Indoor plants for shade


15 Tropical Plants you can Easily Grow at Home

If you’re looking to add some colour and greenery to your home, tropical plans can be a great place to start.

While not all species are suitable for life indoors, there are plenty of options that are relatively easy to care for, as we’ve detailed here.

1. Amazon Elephant’s Ear

These popular tropical plants are both common and unique. With their large, arrow-like green leaves, embellished with silver, many describe them as regal.

Unlike a number of Alocasia species, they are in fact extremely easy to grow inside and can be an asset to the home, providing seasonal displays of lush green foliage.


2. Anthurium

This sophisticated, stylish tropical plant is a popular option for inside the home.

Despite being a little on the challenging side to grow indoors, they’re extremely rewarding when in fruition.

Celebrated for their bright, stately flowers, they add an instant injection of colour to any room in the household. They’re easily available as there are lots of anthurium cultivars in existence, however, it’s important to know how to care for them if you want them to last.


3. Bromeliads

Possibly one of the easiest tropical plants to grow, Bromeliads thrive indoors.

If you’re looking for a low maintenance tropical plant, this is it! These tropical epiphytes easily adapt to their surroundings and are able to flourish in pots.

Unlike a number of their green-leaved relations, they’re much more hardy.


4. The Bird of Paradise

With an intensely bright array of orange and blue plumage, the Bird of Paradise is as tropical as they come.

Yet despite its status in the world of tropical plants, this particular specie is also somewhat surprisingly easy to grow indoors.


5. Cordyline

Native to Hawaii, Cordyline are everything you would ever associate with the tropics thanks to their palm-like appearance.

They’re bold, beautiful and bright and can be found in an array of leafy colours. If you care from them in the correct manner, they will create a bold statement in the home.


6. Ficus

Although a little on the fussy side to grow, once in full bloom, they’re well worth the effort.

When in fruition, they boast oversized, lush, green leaves with high gloss faces, which add an instant splash of colour to the household.

Cold drafts can harm growth while the plant also needs regular misting to maintain humidity – provided this is done, you can enjoy all the delights that the plant has to offer.


7. Palm Trees

Palm Trees are one of the most recognizable tropical indoor plants.

There are a number of sizes and styles to choose from and despite what many may think, they’re extremely easy to grow indoors. Depending on the type of plant, they will require different amounts of water and fertilizer, so it’s important to check when you purchase.


8. Dumb Cane

Also named dieffenbachia, these common houseplants are so popular that some forget they’re a tropical plant specie.

One thing to be wary of is the sap on these plants – it can irritate the skin!


9. Peace Lilies

When in full bloom, these beautiful, tropical plants are an asset to the home.

They can become a challenge to harvest over the winter months, yet with a little persistence, they’re well worth the effort.


10. Philodendron

It’s only recently that these plants have become popular indoor species. Mainly down to advances in breeding, they’re now easier than ever to grow in the home.


11. Orchids

These plant species can be found in all corners of the world, including woodlands, deserts and tropical rain forests.

They’re adaptable to almost any landscape, including the home environment. A flowering orchid placed on a desk, dining room table or side bench will add an instant injection of colour to the home.


12. Schefflera

Nicknamed umbrella plants, schefflera plants boast glossy, broad leaves, which are in plentiful supply.

They are best suited to corners of rooms and as background plants and add a warm, cosy ambience to an otherwise sparse area.


13. Croton Plants

Native to Malaysia, Northern Australia and the Pacific Islands, these picture-perfect tropical plants add an instant splash of colour to the home – all they require is bright light and a warm room.


14. Pomegranate trees

These compact plants grow surprisingly well in containers. For best results, place them near a sunny, well-lit window. Come spring, pomegranates produce unique trumpet-shaped orange and red blooms.


15. Guava trees

Guava trees showcase delicate white flowers with a sweet, subtle scent.

Although they thrive outdoors in tropical climates, they can adapt to most soils and environments. They are fairly forgiving, which makes them a low maintenance plant. For the best results, feed with a complete fertiliser once a month for the first year of growth.


For a tropical touch in your home, opt for any of these species and you shouldn’t be disappointed. If you feel we’ve missed out one of your favorites, please let us know and we’ll share your tips with our readers.

