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5 Low-light Houseplants to Brighten Up Your Space

Houseplants are an easy way to take a room to the next level. In fact, some studies show that certain houseplants can even cleanse the oxygen in your home, improving your mood and making you more productive. We think maybe our home office could benefit from a new plant… or five.

For those new to caring for plants, it can be hard to know what kinds of light are right for the plants you want. Some spaces don’t get direct sunlight at all! So whether you live at Plumas Ranch or Brighton Station, have no fear—we’ve rounded up 5 of the best houseplants for low-light spaces.

#1: ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ZZ plant is the perfect plant if you’re new to houseplants because it tolerates all kinds of neglect. Low light, low water, even north-facing windows (which don’t receive much light) are perfect for it! In fact, direct sunlight would scorch its leaves, so a low-light area is preferred. Just grab regular potting soil and keep it in an area with average temperatures and your ZZ plant should thrive!

Something to note: these are toxic to pets, so if you have a cat that likes to nibble, this probably isn’t the plant for you.

#2: Snake plant (Sansevieria spp.)

There are many varieties of snake plants, and all of them appreciate bright, indirect lighting. One thing we love about these plants is the different sizes they can be. Some are so big they can live in a pot on the floor, and others are the perfect size for a modest centerpiece on your coffee table. It’s up to you!

#3: Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)

These plants are strong, slow-growing plants with glossy green leaves that will brighten up any room! They prefer bright, indirect light, cooler temperatures, and like high humidity—your kitchen or bathroom would be perfect. (We’re looking at you, Mills Station. All that natural light is ideal for this one.) Of course, misting them regularly is a must no matter where they live in your home. Water regularly, keeping the soil moist, but not soggy, and clean leaves with a damp cloth to help them retain their shine.


#4: Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata)

This is the houseplant you want in the background of your Zoom meeting. Its huge dark green fiddle-shaped leaves add vibrance to any space and will never go out of style. Plus, it stays gorgeous like this all year long. Prune the top to make the plant bushy, and then root those stem tips (with a leaf attached) in water to propagate baby plants. Keep this one moist, but not soggy, and in the winter let it dry out a bit between waterings. Avoid overwatering, because it leads to leaf drop. Mist during warm months, and in winter if the indoor air is warm and dry. Ficus lyrata tolerates low light; it doesn’t require a large pot, but be sure to stabilize a large plant in a small pot so it won’t tip over. For health and best appearance, keep the leaves clean—wipe them with a damp cloth or give your plant an outdoor shower.

#5: Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

Ficus elastica is one of the most foolproof of all indoor plants. Thick, glossy, and leathery, its dark green leaves are 8 to 12 inches long, 4 to 6 inches wide. New leaves unfurl from rosy pink sheaths that soon wither and drop. Where conditions permit, the rubber plant can reach ceiling height. This plant tolerates low light, but is happiest in bright, reflective light. It’s one of NASA’s standard houseplants for improving indoor air quality, too. Keep it moist and mist when the weather gets warm and soon you’ll be wowing guests with your plant care prowess.

Have a plant baby you want to show off to the rest of the world? Tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with your favorite houseplant for a chance to be featured on our feed!

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