Want plants but lack a bright spot to put them?
Here are 10 attractive low light houseplants that anyone can grow (even if you forget to water from time to time) indoors or (in warm weather) on patios or in garden spots with less-than-ideal sunlight.
All these low light houseplants will also thrive in good lighting.
In general, tropical plants with large, dark green leaves do well in good filtered light, but can get along in lower light, though they will grow more slowly. Plants with variegated leaves (two or more colors) or that flower need more light.
There is no plant that can live entirely in a room that has only artificial light from conventional lamps, or very little or no natural light.
10 best low light houseplants anyone can grow
- Aspidistra, or cast-iron plant
This tough and pest-resistant plant is easy to grow, asking only for feeding in summer (or winter in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere container gardens).
- Sansevieria, or snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue
With warm weather and bright light, this tall plant has creamy white flowers with a heavenly scent. In less light, it won’t flower, but it will grow slowly and live for years.
- Rubber plant
Another fuss-free plant with broad dark green leaves that gets large unless it is pinched back. The bulldog of houseplants.
- Maranta or prayer plant
With dramatic red-veined leaves, this plant also tolerates cool rooms and drafts, making it good for conservatories and sunrooms in winter and hallways.
- Fatsia or Japanese Arabia
Also tolerant of cooler rooms in winter, it has broad glossy leaves.
- Cyrtomum or Japanese holly fern
Leathery pointed leaves make this robust plant look more like a small poplar tree, than either a holly or a fern, it can also manage in cooler rooms in winter, as long as the temperature stays above freezing.
- Zamioculcas or ZZ plant
An exotic looking African plant with fat stems and leaves that point to the ceiling that tolerates deep shade and occasional drought. Very easy to look after.
- Adiantum or maidenhair fern
This pretty plant with the delicate looking fan-shaped leaves looks a lot more girly than it actually is, with its ability to cope with both low light and cooler temperatures.
- Hedera or English ivy
This very popular plant is great in containers, indoors or outside. Very easy to grow and also OK in cooler rooms.
- Split-leaf philodendron or Swiss cheese plant
Not a philodendron at all (though it looks like it should be), this is one of the most popular (and unfairly mocked) houseplants because it is so forgiving. A vigorous climber, it can get big and floppy (it needs support), with leaves the size of dinner plates. Outside in summer it also stands up against wind, as long as it has firm support and enough water.