Houseplants can be grown without windows or sunlight thanks to artificial lighting! The dark won’t make them grow… but keep reading. These recommendations are based off of past experience, so I am confident that it can be accomplished, and it can be done successfully!
It’s time to choose some office plants that don’t require sunlight.
You can’t just put any plant in an inaccessible place and hope it thrives – you need to choose the RIGHT plant for the space.
It will die a slow death if you choose the wrong location.
Even if you don’t have a window in your office or room, there are a few solutions to consider. Despite no windows and fluorescent ceiling lights, I have personally harvested the following with no problems.
I can’t imagine working at a desk if it didn’t have plants. Here are my favorites:
Lucky bamboo is one of the simplest plants to grow, ever. Take a look at the picture below.
Water and rocks are the only things that are in the containers they grow in. Of course, they can be grown in soil too, but for some reason they can only be grown in water. That’s fine.
If you keep the pot filled with water and use distilled water (room temperature), then you should be fine for a long time.
Tap water will do just fine if that’s what you have available, but eventually hard water deposits will form and this can damage your plants’ roots.
On the bamboo, inside the pot and upon the surface of the rocks, you’ll see a white crust forming. Use distilled water to prevent this problem, and you can scrape this off gently when it occurs.
Despite this, lucky bamboo can survive without fertilizer for years, but it won’t thrive. It starts to lose its vigor eventually. You’ll see posts everywhere saying they don’t need fertilizer, and this is just plain silly.
Check out this lucky bamboo fertilizer if you love lucky bamboo. You will thank me later.
Your lucky bamboo should thrive for many years if you follow these tips. Change the water completely every week or two to keep it fresh and clean.
Indoor palms have been problematic in the past, with the exception of this one!
My experience tells me that the Parlor Palm is the easiest palm to grow indoors.
The plant can grow very slowly, but can attain the size it desires after several years.
The one you see above has been in my home by a window for a long time, however I have also grown them successfully in windowless areas.
Water most plants when they feel dry to the touch, and ensure the drainage in the pot is good.
However, depending on your location and other environmental factors, watering only once a week may be a good idea.
Feel the soil surface with your finger and if it’s dry, water it! Don’t let your calendar tell you when to water!
You shouldn’t expose your hands to extreme moisture levels. Don’t let them completely dry out, no matter what you do. It will quickly ruin them.
If you don’t keep the plants moist, they will eventually dry out and turn brown.
Do not let the palm get waterlogged either. Never let it sit in standing water for extended periods of time. It can quickly suffer root rot.
Among my favorite houseplant fertilizers, Dyna-Gro Grow is my favorite. You can find it on Amazon.
Parlor Palms will also bloom for you if you’re lucky, but it’s unlikely in a windowless area. In the picture above you can see a regular bloomer, but it is near a window and also several years old.
No matter what, they will make a gorgeous foliage houseplant for windowless areas!
Do you have a Parlor Palm? Get yours today on Amazon.
Devil’s Ivy or Pothos
It is pictured below alongside my lucky bamboo in my old office (with no window). The devil’s ivy, or Pothos, is the vine that you can see rambling over my old office bookshelves.
The plant was still pretty small at the time I took that picture. I even tied clear fishing string on the wall and trained the plant up the wall!
You can grow Pothos easily in your home.
Follow the same watering instructions as I described under the parlor palm section, and you should be good to go.
Keep its bottom leaves moist at all times, or they will begin yellowing and falling off. If you are attentive to proper watering, you’ll have a massive vine in no time.
Whenever I walked through the hallway at work, regular passersby commented on how surprised they were at how well my plants thrived without a window.
Not the other way around. Plants should be suitable for the right site.
Check out the variety of pothos you can buy on Amazon.
Throughout the world, peace lilies can be found. Almost no other houseplants can grow in the low-light conditions these plants tolerate.
Even windowless areas have bloomed with mine!
It is best to follow the same watering instructions as for the devil’s ivy. Peace lilies also hate it when their soil is bone dry.
The leaves will begin to droop if they dry out too much. It will bounce back if you water it right away! There are varieties with smaller leaves, and ones with huge leaves as well.
Here’s one I have at home near a window. I’ve grown them successfully at work with overhead ceiling lights even when no windows are present.
Due to the broad leaves, these plants tend to get dusty, so take a damp paper towel and wipe off the leaves periodically. Your plant will thank you.
Alternatively, you can take your peace lily with you to the sink, bathtub, or shower, and rinse off the foliage with tepid water.
You will also be rewarded with flowers if you take proper care of it. Some of them are scented.
How about purchasing a peace lily of your own? You can learn more about taking care of peace lilies by checking out my blog post about the topic. I list several common problems along with advice on how to resolve them.
Aglaonema or Chinese Evergreen
There is a reason why you often see Chinese evergreens growing in office buildings and malls.
Low-light plants of this type are the best around.
You should be just fine if you follow the same watering instructions as Pothos and Peace Lilies.
Check out Aglaonema varieties available on Amazon. Their foliage is gorgeous!
These should also work well in windows-less areas if you don’t want to go with any of the plants above:
A philodendron with heart-shaped leaves (looks similar to the devil’s ivy, but its leaf pattern is uniform rather than mottled like the devil’s ivy).
Iron plant Cast iron is known for its toughness. In fact, my grandmother divided the plant up and gave me a piece when she brought it back from Italy decades ago. These plants have large leaves which need frequent dusting in order to stay clean.
ZZ plant. Another tough plant.
An alternate great option is the Snake Plant or Sansevieria. Many people believe that these plants need a low light environment, but it is actually better if they get some direct sun. But they will not reach their full potential in lower light conditions.
It IS true that there are plants that should not be placed in windowless areas.
Plants to Avoid Placing in Windowless Rooms
All of these plants need very bright light and must not be grown in a dark or windowless area. The list is huge.
These flowers may look OK temporarily, but they will degrade rapidly, so you should avoid them unless you have a bright, sunny window:
- Any succulents
- Ponytail Palm
Remember, all plants do better with more light, however, if you need to grow plants in a windowless area, you are able to, but you must choose the right plants!
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