9 Best True low light houseplants

When it comes to gardening, bright and well-lit space with good quality soil and water with additives like compost and fertilizers is equal to a beautiful garden with healthy plants. Taking this into consideration, from plants growing in balcony gardens to those planted indoors, most plants require at least moderate lighting to survive. They thrive on the sun for photosynthesis and to bloom. But, does it mean that areas that are not well lit cannot have plants? Are true low light houseplants available?

This blog focuses on plants are as their name suggests true low light houseplants. These plants require medium to low lighting and in some cases can use LED or fluorescent lighting to grow.

This ensures that you can enjoy houseplants despite being short on light.

So, what are you waiting to brighten up that dark corner in your apartment or add life to your attic or basement? Here is all you need to know about the true low light houseplants and how to care for them all year through.

Before getting into details about the plants that grow in low lighting, let’s start by understanding why you need house plants and what are the benefits that come along with having plants in your living space.

Benefits of house plants 

Apart from adding life, color and unique touch to the room house plants make your space more structured, defined, and most of all absolutely gorgeous.

Most scientists and décor consultants alike swear by the fact that house plants not only add to the aesthetic appeal of the place but are also good in terms of bettering your overall health.

There has been a lot of research done on this topic for several years now and most of them concluded that plants on your living space reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.

Plants as we know it has also been known to improve air quality by reducing the carbon dioxide levels, they increase humidity and reducing the no of pollutants in the place where they are planted. They are also known to keep air-bone dust to a minimum. 

With all these and more plants have been our best friends for centuries now and having them in our living space or in our office is like icing on the cake. Most plants love the sun and a place that is well lit or has at least a moderate amount of light coming in is ideal for them.

This being said, there are a few plants that not only add life to darker places but also make them aesthetically pleasing. Hence these plants can be added to living spaces that are not very well lit.

Let’s have a look at these true low light house plants.

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True Low Light Houseplants

We have put together information about 10 plants that grow well in low lighting. These are a combination of flowering and non-flowering plants that will help beautify your space. Here are the best true low light houseplants there are

#1: Calathea Makoyana – The Peacock Plant

The peacock plant is native to Brazil and gets its name from the decorative markings on its delicate leaves that resemble the tail of a peacock. They thrive in low to moderate lighting conditions and love humidity to an extent that they are a bit fussy about it.

American Plant Exchange Calathea Medallion Live Peacock Prayer Plant, 6" Pot, Indoor Outdoor Air Purifier

If you live in a humid place this is the plant for you. If not, there are ways in which these conditions can be replicated so you need not worry. Humidifiers and other gadgets available in the market make the task easier and so do a few home remedies.

This plant grows to about 2 feet with slender stems and leaves that can grow up to 12 inches. Newer leaves come rolled up with a reddish underside given them a beautiful flower-like appearance. Overall, this plant is an interesting plant to have at home for its unique looks. 

Apart from their beautiful appearance, they are also safe for pets.

Special care instructions

These plants love humidity and need to be misted often. If you notice the leaves turning brown or yellow a dry room might be the cause, a humidity tray or a humidifier can fix the problem. 

While watering the plant be sure to use chlorine and fluoride-free water. Let the water sit overnight before watering.

The peacock plants love damp soil but plant parents need to be careful about it getting too soggy as this can be detrimental for the plant. Add a potting mix that contains peat moss. 

Spring is the best time to repot and propagate these plants. 

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#2: Aglaonema – Chinese Evergreen

If you are new to parenting plants or are simply afraid you will end up killing a life if in your care, this plant is for you. The Chinese Evergreen plant is easy to grow and virtually impossible to kill. These plants thrive on neglect and adjust to the conditions they are placed in.

They are also low on maintenance and hence are a perfect plant for those busy with work and need a plant they can trust will care for itself, in their living or working space.

HOUSE PLANT SHOP | Chinese Evergreen 'Silver Bay' - 6" Pot | Live Indoor Plant | Free Care Guide

These plants originate in the Tropics and Sub Tropics of Asia and grow to about 2 feet in height. These plants have rather big leaves growing up to 30 cm in length and 5 to 8 cm wide. There at least 20 species of this plant with a variation in leaf pattern and color.

Yellow, white pink, and red are some of the colors these plants are available in. you can also find a number of hybrid variants of the Chinese Evergreen.

Special care instructions

The Chinese Evergreen plant is not a fan of cold and needs to be warmed up as the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It also likes a well-drained potting mix so opt for a combination of peat mix with sand or another draining agent.

Like the peacock plant, the Chinese evergreen also likes a humid setting, and hence it is necessary to keep misting the plant from time to time.  

Repot the plant every 2 to 3 years as they tend to get root bound. Propagation, on the other hand, can be done in spring or summer by dividing the roots with a few stalks and leaves attached. 

