INSIDE : Learn 15 of my Favorite Low Light Houseplants for your home. These are tough as nail indoor plants that can take less light than most.
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This post has been updated since it’s original publish date of September 2020.
Do you have a dark corner in your home that you’d like to brighten up with some plants? If so, you’re in luck there are many low-light plants that can thrive in even the darkest of spaces.
Typically, low light houseplants will likely do fine in an east or west facing room that has a window or two, even if they receive no direct sunshine. However, a room with no windows or a single north facing window will make it difficult for even the most shade tolerant plants.
If you have almost no natural sunlight, you can always help your plants out by adding in a grow light for a few hours each day.
What are the best Grow Lights for plants?
There are many different grow lights on the market, so it can be difficult to choose the best one for your plants.
Here are a few factors to consider when making your decision:
- The type of plants you are growing: Some plants need more light than others. For example, flowering plants need more light than foliage plants.
- The amount of space you have: If you have a small space, you will need a grow light that is compact and easy to set up.
- Your budget: Grow lights can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.
With those factors in mind, here are some of top rated grow lights available right now.
- Yadoker Plant Grow Light, LED Growing Light Full Spectrum
- LORDEM Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
- BAEDAOD Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
- Witsanlex LED Grow Lights
- SANSI Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Pot Clip LED Plant Light
No matter which grow light you choose, make sure to read the instructions carefully and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use. With proper care, your grow light will help your plants thrive.
Which plants naturally love low light?
The most important thing to know about plants is that they ALL PREFER to live outdoors with natural sunlight. Some plants need less light than others, but all plants started outside. You will never read a botanic book that says with “naturally grown in east-facing windows” – ha.
The idea of “indoor houseplants” is one that we have made up to make plants work better for us. So the best indoor plants for “low light conditions” are really which plants are most tolerant of living in a darker corners.
The good news is that there are tons of plants can survive darker corners. They may not ideally love it, but some plants can adapt to less light.
And bonus is if every so often you rotate your plants closer to indirect sunlight – so they can get little bits of sunshine throughout the year. Not a necessity, but something they would welcome.
Looking for 11 Hard to Kill Houseplants in any location in your home? Check out my post.
What is a good indoor houseplant for low light?
15 of the best Low Light Plants
Here are 15 low light indoor plants that will do well, even if your windows don’t provide all day bright light.
ZZ Plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia
The ZZ Plant is one of the most forgiving of indoor plants and I would say it is the best low light houseplant. It can take quite low light and even does okay with minimal watering, once a month even. It grows very slow, so you really can purchase this plant and leave it alone for a while.
ZZ is a favorite indoor plant in offices because they do so well under fluorescent lights. This is a great air purifying plant for beginners, too. I have a Black Raven ZZ Plant also, which has beautiful black leaves.
- Check out my post about ZZ Plant care.
Peace Lilly, Spathiphyllum wallisii
Peace lilies are beautiful low light indoor plants. They have large dark green leaves and bloom with an elegant white flower every so often.
Although they need minimal sunlight, they do need consistent water or else the foliage will wilt. Once watered again, the plant’s wilted foliage will usually perk back up.
These shade-loving plants should be placed somewhere that receives indirect light.
Looking for more awesome Plant Care tips? Check out my plant care page… your houseplants will thank you!
Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata
The Snake Plant can tolerate low light, making it a very low light houseplant. They are a great choice for those darker corners of your home!
They require very little maintenance with both lighting and water. They are striking in appearance because they grow thick sword-like green leaves that can grow up to eight feet tall.
Water just once or twice a month during the winter and weekly during warmer months. These are long-lived, easy to care for houseplants.
They also come in a wide range of colors – white, yellow, and green striped to green leaves splashed with lighter colors.
- Check out my post about Snake Plant care.
Did you know I wrote an ebook about How to not kill your Plants? It has a helpful checklist for the 6 steps to keep your plants alive and also thriving. In addition, there is has a deep dive on 7 trending “it” plants and 5 fun plant printables to hang in your home. Buy it below!
Pothos, Epipremnum aureum
The Pothos plant is possibly one of the easiest houseplants. They are fast growers, extremely flexible with their light requirements and almost impossible to kill due to their forgiveness with minimal watering.
These are trailing plants that keep on growing. Because of their trailing nature, they are a great low light hanging plant for indoors. Occasional pruning will help keep them fuller at the base and each cutting can then be rooted in water to create more plants – they are the plant that keeps on giving!
They are very tolerant of all types of light conditions, even artificial indoor lights.
- Check out my post about Pothos Plant care.
Pinstripe Calathea, Calathea ornata
Calathea have gorgeous leaves and new plant owners always gravitate to them because of their beautiful coloring, but they are a trickier plant to keep alive. Their have dark green leaves with silver or pink colored pin stripes and the underside of the leaf is a beautiful purple color.
They grow well in medium to low light. However, the lower the light, the less frequently they will flower.
Although slow growers, they can grow up to 3 feet tall with higher humidity conditions.
Calathea add beautiful texture and are colorful low light houseplants.
Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum
Spider plants are a great plant for low light rooms. They get their name from the plant’s star-shaped flowers evolve into spider-like green offshoots which dangle down from the parent plant’s long, slender green leaves like spiders on a web.
They don’t need much direct sunlight and when they start to wilt slightly, you can water them. They make wonderful hanging plants for that dark corner in your home and are another plant that is very easy to propagate.
