While we all dream of bright, cheerful sunlight streaming into our homes, we know most people don’t have an abundance of windows that create optimal lighting for their houseplants. If you’re discouraged by your lack of natural light and plants that may be struggling in the darker areas of your home, you’ve come to the right place.
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 somewhat similar to dimly lit spaces throughout your home.
To help you select the best greenery for your low light spaces, here’s a roundup of our favorite low-light plants.
Our Favorite Plants For Low Light Spaces
Spider Plants are a quintessential low-light plant, able to sustain their lush leafy form in even the dimmest areas. Perfect in a hanging basket or a pot, their graceful leaves are striped in shades of white and green. Over time, the spider plant will produce adorable “spiderettes” on long, arching stalks. These baby plants can be removed and grown as a new plant, or can be left on the mother plant.
Choose a spider plant if you’re looking for the ultimate easy-care plant. And, bonus—they’re kid and pet friendly, too!
Dracaena plants vary in size, shape, and color, but they all have long, pointed leaves that grow upward and outward from a central stalk, or cane. The canes are sturdy, and in varieties like Dracaena Gold Star and Dracaena Marginata, they lend a distinctive upright structure to the signature dracaena foliage.
As dracaenas grow, they maintain their upright appearance and do well in indirect light, making them perfect for blank walls, areas behind furniture, or empty corners.
This slow-growing, compact palm thrives in a variety of light situations and tight spaces. Named for its common placement in Victorian-era parlors, the Parlor Palm adapts to low light and also thrives in brighter, filtered light situations. 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, while they may look and behave like succulents, they’re actually not. Peperomia plants require a bit more water and higher humidity than your average succulent.
Native to parts of South America, peperomias grow in the cool understory of the rainforest. Pet-friendly and compact varieties such as Peperomia Piper and the Pet-Peromia Collection are a great addition to any bookshelf or home office desk.
Money Trees are a unique tree with textured leaflets and a sturdy trunk, commonly thought to bring good fortune to their keepers and positive energy into a space. Tolerant of low-light situations, money trees are a great choice for new or hands-off plant parents thanks to their ability to go long periods between watering.
Native to Mexico and northern South America, the money tree is one of the most popular and most gifted houseplants, perfect for gracing your low-light space.
Known for their ease of care and durability, trailing pothos plants do well in lower light and 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 upwards on a pole or trellis.
Pothos plants, like the ones in our Pothos Collection, are very efficient at absorbing pollutants in the air and releasing oxygen, making them a healthy and beautiful addition to your space.
Prayer Plants earned their name from the way the leaves fold up in the evening, resembling hands folded in prayer. Their leaves follow the light, becoming compact at night and opening 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 dark green leaves and feathered, painterly-like centers of light green and red veins make for a distinctive plant anywhere in the home.
Snake plants such as the Whale Fin Sansevieria 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 generally do best in indirect sunlight. And because snake 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 under the dense canopy of a tropical rainforest. 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 bold-textured Kangaroo 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 leaves emerging from the surface of the soil. The arching leaves feature a series of small, shiny leaflets. 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 striped patterns and unique coloration, the trailing stems of Tradescantia Zebrina are perfect for tumbling over the sides of their pot. They’re a great choice for adding interest to lower-light areas of the home, whether it be on a shelf or a hanging saucer.
Native to southern Mexico and Guatemala, this tradescantia is a semi-succulent plant that requires very little extra care aside from regular watering.
Philodendrons are fast-growing, easy plants with growth patterns ranging from graceful and vining to bold and bushy. Philodendrons such as Philodendron Heartleaf are generally forgiving, and will tolerate 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.
Looking To Give Your Plants an Extra Boost? Try a Grow Light!
Want to give your indoor garden an 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 light spectrum that is scientifically proven to support plant health, grow lights can help your plants thrive in any lighting condition. Read more about powering up your plants in our Indoor Grow Light article.