Best Houseplants for Low Light

Adding plants to the house is a favorite way to bring a little lift to any room. Having plants around makes everything feel lighter, brighter, and more alive. Houseplants add color and texture to a room, purify the air, and just look nice.

The Biology of Low Light Indoor Plants

A handful of tropical, broad-leaf plants are primed for low-light situations through basic biology: large leaves that soak up as much light as possible. Most of them evolved on the tropical forest floor shaded by the larger sun-loving trees all around them.  Some also have a waxy outer layer that helps to retain moisture and makes them double-duty crowd-pleasers and low-maintenance indoor plants as well.

How to Care for Low Light Plants Indoors

It is generally true that low light plants don’t require much water, so caring for them can be as simple as planting them in well-drained soil and watering on a semi-regular basis.

Houseplants to Grow in Low-Light Areas

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

Aglaonema has striking variegated leaves in shades of red, pink, yellow, and green. Place this plant in a space that needs some color and you will not have any need for flowers.

Chinese evergreens thrive in low-light areas and they are also very drought tolerant, so if you forget to water it for a while there will be no harm done. Perfect for people new to houseplants or those who consider themselves “black thumb gardeners.

The older hybrids, mostly colored green, can take low light and grow well. The newer colorful hybrids need medium light and do well in an east or west window. If placed in low light, they will lose their bright coloration.

Chamaedorea elegans (Parlor Palm)

Also known as Neanthebella Palm, this is the best choice in palms for a low light location.  Suitable to situate on a tabletop or floor, like all palms check the soil moisture regularly.

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)

Spider plants love low light and do not require much attention other than occasional watering when the soil feels dry. They send out long spindly leaves and small white flowers that will cascade down the edge of their container, making them a great choice for an indoor hanging basket.

Dieffenbachia spp. (Dumbcane)

Dieffenbachia is one of the easiest and most popular indoor houseplants to grow.  Many species offering colorful leaves with bright patterns prefer medium light but will tolerate low light very well.  Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings.

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant)

These low-maintenance houseplants need to be placed somewhere that doesn’t get any direct sunlight and water occasionally, being careful not to overwater.

Keep in mind that corn plant is toxic to cats and dogs, so if you have a furry friend that likes to chew on the houseplants, skip this one.

Epipremnum aurem (Pothos/ Devils’s Ivy)

One of the most popular plants for hanging in a low-light spot, this one’s for you! Plant it in a basket or up on a pedestal and watch the variegated green leaves trail down in an elegant display.

Maranta leuconeura (Prayer Plant)

Marantha leuconeura is a good choice if you want something with a low light indoor plant with bright foliage to add a pop of color to a drab area of the house because its leaves have variegation in rich green, purple, yellow, and red.

This houseplant needs to be kept out of direct sunlight to help keep the variegated pattern on the leaves vibrant. Plant it in well-draining soil and check soil moisture regularly. The leaves will point upwards at night like hands in prayer, which is where it got its common name “prayer plant.”

Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

Snake plants are known for being difficult to kill, so they are perfect for a small windowless bathroom, stairway, or bedroom corner. Sansevieria is a type of succulent, which means it retains water in its leaves and can be easy to overwater. Pay attention and only water when the soil feels completely dry to the touch, every three weeks or so.

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

These pretty houseplants have lush, dark green leaves and delicate white flowers, but in addition to being beautiful, they also do an exceptional job of cleaning the air and keeping it healthy for us. Peace lilies do well in dark or bright areas, so feel free to place these all over your home if you like!

These plants like to be kept moist and humid, so water regularly to keep your peace lily happy and blooming. If you aren’t watering it enough, you will know because the leaves will droop. Don’t worry, if you see this happening just give it a good drink and watch it perk back up in no time.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Zam Zam Plant)

Not only does this houseplant grow happily in low-light areas of the home, but it is also very low maintenance and can be left alone with no attention at all for long periods of time, so you can go on vacation and not worry about coming home to a dead plant. Its glossy, bright green leaves add a cheerful pop of color to any dark space.