Windowless Houseplants: Learn About Using Plants For A Windowless Room

Windowless Houseplants: Learn About Using Plants For A Windowless Room

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

If you work in an office space or lack a window in your room at home, chances are your only lights are the overhead fluorescent bulbs or incandescent lighting. Lack of windows and exposure to sunlight can be bad for humans as well as plants, but finding plants to brighten your cubicle or windowless room may be just the touch of outdoors needed to perk you up. There are many plants for windowless rooms that will thrive in artificial light. Let’s take a look at a few good options.

Choosing Plants for a Windowless Room

Plants need sunlight to photosynthesize, produce flowers and fruit and for overall health. That being said, plants are also uniquely adaptable and many vigorous specimens are perfect windowless houseplants. Choose a tried and true indoor specimen that will green up your space, clean your air and lend an aura of nature to any sterile indoor setting.

You don’t have to work in a warehouse or deep inside a skyscraper to experience low light indoor conditions. And many homes have lighting issues due to the placement of the rooms or shading from trees outside.

Windowless houseplants are suitable for fully shaded or semi-shady areas. When choosing plants, consider the size before purchasing. For instance, a dracaena can get quite tall as can parlor palms.

Growth rate is another factor to consider. If you want a good sized plant, pick one with a rapid growth rate that will fill your area with greenery. Vining plants usually work well. If you want a hanging or trailing plant, try a heart-leaved philodendron or golden pothos. If you just want a little guy to gaze at thoughtfully, try a container of hens and chicks.

Plants for Windowless Rooms

There are several foolproof, classic plants for offices and darker homes. Among these include:

  • Snake plant, or mother-in-law’s tongue, with sword-like, stiff leaves bearing attractive green and often gold markings.
  • Cast iron plant is a quirky plant that can get up to 24 inches (61 cm.) tall. Its name says it all, as it is not only tolerant of low light but also dampness, dust and general neglect.
  • Peace lily is another plant with sword-like leaves but it produces a creamy white spathe resembling a big cupped flower. It prefers moist soil and average interior temperatures.
  • Dracaena and philodendrons come in many forms and sizes, often with variegated leaves or splashes of alternate color and are great options as indoor plants for artificial light areas.

Some other choices might be Chinese evergreen, spider plant or ZZ plant.

Growing Indoor Plants for Artificial Light Spaces

Once you’ve chosen plants for a windowless room, there are some considerations on care. Interior plants that are not exposed to direct light do not tend to dry out as quickly as their counterparts. You may need to resort to a water meter to tell when it is time to water the container. Overwatering is a real danger if you are adhering to a schedule made for plants with sun exposure.

Interior plants, especially those with big leaves, need to be dusted or rinsed under water to remove debris which can clog the plant’s respiration system.

Repotting every few years is a good idea to refresh soil, and to go up a size on plants that are growing quickly.

Fertilizer is crucial to interior plant health since they are confined to soil with limited nutrient value and cannot rely upon sunlight to create plant carbohydrates. Use a good houseplant fertilizer at least every month for healthy low light plants.

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Read more about General Houseplant Care


What Is the Best Plant for an Office With No Windows?

If you’re like most people, then you spend more time at the office than at home. To make your workdays more bearable, you were thinking of getting some plants. The only problem? There’s no sun where you work, like none at all. You don’t even have access to a window. Can you still have plants? We dug around extensively to provide you the best answer to this common question.

What is the best plant for an office with no windows? There is no particular best plant for an office with no windows, but rather, many. Your options include:

  • ZZ Plant
  • Succulents
  • Sansevieria
  • Pothos
  • Philodendron
  • Peacock Plant
  • Peace Lily
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • English Ivy
  • Dumb Cane
  • Cast Iron Plant
  • Aglaonema

Are you curious what those plants are, what they look like, and how to grow them? Then you won’t want to miss this article, as we’ll delve deep into each plant on this list that doesn’t need sun to thrive.


Importance of Light for Plants

Light is an important component of plant life. A plant (more precisely, its dry weight) consists of 45% carbon obtained from air.

You know that the process of carbon assimilation is photosynthesis. This process occurs only with the participation of light, many external factors affect the intensity of photosynthesis. But the main thing is still the light intensity.

First of all, you will see that young plants and shoots suffer from a lack of lighting. Your plant leaf becomes pale, unsaturated, and smaller size.

Their stem and internodes are extended, and the plant is leaning/reaching for a light source. In addition, here are some other signs:

  • Your plant growth slows down the formation of new buds’ ceases.
  • With a large deficit of light, you will see flowering may stop completely.
  • Colorful species lose their decorative color, they become monotonous green
  • Lower leaves dry and fall out

When You Can Use LED Lamps?

You can use LEDs in any situation. The role of artificial lighting is to increase the exposure of plants to light. Artificial light will ensure that your indoor plants make more photosynthesis and, consequently, develop better and faster. The advantage of LED lights is that they do not heat up and therefore do not burn the plant.

