10 Low Light Plants that Grow In The Dark

Indoor plants bring a tonne of benefits. From improving air quality to bringing mindful calm to our every day, it’s no wonder we love them. The retro revival of a humble pot plant might even be our way of coping with contemporary fears of environmental breakdown, the impossibility of homeownership and long-term familial commitment.

There’s just one little issue: we kind of suck at keeping them alive. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your favourite plant slowly die due to lack of direct sunlight. Luckily there are plants that thrive in the dark.

Low-light loving plants include:

Here’s how you can grow an Insta-worthy jungle with 10 easy-care indoor plants that promise to brighten up any corner in your low light apartment.

1. Philodendron

One of the best shade-loving plant varieties, Philodendron can grow in complete darkness. Two newer varieties offer colorful foliage. The ‘Brasil’ variety has gorgeous gold-and-green variegated foliage, while ‘Micans’ sports purple flushed leaves with a satin-like texture.

Tips for Care

Aim to mimic its natural tropical environment. During warm weather, put it outside in a shady spot to get some fresh air and natural light on occasion. They need light but beware of direct sunlight; it can burn their delicate leaves. Water once a week to keep the soil always moist.

Philodendron plant
Philodendron in the garden @ Hasmad / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

There are two types: vining and non-climbing plants. The vining plants grow tall up to several feet, usually requiring some support structure to climb on, such as a trellis or around a basket. Non-climbing types have an upright growth habit and are excellent foliage plants for containers.

2. Pothos / Devil’s Ivy

Spotted in every hipster’s Insta and homeware store, Devil’s Ivy is known to survive indoors with only low light. They come in a bunch of different colours, including dark green, chartreuse, yellow-and-green, and spotted silver. Far more down to earth than her regal name suggests, the ‘marble queen’ is one low maintenance piece of foliage. One of the plants proven by NASA to increase the quality of air, she is the perfect house guest and looks the biz too.

Tips for Care

While tolerant of lower light, a bright shade is ideal and will keep the beautiful variegation on its foliage looking its best. Water regularly but just don’t let the majesty sit in soggy soil. If they’re looking leggy (most stay between 6 and 10 feet, but the trailing stems can reach up to 30 feet), then prune them to keep smaller.

Devil s ivy decorated on wall
Devil’s Ivy decorated on wall @ kynny / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

Pothos trails beautifully so position on a shelf or plant stand and watch those graphic leaves cascade towards the floor. It’s an easy-care vining plant that you can also train onto the trellis or allow to tumble over the edge of a hanging basket.

3. Palm Chamaedorea Elegans

Want to feel like you’re on a tropical beach holiday forever? Head straight for the Parlor Palm, a slow-growing Mexican native that can grow in the dark. Mature palms often adorn public spaces and foyers, adding an elegant and distinctly tropical air to the low light vibes. At the same time, very small, immature palms can be used as a pop of greenery in homes. Animal-friendly and relatively low key on the maintenance factor, these staple houseplant additions are a great first purchase for indoor plant newbies wanting to get in on the trend!

Tips for Care

They love a good bright, indirect light and only need to be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch, but it does help to mist the plants once in a while during the winter. If you travel a lot, ponytail palm is ideal because the plant stores excess water in its chubby base, so it lasts a couple of weeks without water. A good rule of thumb, if you want healthy palms, is to make sure you feed them frequently—fertilize in their growing season.

Palm Chamaedorea Elegans
A large sheet of Palm Chamaedorea Elegans @ View more by Pridannikov / Getty Images
Tips for arrangement

Palms are great for indoors. Planted in a medium-sized container, they will add extra elegance to your patios, porches, and that living spaces.

4.Zamioculcas zamiifolia/ ZZ Plant

A super exotic looking houseplant is best known for its ability to withstand the most intense neglect, a hardy plant with beautiful stems of shiny, fleshy zig-zag “ZZ” looking green fern. It also tolerates dry conditions, so it’s ideal for someone who travels frequently. These indoors look great, they grow upright, slightly arching stems covered in shiny, dark green ferns (and you can even find a new variety with near-black foliage). They’re perfect for adding some texture and interesting shape to your ZOOM green wall. 

Tips for Care

The ZZ plant prefers bright indirect light and will tolerate low light, be sure not to place in direct sunlight as this may cause the leaves to burn. During warmer months water weekly, during winter water once the top soil is no longer moist. Make sure not to overwater as it is a sure-fire way to slowly kill this hardy plant.

Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Zamioculcas zamiifolia plant @ naramit / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

You’ll find these houseplants in many windowless offices. They are bound to keep your workplace looking perfect.

5. Aglaonema / Chinese Evergreen

Over the past few years, Aglaonema has taken the houseplants world by storm. With spectacular bright green leaves, these indoors will brighten any dark corner, though you can also find varieties with red or even pink foliage. They grow tall, narrow, and glossy oval foliage on short stems, and flowers (on older plants) that bloom in spring or summer. It doesn’t mind dry soil or low light either, so it makes a great gift for forgetful gardeners. Originally called Chinese evergreen aglaonema is almost foolproof.

Tips for Care

Beloved for its (nearly) hands-free care, the plant is simple to nurture, provided you follow one simple rule: The lighter the variegation on the plant’s leaves, the more sunlight it will need. Beyond that, keep your plant warm and moist, so water regularly. Keep them away from curious pets as they are claimed to contain toxicity.

