14 Best Low-Light Indoor Houseplants

Houseplants can really brighten up your home, but you may think your home doesn’t have enough access to natural light to support them. These low-light houseplants are the perfect solution.

Potted fern on table

Not only do they thrive in less light, but they also help purify the air and can improve your mood. And they’re low maintenance.

The Ultimate Guide to Low-Light Houseplants

Low light houseplants are perfect when you have less natural light within their space. These plants can also help purify the air in your home or office. Low light houseplants come in many different varieties, so you can choose from a range of options. Some popular low light houseplants include the snake plant, pothos, and ZZ plant.

How Low Light Affects Most Indoor Plants

Low light conditions can have a significant impact on indoor plants that need a good bit of sunlight to survive.

  • Slower Growth: Plants in low light conditions may grow more slowly and produce smaller leaves than those in brighter environments.
  • Increased Watering Needs: Indoor plants in low light conditions may require more frequent watering as they are not receiving as much energy from the sun.
  • Loss of Vibrancy: Low light conditions may cause plants to lose their vibrant colors and appear dull over time.
  • Survival Varies: While some indoor plants can thrive in low light conditions, others may require more light to survive. It’s important to research the lighting needs of specific plants when choosing indoor plants for your home or office.

Best Low-light Indoor Plants 

Here are the top 10 low light houseplants that require minimal maintenance:

1. Snake Plant

Snake plant, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a popular and resilient houseplant known for its striking appearance. Its leaves are long, upright, and sword-shaped.

They grow in a rosette pattern, with individual leaves ranging from a few inches to several feet in height, depending on the variety. The leaves can be thick and fleshy, with a pointed tip and smooth or slightly rippled edges.

Snake plants have a stiff, upright growth habit, which makes them suitable for various indoor spaces. They don’t require support or training and can grow independently without sprawling or drooping.

They can tolerate and adapt to areas with limited natural light, including corners, hallways, or rooms with only fluorescent lighting. They’re adapted to efficiently photosynthesize and convert light into energy even in low light conditions. They have a unique ability to store and use energy efficiently, allowing them to maintain their growth and overall health in low light environments.

It’s recommended to provide them with some periods of indirect sunlight to maintain their vibrancy and promote optimal growth. However, they can thrive even in consistently low light conditions, making them a great choice for indoor spaces with limited natural light.

2. ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is a popular indoor plant known for its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. It has glossy, dark green leaves that are thick and waxy, growing alternately on long, upright stems that emerge from the plant’s underground rhizome. The ZZ plant can grow up to three feet tall and wide when given enough space to spread out.

The ZZ plant is an excellent choice for a houseplant because it can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, including low light environments. It can thrive in bright indirect light or even fluorescent lighting making it ideal for offices with limited natural light.

When grown indoors as a houseplant in low light conditions, the ZZ plant should be placed near a window or in another well-lit area but away from any direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves. The ZZ plant can also survive in areas with artificial lighting alone.

It’s important to note that while the ZZ plant can survive in low light conditions, it will grow more slowly compared to when grown under brighter conditions. Overwatering can also lead to root rot so be sure not to overwater the plant and let it dry out between waterings.

3. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is cherished for its unique appearance and symbolism, making it a popular choice for indoor spaces. It’s known for its adaptability to low-light conditions and minimal care requirements.

It’s quite unique looking with slender, green stalks with delicate leaves that grow along the stem. They are said to bring good luck.

This plant actually prefers indirect sunlight or low light conditions, making it an ideal choice for indoor spaces. You place it near a window where it will receive filtered sunlight, but you can also put it in a dark corner and it will be perfectly happy.

4. Fern

Ferns are versatile and attractive indoor plants that can thrive in low-light conditions. To help ferns grow well indoors, place yours near a window with filtered sunlight or in an area with indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the fronds.

Ferns love humidity, so try to maintain the humidity around them by misting the fronds regularly or using a pebble tray filled with water under the pot. You can also place a humidifier nearby to keep the environment moist.

5. Prayer Plant (Maranta)

Prayer plants, which belong to the Maranta genus, are well-suited for indoor environments with low light. They are prized for their unique foliage and the way the leaves fold up at night, resembling hands in prayer. 