Read More about Plants:

  • Decorate your home with indoor flowering plants
  • 5 best low maintenance indoor plants
  • Best plants for pollination
  • 5 little known health benefits of indoor plants
  • 8 things you didn’t know plants can do (infographic)
  • The ultimate cheet sheet for watering plants
  • Carnivorous plants
  • Kadupul – the Most Expensive Flower in the World

Houseplants That Need (Almost) Zero Sunlight 

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There are so many houseplants that can thrive on nearly zero sunlight (aka: low-light.) In nature some plants grow at the bottom of larger plants so they only receive dappled or highly diffused light.

Low-Light houseplants are perfect for houseplants lovers that travel frequently, have busy work schedules, live in a dark apartment or home, or just don’t want to worry about dedicating too much time to their plants.

Even if you feel like you’re a houseplant serial killer, I know that you can parent the lushest, most beautiful, and abundant houseplants! I’m ROOT-ing for you to make it happen AND I am happy to share 10 houseplants that are easy to care for and need almost zero sunlight!

If you are wanting to add some low-light houseplants to your space that are sure to survive being ignored or left in a dark room, read all of my favorites below!

For those of us without a green thumb it can feel a little overwhelming to try and choose plants that we won’t accidentally kill. But, these houseplants require very little care and almost zero sunlight. AKA: They can survive in low-light situations or just with a plant light.

Scroll down to the bottom for each plant listed with photos & quick links to purchase.

These houseplants are all beautiful, easy to care for, and need almost zero sunlight!

1) Tropical Bromeliad

2) Spider Plant

3) ZZ Plant

4) Begonia

5) Kangaroo Fern

6) Red Prayer Plant

7) The Areca Palm

8) Peace Lilly

9) Peperomia

10) Snake Plant

1) Tropical Bromeliad

This plant is perfect for an office space because it can thrive under a plant light instead of sunshine. It is one of the easiest plants to care for that needs almost zero sunlight! Its tropical feel and bright pop of color make it perfect for making a boring space just a touch happier.

Tropical Bromeliad:

  • they like having a little water in the flute of their flower (thank you, @broadwayterracenursery)
  • can be purchased in yellow, red, purple, orange or brown flowering varieties (if you want it to bloom, I highly recommend buying a plant light is recommended if you do not get much natural light in your home)
  • will produce offshoots that can be repotted
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

2) Spider Plant

I love the Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) plant for how hardy it is with nearly zero sunlight. It can survive for years in indirect light and even live prosperously if it’s been lacking water for a while. In fact, during the winter months it needs very little water at all. This houseplant will thrive in fluorescent lighting as well.

Spider Plant:

  • will produce tiny white flowers when it is thriving
  • offshoots look like baby spiders and can be repotted
  • is a great indoor air cleaners
  • grows quickly
  • looks great in hanging planters (I love these from Etsy)
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

3) ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is a great choice if you need to add some green that you are almost guaranteed to keep alive. This houseplant is nearly impossible to kill and is one of the hardiest choices.

ZZ Plant:

  • has pretty shiny leaves
  • is really resilient and will be fine if neglected
  • survives with (almost) zero sunlight
  • will be happy with fluorescent light or “plant light,” that is why you will frequently see these at indoor malls

4) Begonia

Begonia is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Begoniaceae. They come in several colors and shapes. These little beauties live nicely without any direct sunlight and add a perfect pop of color to your home.


  • can easily be overwatered, be sure to let the soil dry between waterings
  • comes in pink, yellow, red and various shades of green
  • great choice to put in a hanging planter
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

5) Kangaroo Fern

The Kangaroo Fern has frilly leaves that can add a delicate texture to your houseplant collection. Kangaroo paw ferns (Microsorum diversifolium) are native to Australia. The scientific name is referring to the leaf forms on the plant; some leaves are full, while mature leaves have deep indentations. You can read more at Gardening Know How.

The Kangaroo Fern:

  • is easy to grow
  • requires little attention
  • grows best in high humidity (would be great in your bathroom)
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight (thank you, @broadwayterracenursery)

6) Red Prayer Plant

The Red Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) is unique because at night the leaves fold, hence its name, like hands folded into prayer.

Red Prayer Plant:

  • will look great in hanging baskets because of the pink color on the underside of its leaves
  • tolerates low light, but may need more light for leaves to fully unfold
  • prefers moist soil
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

7) Areca Palm

Areca Palms (Dypsis lutescens) are excellent air purifiers and can also act as a humidifier for your indoor space!

