House Plants That Can Handle Darker Spaces

It’s a well-known fact that plants need the energy from sunlight to grow. But that doesn’t mean that all plants necessarily need to bask in the light at all hours of the day in order to survive and thrive. In fact, there are plenty of houseplants out there that do extremely well in low-light conditions, making them the perfect choice for darker areas in the house.

If you’re looking for the ideal houseplant for your home but are concerned about the limited amount of light they may get, consider any one of the following.

Aspidistra Elatior (Cast Iron Plant)

This lovely plant has been used in indoor spaces for centuries, with its pretty emerald leaves bringing plenty of natural color to a space. Cast iron plants are very hearty and are able to thrive without much attention. They don’t need too much light to grow and sustain, though they do require slightly moist soil to keep its leaves bright and strong.

Epipremnum Aureum (Pothos)

Not only does the pothos plant not require much light at all to survive, it actually doesn’t do well at all in direct sunlight, making this houseplant ideal for spaces with low light. It comes in a few different varieties, including dark green, blue-green, white-and-green, yellow-and-green, and even speckled silver bicolor patterns. All that’s required to care for this houseplant is watering when the soil gets dry and some occasional pruning.

Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant)

Not necessarily the most pleasant name for an indoor plant, but the “snake plant” is quite attractive with its long, dark-green foliage framed with yellow trim. This plant does well in just about every environment, so there’s really not very much you can do to it that will cause it to wilt, except for overwatering it. 

Rhapis Excelsa (Lady Palm)

Appropriately named, the lady plant gives off an air of opulence and can really bring out the best in a space. The clusters of palm-like leaves make it look as if green fireworks are going off in the planter. While expensive, lady palms can last a lifetime if cared for appropriately and repotted once in a while as the roots require. This plant is able to do quite well in low-light conditions, requiring just some most soil and proper feedings.

Philodendron Hederaceum (Heartleaf Philodendron)

You’d be hard-pressed not to find one of these plants in one of your neighbors’ homes, as they’re arguably one of the most common houseplants around. The heartleaf philodendron is perfect for darker spaces and grows quickly regardless of how much light it gets. This plant comes in a couple of varieties, including green-and-gold and deep purple foliage. The only thing this plant needs to survive is some watering when the soil starts to dry out and pruning of leaves once they start turning yellow.

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

The peace lily might be tough to bloom, but it’s certainly easy to grow in low-light conditions. The only thing you’d need to do to keep this plant healthy is change the potting mix occasionally to prevent the leaves from browning.

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

If you’re looking for the perfect plant to add some natural elements to a space that’s got few windows and nothing more than artificial lighting, the ZZ plant is your best bet. This plant also does very well without being watered very often, making it a very hearty plant if you don’t necessarily have a green thumb.

Chamaedorea Elegans (Parlor Palm)

The parlor palm does extremely well with a minimal amount of light. This slow-growing plant features striking long emerald leaves and grows up to about 4 feet in height, making a statement piece in any space. Just water it once in a while and spray the leaves with mist in particularly dry times of the year to keep its foliage vibrant.

Nephrolepis Exaltata (Boston Fern)

The Boston fern is the quintessential houseplant that can be found in just about any typical indoor space to add some beautiful greenery. These types of plants do great in areas that receive very little light, both inside and outdoors. Just make sure they’re kept away from drafty spots and air ducts.

Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant)

This houseplant was named according to its appearance, with leaves that look very similar to corn plants. Even in low light, the corn plant can grow up to a majestic 6 feet in height.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

The Chinese evergreen has become increasingly popular among homeowners and those who wish to breathe some life into their office space thanks to the plant’s vibrant fuschia-and-green foliage. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, it thrives in dark areas without having to be watered very often.

Syngonium Podophyllum (Arrowhead Vine)

Low-light conditions are no match for the arrowhead vine, which does very well in the darkest corner. The leaves come in several lovely shades, including bold green, copper, and some with a mix of colors. As the plant ages, it develops a vine that makes them perfect for planting at the foot of walls or even in hanging baskets. Only when the soil feels dry does it need to be watered.

The Bottom Line

Not every room in the house will necessarily be blessed with oversized windows that ooze in natural sunlight all the time. Luckily, there are several types of houseplants that do quite well in spaces that are lacking in light. While no houseplant loves complete darkness, these indoor plants do pretty well with whatever limited light they can get.