These plants flourish in bright, indirect sunlight, but can adapt to low-light conditions as well. Place them near a window with filtered sunlight or in a room that receives consistent ambient light throughout the day. Avoid direct sunlight exposure, as it can scorch their delicate leaves.

6. Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant)

 One of the main reasons people love Monstera is its distinctive leaves. The large, glossy, and deeply lobed leaves have natural holes and splits, resembling Swiss cheese or a piece of modern art. The unique foliage adds a tropical and exotic touch to any indoor space, making it a visually striking houseplant.

Learn more about how to care for a monstera houseplant.

7. English Ivy

English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a wonderful houseplant to have, especially in environments with low indoor light. Yes, this is the climbing ivy you see outside on walls, but it also works very nicely as a houseplant.

It can thrive in areas of your home where other plants may struggle, such as corners, hallways, or rooms with limited natural light. While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can still survive and maintain its attractive foliage in lower light conditions.

English Ivy is renowned for its air-purifying abilities. It helps to filter and cleanse the air by removing harmful toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. These pollutants can be commonly found in household products, carpets, and furniture. By having English Ivy indoors, you can enhance the air quality and create a healthier environment.

8. Cast Iron Plant

Cast iron plants (Aspidistra elatior) are hardy plants that can thrive in low light areas that also have low humidity, making them perfect for a variety of living spaces. The dark green leaves of the cast iron plant add beauty and texture to any space while complementing various home decor styles.

They need minimal care, making them perfect for busy individuals or those who may not have a green thumb. They can survive in dimly lit areas or corners of a room, making them suitable for various indoor environments where other plants may struggle.

And unlike many houseplants, cast iron plants are non-toxic to pets, so there’s no need to worry about your furry friends getting into trouble with these plants around.

9. Pothos

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular and widely loved houseplant known for its beautiful trailing vines and lush, heart-shaped leaves. They have long, cascading vines that can grow several feet in length.

These vines are flexible and can be trained to climb up trellises, walls, or other support structures. Pothos is an excellent choice for hanging baskets or as a trailing plant on shelves or bookcases, creating an eye-catching display.

They’re known for their resilience and ability to thrive in low light environments. Pothos can also tolerate moderate to bright indirect light. It’s also pretty forgiving when it comes to watering, and can withstand periods of drought, making it ideal for those who are new to plant care or have busy schedules.

10. Spider Plant

Spider plants, also known as Chlorophytum comosum, are popular houseplants known for their long, narrow leaves that curve downward and are usually green with white stripes. The plant gets its name from the small plantlets that dangle from the mother plant like spiders on a web. 

Spider plants are great for beginners because they are easy to grow and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, including low light.

11. Peace Lily

Peace lilies, also known as Spathiphyllum, are tropical plants that have large glossy leaves and beautiful white flowers. The leaves are usually lance-shaped and can grow up to 20 inches long.

The flowers consist of a white spathe, or bract, which surrounds the spadix, a cylindrical spike that contains many tiny flowers. Peace lilies are popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and can improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene.

Peace lilies are known for their tolerance of low light conditionsThey can grow well in bright, indirect light or even in rooms with artificial lighting. They should be placed near a north-facing window or another area where they can receive bright but indirect light. They can also tolerate some direct morning sunlight, but should be protected from hot afternoon sun which can burn their leaves.

It’s important to note that while peace lilies can survive in low light conditions, they may not flower as much or produce as many leaves compared to when grown in brighter conditions.

12. Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema, commonly known as Chinese Evergreen, is a popular houseplant appreciated for its attractive foliage. Chinese Evergreens have broad, elongated leaves that can vary in size depending on the specific variety.

Their leaves come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making them highly decorative. The most common leaf colors include shades of green, silver, and various shades of red or pink. Some varieties may have variegated or marbled patterns, with streaks, spots, or edges of contrasting colors. 

Chinese Evergreen prefers bright, indirect light. However, it can still thrive and maintain its attractive foliage in lower light conditions, including areas further away from windows or in rooms with only fluorescent lighting.

Its ability to tolerate low light is attributed to its natural adaptation to the shaded understory of tropical forests, where it receives filtered or dappled sunlight. It has evolved to efficiently capture and utilize available light, allowing it to survive and grow in low light environments.

13. Dracaena

Dracaena is a genus of plants that includes over 100 different species, many of which are popular houseplants. Most Dracaena plants have tall, slender trunks with a rosette of long, slender leaves at the top. The leaves can be green, variegated or striped with white, cream or red edges. Some species also produce fragrant flowers.