Areva Palm:

  • will add a tropical feel to your home
  • is one of the easiest palm tree to grow indoors
  • can produce small, yellow flowers
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

8) Peace Lily

Not really a lily, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) has a tall beautiful white flowers that bloom throughout the entire year.

These grow pretty tall and will produce flowers more frequently if they have at least some natural light. We have ours in our living room and it gets some southern facing window light from across the room.

Peace Lily:

  • looks great in a floor planter because they can grow 40 inches tall
  • will start to get droopy when it needs water
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight
  • are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Southeastern Asia

9) Peperomia

Peperomias will tolerate a variety of light conditions. They prefer to be out of direct light because in their natural environment will grow beneath forest canopies. Peperomia are plants in the peppercorn family, Piperaceae.


  • are easy to care for
  • will purify the air
  • love humidity (would be great in your bathroom)
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

RELATED: 6 Houseplants That Would Love to Live in Your Bathroom

10) Snake Plant

The Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is beautifully green with variegated leaves, it’s sharp point gives this low-light house plant its nickname of mother-in-law’s tongue.

The Snake Plant:

  • needs very little water
  • is very hard to kill
  • can grow up to several feet tall
  • needs (almost) zero sunlight

If your home has only a few windows or just have certain areas in your home that do not have much ambient light, these are all houseplants that will still be able to survive with a plant light or some could do just fine with limited natural light. If you don’t want to buy a plant light you could get an GE Plant Light Bulb and put it in one of your other lamps. Be sure to keep your plant light close to your plant (6-9 inches) otherwise it will start to stretch as it grows to reach the light and will get leggy. “Leggy” means when your plant stem grows very long without having any leaves on it.

Happy Houseplanting!


1) Tropical Bromeliad 2) Spider Plant 3) ZZ Plant 4) Begonia 5) Kangaroo Fern 6) Red Prayer Plant 7) The Areca Palm 8) Peace Lilly 9) Peperomia 10) Snake Plant

If you and your houseplants were in a relationship, what would your relationship status be?

A) “Blissfully in love”

B) “It’s complicated”

C) “100% admitting it,… I’m a serial houseplant killer”

Creating great love in ANY relationships requires work and commitment. Your houseplants are no different!

I love helping people bring houseplants into their lives! Check out all of my houseplant blog posts or follow me on instagram for more houseplant inspiration!

Flowering Indoor Plants: Good Houseplants With Flowers For Low Light

Low light and flowering plants don’t normally go hand in hand, but there are some flowering indoor plants that will bloom for you in lower light situations. Let’s take a look at the best options for areas with little light.

Choosing Low Light Flowering Houseplants

Low light indoor plants are an excellent way to add greenery, but what about color? A low light indoor plant with flowers is harder to come by, but not impossible. Here are some great choices for houseplants that bloom with little light:

  • African Violets – These are among the best flowers for low light indoors. African violets can bloom almost continually year round if they are kept happy. You can get these to bloom even in areas with no direct sunlight. In fact, they prefer bright indirect light, or filtered sun, for best results. These plants prefer warmer conditions (over 65 F. or 18 C.) and like the surface of their soil to dry out before watering again. Fertilize regularly for best results.
  • Lipstick Plants – A more unusual flowering plant to grow indoors is the lipstick plant. The care is very similar to African violets, but these are trailing plants. In fact, African violets and lipstick plants are related. The plant produces numerous red flowers with maroon bases that resemble lipstick tubes.
  • Streptocarpus – Another beautiful flowering plant also related to African violets is cape primrose (Streptocarpus). The care is similar but they look quite different. They can bloom just as prolifically, though, in many colors. Just make sure to keep the soil relatively moist and keep them in good indirect light for best results.
  • Peace Lily – Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is among the best of houseplants that blooms with little light. The spathes are typically white and can show up throughout the year, but will probably be more plentiful in the summer time – and with a little more light. The glossy, large leaves offer a beautiful backdrop against the white flowers. These plants like to be on the moist side so make sure not to let these dry out completely if you can help it.
  • Phalaenopsis – Moth orchids are among the lowest light orchids that can be easily grown in the home. They thrive in average indoor conditions and the flowers can easily last a few months and are easy to rebloom. They are epiphytes in nature, so they are typically sold growing in a bark mix or sphagnum moss. When you water, be sure to thoroughly moisten all the roots, including exposed roots. If you can help it, never let them dry out completely. Sufficient light is needed to trigger blooming. A 10- to 15-degree drop in nighttime temperature can also help induce blooming.
  • Bromeliads – The leaves and bracts of these low light indoor plants, also epiphytes, are vibrant and colorful, adding flair to any room or cubicle. Bromeliads may also produce lovely flowers, but in between, you can just enjoy their natural beauty.
  • Christmas Cactus – Christmas cacti make good indoor plants and require little care. These plants need 12 hours of darkness to bloom, and this normally occurs during the winter months in most households. This is also why they are good low light indoor plants. The flowers on a Christmas cactus can range from white to pink to red.

