Low-light indoor plants can brighten your room and make your home more inviting and healthy. But ensuring your plants get enough light without keeling over can be stressful and make you second guess owning plants. Picking low sunlight plants can be the exact solution that you need.
I’ve chosen my top 25 low sunlight plants to demonstrate the versatile looks, sizes, and growths you can get without a lot of sun exposure. But while these plants don’t need much sun, they require minimal exposure to growing light conditions. See our list below to see which plant would be right for you! Need a plant that can do without any sun? We got you covered with this fun list!
Table of Contents
- ZZ Plant
- Prayer Plant
- Yucca Cane Plant
- Maidenhair Fern
- Wandering Dude
- Snake Plant
- English Ivy
- Parlor Palm
- Ponytail Palm
- Boston Fern
- Cast Iron Plant
- Peace Lily
- Moth Orchid
- Spider Plant
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia – ZZ plant for short – is an African native that has become a popular houseplant due to its ease of care, tropical appearance, and tolerance for any lighting source – including fluorescents.
ZZ’s total forgiveness from frequent neglect is another reason this plant is one of the top choices for plants for offices with no windows. This plant would prefer to be dry than to get frequent water showers. The impressive looks also help, with shiny dark green leaves on upright, slightly curved stems that can grow three feet tall.
Maranta leuconeura – Prayer Plant – is a low-light-loving plant with show-stopping foliage in a unique shape. These undemanding plants stay on the smaller size, rarely getting more than 6” to 8” tall.
The nickname comes from the way that the colorful leaves fold closed at night, interlacing to look like hands held together in prayer. The bright red veining stands out against the variegated cream and green leaves for a beautiful contrast with little effort and random waterings as the soil dries out.
Yucca Cane Plant
When grown as houseplants, Yucca cane plants are native to desert climates but can adapt to tolerate low light to full darkness from a lack of sunlight and only artificial light. These plants have long, leathery-lanced foliage that tapers to a pointed tip.
And the trunk is a bare brown bark that stands upright and proud. With the ability to grow up to eight feet in height, even without adequate lighting, these plants grow best in heavy decorative pots on the ground. The darker the environment, the slower the growth will occur.
Hoya is an elegant, slow-growing vine that can handle bright or low-light conditions. But if it gets to choose, Hoya grows better in low indirect light. You can find Hoya with two different types of appearances.
The leaves can be crinkled or flat, all green or a patterned green and cream. And it can sometimes form clustered white flowers that are lusciously fragranced. As a trailing vine that can grow up to four feet in length, you can train these plants to grow up totem poles or trellises. But they look just as amazing when left to grow naturally, cascading over the sides of an urn or pot.
Maidenhair Ferns are lovely plants with small delicate leaves in a fan shape that cluster on thin black stems. This plant is one of the most popular indoor ferns due to its ability to tolerate low light and unusual growing conditions like rock walls.
This fern is a slow-grower that will impress you with its beauty through every phase of its life cycle. It can take your fern three years to reach its mature size of one to two feet tall and wide in well-draining neutral soil that you keep consistently moist.
Bromeliads have drooping, pointy-tipped broad shiny leaves that grow around a swirling rosette center. The upright overhanging foliage grows in various sizes and colors and resembles bright, colorful flowers.
The interesting thing about these tropical low sunlight plants is that they have tiny root systems. When you water bromeliads, you add water into a cup at the center of the plant. Bromeliads are a common companion for the epiphytic growth of Orchids, which require growing around another plant instead of in dirt.
For a more visually contrasting low sunlight houseplant, you’ll fall in love with the multi-colored appearance of the Wandering Dude. This traveling vine is a perfect houseplant due to its need for 70 to 80-degree temperatures and indirect bright or low light.
You can get more pronunciation of the variegated color pattern away from bright sunlight, making it excellent for low-lit spaces. But it may take a bit of time to get the hang of the watering needs, as they don’t like to dry out all the way, but they also won’t tolerate oversaturation. But despite its beauty, this plant is toxic for pets and might irritate people with skin sensitivities.
Monstera plants are instantly recognizable due to their massive bright green leaves that often have large holes, resembling Swiss Cheese (a nickname for the plant). Left to do what it wants, Monstera starts with a bushy, dense shape that eventually climbs to 13 feet up when there’s support like a trellis.
But it’s possible to keep these plants growing compact and small, manageable size by putting the specimen in a small pot or hanging basket. Then provide frequent prunings to the branches. Care is easier, with waterings only when the soil gets dry and fertilized once monthly in the active growing season – spring through summer.
Dieffenbachia is a beautiful tropical species that comes in colorful patterned leaves. To make a statement, you can get yellow-green or green-white splotched or speckled foliage.
These plants can grow in no light, but they do best with low, indirect lighting to keep them from growing spindly offshoots. They also require infrequent water when they dry out to reach their full potential height of three feet. But beware of where you put it, as it is poisonous to pets and children.
