Low Light Indoor Plants: 6 Ideas for a Darker Home

Olivia Elsher

Apr 18, 2023

Adding low light indoor plants to your space can help you feel better and freshen up a dark room.

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Whether you live in a small apartment or a house with minimal windows, having plants can provide many benefits. While the studies on whether they can genuinely purify indoor air aren’t conclusive, including more greenery has mental health benefits that carry over into your physical wellness. Humans are built for the natural world. Spending time in it comforts your brain, but if where you call home doesn’t get enough sun, you’ll need some low light indoor plants.

Whether you’re looking to stretch your green thumb or add to your jungle, you’ll find the perfect new plant here. Your options range in care levels, so we’ll explain how much attention each one needs and give you a few helpful tips. Without further ado, here are six of the best low light indoor plants to liven up you darker home.

1. Spider Plant — Chlorophytom comosum

If you hate spiders, you’ll be happy to know this plant has nothing to do with them aside from its name. This wonderful plant can survive in many conditions. However, it will do well in a room that gets moderate light at a minimum. Like all the options on this list, the spider plant loves indirect sunlight. You don’t need to find a way to fit it on a windowsill. A happy spider plant would outgrow the sill you place it on anyway.

Spider plants also aren’t picky about the temperature. If it’s comfortable for you, it’s probably fine for the plant. Anything too cold or hot may damage it, so you may need to adjust your thermostat if you’re more OK with being chilly or sweating. Additionally, spider plants love moist soil. You don’t have to water it daily, but ensuring the dirt is damp with a spray bottle will suffice.

2. Dwarf Umbrella Tree — Schefflera arboricola

Did you ever want to have a tree in your house but worried about having enough space? Look no further than the dwarf umbrella tree. These gorgeous specimens only grow to about 6 feet tall indoors, though they would get much bigger outside. They also don’t grow very fast. Dwarf umbrella trees aren’t pet friendly, so if you own a fur baby, you should choose something else.

Caring for this small tree is quite easy. The leaves like a bit of mist daily, but you only need to water the plant when the soil is dry. Then, give it a thorough soak and keep up with misting until you need to water it again. If you’re a chronic overwaterer, don’t worry — the dwarf umbrella tree will let you know. Leaves that turn yellow or drop mean the plant is getting too much water.

3. ZZ Plant — Zamioculcas zamiifolia

The ZZ plant needs minimal introduction — it’s one of the most popular houseplants worldwide, perhaps because they’re so easy to care for. Just ensure you and any pets you have don’t eat the leaves. A ZZ plant is a lot like a succulent in that if you forget to water it, you’re probably doing it a service. Let the soil thoroughly dry out between waterings. Wrinkly leaves are a sure sign your plant is ready for some water.

ZZ plants will still grow in rather dark conditions but won’t put out as many leaves and will develop slower. A room with indirect light is best, as direct sun could burn the plant. To ensure your ZZ plant drinks well, break the soil up with a chopstick or spoon before watering and let the excess water drain completely before putting it back in its spot.

4. Bird’s Nest Fern — Asplenium nidus

A bird’s nest fern is a beautiful little addition to any space. The bright green color will freshen up any room, while the dark purple lines in the center of the leaves offer eye-catching contrast. It likes well-draining, moist soil since ferns thrive in damp, shaded conditions. Water it whenever the dirt gets dry to avoid drowning the roots or developing mold, and make sure to hit the soil and not the fronds.

As a tropical plant, bird’s nest ferns prefer warmer, humid conditions. A bathroom with a window is an excellent place for them to get the indirect sunlight they need in the steamy environment they love. If you don’t think your bathroom would work for your fern, supplement the environment by adding some small rocks to a tray, filling the tray with water and placing the pot on top of the pebbles. You could also invest in a humidifier, which would be wise if you have multiple plants.

5. Bromeliad Plant — Bromeliaceae

Does your darker home need a pop of color? Be sure to check out the bromeliad plants at your local nursery. Though those bright reds, oranges, yellows and pinks may make it appear challenging to care for, a bromeliad is quite easy. Each variety looks slightly different, but they have the same basic care needs and make excellent low light indoor plants.

They enjoy average home temperatures. However, you should keep them away from a heater or vent, as it could dry them out. Some varieties have a “tank,” which needs to be full consistently. Let a bromeliad’s soil dry out between waterings, but always keep water in the cup and rinse it occasionally to wash away any tap water buildup.

6. Cast Iron Plant — Aspidistra elatior

If you’re a black-thumbed greenery enthusiast, the cast iron plant is for you. As the name implies, this plant is hard to kill because it thrives when you don’t pay much attention to it. It will also reward you with flourishing stalks of large green leaves, sprucing up any darker area. The cast iron plant will grow well in any room with a window. You could even put it under the stairs, as long as it gets a little light.

It will also be perfectly comfortable in whatever temperature you keep your space. Like the dwarf umbrella tree and the ZZ plant, you’re fine if you forget to water it for a while. Wait until you can stick your finger in the soil and not feel any moisture before you give it something to drink. That’s really all you need to know to care for your cast iron plant!

Grab Some Low Light Indoor Plants Today

If your apartment or home needs something extra, try adding one of these low light indoor plants. They’ll thrive in any room that has at least one window, and most require minimal care. Flex that green thumb and get yourself one of these green beauties today.

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