Indoor Plants That Need Low Light

Although most plants thrive with several hours of bright light every day, there are a surprising number of plants that prefer low light. Keep in mind that low-light plants still require a minimal amount of sunlight. If the area provides enough natural light to allow you to read a book, there is probably adequate light to grow a healthy low-light plant.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) is a slow-growing plant with variegated leaves in shades of green with red, pink, silver or creamy white markings, depending on the variety. Chinese evergreen thrives in low light and requires very little maintenance. Allow the soil to dry between each watering, and fertilize the plant with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once every month during spring and summer.

Snake Plant

Sansevieria, more commonly known as snake plant because of the plant's stiff upright foliage that grows up to 4 feet tall, is an ideal plant for low-light areas. Snake plant isn't fussy, and will thrive in nearly any condition, but it won't tolerate a chilly room below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or overwatering. Water snake plant sparingly, and allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering.


Aspidistra is often known as the cast iron plant because of its ability to withstand not only low light, but neglect. Aspidistra is an attractive plant with wide, green, sword-shaped leaves that will bleach out if the plant is exposed to too much sunlight. Aspidistra does best in semi-dry soil. Although fertilizer is optional, the plant will benefit from a monthly feeding with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer.

Rubber Plant

With its huge, showy leaves, rubber plant is an adaptable plant that will grow in either low light or full sun. However, don't move rubber plant suddenly from sun to shade, or from a cool room to a hot room, as the plant will often respond by dropping its leaves. Keep the soil evenly moist, but never allow the pot to stand in water.

Keywords: Chinese evergreen, rubber tree, indoor plants, low light

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.