17 Easy to Grow Houseplants That Love Low Levels of Light

17 Easy to Grow Houseplants That Love Low Levels of Light

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Do you have a dark corner in your home that you can't seem to find a good use for? Or maybe you don't have a lot of natural light coming in through your windows.

Don't worry; you're not alone! A lot of people find themselves in this situation. And the good news is there are plenty of house plants that thrive in low light conditions.

So, if you're looking for some new plants to add to your collection, or if you're starting and want to know what kinds of plants do well in low light, read on! I'll give you all the info you need to choose the right plants for your home.

What is low light, and how do you know if you have it in your home?

First of all… What is low light? What do I mean when talking about “low levels of light?”

The amount of light that comes into your home through your windows determines how much natural light you have. Depending on where it's located, a room in your house might get several hours of sunlight each day, or it might only get a few minutes.

If you have dark corners in your home or rooms where you don't often open the curtains or blinds, chances are it doesn't get much natural light at all during the day.

All of these situations are perfect for growing house plants! But which ones do well in low light conditions?

What are your options?

Houseplants That Love Low Levels of Light

1: ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

The ZZ plant is tolerant to low light and can survive in shady areas. Growth is sporadic at the best of times, but growth in low light conditions is much less or non-existent.

You can tuck it away in a dimly lit nook, and it'll look fantastic. It isn't suitable for plants you want to develop and fill out, but otherwise, you may hide it away in a dark corner and admire yourself.

The ZZ Plant grows tall and lush, thanks to its dense foliage and unique root system. This plant is perfect for a low-maintenance garden that needs plenty of colours.

The ZZ Plant can thrive in just about any soil type, ideal for various climates. When growing the ZZ Plant, water regularly and fertilise it as needed to keep it healthy and thriving.

2: Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia has several hues and thrives under moderate light. Although Dieffenbachia can withstand low light, it does best in indirect sunshine. Dieffenbachia is harmful if eaten, so keep it away from children and pets, and make sure you wear gloves if you need to prune your Dieffenbachia.

Keep the soil moist at all times and water lightly in winter, but during the growing season, keep it wet regularly. Draughts should be avoided, keeping temperatures below 15°C in the winter. Wipe the leaves clean if they become dusty – either with a damp cloth or under the shower.

RELATED POST: Houseplants for Direct Sunlight: Choose the Right Houseplant

3: Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Snake plants are drought-resistant and come in a variety of forms. The wavy, banded patterns on their leaves gave them their name.

Snake plants (Sansevieria) are popular houseplants. They like moderate light but can endure full or partial shade. They can be positioned on tabletops or the ground and do well under low light.

They will survive for years on the same soil and only need to be repotted when they outgrow their pots.

Don't overwater this plant only water the compost when completely dry. You may cut back even more in the winter and only water every few weeks to maintain temperatures above 10°C. 

4: Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

Prayer Plant is tolerant of low light conditions and prefers indirect sunlight.

The green leaves of this beautiful houseplant have a red vein and are attractively patterned along the midrib with yellow-green splotches.

Mature plants typically develop a lovely trailing habit after they've grown roots. Overall, it's a magnificent plant that is also fascinating since the leaves tend to fold their leaves up at night – hence the name, Prayer Plant.

The plant can be grown in low natural light conditions with the correct amount of water and fertiliser.

5: Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium)

When it comes to ferns, there are many options out there, and they tend to do well in natural light conditions. What's more, ferns enjoy humidity, so regularly misting their leaves can help them thrive, or having it in your bathroom would be an excellent place for it.

Bird's Nest Fern is the perfect option if you want to add some greenery but don't have a very bright spot on your windowsill at home. What's more, you can place it outside during the summertime as long as you move it back indoors before the temperature drops too low.

This plant will impress you with its unusual foliage, which features small fronds surrounded by larger ones. What's more, baby plants may form on the lower part of their leaves, creating a truly unique visual experience.

6: Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a wild plant that grows in Panama. Its leaves are large and become more perforated (fenestrated) as the plant matures. These plants are best when grown up a moss pole.

The Swiss Cheese Plant is a decorative plant that can reach up to 13 feet tall, though most will stay much smaller indoors.

The Swiss Cheese Plant should be watered once or twice a week during the summer and water sparingly during the winter months to maintain its size and shape.

The Monstera Albo Variegata is a firm favourite on my wishlist! This plant features a variegated form and delicate leaves edged in white, which is rare and expensive!. These aren't found in the wild but have been cultivated to create the white variations, so beautiful!

7: Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)

Aspidistras are plants that are almost impossible to kill. It will be okay if you forget to water it or give it a dark spot.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra) is a slow-growing, lush-leaved low-light plant that thrives in dark rooms. This tough plant spreads slowly, so it rarely needs repotting.

