If you are a plant enthusiast like me who wants to make every corner of your home green, then a common problem you might face is keeping a houseplant in an air-conditioned room.
Air-conditioned rooms have a cool temperature, cold drafts, and dry air, which harms the growth of your indoor plants. In addition, not all indoor plants can survive in such living conditioned.
But this was something I figure out the hard way. I killed over a dozen plants before I learned that not all plants would do good in an aircon space.
Thus, I decided to prepare a list of plants that can survive in an air-conditioned space for your help. So, let’s get started.
Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.
Tillandsia, also known as an air plant, is becoming a common plant for keeping at homes and offices. They are fascinating due to their array of colors and forms and are low maintenance.
Air plants can survive in wide ranges of conditions. They are mounted on a wall by planting on a board and can be kept in rooms with an air conditioner.
However, it’s recommended not to mount them on the opposite wall of the AC to avoid direct drafts.
Sunlight: Tillandsia likes bright indirect light. They can survive darkness for some days too. When placed in direct morning or evening sun, you should water them to keep them hydrated.
Watering: Submerge tillandsia in water and leave them to soak in the water for an hour.
Now shake the excess water from the tillandsia and let them dry or keep them in good air circulation to dry upside down. After they are fully dry, hang them back to their display and water them weekly in summer.
Fertilizer: Tillandsia does not need fertilizer necessarily, but feeding can promote their growth and good health.
Use food specially formulated for air plants or bromeliad once every month in the growing season. Use a spray bottle, add water and fertilizer to the bottle and spray on the plant once a month.
General Care: Tillandsia does excellent in the temperature range between 50°F-90°F. They need good air circulation average humidity.
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The snake plant is a popular and easiest houseplant to grow and maintain. They are forgiving, drought-tolerant, and can live in a variety of environments.
Snake plants are hardy plants and excellent for your air-conditioned rooms. They will enhance the beauty of the space and clean air as a bonus and make the air breathable.
Sunlight: Snake plant likes bright filtered light for 6-8 hours but can survive in low light and shady corners. They can also thrive in indirect light. You can also use artificial light sources to provide them with sufficient light.
Watering: Water your snake plant only when the soil is fully dry. They do not like their soil to sit in water. You can check the soil by digging a finger or skewer a couple of inches in the soil. If the soil feels moist or the soil is stick to the skewer, then wait for watering.
Fertilizer: Fertilize snake plant once every month in the growing period with a balanced houseplant food. Dilute the fertilizer to half the strength and avoid feeding the winter and fall.
General Care: Keep your snake plant in a warm spot, at a temperature level above 50°F. During cooler months, keep them away from cold drafts.
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Monsteras are also known as swiss cheese plants due to holes in their leaf. They are easy-going, versatile plants with beautiful foliage.
These are vining plants and trail over or along with the sticks. They are adaptable, which makes them one of the best choices to keep in an air-conditioned room. They just need the least care to thrive.
Sunlight: Give your monsteras some bright indirect light or even low light. They can even take some hours of direct light, but too much direct light can cause harm and burn the leaves.
Watering: Water monsteras once a week in summer, keep the soil dry and not soggy. Overwatering can stunt their growth or kill them. Water them less in the cooler months to avoid root rot.
Fertilizer: Fertilize monsteras with a balanced houseplant food by diluting the strength to half the recommended dosage. Feeding them once a month in the growing period is enough.
General Care: Keep the humidity level high around your monsters, and occasional misting can help them stay hydrated.
Temperature level between 50°F-80°F is ideal for monsteras. However, keep them away from cold drafts and direct air from the heating systems.
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Pothos are tropical plants that come in an arrangement of colors and patterns that grace the decor and tastes.
They grow moderately forgiving and flexible houseplants with shiny heart-shaped leaves. Pothos even clean toxins from the air and can be kept in almost all conditions, even in air-conditioned rooms.
Sunlight: Pothos like indirect, filtered light and can tolerate low to moderate light too. They cannot tolerate direct light as it can burn their leaves.
