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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


      Showing posts with label low light. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label low light. Show all posts

      Monday, January 5, 2009

      Top five houseplants for...

      The most frequent question I get as a houseplant expert is "What's the best plant for a room with no light?" Ok, if your room really has NO light, your best bet is plastic. But if what you actually have is LOW light, then here are my Top Five:

      6) Fittonia verschaffeltii (snakeskin plant)
      (Yes, I know I said five...you're complaining about a bonus?!)
      This plant grows to be about 6-8" tall. It keeps its color in indirect light or under fluorescents. Variegation can be white or pink. Don't let it dry out; it's a dramatic flopper.

      5) Philodendron selloum (cut leaf philodendron)
      This plant is a living sculpture and deserves a better photograph. It flourishes in a bright northern window and if your northern window isn't bright, it will still put on a decent show. P. selloum gets big: 2' tall x 2' wide.

      4) Ficus pumila (creeping fig)
      This petite beauty grows well in dim light and under fluorescents. It climbs freely and can be trained onto a topiary form if you're into that. (Guess how I feel about it.)

      3) Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant)
      I won't listen to a bad word about this plant! If you don't like it, it's because you haven't seen it used properly and grown well. This plant is a trouper: it's sturdy, architectural, 2-3' tall, and if you keep it on the dry side it grows well in very low light.

      2) Rhoicissus capensis (oak leaf ivy)
      This vine makes a superb living curtain. It's drought tolerant, grows in low light, and new leaves have a swell reddish variegation.

      1) Aspidistra elatior (cast iron plant)
      Look at the common name.
      This plant survives dark, cold, dry places. Don't overwater it and A. elatior will be your pal for years.

      What should the next Top Five be? Flowering houseplants? Vines? Drought tolerant houseplants? The choice is yours.

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