Cast Iron Plants produces dark green narrow leaves; there's also a variegated form, but it can be not easy to find. Over time, these plants have grown to tolerate poor conditions.

They are popular houseplants because anyone can take care of them. If you start with plant parenting, this plant is a great place to start.

8: Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum)

Maidenhair ferns like moist soil. They prefer a warm and humid setting with little exposure to direct sunlight. Their leaves fall off frequently due to poor watering practices, not because they're diseased or dying!

The Maidenhair fern can be a little fussy and requires a lot of humidity and water (basically, mist them once a day), but it's definitely worth the effort.

The plants grow well in bright light conditions – so if your home is dark during winter, this might not be the best choice. What's more, these plants will do well with indirect sunlight, so maintaining their brightness when growing is essential.

These plants can be grown outside in shaded areas during the summer but should be brought indoors before the temperature drops past 15°c (60°F).

9: Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants have long, arching leaves with a white stripe down the centre. These stripes help you identify which part of the plant should be touching the soil and which shouldn't.

The Spider Plant is a dependable houseplant with low lighting conditions or indirect sunlight. What's more, it can flourish in poor quality water, so weekly watering should be beneficial.

The Spider Plant has also been known to help detoxify the environment by removing toxins like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air. What a winner!

What's more, these plants produce small plantlets which can be taken off to create new plants; this means that your spider plant becomes self-propagating!

10: Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is one of the most common houseplants due to its attractive, long-lasting, easy-to-grow vines with smooth, leathery heart-shaped leaves.

Loosen and dust the vines regularly to prevent them from getting tangled. It can handle low humidity and irregular watering, but you should not overwater it.

What's more, the Golden Pothos is quite resilient and thrives in shadier conditions than most houseplants.

The vines can grow long enough to reach the floor if allowed – otherwise, use caution when positioning plants near foot traffic or who climb so they don't get crushed by a misstep from someone; also the Golden Pothos is toxic to pets, so be cautious that they can eat the vines.

11: Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)

Staghorn ferns are named for their resemblance to deer or elk antlers, which is why they are known as “elk-antler ferns.”

What's remarkable about these ferns is that they're epiphytes, which means they don't need soil to grow! What this means for you is that Staghorn Ferns can be mounted on rocks or driftwood to create a stunning décor piece.

While Staghorn Ferns enjoy some humidity and moisture during their growing season, from spring to fall, they can also be grown in drier environments. What's more, these plants prefer bright light, so the sunnier your windowsill is, the better! What will help you is if you use a spray bottle to mist them every 2–3 days.

What's lovely about Staghorn Ferns is that they can live for decades with proper care and attention. What a great gift to receive!

12: Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lilies are low-light indoor plants that can tolerate neglect. They have large green leaves and bloom with beautiful white blooms. If the foliage of peace lilies is not watered, it will wilt. However, watering Peace Lily's generally refreshes it.

Because the Peace Lily is poisonous if eaten, they should be kept away from animals and placed in areas where children or animals will not touch them. What's more, Peace Lilies can thrive in a variety of environments, and they don't require much care at all – what a winner!

13: Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)

The Creeping fig is a member of the Ficus genus, which is well-known. It takes its name from the distinctive narrow, arrow-shaped leaves that line the slender woody stems.

Figuring out a suitable watering regimen for creeping figs indoors is critical. Leaf drop is one of the most typical problems faced by indoor growing creeping figs – and is that the roots will rot if the soil is kept wet for too long.

The Creeping fig likes to be misted daily or placed in a humid environment to prevent dryness and wilting. What you must do is water when dry and never overwater.

These plants like partial sunlight but avoid the full sun (which is too harsh). Place them in a bright, filtered, indirect light – They are the perfect choice for the kitchen, dining room or bathroom.

14: Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

Anthuriums bloom all year. The waxy blooms can be pink, white, or red. Wipe the leaves down with a damp, moist cloth if you see any dust or insects build up. This plant thrives when watered once to twice a week.

Anthurium flowers best in bright, indirect light but will also do well in the shade. What's more, Anthuriums like high humidity and like to be misted or sit in a tray of pebbles and water. Ensure that the plant pot sits on top of the pebble tray (rather than touching it).

In the spring, water freely while growing but maintaining drier soil during the winter. Water the leaves regularly to increase humidity and occasionally subject them to a cold shower to wash off the leaves. Maintain temperatures above 15°C in the winter and repot every few years.

15: Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese evergreen plants are drought tolerant and flourish in low-light settings. The Aglaonema genus is known for its houseplants, which thrive in low light conditions. All available are plain green foliage, speckled, mottled, and even variegated leaves. 

There are up many different varieties within the Aglaonema genus, and they all produce similar flowers that resemble spadices.

What's more, Chinese evergreens like to be kept moist, and their soil should never dry out completely – always check before watering them as this plant doesn't enjoy wet feet. You must mist the leaves and keep them in a humid environment to prevent dryness and wilting.