Watering: Water the pothos once a week ideally, allow their soil to dry between watering. Make sure the excess water drains out after watering. Slow down the frequency of watering in the dormant period.
Fertilizer: Pothos are light feeders, so apply a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months to keep them healthy. Fertilize 25% of the recommended dosage and avoid feeding in the dormant period.
General Care: Keep the temperature above 50°F around your pothos. They prefer high humidity, and occasional misting can help.
The peace lily is a tropical evergreen plant producing white flowers in the summer. They are somewhat easy to grow and hardy plants that can grow up to 16 inches high indoors.
Peace lilies are happy to live indoors and will thrive in the air-conditioned room, making sure they don’t get direct air from your air conditioner.
Sunlight: Keep peace lily in bright-lit rooms, which should be indirect. Morning light is perfect for them, and too much direct light can harm them.
Watering: Water peace lily every few days in summer as the sun is intense, keep the soil evenly moist between watering. Do not overwater and let the excess water drain completely.
Fertilizer: Fertilize peace lily with balanced houseplant food. Fertilize every two months by diluting the strength to half the dosage. Do not fertilize in the dormant period.
General Care: Peace lily likes high humidity. Misting can help increase the humidity levels. They like temperature levels above 60°F. Keep them away from cold drafts and direct hot air.
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ZZ plant is a low-maintenance plant with glossy, oval-shaped deep green foliage and will make an outstanding addition to your room. They are drought patient and docile to a wide range of conditions.
Most inexperienced gardeners can also grow a healthy ZZ plant. They can thrive in an air conditioner room set between 70°F-85°F.
Sunlight: ZZ plant likes bright indirect light, whether natural or artificial. The leaves can burn in too much direct light. However, they can tolerate all lighting.
Watering: Water the ZZ plant once a month. They are drought tolerant. Let the soil completely dry out between watering, and the soil should not be kept soggy.
Fertilizer: ZZ plants are light feeders and even can thrive without feeding too. Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food by diluting it to half the strength. Do not fertilize them in the dormant period.
General Care: ZZ plants are happy with household humidity and temperature. Please do not keep them in temperature levels below 45°F and avoid cold drafts.
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Parlor palms look like bamboo due to their bamboo-like stalks. They are classic plants, low in maintenance, and can grow up to 6 feet tall. They are excellent picks for an air-conditioned room with an easy-care routine.
Sunlight: Parlor palm likes low to bright, indirect light. Give them ample light and avoid direct light, and they will thrive.
Watering: Water parlor palm once a week. The rule is to let the soil dry before watering them again. They don’t like drowning soil and can stay with some water neglect too.
Fertilizer: Feed parlor palm with a weak houseplant fertilizer twice in the growing season. They are light feeders and should not be fed in the dormant period.
General Care: Parlor palm thrives in normal to high humidity and average temperature levels. They don’t like to be exposed to cold and hot drafts.
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Boston fern is a unique houseplant with an impressive formation. They grow from a middle rhizome with fronds of diamond shape with narrowing leaflets at the tip.
Too many growers feel like a challenge to grow, but once you know how to grow them, it will be a hit. They are one such houseplant that can thrive in air-conditioned rooms with some care essentials in check.
Sunlight: Boston fern liked indirect light, preferably north-facing window. Inadequate light will lead to wilting and yellowing of leaves.
Watering: Water your Boston fern once every 2-3 days as a routine, but make sure the soil does not completely dry out before watering. Keep the soil slightly moist and not soggy to avoid root rot.
Fertilizer: Feeding Boston fern is essential too. Water them with a seaweed tonic once a month in the growing season as it will fulfill their nutrients requirement and keep them looking serene.
General Care: Boston fern prefers high humidity, mist regularly to keep humidity high. You can use a pebble tray or humidifier to keep the humidity levels in check around them.
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Prickly pear is an easy-to-care-for and sturdy plant that can survive in almost all conditions and produce cheerful flowers.
They can grow up to 1 foot tall and 1 foot wide. They can also thrive in an air-conditioned room as they are resilient to varying temperatures.
