Your Guide to the Perfect Low Light Plant That Will Thrive in Your Home

Your Guide to the Perfect Low Light Plant That Will Thrive in Your Home

Indoor plants have been popular for the longest time, with social media filled with photos of luscious evergreens, cacti, and other attractive greenery. 

Granted, many of these pictures feature bright rays of sunshine streaming in through large windows and plants bathed in light. This makes sense as they are designed to blossom in the sunshine in their natural habitat.

Indoor plants
Image source unsplash.com

However, there is nothing natural about indoor plants. This man-made concept thus requires us to mimic the outdoor habitat for them to flourish. 

You may be a plant lover, but unfortunately, you do not have a garden. Even worse, you may live in a gloomy apartment with low light. This makes the option of a houseplant impractical.  

Well, all is not lost! You can always grow easy to maintain indoor plants. For low light, there are certain types of greenery that can thrive in indirect light. 

Get ready to wield those ‘green fingers’ and choose to grow plants for indoor low light from this list. 

Advantages of Indoor Plants 

Our ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle has caused a disconnect from nature. As we spend more time indoors, there is little chance of interacting with live plants. Our urban homes and busy streets leave little room for contact with nature. 

A 2001 study shows that 90% of Americans spend their time indoors. Considering this was almost 10 years ago, that number has definitely increased. Currently, approximately only 7.6% of people spend time outdoors.

NHAPS - Nation, Percentage Time Spent
Image source nature.com

This is all the more reason houseplants have gained such popularity. A touch of green has been proven to have numerous benefits including:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety

    Studies show that interacting with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. 

    Touching and smelling greenery reduces anxiety and quells the human urge to connect with nature. Among some scientific circles, this is known as biophilia

    Potting soil is also found to contain microbes that work as natural antidepressants. These ‘outdoorphins’ release cytokines which lead to increased serotonin and improved mood. Potted low light plants such as the snake plant will help you de-stress and sleep better.

  • Improve air quality

    According to the American Lung Association, the air indoors can be more polluted than outdoors. 

    Exposure to pollutants such as ammonia, radon, benzene, mold, and carbon monoxide can cause headaches and dry eyes. They can also exacerbate conditions such as asthma. 

    Low light plants such as peace lily and spider plants are known to filter some of these toxic fumes.   

  • Increase productivity

    The calming influence of nature allows you to perform tasks better and with greater accuracy. Ornamental plants increase memory retention and concentration. 

    Experts also say plants stimulate the senses, improve mental cognition, and increase performance. 

The benefits of indoor plants are numerous, and even in low light, they improve your living areas. No matter the light conditions, there is a good chance of growing a blooming indoor plant. Low light is but a mere inconvenience. 

Here is our list of easy to grow plants to grow in low light.

Best Low Light Plants

ZZ Plant

This is one of the most popular indoor low light plants and is known worldwide as the perfect potted plant. 

This plant is low maintenance, easy to grow, and can store water for long periods. The dark color means they absorb light even in dim spaces making them good low lights.

It is important to note that the plant is poisonous if consumed and should be kept away from pets.

The ease of care makes this low light rhizome plant a hit for offices and homes where they brighten up interior spaces. 

They also have air-purifying capabilities, removing xylene, benzene, and ethylbenzene from the air.

Tip: Overwatering the ZZ plant can kill it. Watch out for yellow leaves that indicate rotting rhizomes.

ZZ Plant Facts
Botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Common names Aroid palm, Zuzu plant, Zanzibar gem, emerald palm
Plant type Tropical perennial
Appearance Small shrub with wide, dark green leaves
Size when mature 2ft – 5ft
Native area Eastern and southern tropical Africa

Snake Plant

The snake plant is a highly tolerant plant that is very hard to kill. Even the most negligent gardeners can grow it without much stress. 

It has a rich history amongst many cultures across the world. The Chinese place it near entrances as they believe it welcomes the eight virtues. In Africa, it is believed to protect against bewitchment. 