Remember that low light does not mean a dark corner in your home or office. These plants still need a certain amount of bright indirect light to grow. If you find that your plant is not blooming, you are likely not giving it enough light. Either move your plant closer to a window or supplement with additional fluorescent lighting.

See 18 best large indoor plants for your home or office. Tall houseplants look fascinating and create the illusion of an enlarged interior.

Houseplants that grow above 5 feet tall quickly grabs attention. They add a dramatic touch to the interior and can serve as the focal point of your room.

Best Large Indoor Plants

1. Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk island pine is not a true pine though looks like one. In its natural habitat, this majestic tree can grow up to several 100 feet (65 m) high. However, when grown as a houseplant, its height reduced to only 2-3 m. Growing this tall houseplant requires some care: Save it from drafts, mist the plant in summer to avoid dry air. Keep the soil slightly moist and place the plant near a window that receives some sun and bright indirect daylight to grow it successfully.

2. Yucca

Yucca is a tough plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It quickly becomes large if sufficient light is provided. When growing Yucca indoors, provide as much sun as possible and do not overwater. Allow the soil to dry out before you water again. It can survive easily for several weeks without water. A useful article you can read on growing yucca on

3. Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana)

The Kentia palm is native to Lord Howe Island (Australia). It is one of the sturdiest houseplants. It is easy to maintain and often seen in offices and stores. The Kentia palm should always be in slightly moist soil in summer. In winter, reduce watering. When compared to other palms, this large houseplant can be kept in a spot that gets indirect sunlight.

4. Philodendron

The Philodendron family includes many successful houseplants. There are tall species too. For example, Tree philodendron (Philodendron selloum). Keep your philodendron houseplant in indirect sunlight, and it’ll thrive.

The plant does not need much water, but it is essential that you don’t let the soil dry out completely.

5. Polyscias (Ming Aralia)

How nice is it to have a plant in the house that is low maintenance and looks beautiful at the same time? Polyscias is such a plant. For people without green fingers, this plant is ideal. It tolerates shade, requires occasional fertilizing and infrequent watering.

6. Croton (Codiaeum)

Croton is a popular houseplant because of the huge variation in the pattern and color of the foliage available. It can get as big as 10 feet tall. Place the plant near the East facing window, where it will get bright morning sun and day-long indirect light. In a dark place, it loses the beautiful leaf markings. Also, save it from the cold draft and don’t expose it to the temperature below 50 F (10 C).

7. Ficus

There are plants in the ficus family that can grow amazingly tall and live up to hundreds of years. The plants of this family are tough and also grown as a houseplant. As a houseplant, these plants require care. Some of the best large indoor plants of this family are rubber tree, weeping fig, and fiddle leaf fig.

8. Schefflera (Umbrella Tree)

Schefflera is a well-known houseplant with typical foliage. It is easy to maintain, though, like all the other tall houseplants in this list, it requires large pot to grow and exposure to all day long, bright indirect sunlight.

9. Fatsia Japonica (False Castor)

Fatsia Japonica is a well-known houseplant. It is also called “finger plant,” due to its finger-like leaves. This plant has beautiful foliage: Dark green, shiny, and leathery. This is an air purifying plant and needs little maintenance.

10. Adenium (Desert Rose)

You can overwinter the Adenium plant in the temperature above 50 F (10 C). Well-drained, dry soil is the key to growing a healthy Adenium tree in your home. Keep Adenium in as much sun as possible, and it will reward you with its large colorful flowers.

11. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Easy to grow in pots, this pretty succulent plant requires very little care. Jade plant is a successful houseplant and can adapt itself to different light conditions. It can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) tall.

