Medium Light Plants: Top 10 Houseplants to Enhance Your Space
Here in Minnesota, the weather outside has been rather gloomy and boring. There’s no snow on the ground to liven up our excitement for the upcoming holidays, and the colors outside are uninspiring. After the fun of the holidays fades and you take down your decorations, your space may feel empty and dull. We have an idea to help combat those post-holiday blues!
Imagine transforming your living space into a lush, green oasis where every corner breathes life and tranquility. Have we piqued your interest yet? Good! We’re talking about houseplants. And not just any old houseplants, we’re talking specifically about medium light plants. Not everyone has big, gorgeous windows with ideal directional sun placement. My house was built in 1910, so I'm absolutely talking about myself here as well! These plants can thrive even during those gloomy days we’re used to throughout the winter months. We want to help you find the perfect plants for medium light to hopefully bring joy and life into your home. Let’s dig in!
Understanding Medium Light Requirements
Medium light conditions are often misunderstood in the world of indoor gardening. So what is medium light for plants? It is characterized by bright, indirect sunlight, typically found in east or west-facing rooms. This kind of light is softer compared to the intense direct sunlight of a south-facing window or the more limited light of a north-facing one.
In east-facing rooms, plants receive gentle morning light, which is less intense than the harsh afternoon sun. This makes it an ideal setting for many houseplants that require medium light. Similarly, west-facing rooms offer the warm afternoon sun, which, though brighter than morning light, is still suitable for medium light indoor plants, especially if the plants are placed a few feet away from the window or behind a light-filtering curtain.
The key to medium light is indirect exposure. This light is typically diffused by sheer curtains or the position of the plant in the room - imagine a spot a few feet away from a window where direct sunlight never actually touches the foliage. This spot would be bright enough to read a book comfortably throughout most of the day without any artificial lighting.
It's also important to consider the seasonal changes in light. The angle and intensity of sunlight can vary significantly with the seasons. What works as a medium light spot in the summer might actually not be great in the winter. Just be sure to monitor your filtered sunlight plants and adjust their position with the changing seasons if you have a room that varies quite a bit.
Top 10 Medium Light Plants
Now let’s get to the good stuff! We have curated a list of our top 10 favorite houseplants for medium light to thrive. Each of these medium, indirect light plants will have their own unique care and soil requirements so make sure you verse yourself on those – but it's nothing to be afraid of!
1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The peace lily is a popular plant that is known for its glossy green leaves and simple elegant white blooms. Another great feature of this plant is its air-purifying qualities. If you're looking for a low-maintenance flowering plant - this is it!
2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are known for their arching leaves and small plantlets that hang down from the "mother plant" which gives it the spider-like qualities it derives its name from. This feature makes this plant perfect for hanging baskets or high shelves in need of some greenery.
There are over 450 different species of philodendrons. You'll probably recognize the most common varieties by their heart-shaped leaves. These hardy plants can thrive in many different indoor environments.
4. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
You may have heard this plant referred to as Devil's Ivy. It is a popular houseplant that is well-known for being easy to care for. Pothos are great at adding a calming element to any space.
Many species of Dracaena do well in medium light. They are recognized for their long, strappy leaves and can add a dramatic touch to any space.
6. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
If you are a busy or forgetful plant owner, this one is for you! The ZZ plant is one of the most resilient houseplants and can withstand periods of neglect. We love a low-maintenance beauty!
7. Orchids (Orchidaceae family)
Most people tend to recognize orchids, but did you know there are more than 25,000 species of them? They can be found on every continent except Antarctica -- crazy! Unfortunately, they do have a reputation of being a bit high maintenance, but your dedication will be rewarded with beautiful flowers.
8. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
The Chinese Evergreen is known for its variegated leaves that come in a wide variety of colors. We're talking deep green to silver, red, and even pink hues. If you're looking for a plant with more color options, this one is for you!
Known for their expressive foliage with unique patterns and colors, Calatheas are perfect for medium-light conditions. They are also known as "prayer plants" due to their tendency to move their leaves up and down in response to the light within a given day, a phenomenon known as nyctinasty. As a warning, they're also known to throw fits after repotting.
10. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
This fern loves humidity and medium light, making it a popular choice for bathrooms. Its feathery fronds create a lush, green display. They work well in hanging baskets, on plant stands, or in large floor pots where their frons can gracefully spill over.
Care and Maintenance Tips for Your Medium Light Houseplants
Like we mentioned earlier in the blog, each of these houseplants will have their own set of requirements. However, we do have some general tips for you to remember when it comes to nurturing your plants that we hope you will find helpful.
First, medium light plants tend to prefer their soil to be moist but not waterlogged. If you over water your plant this can lead to root rot. If you don’t water enough it can lead to sad droopy leaves. So we recommend keeping an eye on your plant’s soil and when it feels dry, give it a light drink. Don’t overthink it - you’ve got this!
Second tip - Find a great, well-draining soil for these plants. This will help prevent your plants from getting waterlogged. Some of these plants require a little bit more attention when it comes to their soil. Specifically, orchids prefer a soil that is extra airy made with bark to help with proper aeration and drainage. It’s also a good idea to fertilize your plants every month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Our final tip revolves around pruning and cleaning. Although it may not seem as important as proper watering or soil composition, this step can really help your plants thrive! For pruning, we recommend checking for and removing dead or yellowing leaves. This will encourage new growth and help maintain your plant’s shape. As for cleaning, it's as simple as wiping your plant’s leaves with a damp cloth of leaf shine to remove dust. We recommend microfiber gloves -- they are great at trapping dirt, dust, and dead cells, plus they are easier on your leaves than a standard cloth! Cleaning allows for better photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy, which they use to grow and sustain themselves. To learn more about how plants take in nutrients, check out this article.
Health and Wellness Benefits
Did you know that houseplants offer significant health and wellness benefits beyond their aesthetic appeal? Well, we are about to fill you in! When you have indoor plants they act as natural air purifiers. They can remove common indoor pollutants and release oxygen, thereby improving the air quality. Their presence in indoor spaces has been linked to reduced stress levels, enhanced mood, and increased creativity. This makes them valuable for both homes and offices!
Additionally, these plants contribute to physical health by regulating indoor humidity, which can benefit respiratory health and alleviate dry skin symptoms. The presence of plants has also been shown to improve concentration and productivity while reducing background noise levels. In essence, medium light plants create a healthier and more comfortable environment, contributing positively to both mental and physical well-being.
If you are looking to add some excitement and life back into your home or office, we hope you’ll try introducing some of these houseplants to your space. These medium light plants are the perfect blend of beauty and resilience, making them well-suited for both novice gardeners and experienced green thumbs. And remember, Sol Soils has the perfect soil blend for whichever plant you choose!
Make sure you stay updated on our latest posts for more insightful gardening tips and tricks. We love helping you Grow Happy Plants!