Marimo Moss Balls, Aegagropila linnaei
Marimo Moss Balls should be kept in a location where they will receive low to medium indirect light. They can turn brown if they get too much direct light.
Marimo moss plants need to be kept submerged in water as they naturally are a pond or lake plant.
They are a unique and fun plant to have and are a great small low light houseplant with very minimal care needs.
- Check out my post about Marimo Moss Plant care.
Bamboo Plant, Bambusa vulgaris
Bamboo plants enjoy bright indirect light, but they can also tolerate lower light conditions. The lower the light amount, the slower they will grow.
Grown in either water or soil, lucky bamboo plants are suitable plants for offices and homes.
If you see your plant starting to get yellow leaves, then you know it needs just a touch more sunshine. However, be careful because too much sunlight can give them a sunburn.
Peperomia Plant, Peperomia obtusifolia
Peperomia do not like lots of sun or lots of dark, so if you have a location that gets moderate indirect light, that is ideal for them! These plants even do well under fluorescent lights making them an ideal choice for the office.
They come in a variety of colors and leaf shapes. Their tight size makes them perfect for small quarters, such as bathrooms.
I really love this plant and have loved seeing how the plant has grown and it’s fun shape.
- Check out my post about Peperomia Plant care.
Dumb Cane, Dieffenbachia seguine
Dumb Cane plants are quite tolerant of shade which makes them a good plant for low light rooms in your home. Filtered light is particularly important in the spring and summer, when the dieffenbachia houseplant is producing new, tender leaves that are subject to sunburn if the light is too bright or shines directly on the plant.
Dumb Cane plants are irritants to pets and people’s skin, so keep that in mind when having this plant in your home.
- Check out my post about Dumb Cane plant care.
Arrowhead Plant, Syngonium podophyllum
A lovely option for those looking for a hanging houseplant that trails, the arrowhead vine is easygoing, with an arrowhead shape on mature leaves.
Best if left mostly alone, this plant is an easy option for houseplant novices and experts alike. Bright, direct light can burn and damage this plant easily, so it does best in lower, indirect light.
Deeper green varieties will be best adapted to shade.
Prayer Plant, Maranta leuconeura
Prayer plants do well in medium light, but can tolerate lower indirect light. I have actually noticed my plant is much healthier looking when I have it in lower light. Our New Mexico sun is very intense and if he gets too much direct light, then it’s leaves start to get scorched. Morning sunlight is fine, but it’s best to avoid that more intense afternoon sunlight.
Plus, these plants are so cool and daily raise and lower their leaves as if they are “praying”. I love mine!
- Check out my post about Prayer Plant care.
Chinese Evergreen, Aglaonema commutatum
The Chinese evergreen features oval, glossy green leaves on short stems.
These plants do well in shade, making them excellent low-light indoor plants. Place them out of direct sunlight as it can burn the foliage. If you are growing a variegated variety, it will need bright, indirect light to produce the best color.
But all varieties can survive in shady conditions.
Mistletoe Cactus, Rhipsalis baccifera
The Mistletoe Cactus plant really “prefers” bright indirect light. However, they are very sensitive to too much sunlight. This is a favorite of mine, so I keep it protected in a corner nearby to a window. So he doesn’t get any direct sunlight and has done so well.
You will know your plant is getting too much direct sunlight if you start seeing the stems turn a reddish color, that means it is being sun burnt.
My Mistletoe Cactus has strands about 3′ long now… he’s a beauty! So this is considered a lower light trailing houseplant.
- Check out my post about Mistletoe Cactus plant care.
Dwarf Umbrella Plant, Schefflera arboricola
Dwarf Umbrella plants are another plant that loves indirect sunlight, but will still function quite well with much less sunlight. The less sunlight your plant receives, the slower it will grow. I had my Dwarf Umbrella plant in our bathroom for two years and now he is in my kitchen, he’s been doing just fine!
He is about 3′ tall now and just keeps plugging away.
Cast Iron Plant, Aspidistra elatior
Cast iron plants have a well-deserved reputation as being indestructible houseplants. They are handsome plants, though, with large and arching deep green glossy leaves.
They can tolerate all kinds of neglect, including a lack of light and water. But ideally, you should water them when you stick your finger in the soil and it feels dry.
In terms of light, keep them away from direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves. A north-facing window is ideal.
Need some more plant care posts? You’ll love these :
Care tips for low-light plants
- Water your plants regularly, but don’t overwater them. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
- Fertilize your plants once a month during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer that is diluted to half strength.
- Repot your plants every few years as they outgrow their pots. Choose a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot.
- Place your plants in a location that receives indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.
- Use a humidifier to increase the humidity around your plants. This will help them to retain moisture and prevent their leaves from drying out.
- Clean the leaves of your plants regularly to remove dust and debris. This will help them to photosynthesize more efficiently.
- Be patient! It may take some time for your low-light plants to adjust to their new environment. Don’t give up if they don’t start thriving right away.
15 LOW LIGHT PLANTS
- ZZ plant
- Snake Plant
- Pinstripe Calathea
- Spider Plant
- Marimo Moss Balls
- Arrowhead Plant
- Dumb Cane
- Prayer Plant
- Mistletoe Cactus
- Dwarf Umbrella Plant
- Chinese Evergreen
- Peace Lily
When choosing a plant for your home, it is important to consider the amount of light that the plant needs, as well as its size and care requirements. With a little research, you can find the perfect low-light plant to add some greenery to your home.