Figuring out which indoor plants are low light friendly can be challenging. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on the best low light indoor plants of 2022! Not only can the plants listed below survive pretty well in low levels of light, but they can also improve your homes air quality and are relatively easy to take care of.
Are low light plants actually a thing?
Surprisingly yes! While some plants love bathing in direct sunlight, others prefer a little shade. This is great because not all homes are created equal when it comes to lighting. While some of us may live in tall inner-city apartments that can get lots of light, others might live in tightly packed townhouses that don’t get as much. No matter where your home is situated or how much light each space gets, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of plants for dark rooms out there.
If you are unsure what kind of light you get in your home, you can use your rooms orientation or the number of windows to get the best estimate.
- Low light – North-facing room or a room with minimal windows.
- Medium light – East or West-facing room.
- High light – South-facing room or a room with lots of windows.
We hope this article will help you find the perfect plant for your space. Here are ten low light indoor plants that will do well in any lighting circumstance.
1. Zanzibar Gem
The Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) is an excellent indoor shade plant for people who don’t have a lot of windows in their home or get lots of light. They’re also superior air cleaners, thrive on neglect, and can add a lovely vivid green accent to any sized space.
The Zanzibar Gem has shiny oval-shaped leaves that shoot upward on its stems, giving it a signature feathered appearance. They have a bulbous root system (rhizomes) that holds water well, so you don’t have to tend to it very often. This plant can survive without any light at all, but it does best in brighter home areas.
Care: This plant requires watering every 3 to 4 weeks, allowing the soil to dry completely before rewatering. It can do well with little to no light, and it’s recommended that you fertilise your Zanzibar Gem once a year at the beginning of spring. Most well-draining potting mixes work well for this shade loving indoor plant.
2. Maidenhair Fern
The Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum Raddianum) is one of the more popular indoor plants for dark rooms so far in 2022, and it’s easy to see why. Its delicate fan-shaped leaves on wiry black stems can make for a lovely addition to any home. The Madenhair Fern is known to flourish in nature and can usually be found surrounded by trees. It does much better in the shade, and direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
Care: The Maidenhair Fern requires a lot of water, so you should strive to keep this plant’s soil consistently moist. Water your fern at least every other day. Be sure to keep the Maidenhair Fern in well-draining soil and incorporate moss or compost to help the soil retain water without creating a boggy environment. There’s no need to fertilize this plant as it does pretty well without it.
3. Calathea Orbifolia
The Calathea Orbifolia (Calathea Orbifolia) is a species of the Prayer Plant. It’s characterized by its large oblong-shaped leaves that feature contrasting green stripes. While the Calathea Orbifolia can survive in low light conditions, it grows best in medium to indirect light. There are a variety of species of Calatheas that can be found in various ornate patterns and bright colours, giving you plenty to choose from and the ability to mix and match.
Care: This plant needs water every two weeks, and we recommend allowing the soil to dry at least halfway before rewatering. Calathea Orbifolias prefer humid environments as this is a tropical plant. As a result, you can mist it with a spray or use a humidifier to boost your home’s humidity levels. You’ll also want to use a well-draining potting mix for the Calathea Orbifolia.
4. Spider Plant
The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) gets its name from its unique spider-like appearance. However, no spiders should dwell there (thankfully!) The slender green arching leaves can grow to up to 1.5 feet in the right conditions and is perfect for hanging around in your home. These plants are adaptable, hardy, and easy to care for with low light requirements. Because of this, you’re not restricted to spaces that get direct light. You can add this common shade house plant to any dark corner of your home to add a pop of colour.
Care: The Spider Plant actually prefers and thrives in low light and can grow in all types of soil. You’ll want to water this plant regularly but remember they do not like soggy soil. We recommend watering your Spider Plant when the soil is about 50% dry. Use fertiliser once every month during the growing season in spring and summer.
5. Monstera Plant
The Monstera Plant (Monstera Deliciosa) or “Swiss Cheese Plant” can add a tropical flair to your home with its large perforated leaves. In the right conditions, the Monstera Plant can grow up to 2.75 meters. As a result, they’re great room fillers that can be placed just about anywhere. The Monstera is one of those plants that survive in low light but can do better in bright indirect sunlight. The light can also help create more of those signature Swiss cheese-like holes in the leaves. This plant is great for beginner plant owners.
