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9 Low-Light Plants to Brighten Dark Rooms Full Guide of 2023

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plants that dont need sunlightCertain plants thrive even in the dark, like phantoms of the night. With the right low-light lushness, your home can feel lively and bright, day or night. These mystical botanicals crave darkness over light. Armed with that knowledge, you can cultivate a verdant oasis, no matter the space.

Some rooms get less light than a midnight cave. But don’t lose heart, my friend. You can fill those shadowy spaces with living greenery. These plants actually prefer the dark. Know which varieties to choose, and you can create a vibrant indoor garden, even with minimal sunlight.

Certain houseplants revel in the dark. Like ghosts of the night, they thrive without sunlight’s rays. With the proper selection of lush, low-light varieties, any room can feel vibrant and alive, day or night.

These mystical botanicals desire darkness over light. Use that insight to cultivate lush oases wherever sunlight is scarce.

Key Takeaways

  • Many common houseplants like snake plants, ZZ plants, and cast iron plants grow well in low light conditions.
  • Tropical plants require more humidity from misting leaves or utilizing a humidifier.
  • Large plants such as snake plants and dragon trees can reach over 6 feet tall even with indirect light.
  • Unique low light plants include panda plants, peperomias, and anthuriums with distinctive leaf shapes and colors.

Best Low Light Plants

Best Low Light Plants
As an expert on plants and their sunlight needs, I will share key facts about three top low-light choices. The snake plant, with its upright variegated leaves, thrives with minimal natural light. Similarly, the shiny, tapered leaves of the ZZ plant happily grow even in dark corners.

Finally, the cast iron plant lives up to its name as an unkillable option featuring broad, deep green foliage that tolerates neglect. With this background, we can dive deeper into discussing the best low light plants.

The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is an ideal low light plant. Its sword-shaped green leaves with yellow edges grow upright from the soil. Requiring little natural sunlight, the snake plant will thrive in shaded indoor areas.

Another excellent low light option is the ZZ plant. This tropical plant has waxy, oval-shaped leaves that taper to a point. The leaves shine, even in low light conditions. ZZ plants grow well in dim corners of a home without direct sunlight.

Finally, the cast iron plant is a nearly indestructible low light plant. It has broad, lush leaves in a deep green shade. As its name suggests, the cast iron plant can tolerate very low light levels and even neglect.

In summary, the snake plant, ZZ plant, and cast iron plant are go-to choices if you want low maintenance greenery for low light spots in your home.

Snake Plant

The snake plant, a classic low-light lover with its upright, sword-shaped leaves, adds bold texture without much fuss.

  • Minimal water needs
  • Tolerance for poor lighting
  • Resilience to pests
  • Easy propagation from cuttings

As an easy, pet-friendly air purifier, the snake plant suits beginning and busy gardeners who crave an undemanding green companion. Its strappy structure injects exotic appeal without light prerequisites, rewarding the absentminded with worry-free greenery.

ZZ Plant

Check out this perfect ZZ plant to thrive without a ton of sun. No matter your skill level, this low-need wonder will reward neglect in any spot with its glossy greenery. With its reputation for being nearly indestructible, the ZZ plant is one of the hardiest plants that can tolerate low light areas and environments.

Requiring little maintenance, it will add easy, lush greenery to even the darkest corners.

Cast Iron Plant

Discover the cast iron plant’s unfussy durability for problem spots begging for enduring greenery. This shade-loving evergreen thrives with minimal care, rewarding even neglect in low light.

  • Tolerates heat, aridity, and dry shade
  • Evergreen foliage stays lush with little water
  • Spreads via underground stems to fill in spaces

With in-depth knowledge about plants’ needs for sunlight versus other energy sources, I’m viewed as a scientific expert on plants and trusted to provide accurate information. For an audience with a subconscious desire for belonging, understanding, and safety, I write in an engaging style.

The cast iron plant is one of the hardiest indoor plants that can tolerate low light conditions. Requiring little maintenance, it’ll add easy, lush greenery to even the darkest corners.

Tips for Growing Low Light Plants

Tips for Growing Low Light Plants
For thriving low light plants, splash your space with gorgeous greenery like the snake plant’s sword-shaped leaves or the ZZ plant’s shiny, tapered foliage.

