extremely low light plants?

kea2July 11, 2011

Could anyone recommend me some very low light plants that can survive in a room that pretty much only gets artificial light? My apartment was evidently built in an era before building codes, and my living room is so dark that we have to keep the lights on in the middle of the day. We have cold white fluorescent lighting and a bunch of table lamps with with warm white CFL bulbs.

Are there any plants at all that can survive in such conditions? Especially any plants other than pothos? I'm sick of pothos.

I also have a North-East facing window that gets a few hours of direct sunlight in the morning, but is dim in the afternoon as it's surrounded by tall buildings. When it's overcast outside, it's pretty dim there all day long. The window is where a narrow corridor is, so my only option in that area is to hang plants on the window. Is there such thing a a low light plant that won't get scorched by a few hours morning sunlight? Or a medium light plant that won't mind sitting in extreme shade for more than half the day?

I've saved my only West-facing window for my herbs, and space there is very limited. Help a newbie out, please?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm going to suggest that you investigate some means of special plant lighting. Contrary to what you may think, plant lights don't have to be rows of fluorescent lights hung 4 inches above a plant. You've got lots of options.

If I lived in an apartment with such limited natural light, I'd be VERY loath to give up any opening to plants! You need that light, too! ;-) So, rather than cloak every window with plants, why not try to accommodate a few plants with some specialty lighting?

I've attached a google search for low light plants. I'm sure that others will help out with some suggestions, too. I still vote for some alternative methods of plant lighting, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Low ilght plant ideas

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:50AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed. And this discussion may be of interest to you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I actually do have two rooms with large West-facing windows which get a lot of sunlight, but most of that area can't be used for plants. My parrots live free-range in one of the rooms, and in the other room, the bed is right up against the window. I am not going to hang plants above the bed because bits of dirt would fall in. That leaves a 2 foot gap where I can grow herbs, and even that's partly shaded by the window air-conditioning unit, so I've got basil on the bottom and lemon balm on top.

I was just wondering whether there was any low light species of plant that I could use to brighten up the rest of the house. Do you have to get special grow lights, or will any table lamp with a CFL bulb work? And if I use a CFL bulb, does it have to be white light? It's just that my live-in boyfriend can't stand blue light, and if a warm white CFL bulb won't work, I'll forgo plants there altogether.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:14AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Fluorescent bulbs are now available in all spectrums of light. A bulb with a broad spectrum of light rays is best (for plants AND people, IMO.) Most plants that are more than 18" from fluor lights may not thrive, though, except the extreme low-lighters. Also, the light works best when it comes from above, as opposed to sideways.

I lived in a little apartment for a few years with only 1 north-side window which I nailed a sheet over after the 3rd "peeping tom." My computer desk had a shelf at the top (about eye-level when standing up) and I hung a shop light above that and filled the shelf with plants. This was enough light for african violets to bloom, which was my main obsession at the time. The bulbs available now are so much more pleasant than those were, in regard to light spectrum, and the new shoplights hopefully don't "hum" either. Something to consider if you have a tall shelf unit available.

The rational part of me knows better, but the emotional part of me yelled, "move that bed!" when I read your last entry. Just a sign of the psychosis called "plant-o-phile." Pointing it out so you can let your BF know you're not ill like "those crazies on the internet."

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:26AM
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