Care: You’ll want to take care not to overwater your Monstera as overwatering can kill it. Water your Monstera Plant every 1 to 2 weeks and allow the soil to dry between watering. Use a well-draining potting mix and add in lava rocks to increase soil aeration. If you’d like this plant to vine, be sure to keep it near a shelf or simply add a moss pole.
6. Birds Nest Fern
The Birds Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus) is an easy to care for indoor plant that needs little light to survive. It’s characterized by its long curly leaves with rippled edges and its unique ability to grow without soil! In the rainforest, they grow from the side of trees and look a bit like a bird’s nest. While the Birds Nest Fern does thrive in medium indirect light, it can do well in low indirect light.
Care: Water your Bird’s Nest Fern once every week and allow the soil to dry at least halfway before watering. You’ll need to water more if it’s placed in brighter light conditions. When you water it, make sure to water along the outsides and not in the centre, as this can lead to root rot. Fertilise your Birds Nest Fern every other week during the growing season. It also loves a good misting every once in a while.
7. Peace Lily
The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is a beautiful flowering tropical plant that does great in low light levels. But if you do want to see more of those signature white lily-like blooms, you’ll need to keep it in bright indirect light. These plants are incredibly resilient and can survive in a room with no windows as it loves the shade even in their native habitat.
Not only that, but this plant does well with people who regularly forget to water. The Peace Lily is on NASA’s list of most effective air-purifying plants to boot, so add this plant to your home and reap the health benefits.
Care: The Peace Lily is easy to care for and only requires water once every one to two weeks when the soil feels mostly dry. The Peace Lily does not need much light at all if any. Fertilize this plant weekly with an organic fertiliser during the growing season.
8. Cast Iron Plant
The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior) is one of the best plants for dark rooms because its slow-growing and loves spaces with no sunlight. Many know it as being practically indestructible and made for plant parents that have a brown thumb. The Cast Iron Plant is great for areas in your home with extremely low light levels. You’ll need to keep this plant away from direct sunlight as the sun can burn the leaves. This everlasting plant can go a long time in between watering.
Care: The Cast Iron Plant likes a little moisture but is ultimately drought tolerant. Water your Cast Iron Plant just enough to allow the soil to go completely dry again. This is usually every two weeks or so. Cast Iron Plants don’t need fertiliser as it’s a naturally slow-growing plant. If you want this plant to grow tall, keep it in a tight spot and swap soil once a year to encourage growth.
9. Heartleaf Philodendron
The Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Scandens) is another good low light plant. It’s also excellent for hanging or placing on the tops of shelves. The Heartleaf Philodendron can grow very long stems (up to 1.2 meters long), and regular pruning keeps the vining stems full and leafy. This plant is easily trained to vine up a column or bookshelf. Due to the shape of this plant, this is regularly given as gifts for anniversaries.
Care: The Heartleaf Philodendron requires watering once a week. If the leaves turn yellow, you are overwatering, and if they turn brown, you are underwatering. Be sure to use tepid water as cold water can shock this tropical plant. An essential potting mix with added peat moss is excellent for the Heartleaf Philodendron. Fertilise once or twice during the growing season in spring and summer.
10. Chinese Evergreen Plant
The Chinese Evergreen Plant (Aglaonema sp.) is a tolerant, glossy green plant you can find just about anywhere and can add a beautiful touch to any home. The darker varieties are perfect for homes that don’t have many windows or much lighting. Keep your Chinese Evergreen out of direct sunlight, especially if you have one with light pinks or cream colours, as the leaves can scorch easily. Many varieties of this plant have rich green leaves with silver patterns. There can be Calla Lily-like blooms if it has enough light.
Care: You should water your Chinese Evergreen when the top layer of soil is dry. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix for your Chinese Evergreen, as this plant is known for bound roots. It would be best if you fertilised regularly throughout the spring and summer with a diluted liquid fertiliser.
Why indoor plants that like shade are great!
Choosing low light indoor plants is ideal because they can suit any space. No matter what orientation your rooms face or overall home light levels, we’re sure you’ll find a plant on the above list that matches your individual aesthetic and home decor style. Plants that like low light are also great for plant beginners as they require less maintenance.
What did you think of our top 10 best low light plants list? Let us know in the comments below.