If you are looking for houseplants that don’t need sun, the first thing to understand is that all real plants will need some light to thrive.
Fortunately, for those who want to add greenery to darker, dimmer spaces, and don’t want to resort to environmentally harmful fake plants, there are plenty of real plants with low light needs. Though many will prefer bright but indirect light, they are more tolerant of dimmer conditions and more shade.
Indoor plants that don’t need light
Here are some of the best plants for shady spots – common houseplants that don’t need much sun at all:
1. Cast Iron Plant
The common name for Aspidistra elatior is cast iron plant because they have a reputation for being, like cast iron, practically indestructible. These popular houseplants with their glossy green leaves can put up with a lot, including a lack of water and a lack of light. A little light will be needed, but these plants don’t need much. So a position inside the north side of a northern hemisphere home should be just fine.
There are many ferns to grow indoors and most ferns will thrive even in relatively low-light conditions. In fact, most ferns will not want to be placed in direct sunlight, where they can dry out too much and their leaves can be scorched. Some are particularly tolerant of lower light conditions.
3. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos is a popular trailing plant perfect for growing indoors where there is not too much sun. Epipremnum aureum, also known as devil’s ivy, is an attractive plant with numerous cultivars with leaves with variegation or of different hues. This is another great houseplant for spots that don’t get that much sun since this plant can thrive in dim conditions which would be a challenge for many other plants.
4. Lucky Bamboo
Lucky bamboo plants, Dracaena sanderiana, are popular for those bringing feng shui practice to their homes, as they are said to bring good luck and fortune, especially when given as gifts. These plants do prefer some light but can survive even in nearly full-shade situations indoors.
5. Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant)
Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, has distinctive large leaves. Naturally inhabitants of the forest floor, these plants naturally grow in shady conditions, and so they can easily cope with lower light levels indoors. So these are houseplants that don’t need much sun and they can be kept in a more shaded location in your home. In fact, they won’t like being in direct sun, which can burn the foliage.
6. Peace Lily
Shade tolerant and happy when placed in a location indoors that receives indirect light, peace lilies are extremely popular houseplants for low-light areas. As long as they get plenty of water and humidity remains relatively high, these plants should remain happy and healthy, with their dark green foliage and white flower-like spathes.
Several different Philodendrons are extremely popular as houseplants because they are so easy to grow and care for indoors. With vining and upright forms, and often with attractive foliage, these plants can tolerate low light situations though they will typically do best when positioned somewhere with bright but indirect light.
8. Prayer Plant
Prayer plant, Maranta leuconeura, is a tropical plant with dramatic and attractive foliage. These plants are best for a warm and humid location indoors, and they can tolerate low-light conditions and won’t like the direct sun as it can burn the leaves, though a position with bright, indirect light is ideal. In such a location, the deep green leaves with yellow and red markings will remain looking their best.
9. Satin Pothos
Like Golden pothos, satin pothos, or silver pothos, is another good choice for areas that don’t get much sun. These vines can also cope with a somewhat dimmer location, though they do best in bright but indirect light when you will get the best leaf color. Like other types of pothos, these are relatively low-maintenance houseplants that can be good for beginners as well as those with more houseplant experience.
10. Snake Plant
Snake plants, Dracaena trifasciata, (called Sansevieria trifasciata until 2017) are easy-to-grow evergreen perennials with long, pointed leaves. They can be tucked away in darker corners away from windows and other sources of natural light. Even the least green-fingered will find this a plant that is difficult to kill, as it can thrive on neglect and won’t need much sun or much water to do just fine.
11. Spider Plant
Most people are familiar with this houseplant, Chlorophytum comosum, commonly known as the spider plant, if they are familiar with any houseplants at all. This extremely popular plant for growing indoors is so popular for many reasons but largely because it is so tolerant of a range of conditions and so easy to grow. It is a plant that does not require much care and like the other plants on this list, it thrives even in low-light conditions.
12. ZZ Plant
ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is another particularly easy and unfussy houseplant to grow. It can technically survive with just artificial light which is why it can be grown even in windowless offices and in other windowless rooms. It is prized for its tolerance to low light and to low water availability. Its shiny, wide leaves and architectural form also make it popular in a range of settings.
Of course, the plants listed above are not the only options. But if you are looking for a plant that can cope with low light conditions then you should find that these houseplants are among the best options to begin with and one of them could make a great addition to your shady space.