Sunlight: Prickly pear prefers full sun for at least 6-8 hours. In hotter climates, they can grow in partial shade too. However, they will grow and bloom best in full light exposure.
Watering: Water prickly pear once every two months in summer and once a month in winter. They are drought tolerant and like their soil to stay moist.
Fertilizer: Fertilize prickly pear with balanced houseplant food once every month in the growing season. Fertilizing them in a dormant period is not required.
General Care: Prune prickly pear to maintain their size and shape. They like alkaline to the neutral soil mix. They like warm, dry weather and can survive cold temperatures down to 14°F.
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Spider plant is resilient, low maintenance, easy-going plant with curving green or green and white striped leaves that can grow up to 1.5 feet long.
They have a moderate growth rate. They are forgiving plants and can thrive even in AC-treated homes.
Sunlight: Spider plants like to grow in light shade, and bright light will keep them growing healthy. Direct sun can burn their leaves, and low light can make their growth and health slow.
Watering: Keep spider plant’s soil slightly moist and not soaking. They can be watered once a week but checking the soil moistness before watering will save them from water issues. Water them with filtered or rainwater.
Fertilizer: Moderate amounts of food will keep your spider plant happy. A balanced houseplant food that is diluted should be fed to them in the growing season once every month.
General Care: Spider plants like warm and humid conditions. They should be kept away from cold and hot drafts. Temperature below 50°F can harm them and even stunt their growth.
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Aloe vera has dense, fleshy leaves with watery gel plumped in them. The leaves originate from the base of the plant.
Aloe vera are fast-growing plants and can take 3-4 years to develop up to 2 feet tall. They grow fine in air-conditioned rooms to provide their other requirements are kept in check.
Sunlight: Aloe vera grows well in indirect bright light or partial shade. Direct sun can burn their leaves, but some full sun will not harm.
Watering: Water aloe vera regularly in hot weather. They like dry soil between watering. They are drought tolerant and should not be kept sitting in water. If the leaves shrivel slightly, then they need water.
Fertilizer: Aloe vera does not need fertilizing and can grow from the natural nutrients in the soil. However, you can fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer in the year; that will be enough.
General Care: Aloe vera thrives in temperatures ranging between 55°F-85°F. They can tolerate 40°F but can die in frost.
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Calathea Zebrina plant
Calathea zebrina plant produces broad ovate velvety patterned leaves at the peaks off the long stalks. The leaves are bright green with stripes resembling zebra.
With some good care, they can grow strong, bright, and healthy. They can survive in air-conditioned rooms but should not be getting direct air from the AC.
Sunlight: The calathea zebrina plant likes bright indirect light to thrive. They can survive in low light but might not be too happy there. Direct light is fatal for these plants.
Watering: The calathea zebrina plant likes a lot of water to thrive. Keeping its soil moist will keep them happy but avoid soaking them.
Please slow down, watering them during cooler months as the growth and functioning slow down.
Fertilizer: The calathea zebrina plant is healthy when fed in the growing season with a balanced diluted fertilizer. They need to be fed once every month in the growing period.
General Care: The calathea zebrina plant is happiest in temperature ranging between 65°F-75°F but may suffer below 50°F.
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Rex begonia has pretty and dramatic foliage coming in a wide range of colors, patterns, and shapes. Their foliage margins and undersides are overlaid with red hairs.
These plants are easy to care for but can be fastidious at times. They generally reach 12 to 18 inches in height.
It can be kept in an air-conditioned room but with some extra care and keeping them away from direct air coming from the AC.
Sunlight: Rex begonia can grow partially to full shade and be happiest in a brightly lit room. The light they prefer is filtered, and the direct sun can burn their leaves. Keep them near a window covered with a sheer curtain to reduce light intensity.
Watering: Water your rex begonia when the soil is dry, preferably once in 2 weeks. The soil should feel dry from within. Cut back on watering in the dormant period and water only when the soil is fully dry.
Fertilizer: Feed your rex begonia with good houseplant food but avoid over-fertilizing them.
