Table of Contents
- What Is Low Light For A Houseplant?
- How Do Low Light Plants Survive?
- How Do You Know When Plants Need Low Light?
- Best Indoor Low Light Hanging Plants
- 1. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Setaceus)
- 2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- 3. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)
- 4. Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilums)
- 5. Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis)
- 6. Southern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Capillus-veneris)
- 7. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
- 8. String of Coins (Peperomia Pepperspot)
- Best Outdoor Low Light Hanging Plants
Most plants will perform best under sunlight exposure. So, finding the right decoration for a narrow house with minimal light intensity is tricky. Especially those that bear green leaves with colorful flowers to adorn the areas. But luckily, there are some shade-loving, low-light hanging plants that flourish even in little light conditions.
In addition, they are also space-saving. You can put them on the hanging basket or macrame if you wish to add artistic touches. Furthermore, those houseplants are generally easy to care for. Thus, maintenance won’t make your hands full. Curious? Let’s jump into the list!
What Is Low Light For A Houseplant?
Low light doesn’t mean your plants are OK with complete darkness. They still need indirect light to thrive. In addition, sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis, a process where your plants produce food. Without light, your houseplants will start to wilt and die.
Usually, they will perform best in the east or west-facing areas in your house. But make sure the sun is filtered by shade trees or tall buildings to prevent excessive exposure. Or if you are unsure, just leave them about 1-3 feet from the window.
The north-facing will also work just fine as long as you put them within 20 feet away. In addition, some people display potted plants on the stair landings with fluorescent lights.
How Do Low Light Plants Survive?
Low-light plants have unique adaptations when they grow in minimum light intensity. In general, they will produce broad but thin leaves. The foliage will absorb as much light as possible. To conserve energy, they also absorb less water and nutrients than those growing under sunlight exposure.
Furthermore, you may also notice that plants grow faster in the dark than in normal, bright light. Actually, the low light doesn’t speed up your plant’s growth process. Instead, your plants adapt by stretching the cells rapidly.
However, we don’t advise you to let those low-light plants stay in the dark for too long. They need light to survive and produce food. Shade-loving houseplants will last 20 days at most, while the sun lovers ones can only thrive for 10 days at max.
How Do You Know When Plants Need Low Light?
Anything too much is not good, including light exposure. Even though your plants really need it to thrive. Excessive light will lead to leaf burns, yellow and droopy leaves, and dry soil. Some even show crips edges and brown spots.
When these symptoms occur, your plants alert you that they need low light. Thankfully, you can recover them by offering shelter with filtered sun or partial shade. In the meantime, give them proper care and protection from direct sunlight.
Best Indoor Low Light Hanging Plants
Low light hanging plants are perfect choices to grow indoors. They won’t get extensive sun exposure as those grow outdoors. Besides, you can monitor the temperature, humidity, and light intensity better. So, what are the best uncommon indoor low light hanging houseplants you can try planting?
1. Asparagus Fern (Asparagus Setaceus)
Asparagus Fern or asparagus setaceus is an evergreen perennial with a feathery and fluffy appeal. They bear upright, creeping branches wrapped in long, thin, tiny, lime-green leaves. The stems can grow up to 72 inches or 6 feet, trailing from the pot, which is aesthetically pleasing. No wonder it will make one of the best indoor plants to hang around your corner spaces.
In addition, Asparagus Fern is a low-maintenance plant. It thrives in a low-light environment yet can still capture direct light. On some occasions, the leaves grow thicker in full sun exposure. And as tropicals, they love moist but well-drained soil. They also require a humid environment with temperatures of around 60°F – 80°F to perform best.
To control moisture, you can add a pebble tray filled with water under the hanging plant container. But remember, any sort of waterlogging will be detrimental to their roots.
2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Apart from Golden Pothos, epipremnum aureum is also known as Devil’s Ivy. It features green leaves with a hint of golden yellow shades, which is the main attraction. In their native habitat, the Pothos will climb on the tree around it with aerial roots that provide support.
The trailing vines also grow up to 40 feet on the ground, covering the soil with their dense, waxy foliage. If planted in a pot, the crawling vines will grow to stick out of the pot, which makes the overall appeal look elegant.
As for the light requirement, it actually thrives in bright, indirect light. However, the Golden Pothos also tolerates low light conditions. Thus, you can still hang them in north-facing areas of your home.
Moreover, this tropical vine favors regular watering. You can set a weekly watering schedule once every 1-2 weeks. The brighter the place where they grow, the more often you will water them. But avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot.
3. Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)
Heartleaf Philodendron is a climbing plant that will make a great addition to your indoor space. The trailing stems can grow up to 40 feet, whereas the leaves can reach 12 inches as the plant matures. It shows deep green, heart-shaped foliage along the center vein with yellow strokes. To support its structure, it is better to provide a mini trellis when the plant is at the juvenile stage. But letting the stems hang on the pots is just fine.
