Searching for the perfect houseplant, but don’t have a garden or terrace?
Not all of us are lucky enough to have a “plant-friendly” home, with a spacious balcony, terrace, or backyard garden. Generally, plants and flowers require adequate sunlight and balanced temperatures to grow and flourish. Nonetheless, choosing the right types of plants and following some basic rules can help you successfully cultivate 6 types of houseplants that require little sunlight. Let’s take a closer look at these plants and some general advice on how to care for them.
Zamia. This plant is native to Mexico and Central and South America, and has a very long lifespan. It is one of the most durable and tenacious plants that can be grown both in a garden and a vase. It is characterized by its subterranean circular stems and plentiful, asymmetric foliage, which make it appear shiny and aesthetically appealing. Zamia flowers can bloom without direct sunlight and in shady areas. During the summer, the plant must be generously watered, while during other seasons, the soil should only be watered when dry to avoid stagnation. A Zamia plant should never be trimmed. However, you should remove dry or damaged leaves to avoid possible contamination.
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Philodendron. Blooms impressively well with medium light. They also tolerate very low light, but this may result in smaller leaves. If left to grow freely, this plant will reach impressive dimensions both in width and height. For this reason, it is often used as a climbing plant or placed next to other plants with which it can intertwine and grow vertically. It is mainly identified by its large, shiny leaves. A philodendron plant must be placed away from heat and watered often especially in the summertime. Its leaves have to be periodically cleaned with a damp cloth to remove the dust that tends to accumulate on their surfaces.
Hedera Helix. It is the most common type of ivy in Europe, even though it is originally from Southeast Asia. Characterized by its beautiful dark green foliage, this type of evergreen vine grows well in the shade and areas that receive little natural light. In nature, they can reach heights of up to 30 meters where they can easily cling to tree trunks, tall rocks, and even buildings. At home, the Hedera Helix must be re-potted every 2 to 3 years to accommodate its constant growth and dimensions. Keep in mind that the plant’s berries are poisonous for humans, but not for birds!
Ficus. The quintessential apartment and office plant. It is characterized by its resemblance to a typical tree, with a wide canopy and single trunk. For a healthy ficus, you need a large deep vase made of expanded clay. The plant needs an environment where its soil can drain water well. If possible, it is beneficial to transfer it outdoors during the summer and to guarantee watering twice a week. The plant’s aerial roots must never be cut. External supports are often needed to sustain the plant’s trunk, for example those made of bamboo. You also need to regularly mist your ficus since they require a high humidity.
Aspidistra. Amongst houseplants that require little sunlight we could not forget to mention a decorative plant that is perfect for adding a modern touch to your home. Its signature trait is its ability to grow and flower in environments where other plants can’t. The aspidistra can live for years without receiving any particular care. However, it does need to be watered well, especially in the summer. It has green foliage of up to 70 cm, and its flowers are dark red and bloom in mid-summer. This plant does not need any pruning, but you should remove any dead or rotting leaves to keep it healthy.
Chamaedorea. This plant originated in subtropical Central and South America, and is part of the palm tree family. Its slender and graceful stems extend into leafy branches, which can leave visible scars on the plant’s trunk if broken off. Depending on the species, the Chamaedorea can produce small yellow, rose, or cream-colored blooms.
The plant resists well against many types of climates, although it grows best when the temperature is around 18° C. The Chamaedorea does not like direct sunlight, which tends to yellow its leaves. Likewise, currents of cold air, and stagnant water are harmful. The plant should be kept in an expanded clay pot to provide the dry, well-drained environment it needs.
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