In nature, some plants grow at the bottom of larger plants, so they only receive dappled or highly diffused light and there are many houseplants that can thrive in low-light.
Low-Light houseplants are perfect for houseplants lovers that travel frequently, have busy work schedules, live in a dim apartment or home, or just don’t want to worry about dedicating too much time to their plants.
Even if you feel like you’re a houseplant serial killer, I know that you can parent the lushest, most beautiful, and abundant houseplants! I’m ROOT-ing for you to make it happen, AND I am happy to share 10 houseplants that are easy to care for and need almost zero sunlight.
If you are wanting to add some low-light houseplants to your space that are sure to survive being ignored, read some of my favorites below!
For those of us without a green thumb, it can feel a little overwhelming to try and choose plants that we won’t accidentally kill. But, these houseplants require very little care and “almost zero sunlight”. AKA: They can survive in low-light situations or just with a plant light.
These 10 houseplants are all beautiful, easy to care for, and will do well in low-light homes.
Houseplants That Need (Almost) Zero Sunlight
aka: Low Light Houseplants
The Lucky Bamboo is great for a home that doesn’t get a ton of strong sunlight because needs very little light. It grows best in low, indirect light. That being said, it does need some light and it will not grow well in complete darkness.
Lucky Bamboo isn’t a bamboo at all. The canes, stalks or stems (whatever you prefer to call them) resemble the canes of a bamboo plant, hence the name. It is actually a dracaena.
If growing your plant in soil, make sure it’s kept slightly damp. Don’t let the soil get too dry and don’t overwater since that can lead to root rot. Bamboo does not need much water to survive, but it can be grown in water as well. If you choose to grow your bamboo in water, make sure the roots always stay covered with water. Replenish your lucky bamboo with fresh water every seven to 10 days to keep it happy and healthy.
I love the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) plant for how hardy it is with nearly zero sunlight. It can survive for years in indirect light and even live prosperously if it’s been lacking water for a while. In fact, during the winter months, it needs very little water at all. This houseplant will thrive in fluorescent lighting as well.
- will produce tiny white flowers when it is thriving
- offshoots look like baby spiders and can be repotted
- is a great indoor air cleaners
- grows quickly
- looks excellent in hanging planters (I love these from Etsy)
The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is an excellent choice if you need to add some green that you are almost guaranteed to keep alive. This houseplant is nearly impossible to kill.
- has pretty shiny leaves
- is resilient and will be fine if neglected
- survives with (almost) zero sunlight
- will be happy with fluorescent light or “plant light,” that is why you will frequently see these at indoor malls
I have my pothos plants in planters on an east-facing wall that receives some light coming from our south-facing bay window. During the winter and fall, I use a plant light to supplement the limited sunlight it receives.
Devil’s Ivy enjoys a light spot, but preferably not in direct sunlight or a draught. Remember though, the paler the leaves, the more light the plant needs. The soil can be moderately damp, but do not have the roots standing in water if possible.
The Kangaroo Fern has frilly leaves that can add a delicate texture to your houseplant collection. Kangaroo paw ferns (Microsorum diversifolium) are native to Australia. The scientific name is referring to the leaf forms on the plant; some leaves are full, while mature leaves have deep indentations. You can read more at Gardening Know How.
The Kangaroo Fern:
- is easy to grow
- requires little attention
- grows best in high humidity (would be great in your bathroom)
The Red Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) is unique because at night, the leaves fold, hence its name, like hands folded into prayer.
Red Prayer Plant:
- will look great in hanging baskets because of the pink color on the underside of its leaves
- tolerates low light, but may need more light for leaves to unfold fully
- prefers moist soil
Areca Palms (Dypsis lutescens) are excellent air purifiers and can also act as a humidifier for your indoor space!
- will add a tropical feel to your home
- is one of the easiest palm tree to grow indoors
- can produce small, yellow flowers
Not really a lily, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) has tall, beautiful white flowers that bloom throughout the entire year.
These grow pretty tall and will produce flowers more frequently if they have at least some natural light. We have ours in our living room, and it gets some southern-facing window light from across the room.
- looks great in a floor planter because they can grow 40 inches tall
- will start to get droopy when it needs water
- are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Southeastern Asia
Peperomias will tolerate a variety of light conditions. They prefer to be out of direct light because in their natural environment will grow beneath forest canopies. Peperomia plants in the peppercorn family, Piperaceae.
- are easy to care for
- will purify the air
- love humidity (would be great in your bathroom)
The Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is beautifully green with variegated leaves; its sharp point gives this low-light house plant its nickname of mother-in-law’s tongue.
The Snake Plant:
- needs very little water
- is very hard to kill
- can grow up to several feet tall
If your home has only a few windows or just have certain areas in your home that do not have much ambient light, these are all houseplants that will still be able to survive with a plant light or some could do just fine with limited natural light. If you don’t want to buy a plant light, you could get a GE Plant Light Bulb and put it in one of your other lamps. Be sure to keep your plant light close to your plant (6-9 inches); otherwise, it will start to stretch as it grows to reach the light and will get leggy. “Leggy” means when your plant stem grows very long without having any leaves on it.
SHOP MY FAVORITE LOW-LIGHT PLANTS
If you and your houseplants were in a relationship, what would your relationship status be?
A) “Blissfully in love”
B) “It’s complicated”
C) “100% admitting it… I’m a serial houseplant killer”
Creating great love in ANY relationships requires work and commitment. Your houseplants are no different!