These houseplants can tolerate low light

Pothos vine tolerates low light and is a common inhabitant of office desks. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Pothos vine tolerates low light and is a common inhabitant of office desks. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Walter Reeves

Credit: Walter Reeves

Q: What are some houseplants that can live in low light? My apartment has few windows. Isabella Cantor, Decatur

A: I’ll give you six, with the Latin name included, to be sure you get the exact plants you want. My list would include ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior), Golden Pothos Vine/Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum pinnatum) and Heart-Leaved Philodendron (Philodendron scandens). Here are some tips for success: Water only when the soil surface feels dry and do not fertilize until spring. Turn the plant 180 degrees every month to give light to all the leaves. If possible, put the plants outdoors in the shade from May through September. This will help them recharge for the winter months spent indoors.

Q: Someone (who shall remain nameless, though we share a bed) trimmed our cryptomeria tree 3 feet up the trunk. Will branches fill back in where this was trimmed? Cindy D., email

A: I’m sad to say, for you and your unnamed friend, the branches will not grow back. It is simply too shady along the trunk for new buds to sprout. Consider hiding the base of the tree with small evergreens like Indian hawthorne, autumn fern, or loropetalum.

Q: I have been experimenting with cutting small pieces of store-bought mushrooms and throwing the mix on trees and on the ground to grow more. I noticed mushrooms growing from the trunk of an old Rose-of-Sharon. Are they the same as the ones I distributed? Ana Yim, email

A: I am not confident in my mushroom identification skills, but you can join the Mushroom Hunters of North Georgia Facebook group and get all sorts of help. The Georgia Mushroom Club,, has regular online meetings. I find both groups to be friendly and enthusiastic. I have some great links to other mushroom identification resources at

Q: I need a fast-growing vine to plant beside my deck to screen us from the house next door. It gets a few hours of direct sun during the day. David Cohen, Sandy Springs

A: I can think of three to consider: evergreen clematis (Clematis armandii), Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). If you loosen the soil in a wide area around the planting hole, all three will grow like a house afire in a couple of years. As an added bonus, they all have attractive fragrant flowers in spring.

Listen to Walter Reeves’ segments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website,, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Page at His email address is

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