Don’t shy away from bringing nature indoors for fear that all indoor plants need greenhouse-like conditions to grow inside your home. Many houseplants are grown under shade cloth that reduces the light intensity, helping the plants adapt to interior spaces ~ like your living room! There are hundreds of houseplants that you can include on your pinboard when designing your living room, great room, or any gathering space in your home. Plantscaping your place with plants that tolerate low light helps complete your interior décor like green icing on the cake.
From indoor vines hanging from a ledge to fluffy ferns flanking your fireplace, these tropical plants can last a long time in interior rooms that receive less than 5 hours of sunlight daily. (All houseplants need light to thrive, and if your space has no windows or less than 3 hours of indirect sunlight daily, then consider using artificial lighting for your houseplants)
Monstera adansonii pictured above
While most indoor trees require over 8 hours of indirect sunlight to proliferate inside, there are a few exquisite choices for filling the vertical spaces in corners and short wall areas that need some leafy texture and receive under 5 hours of light each day.
Staked Vines are a fantastic substitute for light-loving indoor trees. Golden Pothos, Silver Pothos, Cebu Blue Pothos, Jade Pothos, Brasil Philodendron, Heartleaf Philodendron, Florida Green Philodendron, Philodendron Fuzzy Petiole, and train Monstera adansonii to grow along a stake and match the height that indoor trees such as fiddle leaf figs and dracaeans provide.
If you prefer trees over vines, a few gorgeous palms will live in less-than-ideal lighting. Bamboo Palms and Kentia Palms can handle dappled shade while keeping their tropical shape that fits your design aesthetic. Like a Miami hotel lobby, use palms to accentuate doorways, hallways, or seating areas showing off their lacy fronds and deep green glow.
When you need a proper tree form with real branches and leaves, a Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is a safe wager. Although these fast-growing trees are delighted with bright indirect light, they can also do well in dimly lit rooms. The caveat is they will grow slower in a dark space.
Cebu Blue Pothos pictured above
Drilling holes into your walls or ceilings is unnecessary if you are craving dangling greenery. Adorn your shelves, mantles, windowsills, or side tables with free-form vining plants to counter-balance horizontal lines or soften angles. Dark rooms do not frighten these low-light tolerant cascading indoor vines: Syngonium Glo Go, Syngonium Berry, Syngonium White Butterfly, Syngonium Plum, Syngonium Pink, Syngonium Batik, Syngonium bold allusion, Syngonium confetti, Syngonium Red Arrow, Syngonium Pink Perfection, and Strawberry Cream are top-shelf choices for rooms that are light on sunlight! Divine vining philodendrons like Philodendron Micans, Philodendron Golden Dragon, Philodendron Silver Stripe, and Philodendron squamiferum add character and grace throughout your living space while also being extremely low-maintenance.
Bantel's Sensation Snake Plant pictured above
The large bold green leaves of Chinese Evergreens and Dieffenbachia always stay in style. These substantial statement plants are perfect for placing in dark corners, in front of interior walls with no windows, or in the center of rooms where little light reaches. These species are similar in shape and form and can be combined to create a lovely mass of mixed foliage. Try placing larger specimens on plant stands or side tables to free up floor space and keep your living room feeling spacious. Ferns like the whimsical Kimberly Queen or the Fishtail Fern create a softness like no other houseplant. They require regular watering, but with minimal effort, indoor ferns can lighten up a dim space with their lacy fronds.
Sansevieiras (Snake Plants) are among the most graphic indoor plants used in interior design. Most taller growing varieties like Sansevieria zeylanica and Sansevieria Black Gold have upright leaves that pierce the air defining the space architecturally. You can choose any snake plant with medium to dark green leaves to style your living room. Deep green leaves require less sunlight than plants whose leaves are light green to white.
Coffee and Side Table Plants
The final touches are often the most important, and this is an opportunity for you to incorporate tabletop indoor plants as accents to complement your interior design. Peperomia Red Edge, Peperomia cubensis, and Birds Nest Anthurium like Cobra, Big Red Bird, and Superbum all have textured leaves. They are excellent for small groupings on coffee tables, side tables, or fireplace mantles. Slow-growing Bird’s Nest Snake Plants like Tiger, Tornado, Forest Star, and Lilliput look remarkable in long rectangular planters providing a non-intrusive low profile.
As you can see, there is no shortage of foliage plants when considering adding a little natural décor to your home. Living plants need light to survive, but with some trial and error, you will find the right plants for your light-challenged space!