UPCOUNTRY PLANT DESIGN © 2019 

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Best houseplants for your cave

Once upon a time, I lived in Southern California, and every single place I rented had gobs of natural sunlight. Every plant thrived in my space - my ficus lyrata, monstera, staghorns, philodendron selloum, ficus elastica - the list goes on and on (and now I'm weeping in memory of that glorious jungalow I called home).

We rescued this ficus lyrata from a trashcan, and it thrived in the light conditions in our Santa Monica bungalow

Then we bought a 1978 ranch house in the woods in Tennessee. And while we have gobs of space now, what we don't have is a lot of natural light. And so the plants went. 😭


So rather than force my light loving plants into an environment they're going to struggle in, I've turned to embracing the foliage that can handle low light conditions. While some of these get a bad rap for being too basic, I think the beauty of plants comes from them, oh, I don't know, staying not dead in your house.


1 - Dracaena Marginata. These plants come all in kinds of varieties and can grow up to 8' indoors. They're dramatic and their thin leaves don't always appeal to folks on the ficus lyrata train, but they're beautiful options. (Filters out: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene)


2 - Pothos. Hands down the most basic houseplant, but oh how it grows. I love to hang pothos so they have space to drip down. I prefer Silver Splash, but every variety has a similar growth rate. (Filters out: formaldehyde)


3 - Sansevieria. Some call it Snake Plant, some Mother In Law's Tongue, I call it awesome. These suckers are TOUGH. My personal favorites are Whale Fin and Moonshine. (Filters out: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene)


4 - Zamia. This fun fellow has been pretty en vogue for the past few years, which is good news for you cave dwellers who want to stay on trend. (Filters out: xylene and toluene)


So go forth and build your low light jungalow, fellow plant people! But remember - don't repot 'em.