While we all adore the large variety of sun loving succulents and cacti out there, not everyone has the ability to give their house plants the bright, direct rays of sunshine that they require. Fortunately, there are tons of house plants that thrive in low light environments and they are just as beautiful as their sunny counterparts!
Snake Plant | Sansevieria
Also commonly referred to as the Mother-in-Law's Tongue, this tall, slender plant is excellent for beginners because of it's ability to tolerate neglect. The Snake Plant's tall, dark green leaves are very dense and hardy, and they rarely turn brow – even if under watered. When taken care of properly over the years, some varieties can grow up to 5 feet tall! Snake plants are known to remove formaldehyde and benzene toxins from the air in your home, making it a great choice for your bathroom or kitchen. It enjoys low light and it's drought tolerant.
Light. Low to medium indirect light. Snake plants can be placed in north, east, or west facing windows. They're not too picky!
Watering. Snake plants prefer to be watered moderately, and it's important to keep them out of standing water since they are prone to rot. Err on the side of less water, because they're much more sensitive to overwatering than under watering!
Soil. Free draining soil is the best option for Snake Plants. It is important to have either a drainage hole in the pot or a layer of rocks below the soil.
Bird's Nest Fern | Asplenium nidus
The Bird's Nest Fern comes in a few, stunning varieties. This tropical plant's leaves range from extremely curly and lace like to wavy or straight, and they will typically grow up to two feet long. Regardless of the leaf type, all varieties of Bird's Nest Ferns prefer to be away from direct sunlight. They are slightly more forgiving than other fern plants, making them great for beginners. Plus they will add a sense of refinement to any room!
Light. Indirect sunlight is ideal. This plant will thrive in a north facing window.
Watering. Bird's Nest Ferns prefer to remain moist. Keep it from sitting in stagnating water to prevent rot. It enjoys a bit of humidity because it is a tropical plant, but it's less necessary for this type of fern.
Soil. Standard potting soil is great for the Bird's Nest Fern.
Pearly Dots | Haworthia margaritifera
A close cousin to the aloe plant, Pearl Plants are hardy succulents that prefer indirect sunlight. In their native home of South Africa, Pearl Plants grow under the shade of larger bushes.They are called Pearl Plants because of the small, white bumps that cover the surface of their leaves. They are slow growing, but they do produce tiny white flowers mid-summer. This plant is perfect for all of those succulent lovers who don't have the proper lighting conditions for the sunnier succulent varieties.
Light. Medium, indirect light is preferred. If exposed to direct light, the leaves will shrivel up.
Watering. Like most succulents, the Pearl Plant prefers minimal watering and thrives on neglect. Because this kind of succulent doesn't like direct sunlight, take care not to overwater.
Soil. Pearl Plants are used to growing in sandy terrain, so well draining soil is essential. Any cactus or succulent mix will do.
Panda Plant | Kalanchoe tomentosa
Another type of low light succulent, this Madagascar native is sought after for it's cute, fuzzy leaves (hence their name, the Panda Plant)! They're slow growers, and it typically takes up to two years for new leaves to grow. Panda plants are very easy to care for and can usually be left to their own devices. One important thing to mention is that these adorable plants are actually poisonous to cats and dogs, so keep them far away from your furry, loved ones!
Light. Panda Plants enjoy their shade, so bright to medium indirect sunlight is ideal.
Watering. Only minimal watering is necessary. Take care not to overwater.
Soil. Well draining soil is necessary. Cactus or succulent mixes are perfect for Panda Plants.
Jade Plant | Crassula ovata
This succulent is unique because it grows like a tree, with a thick trunk and branches. While this plant can thrive in a sunny location, it can also do well in a low light room. It has long been rumored that growing a Jade Plant in your home will help you “grow” your wealth, which is why it is sometimes called the Money Plant. Jade Plants are indigenous to South Africa, and they're fairly easy to maintain.
Light. Jade Plants can tolerate anything from direct sunlight, to low light situations.
Watering. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Water moderately.
Soil. A cactus and succulent mix is great for Jade Plants.
ZZ Plant | Zamioculcas zamiifolia
An East African native, the ZZ Plant is one of the hardiest plants on this list. The name is simply an abbreviation of it's Latin name, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia – and it's not named after that bearded rock band you may have heard of! Not only is it difficult to kill, but the ZZ Plant features beautiful, waxy leaves that will look attractive in any corner of your home. It enjoys low light, it is drought tolerant, and it will grow in whatever type of soil you have on hand. Another fantastic plant that thrives on neglect.
Light. The ZZ Plant will do well in any type of lighting except for harsh, direct sunlight. It can be placed in north, east, and west facing windows. It is generally suggested to avoid placing ZZ Plants in south facing windows.
Watering. Despite it's fern like appearance, ZZ Plants are actually drought tolerant. It is usually recommended to let them dry out between waterings but it's okay to keep them slightly moist. The leaves will start to yellow when it is being overwatered.
Soil. Regular potting soil will work well for ZZ Plants.
Spider Plant | Chlorophytum comosum
They get their name from their spider-like appearance, but don't let that put you off. These plants are considered one of the top houseplants because of their ability to provide better air quality. If you put a Spider Plant in a dimly lit corner of the room it will flourish! Spider Plants are notorious for their little “spiderling” offsprings, which grow at the end of their grass-like leaves. Just pop one of these spiderling plantlets in some soil or water and they'll be good to go. It's fun to watch these plants rapidly grow! Spider Plants are also commonly referred to as Airplane Plants.
Light. Spider Plants are incredibly adaptable, and can be placed almost anywhere in the house.
Watering. They love to be moist, but it's good to let the soil dry out occasionally to prevent root rot. Ensure that they do not sit in stagnating water.
Soil. Regular potting soil is fine for these plants.
Staghorn Fern | Platycerium
Staghorn Ferns are a unique variety of fern that, well, resemble a Stag's horns! Most of them feature a “shield” at their base for some added protection, and it's totally normal for them to turn brown. These ferns are great for low light rooms and they grow well in hanging baskets or mounted on boards. Just like the popular air plants, Staghorn Ferns are Epiphytes so they grow on top of other plants and trees in the wild.
Light. Staghorn Ferns prefer medium to bright indirect light. They're used to growing on the trunks of trees, so they naturally prefer some shade.
Watering. Much like air plants, Staghorn Ferns need to be misted or soaked once per week. If misting, take care to mist the entire plant. When soaking on a board, leave it in the water for 10-20 minutes.
Soil. As mentioned earlier, Staghorn Ferns prefer to grow on other plants. If placed in a basket or pot, it is important to use fast draining soil such as cactus or succulent mixes. When mounting on boards, they prefer sphagnum moss.