Container Recipe for a Low-Light Plant Display

Low-light plant display statueYou may have a shady balcony, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep colorful, lush container plantings. This low-light plant display with colorful foliage and flowers can pop on any shady balcony or near a south-facing window in an indoor garden. You can tuck this display into a shady corner that won’t allow you to grow any light-loving plants.


To create this plant display, purchase the following items:

  • Metal plant stand
  • One large plant container
  • Potting soil
  • Boston fern
  • Angel’s wings plant
  • Kalanchoe blossfeldiana flowers
  • A small statue of your choice

When choosing your plants, make sure that the Angel’s wings (Caladium bicolor) has bright pink foliage and less green. It will pop out more than mostly green leaves. The Kalanchoe blossfeldiana flowers should also be pink. This flower, usually grown indoors, also comes in purple, orange, yellow and white. When planting, tuck the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana within the foliage of the Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis') so its bright pink flowers pop around the display, and plant the Angel’s wings near the top of the display so its leaves reach up and outward over the Boston fern’s long fronds. Place the container plant display on a table or raise it up off the ground with a metal plant stand. It will have the most effect when raised off the floor.

This planting display does best indoors (and not under a vent with dry air hitting it) or in a shady or partly shady balcony spot in a warm but not dry climate. In dry, hot weather, mist the fern with water often. If you live in a colder climate with harsh winters, make sure you can overwinter this plant indoors during the cooler months.

Over time the Boston fern will grow quite large. Take the fern out of the container and trim the roots or divide the plant to keep it to a manageable size. Also make sure to prune the Angel’s wings so its foliage grows compactly and not sparsely on long stems.

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