Plants on a table in small pots.

What Plants to Choose for Partial Shade Places in Your Home

This is a position that receives no direct sunlight, although the overall light quality is not poor. Most plants featured in this chapter will thrive in the back of a room, away from a large window.

Flowering houseplants do not thrive in the more shady areas of the home, because they need maximum light to keep flowering and maturing. However, there are many beautiful foliage plants that will thrive permanently in a shady room and will cheer up the darkest corner.

A hallway or landing is often an area that is cool, since it is not heated to the same degree as the rest of the house. This can be a good area to grow leafy foliage plants, because they will not have to put up with a the dry, arid atmosphere of the warmer living rooms. The Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) is a good subject for a cool, shaded area — although it doesn’t like deep shade — and looks very handsome displayed on a large pedestal with its bright green fronds cascading over the sides.

If you need a taller plant, a fatshedera or philodendron would make a good floor-standing specimen iri a shady corner. For a table display, choose a grouped arrangement of leathery-leaved scindapsus and Ficus pumila, which will trail over the sides of the container. Another trailing plant, and one that is very easy to grow in partial shade, is the grape ivy (Cissus rhombifolia).

This has dark, glossy leaves that are often trained up a pole, although it can be grown as a trailing plant, mak­ing it ideal for a hanging basket. If the leaves turn brown at the tips, the air is too dry.

One of the advantages of growing plants in containers is that it gives you the flexibility to move the n around. Beware of leaving your plant in a permanent position all year round. Even shade-loving plants enjoy a lighter position at some stage during their growing season to stimulate their growth and regenerate the plant. Rotating’ your shady plants from low light to stronger light is a good idea, providing it is done gradually and the plants are able to acclimatize slowly.

Once the summer is in full swing, give your plants a break by plunging their pots into a shady corner of the gar den where they will benefit from being out in the fresh air and an occasional shower of rain. Keep an eye on them as you would in the house to check for pests and diseases, and make sure you bring them back into the house before any signs of frost.