Growing houseplants in dark corners of the home allows the indoor gardener to brighten these dim spaces. Not all houseplants thrive in lowlight conditions. Signs a plant suffers from insufficient light include sparse new growth, lower leaf loss, and pest and disease problems. Successfully growing houseplants in dark corners requires choosing indoor plants that remain healthy, despite limited lighting.
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Arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum) is a plant with distinctive arrow-shaped leaves that sit atop 6- to 12-inch stems. The foliage comes in shades of light green with dark green markings. Water the arrowhead vine when the soil surface dries. Feed the plant monthly spring through fall with a half-strength solution of a well-balanced fertiliser.
The cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) withstands a great deal of abuse. Most cast-iron plants have dark-green, glossy, 4 to 10 inch long, straplike leaves. Variegated varieties with yellow speckles and cream-coloured stripes exist, but are less vigorous growers. Water the cast-iron plant when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dries. Feed the plant monthly from late spring through fall with a well-balanced, all-purpose fertiliser.
The corn plant (Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana") is named for its long, green, straplike foliage with a light-yellow band down the centre. This plant eventually reaches 6 to 10 feet tall indoors. Water the corn plant when the top inch of soil dries. Feed the plant monthly spring through summer with a well-balanced fertiliser.
Peperomia is a 6 to 8 inch tall houseplant with heart-shaped leaves in a variety of variegated forms. Peperomia caperata has green, red or silver-grey foliage with corresponding dark-green leaf veins. The watermelon peperomia (P. argyreia) features silver-grey stripes, and P. obtusifolia has green leaves often marbled with gold or white. Allow the first 1/2 inch of soil to dry before watering. Feed the plant monthly spring through fall with a well-balanced houseplant food at half strength.
The snake plant (Sanseveria trifasciata) is a succulent with upright, sword-shaped foliage that grows 1 to 2 feet tall. The plant's dark-green leaves are edged in yellow. The interior of each leaf has a mottled green-and-yellow pattern resembling snakeskin. Water the snake plant when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dries. Avoid overwatering, which leads to root rot. Feed the snake plant monthly late spring through fall with a well-balanced, all-purpose plant food.
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