Nothing brings life to a room quite like a plant so that you may be looking for plants for rooms without windows. The bad news is that there’s no such thing – all plants need some form of light in order to survive, and a plant left in the dark will slowly but surely die. The good news is that although there’s no such thing as “no light” plants, there are indeed plants that will tolerate lower light conditions. Here are 6 low light-tolerant plants and four easy tips to help you keep them alive. Plus, be sure to check out these easy shade-loving plants to grow in your yard.
The zz plant is perhaps one of the most famous low light tolerant plants, and also makes its way onto many beginner-friendly plant roundups. This plant is incredibly easygoing and will tolerate most forms of neglect, including underwatering and low light. Its shiny green foliage and easygoing nature makes the ZZ plant a popular office plant.
Pothos are wonderful, underrated houseplants. They tolerate a wide variety of lighting conditions, from bright indirect light right down to low light. The many varieties within this genus offer exotic leaf shapes and multicoloured foliage, but they’re common enough plants that they won’t break the bank like some variegated plants do.
Snake plant, mother in law’s tongue, sansevieria, or dracaena – call it what you will, and put it pretty much wherever you want! Like the ZZ plant, snake plants are famously unfussy about their growing conditions, and you’ll also find them in offices and shopping malls.
Heart Leaf Philodendron
If you love the look of trailing plants, the heart leaf philodendron is the one for you! These look beautiful in hanging planters and on high bookshelves with their vines dangling down. The fact that they tolerate low light makes them an even more versatile choice if you’re looking to incorporate plants into your décor.
Another popular houseplant, the monstera deliciosa is an amazing way to instantly lush, tropical vibes to your home. When mature, these plants will grace you with huge heart-shaped, fenestrated leaves. Although they originate from tropical climates, in their natural habitat they tend to grow along forest floors and eventually climb up the trunk of a supporting tree. This means that they appreciate shade with dappled or indirect light, but they will also tolerate lower light conditions as long as their water intake is adjusted accordingly.
Under the right conditions, spider plants grow like weeds. They’ll even put out new flowers that eventually transform into spider plant pups that you can snip off and give to friends! But they’re also super hardy plants that will tolerate missed waterings and low light. Keep your spider plant in a well-draining soil to ensure it doesn’t stay soggy too long if you’re keeping it in low light conditions.
Low Light Plant Tip: Adjust Water and Nutrients
If you choose to put a plant in a low light area, be mindful of its water and nutrient needs. If a plant is receiving less light, it won’t be consuming as much water or nutrients. Ease up on the water and fertilizer and only water when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Low Light Plant Tip: Consider a Grow Light
If your heart is set on finding plants for dark rooms, there may be a simple solution: grow lights. A grow light gives you the freedom to put any plant wherever you like. That means that you can even put a bright light plant like a fiddle leaf fig in a shady corner. Grow lights are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations at a variety of price points. For an inexpensive solution that fits with your décor, find a floor or table lamp you love and outfit it with a grow light bulb from your local hardware store.
Move Your Plants Around
Say you’ve found the low light plant of your dreams and placed it on a dark shelf, but after a few months it starts to struggle with drooping or dropping leaves. This is your cue to send your plant on a little trip to your windowsill. Even low light tolerant plants need and appreciate a little bright indirect light from time to time. Leave it in a brighter area for a few weeks and see if it perks up.
Low Light Plant Tip: Know What to Expect
When putting a low light tolerant plant in a shadier spot in your home, it’s important have realistic expectations. All plants need a balance of light, water, and nutrients to survive, but any plant that doesn’t get much light will not thrive. Although these plants may survive, it is unlikely that they will put out lots of lush leaves. If it’s new growth you’re after, place that plant in the window for a while and give it a little extra fertilizer and water to see it grow.