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If you live in a home that doesn’t get a ton of natural light, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy beautiful houseplants. There are lots of low light indoor plants that you can choose from. These low-light houseplants can survive with little to no direct sunlight. They’ve adapted to lower amounts of sunlight by developing features such as large, glossy leaves, variegated patterns, or colorful flowers.
I lived in a house that had lots of big windows, but was under a canopy of giant pine trees. So we would get minimal light throughout the house. I’ve learned that my time as a Serial Plant Killer probably had a lot to do with the fact that I picked the wrong plants for the amount of light in my home.
We’ll introduce you to some of the best low-light houseplants and how to care for them. We will also give you some tips on how to use them in your home decor to create a cozy and inviting vibe.
30 Best Low-Light Indoor Plants For Your Home
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): This plant is known for its long, upright leaves. It’s extremely resilient and can handle low light well.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia):
What I Love About It: The ZZ Plant is a unique looking plant. It grows tall and the dark shiny leaves are lovely. It’s also very easy to find at the Garden Center or even Ikea. It’s pretty un-fussy and won’t be a challenge for a beginner indoor gardener.
How to Water It: The ZZ Plant likes to dry out a little between waterings. Touch the soil with your fingertip before watering. If it’s dry, you can water it. If it’s still moist, hold off. You’re better off letting it get too dry than it getting too wet.
Special Considerations: This plant can grow pretty tall! As high as 3 feet, so keep that in mind when you pick out a spot for it.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): A beautiful plant that produces white blooms and thrives in low light. It’s also known for its air-purifying qualities.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Also known as “devil’s ivy,” this is a hardy vine plant that can survive in a variety of conditions, including low light.
Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum): This plant does well in low light and is also tolerant of irregular watering.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): A popular houseplant known for its spider-like plantlets. It thrives in a variety of light conditions, including low light.
English Ivy (Hedera helix): A classic vine that can adapt to various light conditions.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema):
What I Love About It: This is the prettiest of the list, if you ask me. The leaves are lovely and have some color to them. This is one I could stare at all day. Known for its variety of patterns and colors, this plant does well in low light.
How to Water It: The Chinese Evergreen likes to be moist so water it frequently before it starts to dry out.
Special Considerations: Keep your Chinese Evergreen warm. At least 60 degrees and the warmer the better.
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum): Although it prefers moist conditions, it can handle low light.
Calathea (Calathea spp.): Known for their ornate foliage, Calatheas do well in low light and high humidity.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): This lush fern thrives in low light and high humidity.
Corn Plant (A Dracaena spp.):
What I Love About It: A corn plant is perfect for a spot in your home that needs a little height. They can go from 5-7 ft tall. So if you’ve got a corner that needs a little drama, this is a great choice.
How to Water It: The corn plant likes to be kept moist, but you’re better off letting it dry out a little than you are over watering it, so if you’re not sure whether to water it or not, wait another day. And if your tap water has fluoride in it, you’re going to need to water this bottled or distilled water. The fluoride can actually kill this plant.
Special Considerations: Corn plants like to be kept in a warm and moist environment. Keep this in mind if you’re in a colder climate. You can mist it if it gets dry in your home in the winter.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia spp.):
What I Love About It: The Dumb Cane is a bit of a show off and I like that. It’s got big leaves and likes to stand out. This plant can tolerate low light but prefers bright, indirect light.
How to Water It: You’ll be fine with the Dumb Cane plant if you DO NOT over water it. Keep an eye on it, don’t let it dry out completely, but if you’re not sure if it’s ready for more water,wait one more day.
Special Considerations: The Dumb Cane is a lowlight plant, but if you’ve got it near a window, it will love “filtered” light. Leave a thin curtain between it and the window to prevent sunburn.
Peperomia (Peperomia spp.): There are many types of peperomia, all of which do well in low light.
Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa):
What I Love About It: The leaves of the Monstera plant are show stoppers. They are huge and they have a beautiful shape. They are the type of plant that can take a boring corner of your home and make it the most interesting spot in the house. While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can also tolerate low light.
How to Water It: You’re going to have to get your fingers dirty with this one. Test the soil and when it’s dry 1-2 inches down, then water it. This guy will also love a misting early in the morning.
