Low Light Houseplant with a twist

kim_b_2010November 8, 2010

Hi There!

I'm new here and I have PLENTY of questions and pictures to share, but I wanted to start off easy (not having to post pictures). I have seen many discussions about low light houseplants and they've helped me narrow down my list, but I wanted to run my ideas by some experts. ;)

My bedroom has one small, south-facing window. It is, however, mostly shaded by the roof of the front porch right outside. On top of that, we currently have no heat in the bedroom and probably won't until next summer. We make due with a space heater (placed next to the bed and across the room from where I plan to put my potential new "pet"), but the temp does drop down to just above 50F sometimes.

To top things off, in the summer we put in an air conditioner which blocks out most of the little light the window receives. I plan on putting the plant right next to it on a dresser, but I could buy a stand to put under it if that would be better. It would get indirect light for most of the day in the winter, but in mostly darkness in the summer. I would love one that I could bring outside in the summer to lower the risk of killing it with darkness. Other areas of the house aren't really an option due to a VERY bad cat (a different post altogether).

Okay, I'm rambling. Sorry about that. I just wanted to give all the details and see if anyone could suggest a plant that could live in those conditions. I have a couple of Pothos already in another room. I'd like something new. I've done a lot of research and I'm leaning towards a Dracaena Marginata, Chinese Evergreen or "ZZ Plant". I also wouldn't mind a new Snake Plant. Had to get rid of mine due to the rascally cat. I'm pretty much open to consider any kind of plant. I'm getting better and better with my houseplants, so it doesn't have to be a beginner plant...but it probably shouldn't be an "advanced" either. I figured a consesis from people who actually grow these plants was the best way to go! Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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When you ended the Subject line, 'with a twist,' it made me think of Curly Lucky Bamboo.
Mine is living off the side of a window, in water, about 3 yrs now. There are different varieties, even colors.
It does fine in low light, and pretty care-free.

This is what it looks like.

Is there any specific type of plant you'd like? For instance, one that flowers? Grows tall? Scented? Toni

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:52PM
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Pretty, Toni! I have a couple of lucky Bamboos in my office. I was thinking of just moving them home. They're nothing as gorgeous as yours, though! In fact, one is slowly recovering from root rot.

I'm not really picky on the plant. I could do a tall one on the floor or a smaller one on my dresser. Anthing that will flower in low light would be pretty cool, but I wasn't sure there was anything out there that can also tolerate lower temps.

I went into Home Depot today for a couple of pots for my Pothos and, of course, had to adopt a couple new babies. I'm pretty sure one is a Dracaena of some sort. I've heard those will do fine in low light. The little guy looks a little sick. I couldn't just leave him there to die! I'll be posting a picture asking for help soon! :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Kim, that's what I was going to ask. How cold does the room get? duh. lol.

Plants will live in cool, even cold temps...the one thing you must remember: the cooler the temp, less watering is needed..

Both my plant rooms are cool. One room, gets really cold. One night it was 23F, but that was before we had new windows installed..Still, there's nights it drops in the high 40's. I keep Hibiscus, citrus, and many other plants in this room, but most that can endure cool temps.

There's different levels of shade. Some plants are meant to live in shady spots, and bloom, too.
Also, people see 'light' differently. What you might say is shady, I could consider it bright indirect light. It varies.
Kim, the majority of my plants are mid to high light. Living in IL, winters are cold, dry and dark. Yet, many plants flower in winter. Anthuriums is one example, although they look best in medium light.
I keep lights on certain plants, especially succulents, but a limited time at night. a few hours.

In my experience, I pot in my own soil mix, withhold fertilizer during winter, use a humidifer, and mist daily. It balances out throughout the year.

Dracaenas will live in low light, but not total shade or a completely sunless area. They really do best in medium light..It depends on the species and whether or not it's variegated.
I'm curious which plant you found at HD..lol..Toni

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 5:31PM
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Here she is!

Like I said, I'm pretty sure it's a Drecaena. I'm sure I've even seen it named on here, I just can't think of it. It's a little sick looking, but I'm thinking some fresh soil and TLC will make a big difference! Poor thing had dirt, gravel and dead leaves of other plants between its leaves. :( I can see some leaves have been cut off. Should I cut just the brown tips off, or cut some more leaves....or just leave the poor thing alone until it has some healthy new growth?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:57PM
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