Chinese evergreens like bright light but avoid direct sunlight to scorch their leaves. What you must do is place them in any window that gets afternoon or indirect sunlight. You must rotate them regularly, so all sides of the plant receive equal sun exposure.

16: Arrowhead plant (Syngonium)

The Arrowhead plant (Syngonium) is a small but exotic-looking foliage plant. What's more, Syngoniums are also available with variegated leaves in shades of green, cream, yellow or white.

Arrowheads are poisonous to pets and humans. It would be best to keep them out of reach from children and pets.

Protecting the arrowhead plant from direct sunshine is vital since it needs low light levels. As plants get older, their leaves mature and form into lobed leaves in the distinctive arrowhead shape.

If you want to keep your plant full and lush, keep it in a pot with drainage holes since the roots like to be moist (but don't over-water).

The most appealing feature of this flexible houseplant is that it may be trained to grow in any direction you desire! 

Please encourage them to grow on a stake, trellis, or even a wall and see what happens! 

Older leaves must be attached to the support to give the new growth time to strengthen. The roots will cling to surfaces, but you must tie previous plants to their supports for further development to mature.

17: Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia)

The Rattlesnake plant has lance-shaped, ruffly leaves with variegated patterning in dark green, bright green, and purple.

It thrives in a shady area with indirect sunlight. The rattlesnake plant is endemic to Brazil's rainforest and may be used to complement any décor with its vibrant-green leaves and graceful shape.

The Rattlesnake plant likes humidity! What you must do is place the rattlesnake plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. It should be kept moist at all times (but not soggy)

What you must do is repot the rattlesnake plant every two years and fertilise it monthly (in the spring and summer months) with a water-soluble fertiliser that has been diluted to half the strength recommended on the label.

How to Care for Low Light Plants Indoors

Low-light plants are often very picky and require a good deal of care. Here are a few tips to help you care for low-light plants indoors:

  • Keep the temperature around 23-29c or 75-85f.
  • Water your low-light plants only when the soil is dry.
  • Avoid overwatering.
  • Keep the humidity around 50-60%.
  • Feed your plants monthly with a liquid houseplant fertiliser.

Houseplants require far less water and feeding than plants grown in brighter light due to slower development and restricted photosynthesis. 

Overwatering or allowing your plant to wilt will result in its death. Give your plant rest in an area with brighter light from time to time. Also, keep an eye on the temperature levels, especially if your plant is in a dark location.


What to do if you don't have enough natural light for plants

If you're low on natural light, there are a few things you can do to help your plants out a little bit. What you can do is invest in a couple of compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED lights, which will help your plants survive and even thrive in low-light conditions.

Houseplants with large leaf surface areas work best in low lighting conditions since they can better absorb the artificial light from incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.

Large-leafed houseplants also produce higher levels of oxygen. What you must do is keep them moist and rotate or turn them regularly to ensure all sides receive equal light exposure.

If your home has a lot of windows but doesn't get a lot of natural light, it's a good idea to use vertical space to grow your plants. What you can do is install shelves, wall mounts or hang planters from the ceiling for extra growing room.

What's more, there are beautiful trailing houseplants that will spill out into a lovely cascade of greenery, which makes excellent use of vertical space.

Can a plant survive in a room without windows?

can select the correct type of plant and ensure that it receives enough artificial light. What's more, you should provide equal levels of warmth and humidity throughout the year to keep your plants healthy.

What is considered low light for houseplants?

Low light is a term used to describe a room's lighting conditions or location that is too dim for a plant to thrive. Low light is ideal for houseplants that prefer a bright, sunny environment.

All plants require some amount of light to thrive. low light” does not imply no light.” Many low-light houseplants are suitable for indoor cultivation. Plants can achieve indoor growth with little natural light by growing many low-light plants.

Even if it's artificial light, every houseplant requires some sunshine to photosynthesise and grow. Plants need sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates through photosynthesis, resulting in chlorophyll.

The light intensity can be measured with a light meter or an inexpensive light meter app for your smartphone. The photon flux density (PFD) is the standard unit used to describe the amount of light available for photosynthesis. 

What you must do is measure the light at the plant level (at leaf surfaces) and not simply at a random point in space near your plants, or else it will be misleading. 

You can place a light meter where it will be shaded from overhead lights or reflective surfaces, if possible.

And Finally

What makes plants thrive in low light conditions is the environment, not just their location. 

To avoid any significant setbacks like wilting and yellowing leaves, you must ensure your plant thrives in a dark room or space with adequate artificial lighting and keep its temperature stable for all 12 months of the year.

What's more, if you have no windows but still want houseplants that grow well indoors, make sure they receive enough sunlight through artificial means so they can produce sufficient levels of chlorophyll to photosynthesise food.

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