Yesterday was a balmy 11°F in New York City, so I did what any astute person would do – I walked the 20 LARGE blocks to the flower district to take comfort in flowers. By the time I reached 28th Street, looking like the abominable snowman, I couldn’t feel my fingers, toes and cheeks.
The flower market, however, was nourishing, and I found comfort and warmth amongst the myriad stems of phalaenopsis, leaves of bromeliads and scent of citrus trees.
The numbing hike to the district was done for a purpose – searching for the perfect apartment plant.
Those that know me well, know that I take vast amounts of pride in my home, and absolutely love each curated object. The one issue with my wonderful abode, however, is that there is a severe lack of natural light. So, even though I pride myself on having a green thumb, each plant that enters my door, lives a somewhat sad and short existence, constantly thirsty for natural UV’s.
Plants require natural light, just as humans require food and water (and for very warm blooded creatures like myself, lots of tropical heat!), so going into the market, I knew that I would have a hard time finding vegetation that would exist with less than desirable sun conditions.
I have, however, come up with a list of plants (I’ll admit, not the most attractive) that require little natural light. Here they are:
Snake Plant (Mother in Laws Tongue)
- Slick, tapered and rigid long leaves
- It is a plant known for purifying the air by removing harmful toxins
- Its leaves are succulent, so it does not require constant watering. Only water when soil is dry.
Cast Iron Plant
- It is named the Cast Iron Plant for a reason. It is incredibly resilient and lives forever with very little maintenance.
- It has deep green leaves that are, as young fronds, rolled and then open out when growing.
- Only water when the soil is dry to avoid mold buildup in the roots.
- Small glossy sturdy leaves that grow from stems
- With little light, you need to be careful not to overwater.
- Survives best when not over-nurtured
- Glossy leaves with an occasional white lily flower
- The Peace Lily is a thirsty plant and requires constant watering, but be careful not to overwater.
- Like the Snake Plant, it removes pollutants in the air.
Janet Craig Art Shade
- Bamboo-type stems with vibrant bright leaves. The Art Shade variety has a pale green outline on each leaf.
- Low-maintenance, only requires water once the soil is dry. Make sure to quench with lukewarm water.
After spending well over an hour at The Foliage Garden, I left with the Janet Craig Art Shade plant because I was drawn to the light green outline on each of the leaves. I hope it lives as happily as I do in my cozy West Village apartment!