20 Best Houseplants for Low Light Conditions

So you’re looking for plants that like the shade, but you’re worried about how much light they need. Your house is dark and you know some indoor plants are more demanding of light than others.

We’ve put together a list of houseplants that do well in shade and low light because of this. Why not have a look at some of our plants that like the shade?.

Having houseplants can liven up any indoor space and purify the air, but not every house gets ample sunlight. Fortunately, there are many attractive houseplants that actually thrive in low light conditions. Here are 20 of the top picks for the best houseplants for low light

Why Low Light Houseplants?

Houseplants help create a more relaxing and inviting indoor environment. They can boost moods, reduce stress, and improve air quality by removing toxins. However, most homes don’t have enough natural light coming in for most houseplants. Places like bathrooms, hallways, and certain rooms may only get artificial lighting or very little sun exposure.

Low light houseplants are essential for making use of these shadier spots in your home. They can survive and even flourish without much natural sunlight at all. Their ability to photosynthesize with less light makes caring for them far easier.

What is Considered Low Light?

Low light generally refers to areas that don’t get any direct sunlight or only get it filtered through a window for a couple hours a day. Rooms with north-facing windows typically have low light. Areas more than 10 feet from any window also tend to be low light zones.

You’ll know that a space has low light if you have trouble reading a book or newspaper there during the day without artificial lighting on. The inadequate natural light would make growing most plants quite difficult. However there are many options among houseplants specially adapted for lower light.

Best Low Light Houseplants

Here are 20 of the top picks for the best houseplants to grow in low light conditions:

Chinese Evergreen

This easy care plant has patterned leaves that come in red, green, pink, and silvery-gray. It can readily tolerate low lighting and irregular watering.

Cast Iron Plant

With strap-like leaves, this nearly indestructible houseplant can grow in very dark corners. It handles neglect well and needs little care.

Peace Lily

A popular houseplant, Peace Lilies produce white flowers that give off a pleasant fragrance. They adapt well to low light and humidity.


Also called Devil’s Ivy, Pothos is a trailing vine plant with heart-shaped leaves. It grows well in low light and can help remove indoor air pollutants.

ZZ Plant

ZZ Plants have waxy, oval-shaped leaves that earn them the nickname “eternity plant” for their resilience. Low light and infrequent watering are no problem.

Snake Plant

Snake Plants, or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, are almost impossible to kill. They easily tolerate very dark spots and need little watering or care.

Prayer Plant

The red, green, and white variegated leaves of Prayer Plants fold up at night. They thrive in low light as long as the temperature stays warm.


With their climbing growth habit and large leaves, Philodendrons do well in low light conditions indoors. They help filter out formaldehyde.


Whether Boston Ferns, Bird’s Nest Ferns, or other varieties, most ferns naturally grow well in the shade. Some direct light is beneficial, but they handle low light just fine.

Lucky Bamboo

Despite its name, Lucky Bamboo is actually a type of Dracaena. The resilient, minimal care plant grows well in just water and low light.


Over 1000 species of Peperomia exist, most native to shady tropical regions. Many types therefore adapt well to low light indoors.


The eye-catching striped leaves of Calatheas add interest to shady spots. Originating in Brazilian rainforests, they don’t mind low light conditions.

Spider Plant

Spider Plants produce arching leaves with baby spiderettes. They readily clean indoor air and thrive in areas away from windows.


Dracaena houseplants tolerate a wide range of light levels. Their slender, corn-like foliage adds texture in darker parts of a room.

Rubber Plant

With large, glossy leaves, Rubber Plants remain attractive even in low light environments. Allowing the soil to dry between waterings is key.

Parlor Palm

Parlor Palms are compact palms with graceful, tropical fronds. They adapt well to low light situations indoors.


Although Crotons produce the best leaf colors with ample light, they can manage in low light spots. Their colorful foliage provides appeal.


As a desert plant, Yuccas can go long periods without much watering and tolerate low light. Their spiky leaves add drama.

Ponytail Palm

Despite its name, Ponytail Palms are not true palms but succulents. As drought-tolerant plants, they easily manage low light conditions.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

With patterned leaves of silver, green, pink, or red, Aglaonemas are simple to grow in low light. They also help clean the air.

