10 Indoor Plants That Thrive in Low Light - Backyard Boss
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10 Indoor Plants That Thrive in Low Light

Growing plants indoors improves the air quality, is great for your mood, and will brighten up any room. But finding indoor plants that thrive in low light can be difficult. Most flowering and variegated plants, those with multiple colors, have higher light requirements. Non-variegated plants, ones that are entirely green in color, usually have lower light needs. 

When choosing a plant for a dark room, north window, or room with only artificial light, consider a species of the genus that is solid-green. You will also want to consider the climate and atmosphere as the temperature, humidity levels, and air circulation will determine which plants will do best in these environments. Whatever your needs, many indoor plants thrive in low light.

ZZ Plant

ZZ plant in corner
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The ZZ plant is a top contender for thriving in hallways, dark corners, and even office buildings. Like many plants on this list, ZZ plants burn in direct sunlight. They prefer indirect light and can even survive under fluorescent lights. In low-light environments, they will require infrequent watering, so it makes them perfect for the forgetful gardener. 

Growing up to four feet in height, this shiny-leaved plant looks architecturally similar to a palm but with shorter leaves. They are toxic to people and pets if ingested, so may not be great for pet owners or those with small children.

Pothos

Golden pothos
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Pothos can thrive in low light conditions, even in artificial light. If allowed to, a pothos will take over an entire window sill. The winding vines may not grow as quickly in dim areas, but over time, this plant will climb any structure towards the light source. 

Pothos are toxic to pets and humans but are a great hanging plant if you need it out of reach. The silver satin pothos variety, despite being variegated, does particularly well in low light due to its thick leaves.

Philodendron

heartleaf philodendron
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Often confused with pothos, this popular houseplant has endless varieties, each with unique structures. Similar to pothos, they do well in bright light but can also thrive in low light. 

These plants are drought resistant but would prefer moist soil. The heartleaf and little hope philodendron are also good varieties to consider for dim locations.

Snake Plant

A snake plant on a table beside a window
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This plant is one of the easiest houseplants for beginners as long it’s not overwatered. Snake plants, especially the darker green varieties, will thrive in low-light environments. The pointed leaves can grow to be quite long. Also make sure to wipe the dust off their  leaves to enjoy their beauty to the fullest extent.

If you are looking for a smaller variety, you might consider the bird’s nest snake plant. Both are toxic if ingested, so may not be best for pet owners or those with small children.

Lucky Bamboo

three lucky bamboos
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Lucky Bamboo isn’t bamboo at all, but it is a dracaena, the same genus of trees and succulent shrubs as the snake plant. Lucky bamboo does well in bright light and also thrives in low-light situations. 

This plant is most often grown in water but can also be potted in the soil, as long as it’s kept wet. Hopefully, the luck this plant brings will assist you in growing it in a lower light environment. Maybe its luck will bring you a green thumb as well!

Spider Plant

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) houseplant grown inside house in pot on the glass counter-top table surrounded by other houseplant in light of sun coming through window curtain
Image credit: Vadim Gouida via Shutterstock

Spider plants are a popular houseplant because they propagate so quickly, especially in areas with lots of light. However, spider plants will thrive in a low-light environment – They just won’t grow or propagate as profusely. For this reason it’s best to place on a window sill.

There are many varieties of spider plants, the most common being variegated. The solid-green spider plant will be your best bet for low-light areas.

Fern

Fern in on office desk beside laptop
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Ferns are notorious for liking shaded, damp places. Although some ferns prefer more light, too much direct sunlight will burn most fronds. There are many gorgeous varieties to choose from. 

Bird’s nest fern, blue star fern, Boston fern, button fern, and the holly fern are a few varieties that do well in low light. Whichever one you choose, be sure to water regularly as they like moist soil. They are also non-toxic, which is a great bonus.

Ivy

English Ivy in clay pot on shelf
Image credit: Sasha Kim via Pexels

Non-variegated types of ivy thrive in low light. English ivy is often seen taking over outside of homes but has gained popularity as an indoor vine plant. 

Its unique leaf structure is eye-catching and will fill up any dim corner. If you are looking for a plant that isn’t toxic to pets, you may want to consider grape ivy, which also does well in low light.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese Evergreen
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This striking plant grows well in low light, but the bright-colored ones may lose their color over time. For a particularly dim area, choose a darker-leafed variety. 

Chinese evergreens will flower in good light but are primarily grown for their foliage. They also don’t require a lot of water, which makes them a great choice for a beginner gardener.

Watermelon Peperomia

watermelon peperomia on a green background
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Resembling the fruit it’s named after, the peperomia’s leaves look like the outside of a watermelon, and its stems are red. This plant likes medium light but can survive in low light.

If you can find a watermelon vine plant, which is part of the pollinia genus, they have even lower light needs. You would hope a watermelon plant isn’t toxic, and it’s not. They are safe for pets. This houseplant is increasing in popularity due to its unique markings.

Dim The Lights!

These are just a few top indoor plants that thrive in low-light environments. Non-variegated plants do well in low-light environments, but quite a few variegated plants will also do well in a north window or dim room.

If you want to try a flowering plant, consider a peace lily. To assist plants with higher light needs, you may want to add some artificial light or bring the plants outside for a few hours a day. To improve the quality of light your plants are receiving, you can; wipe down your plants, keep your windows clean, and even install mirrors to redirect light.

Do you have any of these plants in your home? Let us know how they are fairing in the comments below!

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