Updated: Jan 1, 2020
Consult with any design pro and you'll learn that plants are always a good idea for an interior. Beyond just freshening up a room, they help to boost air quality and even reduce stress.
With increasingly smaller homes and apartments, there has been a growing impulse to integrate greenery into interior spaces. But what kind of plants should be used for an environment lacking in abundant natural light? In this article, you will find some suggestions for species recommended for shaded or semi shaded environments, an especially important distinction when we talk about interior spaces that receive little sunlight.
Most of these species have thicker and more resistant foliage, with a color close to dark green, but you will also find some flowers that effectively survive in dark environments. It is essential to carefully analyze the characteristics of each species; some will need sunlight sporadically, others, a little more often.
First, some important precautions to ensure a longer indoor plant life. Pay attention to the humidity level when watering your plants. Check if the soil feels moist to the touch. The earth should not be soaked or dried. Take care of the foliage, removing dust from the leaves with a damp cloth. It is recommended to choose ceramic pots with holes in the bottom. Avoid placing the plants near electronic equipment, which emanate heat that can be harmful.
Here are some of the plants that you can consider placing indoor-
FIDDLE LEAF FIG
Care: - The fiddle-leaf fig needs both bright and indirect light (think north-facing) to flourish.
- In order to keep pests and disease at bay, leave it in one place.
Pros: - The fiddle-leaf fig tree (ficus lyrata) adds drama to a space, as it grows several feet tall.
- Not only is it non-toxic to people, but it helps to improve the overall air quality in an interior.
Cons: - They are toxic to pets and will cause them to experience irritation, drooling, or even vomiting.
Care: - Areca palms flourish in indirect light. Soil should be kept moist in the warmer months and a bit more dry during fall and winter.
Pros: - They boast a tropical flair, which makes a statement in just about any room.
- NASA lists the areca palm as a top air-purifying plant and it's known to add humidity to the air.
Cons: - They can grow to be pretty large, so a substantial pot is needed.
- If it's not exposed to the correct amount of light and receives too much water, it can wither fairly quickly.
Care: - The snake plant, also known as sansevieria, does not require frequent watering. It's best to start it outside in the spring and move it indoors as soon as the weather cools down.
Pros: - It does wonders for a home's air quality by removing toxins, including formaldehyde, xylene, tolune, and nitrogen oxides.
- It's a good option if space is an issue for you, since they don't grow very tall.
- They are versatile and can be placed anywhere in the home.
Cons: - It's toxic to both cats and dogs.
- Refrain from over watering this plant, as this will cause it to rot.
Care: - It's best to water a Boston fern until liquid leaks from drain holes.
Pros: - They can grow quite large, which makes an impression in a room.
- They are ideal for humid spaces, like bathrooms, and areas with soft, natural light.
- Boston ferns also remove toluene and xylene (types of toxins) from the air.
Cons: - They are highly prone to root rot.
- Their falling leaves can become quite messy.
DUMB CANE PLANT
Care: - The dumb cane plant (diffenbachia) is ideal for indoors, since it needs low, indirect light. It should be rotated regularly to prevent it from leaning towards its light source. It requires well-drained soil that is consistently moist.
Pros: - It has a striking mottles pattern that enhances a room.
- It is known for improving an interior's air quality and typically grows to be four feet tall.
Cons: - They can be harmful to both pets and children. If the stems are eaten, the tongue and throat can start to swell.
- They don't respond well to synthetic chemicals.
Care: - Rubber plants, which are related to the ficus lyrata plant, respond well in bright, indirect light and should be kept moist.
Pros: - The rubber plant has attractive, shiny leaves and it can grow up to 10 feet tall.
- They are available in a number of varieties, including dark green, which is the most popular, and more colorful options.
Cons: - Rubber plants should never be placed near heaters or fans, as they are very sensitive to temperature changes. They thrive best when the temperature is between 55 and 80 degrees.
- The plant's milky sap is poisonous to both pets and children, and it can also cause skin irritation.
Care: - While warm temperatures are best, this plant can survive in a 60-degree environment, as long as it is placed away from drafts.
- It's best to place them in well-drained soil with medium to low indirect light.
Pros: - It's easy to care for and can be found in many varieties.
- NASA lists it as a top plant for purifying air.
Cons: - They are harmful to dogs, cats, and people.
- They should never be exposed to fumes, especially oil and gasoline. Fumes can cause their leaves to form brown patches.
- They are susceptible to mealybugs and scale invasion.
Care: - This tropical shrub prefers to be exposed to bright, indirect lighting. Keep in mind that it can also do well in artificial lighting.
Pros: - Along with improving indoor air quality, this type of plant can reach up to 12 feet tall.
- They are very easy to care for.
- Their glossy leaves and colorful patterns add vibrance to a space.
Cons: - It's toxic to cats and dogs, causing symptoms ranging from vomiting to weakness.
- They are sensitive to fluoride, which can cause yellow or brown spots.
Care: - Golden Pothos plants do best in indirect, medium sunlight. They can also survive in low light, which makes a bathroom an ideal spot for them.
Pros: - They are very easy to care for and can live in a wide range of environments.
- It's a popular plant for its ability to purify air.
- If they are neglected occasionally, they will likely survive.
- They rarely succumb to rotting roots.
Cons: - They are toxic to pets as well as children.
Care: - English Ivy plants do not do well with direct sunlight. Bright light is best for this type of plant.
- In order to thrive, moist soil and cooler temperatures of about 50 to 65 degrees are best.
Pros: - They are not difficult to care for and are easy to grow.
- They are known to reduce air pollutants such as mold.
Cons: - English ivy can be toxic to pets and children.
- It produces a chemical called glycoside hederin, which can result in symptoms ranging from nausea to difficulty breathing if ingested.
Care: - They prefer low to moderate light and moist, well-drained soil.
Pros: - Peperomia are fairly easy to grow and are available in more than 1,000 varieties.
- They are suitable for small spaces, as they don't tend to grow more then 18 inches tall.
- Peperomia plants aren't harmful to pets or children and efficiently remove toxins from the air.
Cons: - Low temperatures (under 50 degrees), as well as cold drafts, can damage its leaves.
- This type of plant tends to attract mealybugs and aphids, which are sap-sucking insects.
If chosen correctly, the vegetation can be incorporated as an essential part of the architectural space through integrated planters, structures for hanging plants, green walls, or furniture that doubles as pots.