Best houseplants for low light rooms

Which plants are best for low light or shaded rooms:  All plants need at least some light, so if your chosen spot for them has no light, you should consider plant lights (or you could buy fake plants), but there are some houseplants that will thrive in low light.  

If plants don’t get enough light, they may start to grow long and leggy. They might even start to lean towards the light if there’s a window or light source nearby. This is a common problem with houseplants, and one of the first signs that it needs more light.  Plants that aren’t getting enough light may also start to lose their color, and may start to look yellow.  

ZZ plant, peace lily, or snake plant are all happy in the shade. Lucky bamboo is one of the best low light indoor plants, I have heard of it thriving in a dark room for over two years. They are very easy to care for, so perfect for beginners, plus they look great grown in water (as opposed to soil).

Houseplants that thrive in low light may actually suffer if they get too much sunlight, so be careful not to place them in direct sun for any prolonged length of time.  If you are just starting out with houseplants, click here for more info on houseplants for beginners.


The following are my favourite plants for low light areas:


ZZ plant (Zanzibar zamiifolia)– they are said to be virtually indestructible and can tolerate low light very well. This makes them ideal for rooms that only receive small amounts of light. They actually thrive on being left alone, they can do without being fertilised and much prefer to be under watered than over watered. Happy days, low light, low maintenance…almost as easy as a fake plant!

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Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) – these are excellent houseplants as not only are they very easy to care for, but they are also great air purifiers; they remove toxins including mould from the air, how cool is that!? They are very drought tolerant, under watering is better than over watering. Some gardeners wait until the leaves start to droop before watering.  It is best to check the soil and water only if it is dry. They do well in the shade or moderate indirect light so these can be great plants for low light areas.

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Snake plant (Sanservieria trifasciata) – this plant has sharp sword like leaves, often called mother-in-laws tongue (supposedly in reference to a mother-in-law’s harsh words), it is almost indestructible; it doesn’t mind low levels of light, it tolerates temperatures of 10-28 degrees and doesn’t care if there are draughts.  Just make sure you grow it in a heavy pot as they can get top-heavy and tip over. These are definitely an easy one for beginners.

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Lucky Bamboo –  this houseplant hails from the undershade of the tropical rainforest so it is used to very little light.  Being a fixture in Feng Shui, this houseplant is said to bring the owner good luck and good fortune; it has been used as a symbol of good fortune for centuries.  This fascinating plant can be trained to grow in interesting and unusual shapes.  Unlike other plants, it doesn’t need soil to grow, it can be can be grown in simply a few centimeters of water!  It’s a great houseplant for beginners as it is very easy-going to care for.

 Place stalks in a jar or vase with pebbles at the bottom to cover the plants roots and fill with around 4 to 5 cms of water.  Don’t use ordinary tap water, distilled water is best as chemicals in tap water can cause the stalks to turn yellow.


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Above are just a few suggestions, there are many more plants that thrive in low light. Always go back to a plants roots, for example, if they come from a desert environment, they have evolved to thrive in full sun (eg. Cacti), they will not do well in a low light room.  However, if they come from a shady rainforest floor, where the canopy layer blocks out direct sun, they are likely to do well in a shady room.


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Disclaimer: None of the information shared should be used as a replacement for seeking medical attention.


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