The common Snake Plant – Sansevieria – is a durable, drought-tolerant plant that can grow in low lighting without any issues. The common name of this plant comes from the striped, wavy green pattern on the tapering yellow-rimmed lanced leaves.
This forgiving houseplant is one of the most popular choices for beginner gardeners because it’s almost impossible to kill. Your plant will remain colorful and upright even if you forget several scheduled waterings. But that doesn’t mean you never have to water it! It’s a succulent, not a faux plant.
Begonias have the innate ability to brighten any room they’re in with their gorgeous patterned colorful plant leaves. However, of the many Begonia types, the one you’ll have the most success with in low-lighting indoor conditions is the rex begonia.
This variety gives you an assortment of colors for a multi-patterned leaf print in shades of pink, green, silver, red, burgundy, and orange. Besides the gorgeous color, ability to tolerate low light, and inadequate care needs of consistent slightly moist soil, there is another significant selling feature of a rex begonia for an indoor low sunlight plant. They only grow a few inches tall, making them perfect for terrariums, dish gardens, or any other decor idea.
You may recognize English Ivy for its propensity to grow up the side of old houses, quickly taking over the space and thriving. The trailing habit of the English Ivy makes it one of the best plants to add to an urn or hanging basket to add greenery and color to a low-lighting room.
There is more than one type of English Ivy, giving you several options of shapes and leaf colors that won’t object to poor lighting. It’s even possible to grow English Ivy into topiaries up to eight feet in size.
The word palms likely bring to mind giant trees somewhere warm and beachy. However, there are several options for palm houseplants that can turn your space into a tropical paradise without having bright light.
The parlor palm – Chamaedorea elegans – is a slow-growing plant native to Mexico that has been a popular choice of houseplant decor for hundreds of years. This species reaches four feet with infrequent waterings when the soil dries out and an occasional mist in winter.
Another suitable low sunlight palm species for your space is the indestructible ponytail palm – Beaucarnea recurvata. This plant has long, strappy leaves that shoot from a fat, large base that looks like an elephant’s foot – hence the nickname elephant’s foot palm.
You can sometimes find Dracaena sold as a houseplant or as a tree. Planting several Dracena plants together can result in the formation of a small forest.
Dracaena doesn’t need frequent waterings – only when the soil dries – and it tolerates low or bright indirect lighting. As a result, you can have success getting these plants up to six feet tall when you grow them inside.
The Columnea plant is known for its fleshy rubber oval leaves and tiny tubular flowers in yellow or orange that earned this plant its nickname – the goldfish plant. A great thing about this plant is it tolerates any lighting, blooming best in bright spaces. But the shiny trailing leaves do better in less lighting.
This unique-looking flowering low light plant grows in baskets allowing it to expand to its full mature size of 24 inches tall. These adorable plants are also hardy, requiring only water when the soil becomes dry.
Boston Ferns – Nephrolepis exaltata – have been one of the most signature plants used in interior design since its discovery in the late 1800s. They grow gorgeous bright green fronds arch elegantly when hanging suspended or left to fall out of the sides of their pot.
These ferns can grow anywhere, regardless of light, if you keep them away from heat ducts and cold drafts. And while they don’t need water until the soil dries out, ferns are fans of humidity and can benefit from regular mistings in the winter to avoid dropping leaves.
Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plants – Aspidistra elatior – are perfectly at home in dark rooms or with very little sunlight. They’re undemanding, only want a drink randomly, and don’t need much fertilizer.
These plants are durable and difficult to kill with a slow growth that usually doesn’t require repotting. You can appreciate the dark green narrow leaves, or you can try your luck at finding a cast iron plant with variegated patterned leaves, which can be a challenge.
The Peace Lily is an awesome choice if you want a plant that tolerates low sunlight while still having a beautiful flower. This plant is unmistakable, whether you’re viewing the glossy green foliage or the signature single white flower growing up on graceful, tall stems.
The flower has a high side draped over the spath – the piece in the flower’s center – to look like your plant is wearing a hood. You may also see this three-foot-tall species labeled as Spathiphyllum. Use caution when deciding where to place this plant, as Peace Lilies are toxic for your pets.
Aglaonema is a newer low-light plant preference over the last several years. Once named Chinese evergreen, it’s said that it’s nearly impossible to kill these plants with a lack of sun. Their love of neglect makes them an excellent plant for black thumbs.
The bright green leaves will brighten up any dark space without issues or demands for care. They don’t mind dry soil or lack of lighting and can still look stunning with green, red, or pink foliage.
Philodendron is a fast-growing, tolerant plant that will thrive in any lighting or lack thereof, such as windowless basements, bathrooms, or mudrooms. In addition, these plants grow fabulous in hanging baskets when they dangle over the sides and fall to the floor.
