Indoor Plants That Require Little Light

A number of indoor plants can thrive in a low light. Low-light areas are places where there is no direct sunlight but still receive enough light to read by during the day. This is usually about 8 feet away from a window in the summer. Because they receive less light, which slows photosynthesis down, these plants tend to grow more slowly than other plants. These plants are typically a little bit hardier, too.

Chinese Evergreen

The Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) grows 2 feet tall with 8-inch-long leaves. Leaves may be solid green or variegated. They prefer temperatures above 60 degrees F and soil that is barely moist. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Leaves tend to attract dust, and may need more frequent cleaning than other plants. Chinese evergreens can have problems with mealy bugs and scale.


Two ferns known for having a lower light requirement are the Rochford holly or Japanese (Cyrtomium falcatum) and maidenhair (Adiantum spp.). Both ferns grow about one to two feet high with a similar width. They also like areas high in humidity and should not be allowed to dry out between waterings. Maidenhair ferns prefer temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees F. Rochford Holly ferns prefer slightly cooler temperatures.

Cast Iron Plant

The cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) got its name because it is tough and hard to kill. As such, it is one of the best plants for low light conditions. It will also tolerate lower temperatures, down to 50 degrees F, and infrequent waterings. Mealy bugs, mites and scale can be a problem for this plant. When grown under optimal conditions, this plant can reach heights of 3 feet.

Peace Lily

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.) will adapt to low-light conditions, but will require medium-light levels if you want it to flower. They can grow anywhere from 1 to 6 feet tall, with a similar width. Soil should be kept consistently moist, although it will tolerate low humidity. Keep it in a room with temperatures above 55 degrees F.


While most philodendrons prefer medium light levels, the splitleaf (Philodendron pertusum) and heartleaf (Philodendron oxycardium) will do well in low light. The splitleaf philodendron can grow up 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It enjoys temperatures above 60 degrees F and lots of humidity. Heartleaf philodendrons are climbing plants; their vines can reach 6 feet in length. In both cases, the soil should be kept moist but not soggy and not allowed to dry out between waterings.

Keywords: low light plants, low light houseplants, low light levels

About this Author

Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries.