If you’re looking for indoor plants that require little light, then you’re in the right place! There are lots of good houseplants for low light areas! Here’s a list of my top picks for the best plants that can grow indoors with little light.
One of the biggest problems that many houseplant lovers face is the low light conditions in their home. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if every room in your house had huge south-facing windows? …Dreamy!
But, back in the real world, nobody has that much sunlight in their home, and many rooms get no natural light at all.
If this sounds familiar to you, and you’re wondering what plant can grow indoors with little sunlight, you’re in luck! Below I’ve put together a list of low maintenance, low light plants to get you started.
But first, I must dispel a myth that’s been going around the internet lately… houseplants that grow in the dark?
Can A Plant Survive Without Sunlight?
NO! There is no such thing as real indoor plants that grow in complete darkness. They need light in order to live, and it wouldn’t take long for them to die if left in complete darkness.
So I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re looking for a plant for a windowless room that’s completely dark most of the time, like your basement, kitchen or bathroom… well, then it’s time to go shopping for silk plants – or grow lights.
What Happens When A Plant Does Not Get Sunlight?
When plants don’t get enough light, they will first start to get long and leggy. They might even start to lean towards the light if there’s a window or other light source nearby.
This is a very common problem, and one of the first sign that a houseplant needs more light. A plant that isn’t getting enough light will also start to lose its color, and look dull or even transparent.
But don’t worry, most rooms in the house get some natural light, and there are lots of houseplants that tolerate low light conditions, or can adapt to them.
There are even houseplants that thrive in low light areas of the average home, and will suffer if they get too much sunshine! Below is a list of my top picks of the best indoor plants for dimly lit areas of your home…
Low Light Indoor Plant List
1. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) – Named for the fact that it’s extremely tough, cast iron plants thrive on neglect!
They are one of the best houseplants for very low light conditions, and will happily grow in just about any area of your home.
Stick it in a corner and keep the soil on the dry side, and your cast iron will live for years with very little care.
2. Philodendron – There are tons of different varieties of philodendrons out there, and they are some of the best low light houseplants you can grow!
Keep it out of the direct sun, water it regularly (but don’t overwater it), and it will thrive for you years to come.
3. Lucky bamboo – Commonly sold in vases of water, lucky bamboo are perfect indoor plants for low light rooms. Keep the water fresh, and your lucky bamboo will thrive for many years.
4. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) – A unique indoor plant that prefers to be kept in low light conditions, they are also super fun to have!
Their leaves are open during the day, and then close up at night like little prayer hands, which is where they get their name.
Prayer plants will even get tiny flowers on them when they’re happy, which makes them even better in my opinion.
5. Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) – The first time you see one of these, you’ll understand why its nickname is “corn plant”. It looks a lot like a corn stalk that you’d grow in your garden.
Not only are dracaena fragrans good indoor plants for low light conditions, they are also beautiful, and are super low maintenance too! I’ve had one in the corner of my kitchen next to a north facing window for years!
6. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) – There’s no such thing as a “no-care” houseplant, but snake plants are about the closest thing you can get.
Sansevieria are good low light plants, they will do great in just about any area of your home, and they thrive on neglect.
Only water it when the soil is dry, keep it out of direct sunlight, and your snake plant will happily live for years to come!
7. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) – Things I love the most about dragon trees are all the colors (though the most colorful ones do better with bright light), and the fact that they are awesome low light tropical houseplants!
Dracaenas look dramatic in a pot by themselves, but also make a wonderful addition to a mixed planter. They would add a very nice contrast in combined containers with any of the others on this list.
8. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) – Another one of my favorite easy low light plants, Chinese evergreens are great for any home or office.
Not only is the foliage gorgeous, but they also get pretty little white blooms when they’re happy, and bright red berries after the flowers die.
9. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) – Easy low light houseplants, and one of the most popular out there, parlor palms are gorgeous.
Keep the soil evenly moist, and it will happily grow in a shady spot. Read my comprehensive indoor palm plant care guide for more information.
10. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum, aka devil’s ivy) – One of the all-time best low care indoor plants, pothos are also super easy to propagate, and rarely have any problems with houseplant pests.
This is one of the first houseplants I’ve ever owned, and pothos will always have a coveted spot in my collection.
They are perfect for planting in hanging baskets, or just allowing the vines to cascade over a coffee table or bookshelf.
11. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) – Often thought of as a no-care houseplant, zz plants are another one of my top picks for low light conditions.
Care for your zz plant just like you would treat succulents, but keep it out of direct sunlight, and it will look amazing!
12. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – One of the most classic of all, spider plants love the dark too.
There are a few different varieties to choose from, and all of them look gorgeous in hanging baskets or set atop a pedestal.
The variegated ones are my favorites, especially the curly leaf variety called “Bonnie”. Learn all about how to grow spider plants here.
13. Dumb cane houseplant (Dieffenbachia) – As common low light houseplants, dumb canes are pretty tolerant of any home environment, and they’re very beautiful too.
Plus they’re simple to care for, just keep your dieffenbachia out of direct sunlight, and water when the soil is dry. Learn how to care for dumb cane plants here.
14. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) – As flowering low light air purifying houseplants, peace lilies have a lot going for them.
They’re one of the most commonly sold specimens on the market, and a staple in any collection. Read my in-depth peace lily plant care guide for more details.
15. Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum) – Arrowhead vines are indoor plants that thrives in low light areas.
They look great in mixed containers, or in a pot by themselves. They’re also easy to multiply, and it’s fun to collect all the different varieties.
16. Bromeliads – If you’re looking for tropical plants to add some bright pops of color to your home, then bromeliads are perfect for you!
Bromeliads perform their best in low light conditions, and they come in tons of different colors of leaves and flowers.
Read my detailed bromeliad plant care guide to learn how to grow them.
17. English Ivy (Hedera helix) – Another one of the best low light plants that’s commonly sold in garden centers, ivies are fantastic!
18. Ferns – Another classic, ferns are such gorgeous indoor plants. Requiring little sunlight, they are perfect to keep in just about any room of your house.
As long as they get the right amount of water, and are kept out of direct sunlight, ferns will live for many years.
19. Peperomia – There are tons of different types of peperomias, and they all make wonderful houseplants.
They look great in a hanging basket, or in mixed containers, and they are simple to care for too. Water your peperomia regularly, but don’t overwater it, and keep it out of direct sunlight.
20. Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) – Most purple houseplants need tons of light to keep their color when kept indoors, but wandering jews will only suffer in a sunny window.
They are medium-light indoor plants, so give them bright, filtered sun, and they will do great. Read my detailed wandering jew plant care guide to learn exactly how to grow them.
Where To Buy Indoor Plants That Grow Well In Little Sunlight
If you’re wondering where to buy indoor plants that like low light conditions, you should be able to find them at your local garden center year-round, or you could always buy them online.
If you live in a cold climate like I do, you’re more likely to find them for sale during the fall and winter months (when most people are starting to go through gardening withdrawals!).
You can also find houseplants for sale online, like this cute collection of plants.
Grow Lights For Houseplants
If you want to grow indoor plants without sunlight, or if you find that they’re struggling to thrive in your home, then you can always add a grow light.
They don’t have to be expensive or fancy either. Something as simple as this small light might just be what your houseplants need, and it doesn’t take up much space.
If you want something larger (and fancier) that you can use for several, then this one would be perfect, and it’s adjustable too.
Otherwise, if you’re more of a DIYer, then you can make your own lighting setup using a shop light fixture and some grow light bulbs.
Whatever type of lights you decide to use, be sure to set them up using an outlet timer to give them the perfect amount!
I hope this list has given you lots of ideas for some of the best houseplants that love the dark. Now you can spruce up that dull boring corner, and give your home some life and greenery!
Even though low light indoor plants are some of the easiest to maintain, it can still be difficult to keep them thriving during the dark winter months. If you struggle with it during the winter, my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is for you! It will give you everything you need to know about keeping your houseplants thriving all year long. Order your copy today!
Recommended Houseplant Books
- The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual
- The House Plant Expert
- The Indestructible Houseplant
- Indoor Plant Decor
- Plant By Numbers
- The Unexpected Houseplant
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What plants would you add to this list? Share your favorites in the comments section below.