Fertilize in the growing season and avoid feeding during the dormant period. Please make sure they are in a healthy condition while fertilizing to avoid stress.
General Care: Keep your rex begonia in the average temperature level where you also like. They are sensitive to temperature changes, so make sure you don’t take extra care.
They like humidity above 50% but misting too much is not recommended. Instead, you can use a humidifier to maintain high humidity around them.
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Aglaonema Red is a picturesque and chic plant with vibrantly patterned leaves. Their leaves are dark green crimsoned with pink and red giving the plant an artistic home-decor accent.
They are so easy-going, low-maintenance, and can grow in any part of your home or office. They can keep in an air-conditioned room but should not be placed too close to the air conditioning vent.
Sunlight: Aglaonema Red needs bright indirect light to produce and maintain red and pink colors on its leaves. They should not be exposed to full sun. They can thrive in low light, but the color and patterns might not be that rich.
Watering: Aglaonema Red likes moist soil in warmer months. Water them thoroughly, and makes sure the excess water is drained. During winters, let the soil dry before watering them to avoid root rot. Use distilled or rainwater, preferably to water them.
Fertilizer: Aglaonema Red can be fertilized once in the early spring and once in the late summer with balanced houseplant food. Do not fertilize them in the dormant period.
General Care: Aglaonema Red likes temperature levels between 60°F-70°F. Prevent them from cold drafts and temperature shifts. They can survive in low humidity but will stay at their best in high humidity.
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Croton Variegatum Petra
Croton Variegatum Petra is an attractive plant with coloring leaves. These plants have thick, leathery leaves with stunning variegation and colors.
Their leaf veins are pale green which adds an exotic varicolored dimension. They can grow in an air-conditioned room as well but make sure to keep other elements in check.
Sunlight: Croton Variegatum Petra requires plenty of light, and a few hours of full sun will keep them thriving. Avoid direct afternoon sun for them, but do not keep them in the shade for prolonged hours.
Watering: Croton Variegatum Petra should be watered every few days to keep the soil moist at all times. They do not prefer dry or wet soil and can wilt as a result. Water them with lukewarm water for better results.
Fertilizer: Croton Variegatum Petra can be fed with a balanced fertilizer once every month in the growing season. They don’t need fertilizer in the dormant period.
General Care: Croton Variegatum Petra needs warmth and high humidity levels. Clean their leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and prune when they have grown very tall.
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Queen Victoria Agave
Queen Victoria agave is succulent with winning clusters of foliage in a rosette arrangement. They grow slowly up to 1 foot high and 2 feet wide.
These are cold, hardy and are drought resistant, and can survive in a wide variety of conditions. For example, they can easily grow in an air-conditioned room provided they get a lot of light.
Sunlight: Queen victoria agave likes full sun and reflected heat to grow their best. Though afternoon sun can harm them if exposed regularly. They will thrive in partial shade too.
Watering: Queen victoria agave are drought-tolerant, and too much watering can kill them. Water them in the summer when the soil is completely dry. Water them in winter very sparingly or not at all.
Fertilizer: Feed young queen victoria agave in the growing twice in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Mature plants do not need to be fed at all. However, they can be triggered and stressed if fertilized after maturing.
General Care: Trim queen victoria agave if you find any damaged leaves and wear protective gloves while trimming. Grow them in a sharp, well-draining soil mix. They can prosper in cold temperatures.
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Why are air conditioners not good for houseplants?
As we have mentioned above, many houseplants can survive and thrive in air-conditioned rooms, but cold temperatures starve them in the long term.
They tend to wilt, droop or turn yellow due to the cold and dry air from the AC. In addition, the cold air from vents makes it harder for the nutrients and water to move freely within the indoor plants, which you cannot see.
Also, there is a lack of humidity and warmth in air-conditioned rooms, which strips your indoor plant’s moisture, making them dull and dry.
Thus the care required for such plants would be different than your usual ones. A quick tip will be placing a few water bowls in your room, which will add some humidity in the air, making it suitable for your indoor plants.