How to Grow Low-Light Indoor House Plants


House plants add color and texture to interior spaces and bring nature indoors. Many house plants are tropical, and they all have different growing requirements, depending on the species. Water, humidity, fertilizer, temperature and light levels all contribute to healthy indoor plants.

Step 1

Determine the light levels in the areas where you would like to place house plants. The University of Rhode Island Extension identifies low-light areas as those without direct light, which is defined as an area 10 or more feet away from windows.

Step 2

Choose a plant that is well adapted to growing in low light. Maidenhair ferns, Chinese evergreen, cast-iron plant, parlor palms, bamboo palms and English ivy, among other varieties, are excellent choices for growing in low light.

Step 3

Purchase low-light houseplants from a reputable garden center or nursery in your area. Grocery stores sometimes offer houseplants in their floral departments. Botanical gardens and college botany departments also often have public-plant sales where good specimens are available and inexpensive.

Step 4

Place your low-light houseplant away from direct light. Water and fertilize the plant as appropriate for the species. Most low-light plants do well in well-drained commercial potting soil, and they like monthly feedings of dilute houseplant fertilizer.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place a low-light houseplant out in the sun, thinking a little light is good for it once in a while. Low-light plants burn quickly in the sun, especially if previously grown only in low-light conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Humidifier (optional)


  • University of Rhode Island Extension: Growing Conditions for Indoor Plants
  • University of Vermont Extension: Low Light Houseplants
Keywords: low-light indoor plants, low-light house plants, low-light interior plants

About this Author

Marie Roberts is a freelance writer based in north central Florida. She has a B.S. in horticultural sciences from the University of Florida. Roberts began writing in 2002 and is published in the "Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society."