Two newer varieties offer variegated – different colored – green leaves in gorgeous shades of gold (Brasil) or satin-textured purple (Micans). The trailing vines can grow up to eight feet long with minimal care and only water when the soil becomes dry to the touch.
Peperomia can make an excellent plant buddy to use in compact, low-lighting areas due to their short stature of no more than eight inches. In addition, the adorable light and dark green striped leaves look like mini watermelons that can grow in a creeping or clumping habit.
You’ll need to provide Peperomia plants with consistently even moisture that doesn’t cause the soil to stay too moist, as they are vulnerable to rotting. Wait until the top of the ground feels dry before watering. Occasional misting or a humidity tray can help keep your plants hydrated.
Orchids are some of the most popular regal flowering houseplants. However, if an Orchid is on your list of the perfect low sunlight plant for your room, use extreme caution when shopping. There are 100s of Orchid species, and they have a vast range of care needs.
The Moth orchid – Phalaenopsis – is the best choice for beginners due to the less demanding care and better resistance against neglect. In addition, moth orchids can stay in bloom for up to four months and come in a host of colors and mixed colors.
There are two sizes – dwarf (under 12 inches tall) or standards – 18 to 24 inches long. Moth orchids don’t need as much light as other orchids and are happy in low sunlight. And they only require water when the moss or bark growing medium gets dried.
A Spider plant – Chlorophytum comosum – can be an incredibly bountiful low-light plant to grow in your space. You can get these beauties in a dark green color or with variegated striped patterns. You might also hear this plant called hen and chicks, airplane plants, or my personal favorite, throw the children out the window.
These names are about how Spider plants propagate and develop many runners – long dangling stems – that hold tiny baby plants on the tips. If you put this 1- inch plant in a room with low sunlight in a basket you hang, you’ll be delighted with the bountiful flowing look. And you’ll always have tiny new plants if you want to make new specimens!
Some other popular best low light indoor plants are the impressive Pothos. This durable plant doesn’t do well with bright light, making it perfect for growing to its special mature size of 6 to 10 feet with stems that can reach 30 feet long if left unpruned in low lighting.
You can train these climbing vines to cling to a trellis and grow upwards or leave them untamed to cascade out of hanging baskets. Pothos come in a range of single or bicolors of elegant heart-shaped leaves in shades of dark green, yellow-green, chartreuse, spotted silver, or green and white.
FAQ About Low Sunlight Plants
There always seems to be a ton of information with no organized place to put any of it. So here is some additional knowledge we found interesting and wanted to share about the best low sunlight plants for your environment.
What are the best low light houseplants?
Every plant on this list is a suitable houseplant to use in spaces with low lighting. But some will tolerate low-lit conditions better than others, such as plants with patterned or multi-colored light leaves, which are more sensitive to burning under direct sun exposure. My two favorites – in order of preference – are the Pothos and the Peace Lily.
What plants can grow in little to no sunlight?
Contrary to popular belief, all plants do not require a lot – or any – sunlight to survive. Some can live off of dim indirect lighting or fluorescents, like bulbs. Each of the above plants can grow with little to no exposure to sunlight. But if you need a plant that can do without any sun, we got you covered with this fun list!
What kind of plants need very little light?
Many types of plants can’t tolerate a lot of light. The best clue as to whether a plant would prefer heavy sun or low sunlight is to find out the species’ native growing conditions. But most species of houseplants can adapt to the less intense light indoors, learning to absorb nutrients from indirect lighting instead.
What is the best indoor plant for a dark room?
There are several answers to this question, but any plant on this list will do well! My favorites are Ivy, Snake plants, and Maidenhair Ferns.
Do any plants thrive in low light?
Sure there are! Check the list above and choose your favorite! Other options that weren’t specifically listed are the Golden Pothos and the Lucky Bamboo, which is a type of Dracaena.
What are the easiest low light plants?
This is going to be purely subjective and will depend on your skill level and the level of involvement you wish to have. But you can never go wrong with Ivy, Spider Plants, Pothos, Coast Iron, ZZ, or Maidenhair Fern.
The Bottom Line on Low Sunlight Plants
We’ve given you 25 examples of the best indoor plants that can do well with low sunlight. And we cover even more plant species here that don’t need any daylight. There are many benefits to having plants in your space, and you shouldn’t have to give that up just because there’s not much natural sunlight coming into an area.
Instead, pick one of these low light plants, which also often have the extra advantage of being hardy and resistant to neglect and missed waterings. So whether you want a potted plant that will stay small and fit on a side table, a large tree that will rest in an unused corner, or a lush tropic with gorgeous foliage and flowers, this list of the best houseplants for low light has an option for you.
Now that you’ve browsed through this detailed list of indoor plants in low light, please take a few moments to share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear your experiences growing any of these low-lighting plants. Or do you have a plant idea we didn’t add? Share it with us! We love to learn new things too.
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