Even though they performed best in minimum light conditions, Heartleaf Philodendron still needs sun exposure. Especially for growing thick leaves. If they grow densely after growing indoors, your plant is doing well.
In addition to the sun, it also requires moist soil. So, watering is crucial to lock the moisture, mainly in the hot summer months. You can water once every one or two weeks. Allow the soil to dry between waterings to avoid wet soil.
4. Lady Slippers Orchids (Paphiopedilums)
Who is not familiar with this flowering plant? The bloom’s unique highlighting has a shoe-like shape, making paphiopedilums known as Lady Slippers. Unlike most orchids, epiphytes, it is a terrestrial orchid that grows on the ground. However, it highly depends on the species and cultivars. Another key feature of this orchid is that it bears two anthers, the male part producing pollen.
Compared to the epiphyte orchids, this terrestrial one needs more water to thrive. It is crucial to keep the soil evenly moist through its growth stage. But reduce it during the cold months while it grows slowly. We highly advise adding fine-grain bark to the pot to improve drainage.
Like most orchids, it doesn’t like the bright sun, which can damage the blooms. You can hang them on the north side of your indoor area to ensure the best performance. It is also recommended to grow lady slipper orchids with ferns, as they can retain moisture.
5. Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis)
Depending on the varieties, Moth Orchids perfectly display white, magenta, or yellow-orange blooms that look eye-catching. In addition, they bear wide, glossy leaves that adorn the flower bucket. Unlike the previous orchid, Moth Orchids are epiphytes. They grow on tree branches; thus, they don’t need soil to thrive. Instead, the roots will be fully exposed, helping the orchids to absorb dripping water from the tree canopies and rain.
Considering the growing habit, it is better to water the Moth Orchid using rainwater or tepid water to mimic its natural habitat. Offer weekly watering unless the winter season approaches. By that time, you must reduce the water as they grow slower.
Don’t let them swim in the water to avoid root rot. Following its native environment, the best place to hang Moth Orchids is east or west-facing window, where they can capture indirect light. To make your hanging basket settings interesting, choose clear ones to showcase the roots and allow sunlight to shine on them.
6. Southern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Capillus-veneris)
Light green fronds with thin black stems are the hallmark of Southern Maidenhair Fern. The branches delicately arching covered lush fronds, making them look like a bucket of lush green flowers in the pot.
Adiantum capillus-veneris often provides ground cover in its natural habitat, growing up to 18 inches tall and 17.7 inches wide. As houseplants, they can easily grow in pots where you can hang them with macrame for additional support.
Like its fellow ferns, the Southern Maidenhair Fern also likes a humid environment. Therefore, daily watering is necessary to lock soil moisture. Another alternative is to provide a pebble tray filled with water and place it under the pot.
Don’t let the soil dry out completely to prevent wilting. If you still think it is too complicated, hanging the fern on the bathroom wall is the best option. In addition, pruning may be necessary if the fronts grow crowded.
7. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
Perhaps, this is the most popular fern as natural indoor home decor. Staghorn Fern or platycerium highlights long, leathery leaves that somehow resemble deer antlers. The ‘hairs’ help the plant keep moisture from its surroundings.
Meanwhile, the brown part is not the wood that sticks to the leaves but the spores. Moreover, it can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. Because naturally, they live attached to trees, it makes a great hanging plant to add tropical vibes.
You can hang the plant on your house’s east or west-facing sides. These areas will provide bright indirect light as they prefer. In addition to the light requirement, you must also pay attention to the watering frequency.
It needs humid conditions, so you must water them weekly in the hot summer. However, once every two or three weeks are necessary for the cold seasons. Also, fertilizing with diluted 1:1:1 ratio fertilizer is recommended.
8. String of Coins (Peperomia Pepperspot)
You may remember succulents when you see this plant. Peperomia pepperspot is a member of the Piperaceae family with waxy, glossy, delicate succulent leaves. The round-shaped foliage earned it the nickname the String of Coins. They grow on the trailing stems, which beautifully decorate the hanging basket. In addition, it may take you several years to grow this plant up to 12 inches, the mature size.
In the meantime, you can provide the best care as the owners. Despite many arguing that they can survive without water, the String of Coins requires watering twice a week to grow properly. Considering the frequency, ensuring well-drained soil is a must. Hence, choosing cactus or succulent soil is better to ensure the soil is loose and makes it easier for water to flow through.
Best Outdoor Low Light Hanging Plants
For those who feel that growing hanging houseplants indoors will make their spaces messy, then outdoor planting is the best alternative. And so we compile the best uncommon plants to grow outdoors with low light conditions. Check them out below!
9. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)
Still talking about ferns, this time we will discuss Boston Ferns or nephrolepis exaltata. Growing long, thick fronds make it a great choice to hang on the patio or balcony. Furthermore, they can grow 4 feet tall and 6 inches wide, so you’ll need medium containers to grow Boston ferns. You can also notice clusters of spores underside the pinnae. Those will be new ferns once dispersed by the wind.
Speaking of the growing areas, Boston Fern can grow indoors and outdoors. For outdoors, it is crucial to choose sites with indirect light, like a patio, as the sun can scorch the delicate fronds. Meanwhile, a damp bathroom is the best place to hang the fern on the wall.
Similar to other ferns, it loves the humid environment. Therefore, misting the leaves a couple times a week will help retain moisture. Moreover, pruning the side leaves at the base is required to keep the plant in shape.
10. Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
Calibrachoa grow compact clusters of one-inch flowers. They can spread 20 inches wide, despite only reaching 3 inches tall. The color of the flowers varies, depending on the cultivar. But primarily purple, pink, red, and magenta.
The trailing ovate green foliage offers an enchanting background that highlights the blooms even more. You can enjoy the burst of colors from spring to winter.
Regarding the growing requirements, Million Bells requires a shady planting location with moist, well-drained soil. This flowering plant tolerates drought, yet regular watering is necessary to allow optimal growth. You can check the topsoil. If about 2 inches dry, then add water thoroughly to the surface.
Moreover, an interesting fact about these plants is that they are actually known as sun-loving plants. However, they will perform better in the shaded area. Especially if they grow in dry, warm climates.
11. Petunia (Petunia ‘Supertunia Vista’)
The first thing that will draw your attention when you see this flowering plant is the striking bell-shaped flowers. They grow lush clusters, wrapping the foliage with deep pink to magenta shades.
This petunia can grow 2 feet tall in the garden bed with a mounding habit. And those that grow in hanging pots will droop 4 feet long. Hence, you must choose a medium-sized basket to plant Petunia ‘Supertunia Vista’.
In addition, you also have to prepare the appropriate growing conditions. They love the partial shade, so the best spot to hang the containers is a patio or balcony with an east or west-facing side. Although it has excellent tolerance to drought, you can’t leave it dry out for too long.
his stunning perennial needs weekly watering; the frequency will increase as they actively grow. The good news is you don’t need to regularly prune the plant, making it easy to care for.
12. Rex Begonia (Begonia Rex)
Rex Begonia will pamper you with unique markings on the foliage. In addition, its striking color combination somehow blends in smoothly, making it known as thousands of colors plants. Moreover, the texture of the leaves is rough and feathery. This Begonia can grow up to 8 inches tall and wide, a perfect size for hanging plants.
Due to its appealing leaves, Rex Begonia should not be exposed to excessive sun exposure. It favors partial or deep shade to thrive best. However, it still needs the morning sun to carry out photosynthesis. Thus, the east-facing area of your patio may be the best place for the plant to sit.
In addition, it prefers moist soil with a slightly acidic pH. So, weekly watering is necessary to keep the humidity. You also must ensure the temperatures are within the range of 60°F – 70°F. Provide shelter when winter approaches.
13. Spider Plants (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Chlorophytum comosum features long leaves with deep green edges and white shade from the base up to the tips. These leaves will grow 12-15 inches and slowly ascend as they mature. On the other hand, they can appear shorter in low-light areas or cold seasons. Moreover, small flowers sometimes emerge from the lush foliage, adorning the leafy plants with white blooms.
Similar to other low-light houseplants, they thrive best in bright, indirect light. In case you grow them outdoors, the ideal site is the north-facing area. Meanwhile, the east or west-facing window will work great for indoor planting.
In addition, the plant requires lightly watering once a week to keep the soil moist. But you can replace it with damp compost when the cold season arrives.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where do you put low light plants?
Low-light plants are best sitting on the north-facing side of your house as they can provide indirect light for them to thrive. Other alternatives are east or west-facing windows where your plants can get filtered sunlight.
If those areas are filled with other plants, you can place the low-light plants in the room with the window covered in dense tree trunks and leaves.
What are the best low light hanging plants for the bathroom?
Bathrooms may be the best place to grow low light hanging plants. Its lack of light intensity with damp conditions allows the plants to perform better. If you are interested, you can try planting Bird Nest Fern, Cast Iron Plant, Snake Plant, or ZZ Plant. They are easy to care for and won’t bother you much with maintenance, like pruning.
Are spider plants low light?
Spider plants are houseplants that thrive in low-light areas, both indoors and outdoors. People usually grow them in pots to live in the living room or hang them on the patio.
If you want to plant it in a pot, use a potting mix with moist and well-draining characteristics. Also, don’t forget to provide good drainage as they may be susceptible to fungal root rot.