You can have plants with lamps specially selected for them. This will facilitate care, as it will not be necessary to move the vase to receive sunlight.

Another way to use it is with succulents or small pots that you leave inside the house. An LED strip will illuminate and still make the arrangement very beautiful.

The bathroom is another interesting environment for flowers or foliage to look beautiful for longer. You can also use these artificial lights for outdoor potted plants.

Plants need more light in winter or in times of less sun. The additional light becomes important to guarantee the development of the plant.


2. Peace Lily

If you are eager to create a healthier environment and want to purify your home, you should definitely add a Peace Lily to your wish list. These blooming ornamental houseplants are very popular due to their remarkable ability to clean the air from their surroundings.

They thrive in average warm indoor temperatures, prefer humid conditions, and to be placed in a spot where they can receive partial shade. These plants can be placed close to north or west-facing window, but some Peace Lily growers say that these plants can even tolerate rooms without windows. There is no need to worry about watering them often, as they will let you know when they are thirsty by drooping and bending. To be safe, you can keep their soil damp by watering them once or twice a week.


Growing Indoor Lighting Products

When purchasing indoor grow lighting, light intensity, duration, and spectrum are all considerations, and they are all proportionately impacted by temperature. Lighting professionals use what’s known as foot candles, the recognized unit of measure used to assess light levels. Do your research on each species you plant, including which grow lights are best for which species.

Grow light bulbs in any ordinary lamp or ceiling fixture are easiest for new gardeners. Grow light fixtures are more costly, but they offer a total solution. One can provide for multiple plants, dispersing the lighting evenly throughout the space. Here are some options in indoor grow lighting:

Phlizon Newest 600 W LED Plant Grow Light with Thermometer Humidity Monitor

MIXJOY GL-4000 LED Grow Light with High-Efficiency Samsung LM301B & Mean Well Driver

Heat is a problem with incandescent, and distance is a problem with fluorescent. A standard fluorescent fixture equipped with two 40-watt tubes will only light a space about 20 centimeters wide and a meter long.

Incandescent bulbs can hang higher above the plants and have a better spread. With this option, a 60-watt bulb will provide the equivalent of sunlight on an area one to one-and-a-half-meter square.

LED grow lights are the latest technology on the market today. They consume a fraction of the energy and put out dramatically less heat. The color light spectrum range is the fullest of any grow light. For these reasons, LEDs are preferable to both incandescent and fluorescent.

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List of Plants That Grow Without Sunlight

1. Dracaena

Dracaena is a beautiful houseplant that you can grow at home. There are about 50 species of it. It’s one of the easy to grow houseplants.

Occasional pruning and regular watering are important for dracaena. Keep the plant away from direct sun and avoid overwatering.

Check out some of the best indoor Dracaena varieties here

2. Bromeliads Bromeliad is a perfect plant to grow indoors, most of the varieties of this plant thrive easily in a container in the shade. Indeed, it is a tropical plant, but you can grow it anywhere, indoors. It can even grow in luminescent light.

Here are some of the major problems you need to keep in check that kills houseplants

3. Maidenhair Fern

When it comes to ferns that are popular, maidenhair fern is one you should consider. The dark and glossy leafstalk resembles human hair, and it looks great.

Be sure to water frequently (avoid overwatering) and keep this houseplant in indirect sun.

Here are some of the best hanging ferns you can grow

4. Parlor Palm Most popular indoor palm variety, it’s an excellent houseplant for almost any situation, it grows even in those dim corners where nothing else will grow. It requires only minimal care and moderate light. It produces clusters of tiny yellow flowers in spring however, they don’t appear in low light conditions. Water only when soil is dry otherwise, you’ll kill your plant.

Want to grow indoor palms? Here are some of the best types

5. Umbrella Papyrus (Palm)

Umbrella palm is an evergreen ornamental plant, best grown indoors or in shady and a boggy spot in the garden. Many houseplant enthusiasts find this plant easy enough to grow and maintain.

It requires a constantly moist substrate. You can place the umbrella palm pot over the tray filled with water.

6. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)

Mother-in-law’s tongue is a low maintenance plant also known as a snake plant. It’s a very durable and popular houseplant. Its ability to tolerate darkness is amazing. One more interesting fact about this houseplant is–It’s a succulent!

Check our out our article on growing snake plant here

7. Creeping Fig

It’s a slow-growing creeper with small, leathery dark green foliage. Vigorous-growing, clinging, dense branches adhere to any surface and look enchanting.

Be careful not to overwater creeping fig. Let the soil dry out before watering spells .

8. Philodendron

Philodendron easily adapts to low-light conditions, and growing them is similar to pothos. They come in both vine and shrub form .

The soil must be constantly moist but not wet. It’s best if the soil dries out slightly between watering spells.

