Looking for plants to go with your room décor? Indoor plants for low light are just what you need here. They not only make the place brighter but also purify the air, among other things. We’ve handpicked 22 easy to care for, low light indoor plants, for you to choose from. These plants can grow comfortably inside homes, even during short winter days.
Which plant you choose would depend on whether you get bright diffused sunlight inside your house or just the bare minimum light. But, none of the below-mentioned plants prefer direct exposure to sunlight. These will not only survive, but thrive in low light conditions.
Let’s jump right in this low light indoor plants guide. This guide will brief you about what you need to know to care about these low light plants.
What Are Indoor Plants?
As the name suggests, indoor plants are simply plants that can be grown indoors. They usually require lesser water and light as compared to outdoor plants. Another advantage that comes with indoor plants is that they are more resistant to pests.
Tropical plants, including palms, are especially suitable to indoor environments. Indoor plants such as Succulents, Pothos, Ferns, Philodendrons, Dracaena, Spathiphyllum, and Aglaonema are common varieties.
21 Best Low Light Indoor Plants
These plants are the easiest to grow in a home setting –
1. Split Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
These are low light plants that feature large leaves. The philodendrons have heart-shaped, glossy leaves that are indented when young. As the plant grows, its leaves acquire splits. Some types of split-leaf philodendron consist of wavy leaf margins, whereas others are smoother.
The split leaf philodendron enjoys moderate to bright indirect light. Be careful not to place it under direct sunlight or its leaves will develop brown scorch marks.
Just place it in a moderately lit corner, near a window. Make sure to plant it in a big container, since it can grow up to 4 feet in height.
2. Devil’s Ivy (Pothos Epipremnum)
If you want a hanging plant that requires low light, Pothos is among the easiest to grow. You can grow this vining plant inside a hanging basket, in a standard pot, or even train it to climb plant poles. Similar to the heart shaped philodendron, the Devil’s Ivy too require indirect low to moderate light.
Plus, these require only a minimum amount of watering and need to be kept a little dry.
3. Prayer Plant (Calathea)
The Prayer plant is a variegated plant that is planted and grown inside small containers, due to its shallow root system. Available in several colors, including green, white, dark maroon, and beige, it needs to be cared for properly. These plants prefer light shade with no contact with direct sunlight or else its colors will fade.
The Calathea prefer humidity and you can spray their leaves occasionally with water. However, they need less water in the cold winter months.
4. ZZ Plant (Zamioculas Zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant is among the most popular indoor plants with its low light and maintenance requirements. This perfect potted plant can happily tolerate staying in a dark, dingy corner and easily forgives other types of neglect. Moreover, these are air-purifying plants that can remove benzene, xylene, and ethylbenzene from the surrounding air.
If all you have to offer is artificial fluorescent lighting, the ZZ plant will work its way from there as well. It can survive dry conditions, and all you need to do is water the plant when its soil’s top inch gets dry. Just take care not to overwater a ZZ plant, for it can cause rhizomes to rot. This will lead to yellow leaves and eventually may even kill the plant.
Place them away from children and pets for the ZZ plant is poisonous if consumed.
5. Pony Tail Palm (Nolina recurvata)
Another super adaptable plant is the Pony Tail Palm. Though it would prefer bright light, it can adjust to medium and even low light conditions. Just place it near a window, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
This plant makes for a beautiful addition to any table. Moreover, the huge pony tail appearance makes it a focal point plant.
6. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Boston fern, like most other ferns grows comfortably in low light situations and will burn and turn brown if exposed to a lot of sunlight. It is among the most common indoor fern variety.
To ensure optimal growth you need to keep it evenly moist. You can either pot it or grow it in a hanging basket. You can also put in in a metal plant stand where its new fronds can spread out and dangle from the edge.
7. Dumb Cane Plant (Dieffenbachia)
Dieffenbachia plant can bear with low light, but is more suitable for bright indirect light. For best results place it near the window and not right under it. Dark corners will produce smaller, shorter versions of this variegated plant.
Pot it and keep away from small children and pets, for the Dumb Cane plant is toxic and can cause poisoning.
8. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The white-colored Peace Lily grows well in low light conditions and will get burnt under direct sunlight. These are often used as ornamental plants in homes and office spaces.
You need to water them moderately frequently. However, avoid over-watering them or it may rot. And if you notice wilting in your peace lily, it is a sign that you need to water it. Stop watering if the water begins seeping from the drainage holes.
An ideal location for this plant would be a north-facing window. But these can grow well even if kept at a distance from the window.
9. Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium Podophyllum)
The Syngonium Podophyllum or the Arrowhead plant has leaves shaped like arrowheads. It makes for a fantastic addition in your indoor plant collection.