Also Read: The Most Easy to Grow Houseplants

12. Dracaena

Renowned for its beautiful arched shape, lanceolate foliage that is often variegated. The plants of the Dracaena family are undoubtedly one of the best large indoor plants.

As an indoor plant, the Dracaena needs bright indirect sunlight to grow. But exposure to 2 or 3 hours of direct morning sun per day is favorable.

Also Read: Plants that Grow without Sunlight

13. Fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle leaf fig due to its large leathery foliage and height can be a great addition to your home. Plant it in the living room, in a spot where it will receive bright indirect sunlight all day.

Also Read: How to Grow Fiddle Leaf Fig

14. Monstera deliciosa

Monstera is a popular large indoor plant because of its huge cut foliage and stems. It creates a tropical atmosphere in any room. Adding a tall, healthy monstera deliciosa can make a huge impact on the interior of any home, which is not possible with any expensive, luxurious furniture or accessory.

15. Palms

Indoor palms are the most common large houseplants. They are quite undemanding, and many of them grow well in exposure to part or indirect sun. They also tolerate a lack of water. Indoor palms can also grow huge, but they grow quite slowly. The most common palms are – Date palm, Washingtonia palm, fan palm or bamboo palm, and areca palm.

16. Ponytail Palm

Often mistaken for a palm, ponytail Palm is actually a succulent. Ponytail Palm is an elegant and eye-catching houseplant. It is easy to care, although slow-growing. It grows to about 10 feet tall in a few years. Learn about the best shade tolerant succulents here.

17. Bird of Paradise

Bird of paradise plant has a large banana plant like foliage. You can grow it indoors. It grows up to 7-8 ft (2 m) tall. It is called “Bird of Paradise” due to its exceptional flowers. You can grow this plant indoors successfully if you have a spot in your room that receives at least 4-5 hours of sunlight daily.

A Tip: You can also try growing Heliconias aka Lobster Claws indoors for similar appearance.

18. Bamboo

We’ve included bamboo in our list of best large indoor plants as growing bamboo indoors is possible. There are several species available that are suitable for this. If you can only provide a few hours of direct sunlight. You can check out this to find out which bamboo varieties are suitable for growing indoors.

I’ve been lucky enough to observe plants growing in a variety of environments. As a gardener, seeing the difference between the growth rate of a garden in bright sun as opposed to full shade was hugely helpful. It made me realize the importance of sunlight exposure and how the sun could also cause problems like dried-out topsoil, premature bolting, and sunscald.

Years ago, I used to garden in a heavily shaded area. I had limited success, despite doing nearly everything right, simply because there wasn’t enough sunlight for certain plants to thrive. I was always disappointed because my tomatoes never grew tall or big enough, and I took my healthy greens for granted.

In my current garden, everything is fully exposed to the sun. It’s been incredible to watch how peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes grow in full sun as opposed to in dappled shade. But, I’ve also had trouble growing greens before the hot sun made them bolt.

Having gardens on opposite ends of the sunlight scale has made it clear that a shaded space isn’t a reason to avoid gardening. There are plenty of vegetables and plants that don’t need sun. Instead of struggling to make things grow where they don’t want to, embrace the plants that enjoy a bit of shade.

While my garden enjoys a lot of sun, indoors is a different story. It’s hard to find a spot that offers enough light for many houseplants, especially during the dark winters. I’ve learned to carefully select plants that don’t need sun to be happy, and now my indoor plants are thriving.

Below, you’ll find a list of outdoor and indoor plants suitable for areas with limited sun exposure.

Outdoor Plants that Don’t Need Sun

Wondering what you can plant in that well-shaded area in your garden? Here are a few ideas for your vegetable patch or shaded landscape.

Vegetables for Shade

If you’re looking for vegetable options to grow in the shade, the key is to manage your expectations. It’s possible to grow a variety of produce types in the shade, but things will inevitably grow a lot slower than in full sun.

1. Chard

Chard is a multi-faceted plant. It loves the sun but doesn’t mind living in a shaded spot. Choose colorful ribbed varieties for a fun rainbow effect in your veggie patch.

2. Lettuce

In the summer, lettuce does way better in the shade than it does in full sun. While you can purchase shade cloth to protect lettuces and other greens from being exposed to too much sun, a better strategy is to keep them in an appropriately shaded area.

