While we all dream of large windows that can fill our homes with abundant sunlight, we know it’s not always possible to have picturesque windows to create optimal lighting conditions for our houseplants. If you’re discouraged by your plants that aren’t thriving in the darker areas of your home, not all hope is lost.
You can grow your foliage collection by investing in low-light tolerant indoor plants that can adapt to less than ideal lighting. Many plant species naturally grow in environments with low light — like the forest floor of a tropical jungle — which can be great for dimly lit spaces throughout your home.
To help you select the right plants for your low light spaces, here’s a roundup of our favorite plants that are adaptable to the darker spaces in your home.
Our 12 Favorite Plants That Grow in Low Light
Bromeliads are unique, beautiful plants that feature colorful, long-lasting blooms. Native to Brazil, these plants typically grow on trees as epiphytes, which are plants that grow on the surface of another plant and derive moisture and nutrients from rainwater and organic matter. Accustomed to residing beneath trees’ shady foliage, bromeliads are used to growing in low light conditions.
These stunning plants will add a colorful and tropical splash to any space. Bromeliad ‘Aechmea Pink’, bromeliad Summer, bromeliad Electra, and bromeliad Christiane produce gorgeous blooms, while the bromeliad pineapple is a pineapple plant that grows an adorable ornemental fruit!
Dracaena plants vary in size, shape, and color, but they all have long leaves that grow up and outward from a central stalk, or cane. The canes are sturdy, and in varieties like Dracaena ‘Gold Star’ and Dracaena marginata, they can lend an unexpected architectural element to the signature dracaena foliage.
As dracaenas grow, they maintain their upright appearance and do well in indirect light, making it perfect for blank walls, spots behind furniture, or narrow corners.
This slow-growing, compact palm thrives in a variety of light situations and tight spaces. While the parlor palm does best in bright, filtered light, it will readily adapt to low light as well. Its dark green fronds create a bushy, lush plant perfect for tabletops, desks, and shelves.
Native to Mexico and Central America, this palm requires very little care and is an excellent air purifier. This indoor plant is highly adaptable, making it an ideal choice for offices with less than ideal growing conditions.
Peperomia plants are incredibly easy-going, low-care houseplants, making them great for beginners! That said, they may look and behave like succulents, but they’re actually not! Peperomia plants require a bit more water and higher humidity than your average succulent.
Native to South American rainforests, peperomias grow in the cool understory of the rainforest. Slow-growing and compact varieties such as Peperomia ‘Ginny’ and Peperomia ‘Watermelon’ are a great addition to any shaded bookshelf or home office desk.
Philodendrons are fast-growing, easy plants with growth patterns ranging from graceful and vining to bold and bushy. Philodendrons such as Philodendron ‘Xanadu’ and Philodendron ‘Brasil’ are generally forgiving, and will tolerate all kinds of neglect, including low light, poor soil, and inconsistent watering.
A philodendron is a great first-time houseplant or gift for anyone who wants to enjoy the natural beauty of plants without a lot of maintenance.
Known for their ease of care and durability, pothos do well in lower light but truly thrive when placed in a well-lit area. With their long cascading vines, these beauties are great as hanging plants and can even be trained to grow on a pole or trellis.
Pothos plants, like the ones in our Pothos Collection, are very efficient at cleaning the air of harmful chemicals. They are living air purifiers by removing common household toxins, making them a healthy and beautiful addition to your space.
The prayer plant earned its name from the way the leaves fold in the evening, resembling hands folded in prayer. Their leaves follow the light and become more compact at night while they open up with the sun each day. Prayer plants are native to the rainforests of Brazil and are tolerant of low light conditions.
Varieties like the red prayer plant with soft dark green leaves featuring feathered, painterly-like centers of light green and red veins make for a distinctive plant anywhere in the home.
Snake plants such as Sansevieria and Sansevieria ‘Moonshine’ are characterized by their stiff, upright, sword-like leaves. Their architectural nature makes them a natural choice for modern interior designs.
If you’re new to plant ownership or are simply looking for an easy-care houseplant, a sansevieria is the plant for you. These hardy plants remain popular because of their adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions. They can withstand full sun and handle low light — though they will do best in indirect sunlight. And because sansevieria plants are native to the arid deserts of West Africa, they do not require much water, especially in the winter.
Ferns are native to almost every corner of the globe but are particularly abundant in areas of high moisture, like a tropical rainforest floor. They are seldom found in cold, dry climates.
Ferns appear in a variety of shapes, ranging from the delicate Kimberly queen fern to the more structured bird’s nest fern. They will thrive in a low-light area of your home with higher humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
ZZ plants are tough, making them perfect for the forgetful plant owner. Native to East Africa, these hardy plants are able to survive for months without water and will grow well in any light except direct sun.
ZZ plants are graceful with wand-like stems that taper to a point. Along the stems are fleshy, oval-shaped, shiny leaves. These plants do best when they are practically ignored. If you’re looking for a hands-off plant that makes a statement, then look no further than the ZZ plant!
Known for their bold patterns, the leaves of most calathea varieties fold up slightly during the nighttime, revealing the often colorful undersides of their striking foliage.
Most calatheas are considered relatively easy to care for, but they like an environment with higher humidity (like a kitchen or bathroom) and for their soil to stay consistently moist.
Looking To Give Your Plants an Extra Boost? Try a Grow Light
Want to give your indoor garden an extra edge, or grow plants that your current natural lighting setup won’t allow? Meet the grow light. This gadget allows you to create the perfect lighting conditions for your plant collection. It’s perfect for small or windowless spaces that lack natural light. By employing a specific photosynthetic light spectrum that is scientifically proven to support plant health, grow lights can help your plants thrive in any lighting conditions.