light and new plant owners. The fast-growing Pothos spread out into a trailing vine that is easily cut into a new plant or incorporated into surrounding décor. For the most part, this plant can handle whatever you dish out, although they usually like to dry out between waterings. Be careful of letting vines trail within reach of pets, as this plant is also moderately poisonous.
Snake plant (Sansevieria) Snake plants, also known as Mother in Law Tongue, are perfect low light plants. With 70 different varieties, it’s easy to have multiple snake plants that all look a little different. As part of the succulent family, snake plants store water in their leaves and therefore need little attention. Don’t worry if you miss a watering or two. When especially happy, they may flower. Snake plants are moderately poisonous to pets.
Spider plant (Chlorophytum)
Spider plants are great for the impatient or new plant owner. They grow quickly and produce a lot of “babies” that can easily be split into new plants. Spider plants do well in hanging pots or sitting on a plant stand with ample room for new growth. Keep the soil moist but not too wet. Otherwise, your spider plant may suffer from root rot. As a safe pet option, a spider plant should be in your home!
ZZ plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
ZZ plants originated in Africa and tolerate drought conditions well, making it ideal for busy or newbie plant owners. Although slow-growing, ZZ plants thrive in lower light conditions. They like regular but light watering. ZZ plants may flower but are typically seen as a foliage plant. ZZ plants are somewhat easy to propagate, but new plants will be slow to grow. Like the Dumb Cane, some people experience skin irritation after handling ZZ plants, so be sure to wash your hands afterward. Like many others, ZZ plants are also mildly poisonous to pets if ingested. Ready to purchase? Plants on this list can usually be found locally in Tokyo. Home improvement stores are good places to start. Although sometimes a bit pricier, plants are usually in good condition and mature. Looking for a smaller price tag? Check out 100 ¥ stores. You can get smaller, less mature plants for as little as 300 ¥. Of course, local nurseries, plant shops, and even grocery stores often have healthy and affordable plants for sale.
Get ready to get your green on!