3. Arugula

Arugula seems to bolt as soon as it sprouts if you plant it in direct sun. Instead, opt for a partially shaded garden plot when planting this spicy-tasting salad green. I’ve had luck growing arugula in extremely shaded areas.

4. Kale

Like chard, kale grows incredibly quickly in full sun, but it doesn’t mind a bit of shade, either. I love kale because it doesn’t bolt if exposed to full sun but it’s still possible to grow it in a shaded garden.

Plants for Shade

Most of my garden is in full sun, but I also have a towering maple tree on my property that shades a rocky section of my front yard where I mainly (try to) grow ornamental plants. If you’ve got a super shady area where you’d like to grow perennials, shrubs, and other ornamental plants, here are a few options:

5. Lady Fern

Ferns, in general, are an exceptional choice for shaded gardens. In their native habitats, they typically thrive in humid areas under forest canopies. I love the tropical look of a fern plant.

Lady ferns are particularly pretty with their delicate, bright green, lacy fronds. They grow up to 5 feet tall in elegant clumps.

6. Ostrich Fern

Another beautiful fern for your shady patch, ostrich ferns are also edible. Some varieties can grow up to 6 feet tall, and they’re well-suited to humid, cold climates.

7. Astilbe

Astilbe is a pretty perennial bush-like flowering plant that grows in groups. They grow up to 24-inches tall and add a little texture to a shady spot.

8. Hostas

Hostas may grow slower in the shade, but they will undoubtedly grow, giving you some color in what may be a drab spot. There’s an amazingly wide variety of hosta species available that are suitable for different climates and growing environments. They’re an excellent plant choice if you’re looking to create a tropical-looking atmosphere.

9. Creeping Myrtle

Perennial in zones 4 to 9, creeping myrtle is also known as common periwinkle and vinca. It grows close to the ground, never reaching more than 6-inches tall. It grows in partial to full shade and tolerates any number of soil types.

10. Impatiens

Impatiens are one of the only flowering plants that grow exceptionally well and blooms in heavily shaded areas. There are several varieties of this type of annual flowering plant. Impatiens should be planted in healthy soil in areas that don’t get waterlogged.

11. Coral Bells

Also known as heuchera, these are plants I often see growing in people’s front yards around my neighborhood. The plant reminds me of squash plants because of the big broad leaves. They don’t get very tall (up to 12-inches maximum), and foliage color varies depending on the species.

12. Toad Lily

I find it funny that so many shade-loving plants have such ugly-sounding names. Something-wort is a common name for many shade-loving plants. The toad lily, however, has a name that sounds both pretty and woodsy, in my opinion. The perennial plant is incredibly low-maintenance and has some seriously attractive foliage. Perennial in zones 5-9 and perhaps 4 with some protection.

Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Sun

I love indoor plants, but I don’t love high-maintenance varieties. While I can somehow keep my outdoor garden plants alive and happy, I always seem to kill houseplants unintentionally. I used to forget to water them, but now I use water globes to help me out. More often, I realized that they simply aren’t getting enough light. I’ve stopped investing big bucks in fancy sun-loving houseplants and instead, have gotten cozy with several kinds of plants that don’t need sun.

13. Spider Plant

Spider plants look a lot like the uber-popular air plant, with their spidery, slender striped foliage. I expect they’d survive just about anything, including full shade. I’m sure my mother’s spider plant is about as old as I am. Spider plants help clean indoor air, and they also produce little ‘baby’ (or pup) plants that can be translated to separate pots. Know a friend with a spider plant in their living room or kitchen? Ask them for a pup.

14. Creeping Fig

The perfect option for hanging ceiling pots, creeping fig plants have brilliant, attractive foliage. They don’t mind low light conditions, but careful not to overwater. You’re better off waiting until the plant is wilting a little than watering before the soil has dried out.

15. Snake Plant

Snake plants are my absolute favorite houseplant. They look exotic and have a great texture. I had a snake plant in my bathroom for the longest time. It loved the humidity and didn’t mind the frequent bouts of darkness. I managed to murder it accidentally when cleaning. I left it outside and forgot to bring it back in.

16. Ivy

While multiple species of ivy are happy to live in low-light conditions, devil’s ivy is a top choice for spots without much light. The trailing plant looks terrific in a hanging pot of any kind. The bright dual-colored leaves make an attractive accent anywhere in the house, and the plant increases air quality, too.