Chinese Evergreen
Chinese Evergreen @ lizfernandezg / Getty Images Pro
Tips for Arrangement

One of the most popular houseplants, they are born to add so much aesthetics and personality to your forever home. Place in pots and style them next to your comfy couch, or set them on a floor stand or the bedside table for extra coziness.

6.Spathiphyllum/ Peace Lily

Easy, elegant and famously known for its ability to thrive in complete darkness. These stunning Peace Lily beauties are some of the best low light houseplants around, which we think is blooming marvellous! The lush veined makes for a gorgeous piece of foliage and the perfect greenery addition to any space. It’s worth noting that low light can affect a plants ability to flowers so if the white flowers are what you’re after be sure to give your Peace lily plenty of bright light. They’re great air purifiers, don’t require any sun and are even known to release a bit of humidity, which can help with sleep if your room tends to be on the drier side.

Tips for Care

What plants need is ample water, or else the foliage will wilt. However, watering usually perks it right back up. Always check the first few centimetres of soil has dried out first. These shade-loving plants should be placed somewhere that gets indirect light. And keep them away from pets, as they are toxic.

Spathiphyllum
Peace Lily @ igaguri_1 / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

Available in striped green and variegated forms, this beautiful looking fern makes a great tabletop or basket plant in low light apartments.

7. Maranta leuconeura / Prayer Plant

Brighten the dark corners of your home with the cheerful foliage of Prayer plants. This easy-care charmer sports variegated green and cream leaves with bright red veins. It gets its name from the fact that the leaves fold up at night, like prayer hands. The prayer plant is a popular and fun option for its showy, intricate foliage of contrasting dark green leaves and bright pink stripes.

Tips for Care

Relatively easy to grow well when in the right conditions, this Brazilian native prefers a humid environment, so look to place it in a low light area and keep the soil moist, for best green thumb practices. Watering once a week will keep those ferns looking flawless.

Maranta leuconeura
Maranta leuconeura @ Firn / Canva Pro
Tips for Arrangement

Prayer plant only grows 6-8 inches tall, so it’s a good choice for an end table or bookshelf. A corner next to a window that gets bright, indirect light is also ideal.

8. Dracaena

Dracaena is a tall, full houseplant or tree with one or more trunks from which fantastic leaves in green, yellow and gold emerge that can have touches of pink or red around the edges. They are among popular houseplants that thrive in low light. They grow primarily upright, straplike green foliage. Occasionally the plants set clusters of small, fragrant, white blossoms (but rarely indoors).

Tips for Care

Dracaena is extremely easy to grow indoors as long as you pay attention to a couple of details. It requires well-drained soil. Let the soil dry to the touch between waterings. Though they can thrive in a variety of light situations – even just a little light should do the trick.

Dracaena
Dracaena @ Nesser3321 / Getty Images

Tips for Arrangement

The small, bushy form of young Dracaena plants suits mantels, tabletops, and desks. In the right conditions, the plants eventually reach 5 to 6 feet tall, making it perfect for adding life to a corner of your house from the window to that cozy dining room.

9. Chlorophytum comosum/ Spider Plant

There’s nothing creepy or crawly about this indoor gem! The Spider plant is easy-peasy to care for and will readily forgive you when you forget it for a few days. It grows happily in a wide range of low light conditions and it suffers from few problems, apart from occasional brown tips, which can be easily removed. Spider plants are also praised by NASA for their air-purifying abilities – how great are these houseplants? So if you live in urban areas where you kinda feel the exhaust fumes coating the back of your throat, this houseplant can potentially help improve your sleep.

Tips for Care

Regular watering is required. Throughout the growing season (spring to fall) also plan to fertilize on a regular basis. And repot your plant as needed once its roots have outgrown the pots. During the winter, mist the plant frequently to help prevent the leaf tips from turning brown.

Chlorophytum comosum
Spider plant in a huge vase @ susanna cesareo / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

Spider plants are often grown in pots as garden hanging plants due to the cascading nature of their foliage and their long stems with plantlets. If you place their container on something rather than hanging it, make sure the long leaves aren’t getting crushed and the long plantlet stems don’t get so heavy that they pull over the pot.

10.  Aspidistra elatior/ Cast Iron Plant

Here’s a houseplant that truly lives up to its name. Cast-iron plants can take on tons of neglect, low light and grow in the dark, which would likely kill many other plants. Better yet, it can relieve dryness by adding a bit of humidity to the air—while also cleaning it! These rugged plants grow slowly, so you don’t need to worry much about repotting. They have broad strappy leaves on long stalks and grow in clumps, making them great plants for layering amongst other plants.

Tips for Care

Cast-iron plants are nothing but low maintenance: watering when the soil dries out and fertilizing for part of the year. Most mistakes that occur with these plants involve overwatering (they don’t tolerate waterlogged soil) or burning them with direct sunlight. Water less in the cooler months and allow the plant to dry out between. With cast-iron plants, a fairly hands-off approach is typically best.

Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plant @ skymoon13 / Getty Images
Tips for Arrangement

Clear out your workstation and make room for one portable garden, they will brighten up any dark space and make your day so much better.

Ready to adopt a new plant baby? Head to our store to get the best planter for your low light apartment! We stock the best planters on the market.

If you are new to the whole planting game, check out our guide to planting. Everything from growing to maintaining your houseplants, we’ve got you covered!

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