Special Considerations: Your Monstera is going to need some space. If you live in a tiny apartment, this might not be the right plant for you. If you have a room that needs something big to bring it to life, then this is the right plant for you!
Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus): This fern can thrive in low light and loves humidity.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans): This small palm can thrive in low light and prefers cooler temperatures.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior): True to its name, this plant is nearly indestructible and can handle low light.
Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum): Known for its waxy, heart-shaped flowers, it can tolerate low light but blooms best with bright, indirect light.
Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana):
What I Love About It: It’s lucky and this plant does well in low light! Who can’t use a little luck, right? I also like that you can grow it in water if you want to. I’ve always wanted to try that. Despite its name though, it’s not actually bamboo.
How to Water It: If you’re growing your Lucky Bamboo in soil, you want to keep the soil moist, but not soaked. Remember that depending on the environment in your home and the season, the soil can dry out quicker or slower, so keep an eye on it. Or, technically, keep a finger on it. Test the soil every few days to see if it’s drying out.
If you’re growing the Lucky Bamboo directly in water, you will need to change the water if it starts to get murky or “slimy”. You’ll also need to support the bamboo with rocks or something else that will hold them upright and those will need to be cleaned occasionally, too.
Special Considerations: If you notice one of your bamboo stalks beginning to rot, make sure to remove it immediately. It can cause the ones next to it to rot, too.
Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana):
What I Love About It: Kentia Palms are sturdy and can tolerate all kinds of different conditions. That makes it great for a beginner who doesn’t have a ton of light in her home.
How to Water It: Another one where you’ll have to get dirty. Test the soil and when the top inch is dry, give the Kentia Palm a watering. Make sure you’ve got good drainage.
Special Considerations: You probably want to use fertilizer with the Kentia Palm. It will help prevent the leaves from yellowing.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica): While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can also tolerate low light.
Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Davallia fejeensis): This fern, known for its furry rhizomes, does well in low light and moderate humidity.
Paddle Plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora): While this succulent prefers bright light, it can tolerate lower light conditions.
Jade Plant (Crassula ovata): Although a succulent that typically enjoys lots of light, jade plants can adapt to low light conditions if needed.
Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis):
What I Love About It: I love the pretty leaves of the Nerve Plant. It’s really lovely to look at and has nice texture. It’s a great plant for a terrarium, so if you’re into try a terrarium, maybe try a nerve plant.
How to Water It: The Nerve plant likes to be kept moist. This is great if you’re a chronic over-waterer. Just make sure the soil drains well.
Special Considerations: The Nerve plant can be a bit of a diva. If it dries out, it will droop and it if dries out too many times you may lose it forever. So keep it moist and keep it out direct sunlight.
Golden Cane Palm (Dypsis lutescens): A very hardy palm that can grow in a variety of light conditions, including low light.
Maranta (Maranta leuconeura): Also known as the prayer plant for its leaves that fold up at night, this plant thrives in low light.
Philodendron ‘Moonlight’: This Philodendron variety produces vibrant lime-green leaves and tolerates low light.
Prayer Plant (Calathea orbifolia): A type of Calathea, also known as prayer plant, does well in low light and has large, round, green and silver leaves.
Please remember that while all these plants can tolerate low light, most will grow more slowly and may have fewer flowers or less vibrant foliage. And even low-light plants need some light – they don’t do well in complete darkness. So try to provide at least some indirect natural light, or consider using a grow light for the best results.
What are the benefits of low-light indoor plants?
Low light plants are not only beautiful but also beneficial for your health and well-being. Here are some of the advantages of having them in your home:
- There are some that purify the air by removing toxins and pollutants, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, from the environment.
- They can reduce stress and anxiety by creating a relaxing and soothing ambiance. Studies have shown that plants can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, as well as improve mood and productivity.
- They boost your creativity and inspiration by adding color and texture to your space. Plants can stimulate your senses and spark new ideas. Some of the most visually appealing plants are rex begonia, nerve plant, bromeliad, and red anthurium.
- They improve your sleep quality by releasing oxygen at night and regulating humidity levels. Plants can also help you fall asleep faster by creating a calming effect. Some of the best plants for your bedroom are lucky bamboo, dracaena, rattlesnake plant, and cast iron plant.
How to choose the best low-light indoor plants for your home?