17. Dracaena

You’ll find multiple species of this plant available at local nurseries. Dracaena will survive quite well in a shady indoor location. In fact, it’s best to keep in away from direct sunlight. Just be sure to water regularly and prune as needed.

18. Parlor Palm

Add a tropical element to your sun-deprived living room with this type of palm that grows well even in pretty dark areas of your home. I should know, I had a parlor palm, and it managed to stay green even in my often dark basement. I killed it because I forgot to water it and kept the thermostat a little too low.

19. Philodendron

There are different varieties of this type of houseplant, but the vine variety is my favorite. Philodendron plants are an attractive addition to shelving, credenzas, and mantles. You’ll need to water frequently, though, so think about investing in a self-watering pot to keep your plant alive in its low-light home.

20. Bamboo

I first spotted a thriving bamboo plant at a friend’s house. After we enjoyed a delicious shrimp curry dinner, we sat and chatted in the cozy living room, and I noticed the gigantic vertically growing bamboo plant in the corner. When I asked about it, she told me it had grown without much help, and I made a note to myself to buy some bamboo the next time I saw it for sale.

A few weeks later, I snatched up a tiny plant at the grocery store, and two years later, the plant has grown into a large coffee table centerpiece. All it needs is indirect light (but it could survive in an even darker corner) and periodic refills of water to replace any that has evaporated.

What do you plan on putting in your shadiest areas? Let us know in the comments below.

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What Plants Grow Indoors In Shade: Houseplants That Like Shade

Shaded locations in the home are tough for live plants, which is probably why silk plants are popular. However, there are numerous low light plants that can liven up the darker spaces and thrive. Tropical plants for shade regions, for instance, are perfect choices because the light level mimics their understory jungle habitat. Read on to learn what plants grow indoors in shade and how to keep them looking their best.

Easy Care Indoor Plants for Shade

Houseplants that like shade may be a little hard to pinpoint but actually there are many that can tolerate low light situations. The key to keeping them healthy is to supplement light levels with artificial lighting. Any plant needs a certain number of foot candles of light per day for optimum health. Foot candles measure the amount of light given off by a candle one foot away and increase as light intensity increases. Additionally, the bulbs used need to provide the red and blue parts of the spectrum that plants require for growth.

Many shady areas are found in office buildings and work settings. The plants need to be low maintenance, as they spend weekends alone and holidays and vacations. Supplemental lighting is generally found in the fluorescent lights, which gives off little heat and work minimally unless there are reflectors.

Some plants that are perfect for these types of situations are:

  • Lucky bamboo
  • Areca palm
  • Spider plants
  • Golden pothos
  • Peace lily
  • Philodendron

Each of these is a great shade plant for inside. Additionally, English ivy, some cacti and Dieffenbachia are great plants to grow in low light situations.

Tropical Plants for Shade

Tropicals lend an air of the exotic to humdrum office cubicles or just the dim corners of your home.

Dracaenas come in several forms from Dragon tree to Rainbow tree, and will add dimension as well as color and life to dim locations.

Mother-in laws tongue, or snake plant, is more than a plant with a fun name. It is hardy and tenacious, requiring little water and minimal to moderate light. It has architectural appeal with the pointed thick foliage and waxy exterior.

Other tropical shade plants for inside might include:

  • Chinese evergreen
  • ZZ plant
  • Ponytail palm
  • Ficus

Other Considerations with Indoor Plants for Shade

Far beyond deciding what plants grow indoors in shade are the cultural and other environmental conditions for interior plants. Houseplants that like shade still need light. If the lighting is enough that a person can read comfortably, the shade lover should receive enough foot candles. If the area is dimmer, you’ll have to increase the day hours the plant is exposed to light.

Shade plants for inside tend to need less frequent watering than those in full light. Water deeply, but infrequently and allow the top few inches of soil to dry out to prevent mold.

Interior plants usually thrive best in temperatures of 70 F. (21 C.) or more. Shade lovers are no exception and those dark spaces of the home tend to be cool. Turn up the heat so your plants are happy.

Indoor plants for shade also require fertilizing every two weeks with a liquid dilution from March to September. This will help compensate for the low light levels and minimal carbohydrate storage the plant contains for fuel.

