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I normally have a pretty green thumb, but I believe I have killed my Schefflera.  I did a lot of research when I saw it was not thriving, but I guess I didn't catch it in time.  This was my first one, from my brother's funeral in September 2015.  Most of my plants live outside and they all thrive, I have roses blooming even now...  I do start seeds indoors, but move them out into the sunlight when they start to sprout.  My question is ~ I would like to have houseplants that help clean/make the air fresher, but I have two things working against me.  One, I have my son's cat.  Two, I have blackout/tinted screens.  When I put the Schefflera against my window, in my bedroom, where the cat is not allowed, it still did not get enough sunlight.  I love plants, and I would love to have some in the house.  Do you have any recommendations on what plants will work well in my house?

Hi Christel,

For indoor plants, light is the most critical factor. If a plant does not receive adequate light, then nothing else you or I do matters. Most blackout screens that I am familiar with block out the critical portion of the light spectrum that plants require to live. You didn't provide any detail, but that may be why your Schefflera did not make it.

Below is a list of the plants do best in low light, but I doubt that you have enough light even for these plants. Perhaps you can raise your blackout screen or invest in a grow light.

Dracaena 'Janet Craig'
Dracaena 'Lisa'
ZZ Plant
Corn Plant
Peace Lily
Chinese evergreen
Parlor Palm
Snake Plant

I have written detailed articles on low light plants and on Schefflera care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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