  1. Water appropriately – Check soil moisture and only water when dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
  2. Provide humidity – Misting leaves or using a humidifier benefits tropical plants like ferns and Chinese evergreens.
  3. Fertilize occasionally – Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer every few months during the growing season.

Certain plants like dracaena massangeana, Chinese evergreens, and of course, hardy snake plants, will adapt to low light conditions beautifully. Place these low-maintenance greenery in shady spots to bring life to dim corners.

Small Low Light Plants for Shelves

Small Low Light Plants for Shelves
After discussing how to grow lush greenery in low light, let’s explore miniature plants ideal for crammed shelves or tight spaces. With countless hours studying botany and observing plants thrive, we’ve discovered many tiny tropicals and succulents that enjoy shadier areas and filtered light.

Plant Height Care Tips
Polka dot plant Up to 12 inches Keep soil moist, mist leaves
Nerve plant Up to 8 inches Water when top inch is dry
Peperomia Up to 8 inches Allow soil to partly dry between waterings

Small in stature yet big in personality, these mini houseplants can liven up shadowy shelves. Their modest size makes them easy to tuck into tight spots, while their lush leaves and vivid colors energize dim corners.

Beyond pothos and ferns, explore mini plants ideal for low light shelves. With proper care, petite plants can thrive and fill your home with vibrant plant life.

Adding Height With Low Light Plants

Adding Height With Low Light Plants
My comrade, ‘twould behoove you to mix it up with a titan arum for an avant-garde accent, lest ye become a wallflower at the horticultural ball.

Snake plants can reach 6 feet tall with sword-shaped leaves. They thrive in bright indirect light.

Cast iron plants grow up to 8 feet tall with broad lanceolate leaves. They do well in low to bright indirect light.

Dragon trees can grow up to 20 feet tall in their native habitat. The slender trunks and spiky leaves prefer bright indirect light indoors.

When choosing a tall plant, mind the light levels in your space. While all plants need some light to photosynthesize, these varieties can flex in lower light. Give them a boost with sheer curtains or grow lights if needed. With the right care, towering tropicals can bring drama even in the shadiest corners.

Unique Shaped Low Light Plants

Unique Shaped Low Light Plants
Break up the monotony with offbeat shapes like panda plants, ruffled ferns, and peperomias. As experts in indoor plants, we know sunlight helps plants grow. But many unique houseplants thrive just fine in low to medium light.

The adorable panda plant has velvety leaves with brown spots that resemble cute bear faces. Boston ferns have delicately ruffled fronds that cascade gracefully. Peperomias display a diversity of textures like wax paper or rippled corrugations.

To satisfy your inner plant nerd, experiment with these oddballs. Beyond standard green leaves, their uncommon forms spark curiosity and conversation. Embrace the strange, embrace the sublime, and let your home jungle bloom in all its eccentric splendor.

Low Light Plants With Color

Low Light Plants With Color
You can easily add pops of color with low light plants like zebra cactus, devil’s ivy, fittonia, and anthurium.

  • Zebra cactus has bold white stripes on deep green.
  • Devil’s ivy shows off splashes of white on heart-shaped leaves.
  • Fittonia displays vivid pink veins against green foliage.
  • Anthurium bears shiny red heart-shaped blooms.

Tropical plants like these thrive in medium to low light. Their brightly hued leaves and flowers enliven shady spots with eye-catching color. Beyond just green, they lend lively accents without needing direct sun. Embellish your home with these vivid varieties for a splash of indoor sunshine even in darker corners.

Easiest Low Light Houseplants

Easiest Low Light Houseplants
Folks, believe it – over 50% of indoor plants actually thrive in low light conditions. From hardy ZZ Plants to those vibrant Fittonias with pink-veined leaves that brighten up any shady corner, many varieties happily grow in low light.

Prayer plants, peacock plants, dragon trees, maidenhair ferns, and zebra cactus are some of the easiest. With broad, arching leaves, prayer plants add exotic flair. Feathery maidenhair ferns lend delicate texture.

Tall, sculptural dragon trees and peacock plants make excellent floor specimens. And zebra cactus delights with its bold stripes. For undemanding greenery even in darker places, look to these pleasing picks that flourish with minimal sunlight.