Want the best shade loving plants? First of all, the term ‘shade loving’ should be taken with a pinch of salt: no plant truly ‘loves’ shade as such, and all plants will need at least some light coming into the room. However, some plants will tolerate a position quite far away from the window, or a room with only a small window.

Our general advice? Look for non-flowering species (plants need a lot of energy from the sun to produce flowers) and visit a botanical garden to see which plants are thriving at the very bottom of a tropical forest eco-system. They are the ones getting the least light – and they will do well in a shady position in your home.

We have everything you need to know about house plants in our expert guide.

1. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Zamioculcas is one the best-looking tropical plants for your home, with their distinctive, dark green fleshy leaves. Sturdy and enduring, they require little maintenance, and will be perfectly fine positioned away from a window, so long as they get some natural light. Slow-growing, this plant should live for many years.

How to care for Zamioculcas

Take care not to overwater, allowing the top layer of the compost to dry out between watering. As with other house plants, avoid moving it too often. Plant in well-draining soil that isn’t too compact.

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(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

2. Aspidistra

Aspidistra elatior has a common name of ‘Cast Iron Plant’, which will give you an idea of its survival potential. Once a symbol of staid suburban life, aspidistras are enjoying something of a revival. They have attractive, glossy green leaves, require very little maintenance – and actively dislike bright light, making them perfect for darker rooms.

How to care for Aspidistra

Aspidistras mainly need a good start – namely, good compost – to flourish. After that, you just need to water them occasionally, but not too often.

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3. Dracaena

Dracaenas, or ‘dragon plant’ as they are sometimes called, are another excellent option for darker spots. They do need some indirect light, and we’ve found they do quite well on the floor somewhere in the vicinity of a window. These nicely shaped plants look a bit like mini palm trees and make great statement plants when large.

How to care for Dracaena

Dracaenas like being well watered, and, like other tropical plants with blade-shaped leaves, they like having their leaves misted with water.

Our tip

Avoid buying these plants for households with pets: cats especially love chewing on the blade-shaped leaves, sometimes injuring themselves in the process.

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(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

4. Maranta Leuconeura

Maranta Leuconeura is known as the ‘Prayer plant’ due to its fascinating ability to lift its leaves at night. Marantas are very pretty plants, too, with beautifully veined leaves. When left to its own devices, this type of maranta will develop a trailing/creeping habit (these plants grow as ground cover in tropical forests).

How to care for Maranta

Marantas like plenty of water and humidity, but make sure the plant isn’t waterlogged. Mist regularly. In our experience, marantas do perfectly well on bookshelves or coffee tables, and don’t necessarily require bright light, just some natural light.

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5. String of Hearts plant

The String of Hearts (Ceropegia linearis) plant has become very popular in recent years due to its attractive trailing habit and small, heart-shaped leaves in a beautiful sage colour. Not technically classified as a shade-loving plant, in our experience, it does perfectly fine on a shelf reasonably close, but not necessarily next to a window. Also does well suspended from the ceiling in a kitchen.

How to care for String of Hearts

Water very sparingly, especially in winter. This plant requires compost specifically for succulents/cacti.

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(Image credit: Waitrose Garden) (Image credit: Waitrose Garden )

6. Pachira aquatica

Pachira aquatica, or Guiana Chestnut, is a native of Central and South America where it grows in swamps. It’s an all-round attractive plant with elongated leaves, and mature species are often sold with a plaited trunk, which adds interest. It does like a bright spot by a window, but will tolerate some shade, too. As with most exotic plants, so long as there is some natural light coming from somewhere, it’ll be ok.

How to care for Pachira acquatica

True to its name, this plant loves water, so water often, especially in the summer. It’s crucial not to let it stand in water, though, as this can cause root rot.

7. Sansevieria

Sansevierias may have weird common names (‘Mother-in-law’s tongue’ or ‘Snake plant’), but it’s a wonderful, tough little plant that will be happy almost anywhere. There are lots of different varieties of sansevierias out there, some with chunkier stems, others with slim ones, but they all have one thing in common: a high tolerance of a variety of light levels, from bright direct light to shade.

How to care for sansevierias:

Avoid over watering; in the winter, water very sparingly, about once a month. Don’t water from above.

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

Read more about house plants:

  • The best fragrant house plants for your home
  • 17 house plant display ideas

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