Caution: These plants are harmful to cats, dogs, and horses. 

#3: Hatiora salicornioides – Dancing Bones Cactus

With looks as unusual as its name the Dancing Bones Cactus is not an actual desert plant but rather native to Brazil. They are also known as the Drunkard’s Dream, Spice Cactus, Bottle Cactus and grow up to 20 inches in height. These plants like indirect sunlight and adjust well to darker rooms. 

The plant gets its name from the uniquely structured contorted stems. This compact bushy plant has a choral like look and feels to it. the bright yellow flowers that appear on the tips of the stems or branches add color to any room the plant is placed in.

Dancing Bones Hatiora Salicornioides 4 inch |

The unique look and the dimensions it adds to a room is the reason these plants have gained popularity over the years.  

Special care instructions

The Dancing Bones Cactus plant needs to be watered through the year, wait for the soil to dry out before watering it.

During winter they need to be watered less often as they retain water in their stem and also absorb moisture from the air. Be careful not to overwater the plant as it can rot the roots. 

The Dancing Bones Cactus can be propagated using plant cuttings. The process is simple after you get the cuttings, let them dry for a few days before replanting them in a good quality potting mix. 

#4: Dracaena fragrans – Corn Plant

These plants get their name based on their resemblance to the actual corn plant when they look more like mini palms.

The Corn Plant has a thick stem and narrow leaves jetting from the top. These plants are typical for homes and offices as they are low on maintenance and can survive in low lit conditions.

This plant is low on upkeep and can be used to decorate corners that have been forgotten about over time, they can also add a different dimension you never knew existed in your home and office. These plants owing to their structured look give a more defined look to the corners they are placed in. 

Dracaena Fragrans - Live Houseplant - Corn Plant - Indoor Florist Quality Foliage Tree

The best part about this plant is that it can be propagated easily, just clip off the top part and plant it you will have a brand-new plant in a few days.

Special care instructions

These plants like a nice moist soil but rot when the soil gets soggy hence it is necessary to use a good potting mix along with draining agents. 

Before watering the plant allow the water to come to room temperature, this will avoid shocking the plant with extremely hot or cold water.

The Corn plant can be fertilized once in 6 to 10 months depending on the condition of the plant.

Like other plants on the list, this plant likes humidity as well and needs to be misted often. 

Tip: if you notice the colour of this plant fading get it out of the dark spot for a while and place it in a brighter area. After a while it can be returned to its original position.

#5: Epipremnum aureum – Pothos/Devil’s Ivy

If you are looking for a plant that’s versatile and something that you can hang from baskets in corners or places that need definition this is the plant for you. Devil’s Ivy or Pothos is a plant that is the lowest on maintenance and a plant that does not require much attention.

This plant has heart-shaped leaves with marbled patterns on them giving them a distinct look. They are also known as money plants and are true low light house plants as these creepers are the perfect additions to homes as well as offices.

The Pothos or Devil’s Ivy can also manage low lights along with sunny conditions. The Pothos or Devil’s Ivy is a plant that unlike others on this list can be grown in both soil as well as water, hence it makes it incredibly easy to look after and maintain.

Costa Farms Easy Care Devil's Ivy Golden Pothos Live Indoor Plant 10-Inches Tall, Grower's Pot

These plants are not only perfect when it comes to growing in low lighting conditions but also have health benefits including purifying the air in the room it is placed in and reducing the amount of nitrate in aquariums. These plants also help keep tanks clean as they absorb impurities and unwanted minerals.

Special care instructions

To give the plant a fuller look it is important to prune it regularly, this will not only keep in top shape but you can also propagate using the cuttings.

These plants grow in both soil as well as water, the soil to be used needs to be a good quality potting mix that is well-draining. The water used to plant needs to be dechlorinated, the dichlorination process can be done by letting tap water sit for about 24 to 48 hours.

#6: Maranta leuconeura – Prayer Plant

Colorful plants normally require the sun to better pigmentation, these plants, on the other hand, do well in low lit conditions. The main attraction is the leaves of this plant that are about 6 inches long with an intricate pattern.

These patterns become more defined and intense as the plant matures. When planted outdoors these plants have small white non-fragrant flowers that bloom in spring, though this is not seen in the plants that grow indoors. 

The name Prayer plant comes from the nature of the plant to fold their leaves vertically at night resembling folded hands. Scientifically this behavior is known as nyctinasty, and it happens as a response to changes in the degree of light that falls on the leaf.

This peculiar behavior makes this plant a common site in cemeteries as they symbolize praying for the deceased. 

for the plant to function well it needs medium lighting hence this plant needs to be placed close to windows, or the leaves will not open completely during the day

Special care instructions

1 Red and 1 Green Prayer Plant - Maranta - Easy to grow - 4" Pot/unique-from Jmbamboo

Pay attention to the change in temperature as anything below 55 degrees will damage the leaves. 