With proper care, their graceful forms and charming colors will thrive to enhance your indoor sanctuary.

Low Light Plant Brands

Low Light Plant Brands
For a sunny spot indoors, try an easy ZZ plant or snake plant from Costa Farms. Their tropical good looks will brighten your home.

Check out these top 5 low light plant brands:

  1. Costa Farms – Known for hardy ZZ plants, snake plants, peace lilies and more that thrive in low light.
  2. Bloomscape – Offers nice low light plants like parlor palms, Chinese evergreens and philodendrons.
  3. The Sill – Carries many low light faves like peperomias, pothos and dumb canes.
  4. Leaf & Clay – Specializes in rare tropicals like anthuriums and bromeliads that do well in low to medium light.
  5. Terrain – Sells unique low light plants like ivies, ferns and parlor palms in stylish pots.

With my extensive academic and hands-on plant experience, I know these brands provide quality low light plants to create your ideal indoor oasis. Their offerings, like bromeliads’ colorful leaves or English ivy’s cascading vines, will thrive with minimal sunlight.

Trust these go-to retailers for healthy, gorgeous plants tailored to your space and light.

Caring for Low Light Plants

Caring for Low Light Plants
Snakes thrive in the shade with only a few sunrays. Many houseplants actually prefer low light over direct sunlight, which can damage their leaves.

  • Check soil moisture regularly. Water when the top inch is dry.
  • Place in a north or east facing window. Filter harsh light with curtains.
  • Mist leaves, use a pebble tray, or run a humidifier.

Avoid overwatering, which leads to root rot. Give more care to plants needing extra moisture, like ferns. Move struggling plants to better light conditions. With some observation and simple adjustments, your plants will flourish even with minimal sunlight.

Propagating Low Light Plants

Propagating Low Light Plants
You can easily propagate your low light plants by taking cuttings or dividing the roots to create new plants for free.

  1. Take stem cuttings from new growth and place in water until roots form. This works for pothos, philodendrons, and dracaena.
  2. Carefully divide rhizomatous plants like dumb canes by untangling the rootball and replanting separated sections.
  3. Gently remove pups or offsets from bromeliads to pot up individually.
  4. Take leaf cuttings, allowing them to callus over before planting. Chinese evergreens root readily from single leaves.
  5. Propagate panda plant leaves by just laying them on soil until the new plantlets emerge.

Growing new plants from your existing collection allows you to expand your indoor garden exponentially without spending any money. Follow basic propagation techniques, and even shade lovers like ferns and peace lilies can be cloned to share with others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I water low light plants?

Take snake plants for example. Thirsty snake plants only need watering once every 2-3 weeks since they store water in their thick leaves. You should wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering your low light plants again.

Infrequent but deep watering keeps these low maintenance plants happy in their shady spots.

What type of soil or potting mix is best for low light plants?

My dear friend, variety is the spice of life, so use a well-draining potting mix with peat moss, perlite, and compost for low light plants.

How can I tell if my low light plants need to be repotted?

Let your senses guide you. If leaves droop or roots peek from the drainage holes, it’s time for a roomier pot. With a nurturing touch, repot in fresh soil so your plants can spread their roots and thrive.

Are low light plants safe for homes with pets and children?

Many low light plants are perfectly safe for homes with pets and kids. Just avoid plants that are poisonous if ingested, like dumb cane or peace lily. With some basic precautions, you can enjoy nature’s beauty indoors while keeping your family safe.

Should I mist low light plants or use a humidifier to increase humidity?

Misting low light plants provides extra humidity without overwatering. Alternatively, use a humidifier to raise moisture levels safely. Both help plants thrive in low light spots by preventing dried leaves. Focus on ferns and tropical plants needing more humidity.


When life gives you shade, grow low light plants,’ as the old saying goes. For those of us with darker abodes, never fear – plants that don’t need sunlight can spruce up any dim room. From sculptural snake plants to vividly-hued prayer plants, low-light options abound for every style.

When caring for plants that don’t need sunlight, focus on providing the right soil, humidity, and watering to keep your botanicals happy and healthy. With a little TLC, these shade-loving specimens will brighten even the darkest corners.

So embrace the shadows, and let these low-light luminaries infuse your home with verdant tranquility.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.