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Low Light Plants

What does low light mean? Generally low light means no direct sunlight & not very close to a window. If it is somewhere you would turn a lamp on to read a book, even in the day time, it is probably low light but don't worry if your house doesn't have good light there are many plants that tolerate lower light conditions.

Low light houseplants will likely do fine in a east or west facing room that has a window or two even if they receive no direct light. A room with no windows or a single north facing window will make it difficult for even the most shade-tolerate plants.

Here's a diagram of what the different levels are.

Guide from @rerootgardens (instagram)

Most tropical plants thrive best in bright indirect light. This means the plant is fairly close to the window but does not receive direct light or only has direct sunlight for a short period of time, like some morning sun.

Plants that love direct sun are your succulents, cacti, aloe, hoya, Jade, snake plants, String of pearls ( string of hearts, string of pearls turtles etc.), yucca, pothos. These plants dont require full sun all day but do thrive best in 4+ hours of sunlight daily.

In cases with no windows or north light you can help your plants our by using grow light or grow bulbs. You don't need to have your grow light on 24/7 for your plants to grow leaving them on a few hours a day will be enough for most plants. Don't like grow lights? Grow bulbs are a great alternative. Just switch our your regular bulbs in your light fixtures. This is also a great idea for those winter months when our plants might need that little extra boost as the days are short.

If you think your house has low light or you worry about our shorter days in the winter months there is a long list of plants that don't require a lot of sun.

Here's a list of some low light plants to add to your collection

Snake plant

ZZ plant


Peace lilies

Chinese Evergreen

Spider plant


Anthurium (flamingo flower)


Most ferns

Cast Iron plant

Sago palm

Cat palm

Heartleaf cordatum

Prayer plant


Philodendron Minima (Ginny)

Rubber Plant


Nerve Plant

You may have notice some of the same plants of the list for direct sun as low light. Plants like snake plants & pothos are the perfect beginner plants as they are not only low maintenance but tolerate all types of light. Plants like these may be able to survive & grow in low light but thrive the best in brighter conditions. If you notice your low light plant hasn't been growing much you might want to try moving it closer to the window or a grow light.


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