Moreover, the plant can live even in very low lighting, which makes it ideal for indoor settings.
10. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
Moth Orchids are a treat to watch. These indoor plants can adjust in less-than-ideal lighting situation. They need only moderate to low light levels, and do not prefer high bright lights. Moreover, these will scorch on prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Their ideal growth spot would be east or west looking windows. But they can do well in north facing window as well.
11. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)
Spider plants are one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, with the added benefit of being the show stopper. Moreover, it is super easy to propagate them using the buds and babies that grow from mature plants.
You can pot them and grow on a shelf ledge with no direct sunlight exposure. But, the room needs to be adequately lit, either from artificial light or indirect sunlight.
12. Rex Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)
Another amazing indoor plant is the Rex Begonia. These prefer sufficient indirect light, but can tolerate low light. The Begonia plant features majestic leaf shapes and colors.
Rex begonia is just one variety from the Begonia plant, and these grow only in low light indoor settings. Several tuberous begonias prefer filtered light while staying indoors.
13. Corn Plant (Dracena Fragrans)
This striped plant can live well indoors, but optimum growth requires that you place it near a window. The low light indoor conditions will result in the Corn plant losing its stripes. Just place it near a window and water moderately if you want to enjoy its beautiful striped leaves.
14. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Zeylanica)
Snake plants are easy and convenient to grow and maintain. This is because they are suitable to indoor environment and can thrive even in extremely low light. Going by its name, the leaves give the appearance of snakeskin and are known for their air cleansing benefits.
In addition to being low light plants, Snake Plants are often free from pests and diseases. These are hardy and tolerant plants that die rarely due to negligence. So, if you fear forgetting and eventually killing your indoor plants, this one is apt for you. It can survive for days without water.
Make sure the soil has dried before you water it again and avoid overwatering the plant.
15. Mother in Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
This sansevieria plant features striped edges and makes for a good low light indoor plant. Their striped look is responsible for the peculiar common name, aka the mother-in-law’s tongue.
Their care doesn’t include much, just put them in a pot with sufficient soil or potting mix and place them anywhere indoors. You don’t even need to water them much. Moreover, they propagate rather easily using leaf cuttings.
16. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)
The Cast Iron Plant is literally the easiest indoor plant you can grow. True to its name, this plant can undertake a considerable amount of neglect. It can adjust well in extremely low light conditions and can bear low humidity levels, dust, drought, and other such things.
People with “brown thumbs” can do well with these strong, hardy plants. You don’t have to worry about them once potted, just water them every now and then.
17. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
The peculiar holes in the Monstera Deliciosa’s leaves gives it an appearance similar to Swiss cheese. These prefer indirect light ranging from bright to low intensity.
Take care not to place it under bright sunlight, or else its leaves will burn. The plant needs sufficient room for it can grow up to a considerable length. It has water requirements similar to most houseplants, and need not be overwatered.
18. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium)
The Flamingo Flower Plants are among the few flowers that can withstand very low light conditions and still bloom indoors. These are the perfect partners for your dining room or hall with their beautiful red flowers that have a yellowish-white spike at the centre.
Anthuriums can take indoor low light conditions since they are covered by the shade of tree canopy in their natural habitat.
19. Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia Argyreia)
Another plant which naturally grows under tree canopy is the Watermelon Pepermonia. Typically, several varieties of Peperomia grow well in low light. It features beautiful striped green leaves that owe it its common name.
The plant has simple watering needs, just water when the upper layer of soil begins to dry out. Place them where they can get indirect sunlight and avoid longer periods under bright light.
20. Braided Money Tree Plant (Pachira aquatica)
The Braided Money Tree Plant is a stunner, with its breaded trunks and shiny green leaves. This low light plant doesn’t do well in direct sunlight. For best results, place it in bright filtered light. However, it can grow well even in dark corners.
On the plus side, this plant is believed to bring in luck and prosperity in one’s home. Easy maintenance and luck make this one a common house plant.
21. Purple Passion (Gynura Aurantiaca)
The rich purple plant features purple colored leaves that are hidden in hairs. These hairs give the Purple Passion plant a royal velvety look. You can grow it under a north facing window with indirect sunlight.
Moreover, it is super easy to grow the plant from stem cuttings. So, you can propagate them from mature plants and have as many purple passions you want.
Indoor Plants Care Tips
1. Things to Consider
• Moisten your potting soil: Make sure your potting mix or soil is just adequately moist. It should be neither too wet, nor extremely dry.
• Drainage holes in the bottom of your pot: You need to make sure your pot has sufficient drainage holes to allow access water to drain out easily.