Dracaena is a great choice for indoor houseplants as they are relatively low maintenance and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including low light. While they can grow in low light conditions, they may not grow as quickly or produce as many leaves compared to when grown in brighter light.

When grown indoors as a houseplant in low light conditions, Dracaena should be placed near a bright window or other well-lit area but away from any direct sun which can scorch the leaves. They can also adapt to lower-light environments such as fluorescent lighting in an office setting.

It’s important to note that while Dracaena can survive in low light conditions, it still needs some natural or artificial light to photosynthesize and thrive.

14. Philodendron

Philodendrons are low light houseplants that are easy to grow and require minimal care. They have beautiful heart-shaped leaves and can trail or climb depending on your preference.

Philodendron is generally known for its ability to tolerate a range of light conditions, including low light. While they prefer bright, indirect light, they can adapt and thrive in areas with lower light levels, making them suitable for indoor environments with limited natural light. Philodendron plants are well-suited for corners, offices, or rooms further away from windows.

These low light houseplants are perfect for those with busy lifestyles or limited access to natural light. They can also help purify the air in your home or office while adding a touch of natural beauty to your space.

Tips for Caring for Low-Light Houseplants

Low light houseplants require a slightly different approach to care than those that thrive in bright, direct light. Here are some tips to keep your low light houseplants healthy and happy:

1. Don’t overwater

Low light houseplants typically require less water than those in bright light. Make sure the top inch of soil is dry before watering, and be careful not to let the plant sit in standing water.

2. Use a humidifier

Many low light plants prefer a slightly more humid environment. Consider setting up a humidifier near your plants or misting them with a spray bottle.

3. Rotate your plants

Rotate your low light houseplants every few weeks to ensure all sides of the plant receive some light, even in low light conditions. This will also encourage the plant to grow evenly.

4. Use a balanced fertilizer

To ensure your low light houseplants receive the necessary nutrients, use a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

By following these tips, you can help your low light houseplants thrive in your home or office, even in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

How to Propagate Your Low-Light Houseplants

Propagation is a great way to expand your low light houseplant collection and create new plants from existing ones. Here are some methods for propagating your low light houseplants:

Leaf Cuttings

Many low light houseplants, such as pothos or spider plants, can be propagated through leaf cuttings. Here’s how:

  1. Using clean scissors or shears, snip a healthy leaf from the parent plant.
  2. Cut the leaf into sections, making sure each section has at least one node (a small bump where leaves or roots emerge).
  3. Place the cuttings in water or soil, making sure the nodes are submerged or buried.
  4. Keep the cuttings in a warm, humid location with indirect light, and change the water weekly (if using water propagation).
  5. Once roots have formed and new growth appears, transplant the new plant into soil.


Layering is another propagation method that can be used for low light houseplants:

  1. Choose a healthy, flexible stem on the parent plant that is close to the soil.
  2. Using a sterilized knife, make a shallow cut on the stem’s underside.
  3. Dust the cut with rooting hormone (optional).
  4. Bury the cut stem under the soil, leaving the tip exposed.
  5. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, humid location with indirect light.
  6. Once roots have formed and new growth appears, carefully separate the new plant from the parent plant and transplant it into its own pot.


Division is a propagation method that works well for low light houseplants that naturally produce multiple stems or “clumps” of growth:

  1. Carefully remove a healthy clump of growth from the parent plant.
  2. Divide the clump into sections, making sure each section has a good amount of roots and stems.
  3. Plant each section in its own pot with fresh soil.
  4. Keep the soil moist and in a warm location with indirect light.
  5. Once the new plants are established and producing new growth, you can treat them like any other low light houseplant.

Propagation can be a rewarding and fun way to grow your indoor garden. With these methods, you can create new low light houseplants and expand your collection with minimal effort.

Enjoy Your Low-Light Indoor Plants

Adding low light houseplants to your home can not only add beauty and improve your interior design, but also offer a range of benefits such as purifying the air and reducing stress levels. There are many different types of low light houseplants to choose from, and with proper care, they can thrive in areas with limited natural light.

Remember to pay attention to each plant’s specific needs and use propagation methods to expand your collection. Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or just starting out, low light houseplants are a great addition to any home.