Low-Light houseplants are perfect for houseplants lovers that travel frequently, have busy work schedules, live in a dim apartment or home, or don’t want to worry about dedicating too much time to their plants.
In nature, some plants grow at the bottom of larger plants, so they only receive dappled or highly diffused light. Just like in the wild, many houseplants can thrive in low-light because they can tolerate it.
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. I am passionate about caring for my houseplants, and I hope my advice can help others.
I stand by the fact that houseplants are basically ongoing science projects, and sometimes things work and sometimes things don’t because there are so many variables when it comes to caring for houseplants.
Houseplants That Need (Almost) Zero Sunlight
aka: Low Light Houseplants
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 can survive in low-light situations or just with a plant light. If you are brand new to houseplants, my article about different natural light for plants within our home may be very helpful for choosing the right plant based on the natural light you have in your home.
The plants that will do well in low-light rooms will most likely not produce flowers. They will grow slowly and most likely have large green leaves to catch as much light (food) as possible.
These 10 houseplants are all beautiful, easy to care for, and will do well in low-light conditions and homes.
The Lucky Bamboo is great for a home that doesn’t get a ton of strong sunlight because it needs very little light. It grows best in low, indirect light. It does need some light, and it will not grow well in complete darkness. If needed, you could use a grow-light to help it thrive – especially during the winter when the light is sparse.
Lucky Bamboo isn’t bamboo at all. The canes, stalks, or stems (whatever you prefer to call them) resemble a bamboo plant’s canes, 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 ten days to keep it happy and healthy.
I love the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum). This plant is known 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.
The spider plant will produce tiny white flowers when thriving and offshoots that look like baby spiders. You can repot the offshoots and give them to your friends and family!
The Spider Plant is a great indoor air purifier, grows quickly, and looks excellent in hanging planters (I love these from Etsy)
ZZ Plants have shiny leaves ad are resilient, and will be fine if neglected. They can survive in low-light, and they would also be happy with artificial light, which is why you will frequently see these at indoor malls, banks, and department stores.
I have my pothos plants in planters on an east-facing wall that receives some light 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 does 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 refers 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, and grows best in high humidity. The Kangaroo Fern is a great plant for 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 its leaves’ underside. Red Prayer Plants tolerate low-light environments but may need more light for leaves to unfold fully. They are native to the rainforests of Brazil, and although this houseplant is somewhat tolerant of low light conditions. We have ours in our entryway several feet away from a south-facing window on the lower-shelf on our entryway table.
Areca Palms (Dypsis lutescens) are excellent air purifiers and can also act as a humidifier for your indoor space!
Areca Palm will add a tropical feel to your home and is one of the easiest palm trees to grow indoors. When they are mature, they can produce small, yellow flowers that are beautiful!
Not really a lily, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) has tall, beautiful white flowers that bloom throughout the entire year and are native to tropical regions of the Americas and southeastern Asia.
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.
The Peace Lily looks great in a floor planter because it can grow 40 inches tall. It will start to get droopy when it needs water and is resilient if you accidentally forget to water it.
Peperomias will tolerate a variety of light conditions. They prefer to be out of direct light because their natural environment will grow beneath forest canopies—Peperomia plants in the peppercorn family, Piperaceae.
Peperomia is easy to care for and are natural air purifiers! Peperomias love humidity and will thrive 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, and can grow up to several feet tall! We have two in our home and one at my photography studio. They need very little attention – so I usually recommend them to new plant owners.
If your home has only a few windows or 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
Photo credit for images in the infographic is given to lined sellers in this article.
Other Houseplant Blog Posts You May Be Interested In
- The Best Houseplants for the Light You Have in Your Home
- How to Care for a Red Prayer Plant
- I Have 100 Houseplants: Here’s What I’ve Learned from Them
- 10+ Flowering Plants to Attract Bees to Your Yard
- How to Use Artificial Lights for Houseplants
If you and your houseplants were in a relationship, what would your relationship status be?
A) Blissfully in love
B) It isn’t very easy
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! I love helping people bring houseplants into their lives! Check out all of my houseplant blog posts or follow me on Instagram for more houseplant inspiration!