The Best Low Light Indoor Plants

Plants can add warmth and beauty to nearly any indoor environment. However, almost all indoor plants need a certain amount of light in order to grow and thrive. Low light areas include areas that are 8 to 10 feet away from a sunny window, in a hallway or near a window that is shaded by trees or buildings. If you live in an environment that's short on sunshine, don't give up on the idea of growing leafy, green plants.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) is a durable, bushy indoor plant that can grow to heights of 3 feet tall at maturity and can spread out equally as far. Depending on the species, the attractive foliage of the Chinese evergreen can be light or dark green or may be variegated silvery-gray. Although Chinese evergreen prefers warm temperatures, it will tolerate temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


Sansevieria (Snake plant), appropriately named for its tall, sword-shaped leaves, is a versatile plant that will thrive in both low light and bright sunlight. Although sansavieria will tolerate low light and is nearly indestructible, it won't survive excessive watering and needs watering only occasionally. Plant sanseviera in a sturdy pot, as the roots grow rapidly and can break a fragile container.


Pothos, also known as golden pathos or devil's ivy, is a perfect plant not only for low-light conditions, but for novice or forgetful gardeners. Pothos can survive if the soil is occasionally allowed to dry out and should be watered only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. With its shiny, heart-shaped leaves, pothos does well in hanging containers or can be trained to climb around a pole or trellis.


Aspidistra, also known as cast iron plant, is aptly named for its ability to survive low light conditions, as well as cool temperatures, drafts and occasional neglect. However, aspidistra, which can grow to heights of 2 feet tall, will look its best if it's kept in warm daytime temperatures at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and when the soil is kept moist but not soggy. Dust the big leaves occasionally to keep them bright and shiny.

Keywords: low light indoor plants, indoor plants, sansevieria, Chinese evergreen, apidistra

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.