This plant likes moist soil so it needs to be watered generously. Be careful not to overwater the plant as soggy soil will cause it to wilt. Hence it is necessary to have a potting mix that drains well.

These plants can be fertilized once or twice a year, depending on their condition.

#7: Syngonium Podophyllum – Arrowhead Plant

Also known as the American evergreen this indoor plant is famous for being the most adjustable in terms of placement as well as the conditions in which it can grow. They can be kept in pot or hung or even grown along a trellis or pole.

This plant has vines and beautiful arrow-shaped leaves that come in hues of green, bronze, and a green and white combination. 

This is a unique plant as it turns into vines as it matures. They can be planted in combination with other plans just to add variety and drama to the pot. this will give your setting a distinct look as compared to planting the Arrowhead plant alone. It is a true low-light house plant as it adapts to low lights well. 

These plants can be used in hanging baskets on entrances and in corners. They can also be piled up for a more compact look.

Pink Fairy Arrowhead Plant - Syngonium - Nepthytis - 2.5" Pot - Fairy Garden

The best place to have these are in bedrooms to add to the décor and feel. The leaves of this plant also change as they mature they start off arrowhead-shaped and then change into three to five finger-like sections.

Special care instructions

The Arrowhead Plant is easy to care for but you need to let the soil dry before watering. This will avoid the soil from getting soggy. 

This plant prefers temperatures between 60 and 70 F.

Humidity is what this plant likes and misting is what it craves for. 

Caution: The sap of this plant can irritate people with sensitivity

#8: Phalaenopsis – Moth Orchid

The Moth orchid is the most common orchid to grow at home. As compared to other orchid variants the Moth Orchid requires very little light and this makes it a true low light house plant.

These beautiful blooms add color and spunk to your office and living space. A simple soil-less potting mix in combination with a humidity tray is the perfect recipe for beautiful orchids. 

McLellan Botanicals 55631W Live Orchid Plant, 6" Pot, White

This plant requires medium lighting and it is possible to grow them under LED lights as well. if you are planning to grow then under an LED or florescent light see that they receive about 8 hours of light. 

Special care instructions

These plants require indirect lighting to thrive and hence if you are planning to place them in a dark room have an LED or Florescent light present. This will help the plant bloom. 

Orchids must never sit in water hence water them only when needed once to twice a week is good for these plants.

#9: Bromeliaceae – Bromeliads

Our final recommendation is the Bromeliads plant, these plants are considered more advanced and are generally cared for by veteran gardeners. This plant is available in an array of colors and textures and has several hybrid variants floating the markets.

Apart from being flowering plants these plants also pride in having unique leaves. with Strappy leaves in green, red, purple, yellow, orange, banded, stripes, spots, and other combinations.

Costa Farms Live Indoor Blooming Bromeliad in White-Natural Decor Planter, 20-Inches Tall Grower's Choice

The most interesting part about this plant is that the leaves are shiny and broad they are also swirling rosette shapes, which give the bromeliads an illusion of a giant flower.

These plants prefer temperatures from 50 to 80 F and can do well in almost all lighting conditions.  

There are a number of variants of this plant we have put together a list of few we think are easier to care for as compared to the others. 

  • Neoregelia: The Neoregelia is an excellent choice when it comes to planting them at home as they are colorful and vibrant featuring flowers in the colors bold pink, red, purple, and orange.
  • Guzmania: Guzmania is the most common variant available and planted through the United States. These plants bloom with clusters of red, orange, yellow, purple, and white flowers.
  • Vriesea: The Vriesea plant features tropical, feather-like blooms and variegated foliage setting them apart from the other plants in the house plants category.

Special care instructions

The roots of this plant are tiny and hence in order to water the plant all you need to do is keep a pool of water in the centre cup of the plant instead of watering the soil. 

This plant requires fast-draining soil so that there is no water collected in the soil when you water the plant. 

To sum it all up

Caring for indoor plants is not a herculin task as these plants are generally low care and low maintenance unless you are someone who likes exotic plants that come with a list of instructions.

This being said we need to understand that all plants are different and can come with specific plant care directives, following this helps the plant bloom and look better.

In this article, we spoke at length about true low light houseplants. These plants in general, do not need much water to survive. They do well with a weekly drizzle of water and good quality well-drained soil. Most plants in this category like humid conditions, they like to be misted regularly to regulate the temperature.

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If the area you live in is not humid enough you can replicate the conditions using an electronic humidifier or a humidifying tray, you can also use a tray filled with pebbles and water for the same purpose. A little pruning and love will take your gardening experience to an all-new level. 

So, go ahead and plant a true low light house plant today. Happy low light gardening!