• Keep your plant pot close to a light source. The source may be natural like sunlight or artificial indoor lights. As per each plant’s requirements, you need to fix their spot. The above-listed plants must be kept away from direct sunlight.
• Understand the specie type of your plant: Each species comes with its own caring requirements, including water, sunlight, soil, pest and disease control, etc. You need to adopt the techniques most suitable for your particular plant.
• Potting: Most indoor plants already come in a container and need not be potted. But there are certain situations when you need to pot them. First being that your plant has overgrown the container and need to be replanted in a bigger pot. Secondly, if you are looking to grow bulbs inside your home, then you’d need to plant them in a pot.
• Repotting: Repotting needs to be done with sufficient care. Unless your plant no longer fits its earlier pot, you do not need to repot it. This is because here you may risk damaging or breaking its roots.
• Lighting requirements: Generally, cacti and succulents need continuous sunlight. Whereas plants that have foliage require 8 hours long daylight. But our low light plants can tolerate dark spaces with just a few hours of dim light.
• Pest Control: Pests and bugs can be a real nuisance and must be dealt with on priority. You can use insecticidal soap and spray it on your pest-ridden plants. Make sure to completely spray the plant, covering the top and the undersides along with the stem. You need to spray at a gap of roughly 2 weeks, and repeat the cycle till you are sure that there are no more bugs.
• Watering needs: Indoor plants have less watering needs as compared to outdoor plants. This makes them vulnerable to overwatering and rotting. You must check your plant before watering, to avoid overwatering. The easiest way to do this is by probing the soil, if it is dry you need to water the plant. You can either use your fingers to judge the dryness or use a moisture meter. Look for wilting signs, if your plant is wilting, it most certainly needs to be watered. Another thing to look for is tipping and yellow leaves. Brown and crispy leaves indicate insufficient watering, whereas mushy leaves may mean overwatering. Yellow leaves too are a sign of over or under watering.
2. Things to Avoid
Overwatering or underwatering: Too much or too little water, both are bad for your plant’s health. To know just how much water your plant needs, you must research its specific requirements. Otherwise overwatering may rot the plant, and underwatering will cause the plant to dry out, wilt, and eventually die.
Light Levels: Too much exposure to direct sunlight will most likely burn your indoor plant. Indoor plants are often found in shaded places in their natural habitat and thus need filtered or moderate to low light.
Neglect: Even though indoor plants are comparatively easy to grow, do not neglect them on purpose. These living, breathing plants still need some light, water, moist and compatible soil to be able to survive and thrive. You need to check them regularly for a possible pest infestation or disease.
Kids and Pets: Children and pets are not always very considerate about how to handle your delicate plants. One jerk and your plant will be out of its pot and on the ground. Additionally, some plants themselves may be toxic and thus harm your pets or small children if ingested.
Pruning: Do not prune your indoor plants just for the sake of it. Only if you notice your plants becoming spindly and tally, do you need to trim and prune them.
What To Look For In An Indoor Plant?
• Root system – It is incredibly important that you choose a plant with a good root system. You cannot always take a plant out from its pot and check for its roots. But in case of a small, young plant this can definitely be done. Go for plants with thick and light-colored roots, for these signify healthy plants.
• Foliage- It goes without saying that a healthy plant will have thick foliage with plenty of leaves. One way to ensure good foliage is to try and see through them; you should not be able to see past a thick foliage.
• Look for diseases: No one wants to bring home an already infested plant. Check for the common signs for diseases or pests – sticky residue on plant leaves, white dots, bad smell, or visible bugs on the plant.
• Care requirements: One reason people go for indoor plants is that they are easy to care for. But that may not be the case in every situation. Its better to do a research beforehand, instead of letting your plant die. If you have the time and conditions to care for your chosen plant, then only get it. And if you are a busy plant lover, just pick any from our suggested lot of indoor plants and you’ll be good to go.
Indoor plants are everyone’s favorite, for they need low maintenance, help clean the surrounding air, and can match well with your home or office décor. No matter where you live, you can be a plant owner, with the above-listed low light indoor plants. Pick any from our collection, and you need not worry about insufficient lighting for your plants anymore.
Choosing your ideal plant from our list of indoor plants for low light would ultimately depend on what you are looking for. You need to decide whether you want a fancy-looking plant, a lucky money plant, or the good old air purifier plant. You can even get a combination of these features in one plant.
Whatevr you choose, make sure your indoor plant is overall healthy; it must have a good root system, be pest and disease free, have thick foliage, and be easy to care for. Keep the do’s and don’ts tips in mind while you care for any of these low light indoor plants.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.