I spent more than ten years conducting a thorough search. But I did find it—the indoor plant that will brighten the end of the hallway, which is five meters from my front door. The Aspidistra, also referred to as the Cast Iron Plant, has adorned the drawing rooms of numerous Victorian English manors, many of which were otherwise dull, and it currently adorns my suburban Sydney brick home.
The Aspidistra is one of the hardiest and most versatile house plants, according to many gardening experts. Up to 75 cm tall and 15 cm broad, its long, slender, dark green or dark green and white variegated leaves emerge straight from the soil in clumps.
It is such a low-maintenance plant, similar to a woman with a level head who does not require fussing but nevertheless retains a charming disposition. It requires only sporadic watering, average temperature and humidity, and very little light.
Other plants that do not need much light
Low-light plants are usually defined as those that can survive in 25 to 75 foot candles – that is, a spot that is 4 to 5 metres from a bright window, just enough light to read by comfortably, but where artificial lighting switched on by day would give a brightening effect.
You can easily find the Aspidistra in your local garden center nursery. In addition, five other plants that will suit very low light situations are the following:
Aglonema (Chinese Evergreen) which are among the few plants that prefer only moderate light and adapt well to low light. It has large dark green oval then tapering leathery leaves later developing a caney base.
Drachaena deremensis varieties (also know as Happy or Fortune Plants) which are slender leafed and usually white variegated. The Drachaena family are caney plants crested with decorative rosettes of straplike foliage.
Holly fern which adapts to low light and Boston fern a fishbone type of fern that will remain in low light for many months but need a spell in brighter light to rejuvenate.
Neanthe Bella or Parlor Palm which is more suited to low light situations than most palms.
Sanseviera (also known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue) which stands low to very bright light has waxy, erect straplike leaves usually with cream-colored margins and an unusual banding of the grey-green center.
If you are finding it difficult to find a plant that will brighten up that dark corner, why not try one of these hardy and lovely favorites of mine?