There are many things you can do to make a house look and feel cozy and welcoming, but displaying some houseplants is a great way to spruce up your home and create a clean and welcoming environment. And, with studies showing that having some foliage nearby can have a positive impact on concentration and happiness levels, more and more people are flexing their green fingers.
Plants require tender loving care and suitable conditions. Unfortunately, your home or office might not provide the latter, especially during the cold season, but don’t despair. If direct, year-round sunshine isn’t possible, the following plants are perfect for you!
Ivy comes in many shapes and sizes but the vast majority of them thrive in low light conditions. This makes them perfect for cheering up a lonely shelf or corner. Many varieties of ivy will hang over the side of their pot, creating a lush, green cascade, while others, such as English ivy can be trained into numerous topiary shapes.
Ferns naturally grow within forests and woodland, typically under the shade of large trees, making them great for rooms that don’t benefit from much natural light. There are more varieties of fern than you can imagine, some having shapes that you’d never expect. Maidenhair ferns, for example, look fantastic on a windowsill, and they’re sturdier than they look. The more traditional Boston fern has been an interior design favorite for years, it’s bright green fronds arching gracefully out of a corner basket or urn.
Perhaps one of the most popular houseplants, the iconic Philodendron features large, waxy leaves of various shades of green. It’s a fast-growing vine that looks great drooping from a hanging basket or climbing a trellis or pole. It’s ideal for darker rooms and needs very little attention – simply check the soil isn’t too dry from time to time and it’ll thrive.
The Elephant’s Foot Palm
For an exotic touch, palms are a great idea and have been a popular addition to homes since the Victorian days. The beautiful Elephant’s Foot Palm – otherwise known as the Ponytail Palm – comes in numerous sizes to suit any household. Ultra-easy to care for, this palm will survive almost anything you throw at it and can store water in its thick base for weeks at a time. It’s not fussy about sunlight either and can look great in any corner. So if you love plants, but increasing natural light in your home is not an option, ivy is the perfect choice.
Instantly recognizable, the spider plant looks great on table tops, counters, shelves or hanging from a basket. Fast growing and beautiful in its simplicity, it shoots out numerous thin, green-and-yellow striped runners, some of which burst into mini bunches at the tips, giving the appearance of floating spiders. It grows well in low-light conditions and can make an excellent addition to hallways.
The Moth Orchid is a stunningly elegant flower that is known to bloom for several months at a time, making it a perfect decorative plant to have around the home. Despite its exotic appearance, it thrives in low-light conditions, and it can really liven up a darkened dining room for example. It grows in moss or bark and requires very little watering.
Begonias are stunning plants that come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Their bright flowers will lend a dash of color to any dark corner, while the rich, textured leaves are a marvel in themselves, with some species offering a wide palette of hues. Despite their summery appearance, they do well in low-lit rooms and will cheer up even the darkest shelves or corners. Look out for the Rex Begonia for a real festival of color.
Cast Iron Plant
Strong and sturdy with long, narrow, dark green leaves – resembling those of the banana plant – this is an evergreen that can cope with extremely low light and requires little watering. It can be grown in clusters to provide a lush green corner, or more sparsely for an elegant table-top display. Slow growing, its leaves can reach up to 3 feet tall, standing upright and proud.
The ZZ plant – or, more properly, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia – hails from Africa and is the ideal candidate for rooms with no natural light at all. Its thick, sturdy, waxy leaves are emerald green and are attached to arching stems that shoot upwards. It will thrive in rooms with only fluorescent light, making it a top choice for shops and offices.
No matter how little sunlight your home or office gets during the cold season, carefully selected houseplants can thrive! Choose from the many species listed above and find those that best suit both you and your living and working spaces. Sometimes, a few carefully placed flowers and plants will change your home more than any improvements and design tricks. However, beware of picking variegated species – famed for their stunning mottle white and pale green leaves – as these will generally turn to plain green in low light conditions as they attempt to soak up more sunlight.