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LOW LIGHT PLANTS: 5 Species That Shun The Sun
Story by Diana Keeler
Every house has one: a sunless room that needs plants but can’t sustain them. Mine is my
bathroom, with a sole window overlooking a courtyard that only gets light three months a year
— the rest of the time, it’s as dark as a closet. I dreamed of hanging jasmine in front of the
window, setting out succulents on the sill.
Truth: I tried it anyway, light levels be damned. My jasmine and succulents (and a couple spare
palms) lasted a couple weeks, until I took pity on them and moved them to a sunnier space.
GREENE PIECE FOUNDER, MARYAH GREENE RECOMMENDS MIXING FAUX GREENERY
WITH LIVE PLANTS.
How to fix a space like this? Many plants experts — including Greene Piece’s Maryah Greene
— recommend liberally mixing in “faux plants” with live ones. Look for higher-end options that
avoid shiny leaves or other telltale signs of fakery — you’ll have them as long as you want them,
so invest if you can.
The focus, of course, should be on live plants. Not all plants require sunlight to power its basic
biomechanical engine, via photosynthesis: Parasitic plants like witches hair, or dodder, take
nutrients from other plants, while saprophytic plants feed on other organic matter. Most do
— but many can get by on just a bit of indirect light. These are the plants for your basement
apartments, subterranean guest suits, and windowless bathrooms.