When choosing low-light indoor plants for your home, there are some factors that you need to consider:
- The size and shape of the plant. Depending on how much space you have and what kind of look you want to achieve, you can choose between small or large plants, trailing or upright plants, bushy or slender plants, etc.
- The light level of the plant. Not all low-light houseplants have the same light requirements. Some can tolerate almost complete darkness, while others need some indirect or filtered light to survive. You should check the label or do some research before buying a plant to make sure it matches the light level of your space.
- The water and humidity level of the plant. Different plants have different water and humidity needs. Some prefer moist soil and high humidity, while others like dry soil and low humidity. You should water your plants according to their needs and avoid overwatering or underwatering them. You can also use a humidifier or mist your plants regularly to increase humidity if needed.
- The maintenance level of the plant. Some plants that live in low-light conditions are very easy to care for and require minimal attention, while others need more pruning, fertilizing, repotting, or pest control. You should choose a plant that suits your lifestyle and schedule.
How to care for low-light indoor plants?
Once you have chosen the best low light indoor plants for your home, you need to know how to care for them properly. Here are some general tips on how to keep them healthy and happy:
- Place them in a spot that receives indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn or bleach their leaves. You can use sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light if necessary.
- Rotate them occasionally to ensure even growth and prevent leaning or stretching towards the light source.
- Clean their leaves regularly with a damp cloth or a soft brush to remove dust and dirt that can block their pores and reduce their ability to photosynthesize.
- Feed them with a balanced fertilizer once every month or two during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce or stop fertilizing during the dormant season (fall and winter).
- Re-pot them when they outgrow their containers or when their roots start to show through the drainage holes. Use fresh potting soil that is well-drained and suitable for their type.
- Watch out for signs of pests or diseases, such as yellowing, wilting, curling, or spotting of the leaves, and treat them accordingly. You can use natural remedies, such as neem oil, soap spray, or rubbing alcohol, to get rid of common pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, or scale insects.
How to use low light indoor plants in your interior design?
Low light indoor plants can enhance your interior design by adding color, texture, and personality to your space. Here are some ideas on how to use them creatively and effectively:
- Use them as focal points or accents in your room. You can place a large or colorful plant in a corner, on a table, or on a shelf to draw attention and create interest. You can also group several plants together to create a mini garden or a green wall.
- Use them as dividers or privacy screens in your room. You can use tall or bushy plants to separate different areas or functions in your space, such as the living room and the dining room, or the bedroom and the office. You can also use hanging or climbing plants to cover windows or walls and create a cozy and secluded feel.
- Use them as accessories or ornaments in your room. You can use small or cute plants to decorate your desk, nightstand, mantel, or windowsill. You can also use pots, baskets, stands, or hangers to display your plants in different heights and styles.
FAQ: Houseplants in Low Lighting Conditions
Q: What is the difference between low light and no light?
A: Low light means that there is some natural or artificial light available for the plant to grow, but not enough for direct sunlight. No light means that there is no light at all for the plant to grow, such as in a closet or a basement.
Q: Can low light indoor plants survive in artificial light?
A: Yes, some low light indoor plants can survive in artificial light, such as fluorescent or LED lights. However, artificial light is not as good as natural light for plants, so you should provide them with at least 8 to 12 hours of artificial light per day and supplement it with some natural light if possible.
Q: How do I know if my low-light plant is getting enough light?
A: You can check the color and shape of the leaves to see if your low light indoor plant is getting enough light. If the leaves are dark green and glossy, it means that the plant is getting enough light. If the leaves are pale green or yellow and dull, it means that the plant is not getting enough light.
Low-light houseplants are great for adding beauty and life to your home, especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light. They are also beneficial for your health and well-being, as they can help purify the air, reduce stress, boost creativity, and improve sleep quality.
To choose the best low light indoor plants for your home, you need to consider their size, shape, light level, water level, humidity level, and maintenance level. To care for them properly, you need to place them in a suitable spot, rotate them occasionally, clean their leaves regularly, feed them with fertilizer periodically, repot them when necessary, and watch out for pests or diseases.
To use them in your home decor, you can use them as focal points, dividers, privacy screens, accessories, or ornaments in your room. You can also use different pots, baskets, stands, or hangers to display them in different heights and styles.