postheadericon Indoor atrium garden: what plants do well in an atrium

Indoor atrium garden: what plants do well in an atrium

Image by JeffDSamuels71

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

An indoor atrium garden becomes a unique focal point that brings sunlight and nature to the indoor environment. Atrium plants also provide a number of benefits to overall health and well-being. According to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America and NASA, certain indoor plants can improve air quality by removing chemicals and pollutants from the air. Read on to learn more.

Plants for an Indoor Atrium Garden

A number of plants are suitable for indoor atriums and include those for both low light and sunny locations.

Advertisement Low or Moderate Light Plants for Atriums

Most indoor plants require sunlight, and low light doesn’t mean no light. However, some plants perform best a few feet away from direct light – usually in locations bright enough to read a book during the middle of the day.

Low or moderate light plants may be a good choice for places where the light is blocked by taller plants, adjacent to stairs, or near atrium panels or windows facing north. Low light plants that can be grown in atriums include:

  • Boston fern
  • Philodendron
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Peace lily
  • Golden pothos
  • Rubber plant
  • Dracaena marginata
  • King Maya palm
  • English ivy
  • Cast iron plant (Apidistra)
  • Spider plant

Sun-Loving Plants for Atriums

Good atrium plants for bright, sunny spaces directly under a skylight or in front of a glass pane include:

  • Croton
  • Cordyline
  • Ficus benjamina
  • Hoya
  • Ravenna palm
  • Schefflera

Several tree-type plants also prefer bright light and work well in an atrium with adequate ceiling height. Good atrium plants for a tall space include:

  • Black olive tree
  • Weeping ficus
  • Banana leaf ficus
  • Chinese fan palm
  • Phoenix palm
  • Adonidia palm
  • Washington palm

If the air is dry, the atrium may be a good environment for cacti and succulents.

Indoor Atrium Garden Considerations

Keep in mind that light level is only one consideration when deciding what plants do well in an atrium. Consider size, humidity, watering needs, ventilation and room temperature. Few plants can tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees F. or 10 degrees C.

Locate plants in close proximity to plants with similar needs. For example, don’t plant cacti near humidity-loving tropical plants.

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