Here is everything you need to know about Philodendron care

9. Calathea (Peacock Plant) One of the most beautiful foliage plants you should grow in your home. It grows well in light shade, but the plant is demanding, it has a specific minimum temperature of 55 F (13 C) requirement that should be maintained. It prefers frequent watering (watering should be done according to the light condition and temperature) and slightly moist soil. 10. Maranta leuconeura (Prayer Plant)

Calatheas are tropical plants and a bit difficult to grow in cooler climates, and so the prayer plant, but it is one alternative you can go for, it is comparatively easy to grow plant than calathea. It grows well in moderate light without direct access to the sun. If the plant is kept in too much light, the leaves begin to curl and wither.

Watch out for pests, especially spider mites.

11. Sword fern

Sword fern can become a beautiful evergreen houseplant. Like other houseplants, don’t place this in direct sunlight but provide it all day long, bright indirect sunlight. Growing it is similar to Boston fern.

It grows well in acidic soil. Keep the soil lightly moist but well-draining. It loves humid surroundings, so do regular misting to maintain the humidity levels.

12. Peperomia Peperomia is a small striking adorable houseplant that grows up to only 6 inches tall. Due to its thick foliage, it is often considered succulent, which is not true. Peperomia likes slightly moist soil and humidity, but watering should be reduced in winter. S praying the plant’s leaves is helpful in maintaining the humidity level. 13. Devil’s Ivy (Golden Pothos/Money Plant) Commonly known as the money plant in South East Asia, it’s widely grown as a houseplant in Asian countries. This extremely low maintenance vine grows easily without direct sunlight. Excellent climber, you can grow it even in the bathroom, kitchen, or living room. It is known for its ability to clean the Carbon Monoxide from the air.

To know how to care for a pothos plant, click here

14. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese Evergreen plants are one of the best plants to grow indoors that don’t require constant, direct sunlight. If you are someone who’s new to growing houseplants, this is the plant you should start with.

15. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)

The cast iron plant is very forgiving by nature, a great plant if you are always busy and forget about the maintenance. It is very much happy staying indoors without the sun. Just wipe its leaves clean with a damp cloth once a week or so, and provide it bright indirect light.

16. Orchids (Orchidaceae)

One of the key points in growing orchids the right way is to provide them indirect sunlight. Coming in an astonishing array of colors, varieties, and mesmerizing fragrances, exotic and graceful orchids are your best bet!

17. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

According to Feng Shui, it attracts positive vibes and good fortune. It’s one of the best office desk and tabletop plants. Compact in nature, you can also grow it in water in corners of your home that receive some bright light in the day. We also added it to our list of best Office Desk Plants.

Here’s all you need to know about growing Lucky Bamboo

18. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)

If you can maintain this one right, Staghorn Fern is the right choice for you! It’ll save you from the hassles of placing it near a sunlight source every few days.

19. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcasi)

Not only this plant looks really good with its attractive, glossy foliage–It is a plant that you can forget about when it comes to sunlight. ZZ grows well indirect light and absolutely love the shaded areas of the house. The only requirement is the warmer surroundings.

Check out some astonishing benefits of ZZ Plant here

20. Peperomia (Peperomia)

What makes these plants perfect for your tabletop is the fact they are one of the best plants that grow without sunlight. Place them near a window that allows them to absorb indirect light throughout the day.

21. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

If you can keep this plant away from your pets and children, it can be a welcoming addition to your home. It’s a toxic houseplant, so be careful about the placement. It does really well in filtered light, making it a perfect houseplant for low light areas!

Here are some of the most amazing benefits Dumb Cane has on offer

22. Japanese Sedge (Carex morrowii)

Japanese sedge is a shade-loving ornamental grass, it grows well indoors. It requires a spot that receives bright indirect sunlight.

23. Spider Plant

Imagine the graceful variegated foliage of a spider plant dangling down with unique spiderettes in hanging baskets. Isn’t it enough to entice you to grow it? Also, it l ikes indirect light and one of the best air-purifying plants.

Direct sun light often causes the burning of leaves.

24. Peace Lily

If you’re looking for a houseplant with health benefits, acquire a peace lily. Also, it is forgiving and requires low care. I ncredibly easy to grow, peace lily flourishes in shady locations.

25. Silver Queen (Aglaonema) Silver queen is a very beautiful plant. It’s one of the most durable houseplants that thrive in low light, it’s an ideal plant for beginners too. However, the plant is extremely cold sensitive. 26. Aloe Vera

The most popular and number one houseplant of the United States these days, and rightly so. This medicinal plant can grow in direct sunlight, but it tolerates full shade too. Learn everything about growing aloe vera here.


Urn Plant or Zebra Plant (Aechmea asciata or A. chantinii)

The Bromeliad family of plants are not typically considered easy house plants, but the Aechmea genus includes species that positively thrive in low-light situations. Aechmeas are typically sold while they are already flowering, and they will hold their bloom and shapes for many months in poor light or artificial light conditions. The most common Aechmeas are urn plant (A. fasciata) or Amazonian zebra plant (A. chantinii).

  • USDA Growing Zones: Normally grown as a houseplant
  • Color Variations: Violet to red
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade


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