6 Low-Light Indoor Trees and Large Plants for Your Home - Backyard Boss
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6 Low-Light Indoor Trees and Large Plants for Your Home

If you’ve always assumed you don’t get enough light in your home for indoor trees, odds are you’re wrong. If you’re surrounded by buildings or trees, have few windows, or live in an area with a lot of cloud cover, does that mean you can’t grow plants? No! You simply have to know which trees and plants to use.

We’ve covered low-light indoor plants and flowers, but if your space needs a tree or a big statement plant you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered our favorite indoor trees (and plants so big they’re basically trees) and included everything you need to know—from care requirements to propagation—so you can get your indoor jungle started off right … and right away.

Low-Light Indoor Trees

Parlor Palm Tree

Chamaedorea elegans is called the parlor palm because it grew well in the dim parlor rooms of Victorian homes. This is the OG of indoor trees, and it does well in low-light environments and bright light equally, although it should not have direct sunlight. It only needs occasional watering, little pruning, and is nontoxic to humans and pets. For these reasons, it’s one of the most low-maintenance of the indoor trees and the best bang for your indoor-tree buck.

    American Plant Exchange Victorian Parlour Palm

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    Popular since victorian times it has kept hold of this prestige through its easy going adaptive attitude to low light and humidity levels, All the while being effective at improving air quality and making it on to NASA's list of 50 indoor plants that clean the air.

Dragon Tree

The Dracaena marginata is a tall and hardy indoor plant that doesn’t mind a little neglect or dim rooms. With its striking, bladelike foliage and superior air-purifying capacity, you can’t go wrong in any contemporary setting. We’re especially fond of the braided varieties, which grow perfectly upright but add some interest in the vertical lines of the plant.

    Dracaena Marginata Open Weave

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    This Dracaena Marginata variety is 46-58 inches tall (including recycled plastic Ecopot) with an open braid weave consisting of 4 canes or stems. Its thin, green leaves banded in red or pink on top of slender stems make a delicate, slight abstract silhouette. As it grows, it maintains its upright appearance making it perfect for blank walls, spots behind furniture or narrow corners.

Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)

The Dracaena fragrans tree won’t give you ears of corn, but it will give you something nice to look at. The plant has a stunning silhouette and light-colored leaves. As far as maintenance goes, this plant doesn’t need much. Make sure it gets filtered sunlight and regular water.

    Dracaena Dorado

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    Since the Dorado is part of the Dracaena family, it is among the easiest indoor plants. An undemanding plant that tolerates low light, low humidity and as a bonus forgives the occasional missed watering. This one is 44-54 tall (including recycled plastic Ecopot) at the time of shipping. If you wish to have more growth, place your plant in a higher light area and always avoid direct sun rays on your plant.

Large Low-Light Plants 

snake plants can thrive in very little light

Snake Plant

The sansevieria family has a number of attractive, low-effort plants that grow slowly but do get quite large. Any snake plant is a fine fit for a room with low light, and these plants need little else in the way of care. Water every two to three weeks, fertilize once or twice per year in the spring and summer, and repot when the roots start pushing past the top of your soil. Beyond that? Sit back and enjoy the super-efficient air cleaning, unfussy giant that will probably outlive you, even if you’re a notorious black-thumb.

    Sansevieria in Custom Ecopot (Extra Large)

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    Architectural and sturdy. This plant is easy to care for and highly adaptable.NASA research has shown that Sansevierias purify and clean indoor air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. Since they produce oxygen mainly at night, Sansevierias make excellent bedroom companions. 30-36 inches tall.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant is yet another example of how some varieties can grow tall and have a beautiful foliage even in fluctuating light conditions. These plants are great for growing indoors because they can survive without natural light. As long as you make sure to keep the ZZ plant out of direct sunlight, which causes scorching of the leaves, you should be fine.

As far as the ease of care is concerned, watering and temperature are two of the most important things to know about. The ZZ plant can tolerate drought more than most other houseplants. You can add water when the soil has completely dried out, which should happen once per week or two. However, the ZZ plant can survive months without water.

Also, the ZZ plant should be okay with the current temperatures inside your home (provided said temperature never drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit). That means that you should avoid leaving the plant in cold drafts. The plant doesn’t require much humidity either unless the air inside your house is really dry.

    Costa Farms Live ZZ Plant in Decorative Planter

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    From a sunny window to fluorescent office lights, the ZZ Plant is wonderfully tolerant of a wide range on conditions. Whether you're able to give it steady care, travel a lot, or just get distracted by all the stresses of daily life, ZZ plant survives it all. Water when the soil is dry (about once a month) and be sure all excess water drains away. This ZZ Plant ships at a height of 12 inches or more, measured from the base of the planter.

Cast Iron Plant

A great plant for growing indoors, the Aspidistra elatior is one of the least-demanding green companions a homeowner could ask for. The cast iron plant does like light, but it’s by no means a lover of direct sunlight. In fact, it is recommended that you keep it away from direct sunlight because it can scorch the leaves. Even if you grow this plant outdoors, you need to place it in a shady spot.

The cast iron plant has a well-deserved name. It is an excellent plant for beginners since it doesn’t really need much care to thrive. Being drought-tolerant, the plant can be watered when the soil gets dry. Make sure you avoid overwatering, which quickly causes root rot.

This plant is also unfussy about temperatures, as anything between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit will keep the cast iron plant satisfied. As for fertilizer, you can simply feed the plant every two weeks during spring and summer. You can use all-purpose liquid fertilizer in the process.

    American Plant Exchange Cast Iron Plant

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    Cast Iron is a fuss-free plant with robust, healthy dark green leaves that will tolerate a range of growing conditions. These tough, attractive, easy care houseplants are members of the lily family. The Cast Iron plant grows well in low light indoors. This one ships in a 6-inch growers pot.

Conclusion

There are just a few examples of houseplants that can thrive in low light condition, showing that not every plant needs 10 hours or sunlight exposure to show you its beautiful foliage. There are plants that can survive in partial shade and are fit for houses or apartments where sun doesn’t always greet you through the window in the morning. But note that a thriving plant is more than just meeting its light conditions; also watch out for temperature, fertilizer, and humidity levels.

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