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Best Low Light Indoor Plants

The best low light indoor plants will grow happily in a low light index without losing vitality. We’ve run across several good candidates for low light conditions.

These all have the added advantages of being easy care and beautiful.

We’ve included an even dozen in our list. Here is a variety of plants that grow in low light so you can have a good selection and find just the right one for your home or office.

They are available in lots of colors and styles that provide a stunning focal point for your room or simply a colorful texture in the background.

Each plant in our list of low light houseplants has it’s own personal care guide so you can get all the care information for each plant you are interested in.

Best Low light Indoor Plants

The term low light is subjective. Your local climate and how your indoor natural light moves throughout the day in your home impact the plants you grow. So do the seasons.

Low light is NOT No Light:

ALL plants must have at least some light from the sun or artificial grow lights for about 6 to 8 hours a day in order to feed themselves. If you have a completely dark windowless room and want some living green plants in it ,try making a focal point of a plant with an overhead grow light.

You can easily change out a lightbulb in a can light or lamp. You can also put up track lighting with grow lights to improve the light in a very dark room.

low light plant wall
A wall of plants lit only with artificial track lights of Grow light bulbs.

All indoor rooms are less light than even shaded areas in most outdoor locations. Supplemental lighting is inexpensive and can also be used for drama and focus.

If you live in the Northern states, especially the rainy Pacific Northwest like we do, you have about six months of shorter, darker days to get through with a very low light index. So do your plants.

It helps in the dark winter months to use supplemental grow lights to get through those short dark days with healthy plants.

If you are not sure what a light index is and want all the technical details of plant lighting this article is very helpful. For more information on choosing the best lighting for your plants, read this article.

Low Lighting Impacts on Plants:

There are MANY plants that will live well in lower light to moderate light conditions. (Our list is only a starting point)However, there will be a trade off for putting plants with Variegation patterns and leaf fenestrations in very low lighting.

Variegations on plants require moderate to bright indirect light to optimally express themselves. If you place a Marble Queen Pothos, for example, in very low light it will grow well. But the new leaves it grows will eventually lose the marbling and revert to solid green leaves.

Reverting happens because all plants require photosynthesis to survive. Plants cannot photosynthesize without some light. Variegations on plant leaves do not photosynthesize. In order to feed itself the plant will turn solid green.

devils ivy-marble queen variety
Marble Queen Pothos will revert to solid green leaves in low light.

Variegated forms of low light indoor plants will all need some occasional moderate indirect light, artificial lighting or dappled light for part of the day to show their variegated patterns.

However, Even the variegated plants in our list will tolerate low, or artificial light, and still grow.

Leaf fenestrations (splitting of the leaves) are impacted by light conditions. The Mini Monstera, Deliciosa Monstera, Thai Constellation, are examples of plants that are prized for their spilt leaves.

These plants will grow in low light. But they will grow new leaves without the leaf fenestrations. If they have variegations, like the Thai Constellation, they will probably revert to green leaves.

Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma
This Mini Monstera was grown for several months in low light. The leaf fenestrations are returning in brighter lighting.

Plants grown in low light conditions will grow slower since they have less photosynthesis.

Plants grown in low light will not use water as much as they do in brighter light since they are feeding themselves less.

Here’s a quick list of how some plants are impacted by long term Low lighting:

  1. Loss of leaf fenestrations
  2. Loss of leaf variegation
  3. All around Slower growth
  4. Plant requires less watering
Cast Iron plant grown outdoors
Cast iron plants do fine in low light.

Is there a Plant that needs NO light?

All plants require some light to photosynthesize. This is how they feed themselves. But there are plants that require ALMOST no light to survive. A ZZ Plant, Snake Plant or Cast Iron plant may be your best options for a really dark bedroom or office. Or try English Ivy or green pothos for vines that live in almost no light.

Best Low Light Indoor Plants:

As a general rule plants that grow in the understory of tropical forests are good choices for low light conditions. Why? Because in nature they have adapted well to living under the thick tree canopy.

This is why you so often find lighting recommendations for tropicals that require low to moderate indirect light. Harsh strong sun rays will burn the leaves of many tropical plants.

Tropical plants enjoy high humidity. This makes them great candidates for low light bathrooms and kitchens.

Some of the plants on our list are variegated with lovely, interesting leaf patterns and they will keep those leaf patterns even in fairly low light. The Calatheas are good examples of this. I grew mine in a north facing window all through a dark Fall, Winter and Spring with no loss of leaf variegation. Fair warning. They ARE a bit fussy.

Our list includes plants that grow as low light indoor hanging plants. Looking for low light bathroom plants, cute and bushy table top , or floor plants, and even a large low light indoor plant tree? Check out this list.

Best low light indoor plants

Best Low light indoor plants make very good plants for offices and beginner plant owners. All of these plants thrive in low or artificial light and are generally durable and easy care.

Calatheas

All Calatheas prefer moderate to low indirect light. Set them in a north or east facing window for the best leaf colors. If they fade move them a bit. They may need brighter light. But they may need to be be moved further away from it too. Experiment!

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