Tips for Growing Low Light Houseplants

  • Place plants within 1-3 feet of a north-facing window for low, indirect light. Avoid direct southern exposure.

  • Go for plants with dark green or variegated leaves that can absorb more light.

  • Use sheer curtains to help filter bright light if needed.

  • Dust the leaves periodically so the plant can better photosynthesize.

  • Water less frequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

  • Use a grow light if relying solely on artificial lighting.

  • Group multiple plants together to help increase humidity around them.

  • Avoid moving the plants frequently so they can adjust to the light level.

With the right selections, even very shady indoor areas can become thriving gardens full of healthy houseplants. It simply takes choosing varieties well adapted to low light conditions. Follow basic care guidelines, and these plants will readily thrive and purify the air with minimal sunlight.

What is a shade tolerant plant?

Shade tolerant plants are usually found below the canopy in a forest or jungle. They live in a low-light area amongst the floor space, or climb up trees. Most trees can handle full sunlight better than other plants, and the trees help protect the plants that need shade.

We now know which plants do better in the shade, so we can put them in the right spot in your home. The top 10 plants that do well in shade are listed below. This way, you can add some greenery to that dark corner of the room that doesn’t get as much light.

Just remember, all houseplants require some amount of light even if it is indirect. Even though plants that like shade can handle less, they still need light, just like people do. If you want plants for the bathroom, which might not get any light, you might want to think about getting a fake plant. We personally hate the idea of a plastic plant, though.

It’s also important to know that plants that like the shade will need less watering than plants that like the sun. So make sure you don’t go too heavy with the watering can for your shade tolerant plants.

Top 10 Houseplants That Like The Shade

When you walk through the woods or a forest, you’ll see ferns among the plants and animals. There’s a good reason for this. Boston Ferns love the shade! Their fronds are sensitive to light and too much will scorch them. A Boston Fern is a great place to start when looking for a shade liking plant.

This shade tolerant plant is one of the most easy care plants out there. The Cast Iron comes from the forest floors of Japan and Taiwan. It likes to be in the shade and can go up to one month without watering (depending on temperature and light).

The Kentia Palm was popularised for the fact that it likes the shade and its easy-care nature. It makes a great choice for adding a touch of elegance and opulence to a dark room.

The Corn Plant comes from Africa, but it can handle shade and can even grow in rooms that face north. Just ensure you don’t over-water your Corn Plant if it is in the shade. Test the soil before watering.

This hanging plant really likes the shade. It will have beautiful leaves that will fall in a bright or shady spot in your room. Just make sure it doesn’t get too much direct sunlight during the day.

The spider plant is a super easy care plant that requires little attention. To keep it happy, you should find a spot in the shade that it likes and not give it too much water.

This shade liking plant performs best in a brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Ivy grows from the ground up to reach the brighter light at the top of the canopy. It is actually a climbing plant.

The rubber plant can tolerate the shade, but prefers a brightly spot where possible. It can go almost anywhere. If it’s in a very shady spot, don’t water it too much, and watch out for leaves that get too soft; if they do, move it to a spot with a little more light.

Peace lilies like the shade and will not tolerate direct sunlight. In fact, their leaves get burned quickly if they’re in direct sunlight, so keep them away from windows that face south and find them a nice spot in the shade.

Another indoor plant that likes the shade. The Chinese Evergreen can sit in a North facing window without too much bother. It’s a really easy care plant and looks great as a medium-sized plant.

9 Low Light Houseplants For Any Dark Space


What potted plants grow best in shade?

Try impatiens, coleus, sweet potato vines, violas, petunias, pansies, hostas, astilbes, and trilliums. They look great and will thrive in full to partial shade. And don’t forget to think vertically when designing your containers.

What is the best houseplant for a dark room?

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia): The ZZ plant is a low-light champion, boasting glossy, dark green leaves that thrive even in dim spaces. Its hardy nature makes it an ideal choice for beginners. Philodendrons: With an array of varieties, philodendrons are versatile and can adapt to low-light settings.

What is the best indoor vine for low light?

Philodendron. One of the best low-light indoor plant varieties, philodendron, is very tolerant of dark interiors. This fast-growing vine works well in hanging baskets or can be trained to climb a small trellis or totem.

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