In our age, the plant is renowned for its air-purifying qualities and prefers to grow in indirect light. 

This houseplant is hardy and can survive long periods without water. When you do water them, let the soil dry between waterings and avoid overwatering. 

Be aware that they are highly toxic to cats and dogs.

Snake Plant Facts
Botanical name Sansevieria trifasciata / Dracaena trifasciata
Common names Mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword, viper’s bowstring hemp
Plant type Evergreen perennial
Appearance Broad, sword-like dark green variegated leaf with yellow and white stripes
Size when mature 8 inches – 12ft
Native area Tropical West Africa

Spider Plant

Adaptability and ease of growth make this plant excellent for household potting in low light spaces. 

Their cascading leaves also allow for elegant hanging baskets. The spider plant can survive neglect and when mature, only need moderate watering. 

They do well in low light as they do not appreciate bright light or direct sunlight which can burn their leaves. 

Avoid watering them with fluoridated or chlorinated water. The buildup of salt and chemicals may cause the tips to turn brown. It is advised to use rainwater or distilled water.

Spider Plant Facts
Botanical name Chlorophytum comosum
Common names Spider ivy, ribbon plant, hen and chickens, St. Bernard’s lily, airplane plant
Plant type Perennial flowering plant
Appearance Long, narrow leaves with pale center stripe. Small white blooms may appear.
Size when mature 24 inches
Native area Tropical and Southern Africa

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen has been named as one of NASA’s top air-purifying plants. This capability only increases as the plant matures. 

Widely used for interior decorating, this tough plant can withstand poor conditions. From the Aglaonema genus, they tolerate and even thrive in low light conditions. The dark green variety of this plant also prefers indirect light and shaded areas. 

It is important to note they are toxic to pets and may cause significant injury and distress. 

Chinese Evergreen Facts
Botanical name Aglaonema modestum
Common names Painted drop-tongue,
Plant type Herbaceous evergreen perennial
Appearance Pointed dark green leaves sometimes with silver marbling
Size when mature 3ft
Native area Southeast Asia

Peace Lily

With a beautiful flower reminiscent of a white flag, this popular houseplant evokes tranquility. It can grow in areas with little light and will burn in direct sunlight.

It is favored especially for beginners, and also helps filter the air of toxins. 

The low light shrub should not be allowed to sit in a bowl of water but the soil needs to be slightly moist at all times.

Peace Lily Facts
Botanical name Spathiphyllum wallisii
Common names White sails, spathe flower,
Plant type Herbaceous perennial
Appearance Shiny, dark green leaves with broad white flowers
Size when mature 3ft
Native area Tropical Americas & Southeast Asia

Bird’s Nest Fern

To create a topical haven in your home, this fern is an obvious choice. They make for fantastic houseplants because they do not need constant attention and do well in low light.

You will just need to keep it in a warm, humid area such as the kitchen or bathroom and it will thrive. The plant also does well when placed near an east or north facing window away from direct light.

You can also make a humidity tray by placing a tray of pebbles beneath the plant pot. Cover the stones with water and place the plant just above the waterline. As the water evaporates, a layer of humidity will be created around the plant. 

Like most ferns, they prefer moist soil and will die if overwatered.

Bird’s Nest Fern Facts
Botanical name Asplenium nidus
Common names Crow’s nest fern
Plant type Epiphytic perennial fern
Appearance Large flat, wavy or crinkly leaves
Size when mature 2ft – 4ft
Native area Southeast Asia, Australia, East Africa & Hawaii

Brighten Your Dim Space With Low Light Plants

Start your journey to brighten up a gloomy room with these best low light plants that will flourish. They are easy to grow and you never have to worry about moving them into the light.   

For the best advice, Gardening Channel provides tips to let you bring nature into your living spaces. You can also get further guidance from our expert gardeners by following our informative Facebook page

Photo from pexels.com by Huy Phan

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