Green Thumbs! I need plant ideas!

Alrighty. The new house lno and I bought has this 1950s indoor brick planter in the foyer. Honestly, we kinda like it. The thing receives no direct sunlight.

Any suggestions as to what I could plant in there that would (a) survive (b) require minimal care © look nice…?

Keep in mind it should be a set of hearty plants - when that door opens in the middle of a Minnesota winter, it’s gonna be cold for a few seconds.

:slight_smile: Help!


For your situation, I heartily recommend…plastic.

Seriously, I can’t think of anything that would do well under those conditions. Sorry.

I think YaWanna might have nailed it - most indoor plants don’t take kindly to gusts of arctic air, as well as little sunlight. Get a nice assortment of good quality, good-looking silk plants and be done with it.

Spider plants would be fine.


For light: Put a grow light in the ceiling fixture (if any), or rig something up, if there’s zero natural light. If there’s any natural light, you should be okay. These puppies are tough.

A silk fern.

Snake plant

I’ll second that suggestion. Also, it is cool that one of the common names for the plant is “Mother-in-law’s tongue”.


The thing does get some light - we have a huge bay window, and a door that has a window at the top, too. I don’t think it’s going to curl up and die over the winter, but something tough like this might work!

I have bad experiences with silk flowers - granny style! - but I know there are beautiful silk plants available out there.

Thanks for the suggestions!

They have a recommended temperature much higher than you’re talking about, but I’ve seen Philodendron Scandens thrive in just about every type of climate. As long as you don’t over or under-water them, one of these could work nicely for you.
It’s up to you to decide if you’re in the “I find them ugly as sin” camp, however.

I think philodenrons will live happily in a closet. :slight_smile:

I grow my orchids in indirect light; they have to be potted in well drained containers of fir bark, so they couldn’t go directly into the planter.

Ferns would work, too. The grocery stores sell them in the floral section.

Spathiphlyyum “Peace Lilies” do very well in low light and have an attractive white spathe. They have them at Kroger’s, too.

Can’t think of any carnivores that do well in shade, though. :frowning:

I’ll second the “snake plant”, which comes in a few different varieties. You could probably grow one of those suckers in an old ashtray.

I worked with a man that fell backwards and landed on a snake plant. The plants all sprang back up and you couldn’t tell ever leaf had been flattened.

You could try Ivy. Some species are adapted to cold climates, and they come in nice spotted varieties.

You may want to look into a nice cactus and stone garden. Little light, little water slow growth and a million laughs when you have drunks at house parties. There are some beautifu barrel cactus and such.

Also, consider the installtion of a skylight above the planter. It will light up a fairly dark area of the house and make it a nice centerpiece for those first entering your home.

Could you drop a liner in it and have an indoor water garden?

Ivy. Most Ivys grow pretty in low/no sunlight.

How about those systems that carry daylight from further away into your hallway? Example here.

Golden Pothos should do all right there. It doesn’t require much light at all.
Another odd but cool plant that is VERY tolerant of low light is the “ZZ plant” : ZAMIOCULCAS ZAMIFOLIA (I just chose that link for the good photo on there; I have never ordered plants from them so I can’t vouch for their quality…in fact, I’d recommend going to the stores like Lowe’s and keeping an eye out for ZZs in the houseplant section…they’re not that hard to find nowadays).
In low light the ZZ plant tends to get a little floppy, but it still stays green and has nice glossy leave. I’d consider it one of the easiest plants I’ve ever owned (I’ve owned dozens over the years).

It sounds as if the area gets light, just not direct sunlight. You might consider African Violets. They like light bright enough to read a newspaper by - but don’t need anything direct. The occasional blase of cold air won’t kill them, either. They are pretty and do best in African Violet planters.

I don’t know about the ferns, carnivorousplant - my experience growing them is they are very touchy, and require A LOT of misting to keep them moist. Actually, my experience growing them is bring them in house, watch them drop all leaves in next couple of days, throw dead plant out a couple weeks later.