The Best Indoor Shade Plants

Most indoor shade plants require reduced light, humidity of 70 percent or more, a warm environment and ample water. The soil should be a mix of peat moss, perlite, charcoal and wood chips along with coarse sand. The pot should have good drainage to ensure water doesn't accumulate.

Holly Fern

The holly fern (Cyrtomium Falcatum) is a tropical shade plant that fits the bill well with its stiff leaves and survives under low light. The bold, glossy green leaves along with its leathery foliage make it an ideal interior decorative plant. It should be planted in organic soil and watered regularly during drier seasons. For best results, add a good amount of compost to the soil. As winter season starts to wither away ferns, cut the leaves to allow fresh foliage to grow.

Kentia Palm

As indoor plants, kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) will be a novel sight as its features make it look like a tiny coconut tree. Indirect light will be a better option for kentia palm plants. Spread watering entirely over the root ball. The root ball should not be kept moist for a prolonged time in order to prevent rotting, especially during the winter season. Less watering, too, will affect this plant. While pruning, select only the leaves and not the frond.


Known as the Chinese Evergreen plant, aglaonema requires very little light to sustain itself. The aglaonema family has numerous varieties. Leaves come in different colors that grow slowly. As a result, watering should be sparse. Soil should be just about moist and the plant doesn't require any fertilizers for growth. However, keep the plant well-watered during the summer. Liquid feed every two weeks is good for the plant's growth. Regular pruning keeps this plant well-maintained.


This indoor shade plant goes by the name "Cast Iron Plant." The hard leaves of aspidistra can withstand most negligence, such as less watering and maintenance. But if it's tended to properly, the growth will be in line with the efforts. Administering liquid fertilizers every two months ensures a satisfactory growth of this plant. Regular applications of fungicides protects against rust disease, a concern for this type of plant.

Keywords: indoor shade plants, shade plants, indoor plants

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Devin Dupre-Neary has a bachelor's degree in nursing from UC Davis. Rather than move towards a master's or work in a hospital, he chose a different route. In 2009, he wrote professionally, part-time, writing articles on a host of subjects from health issues to gardening.