House Plants That Tolerate Low Light

During the shorter winter months, many gardeners turn to their house plants to maintain their green thumbs. Low-light house plants survive with artificial lighting and very little to no natural sunlight. While the house plants listed in this article all have different lighting requirements, they all adapt readily to low-light conditions.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) is a perennial herb belonging to the Araceae family. Native to the Philippines and Malaysia, this plant typically grows to between 1 and 3 feet in both height and width. Chinese evergreen leaves are glossy, light or dark green leaves with silver-gray markings. The flowers are non-showy and generally don't bloom indoors. This plant prefers warm room temperatures and should be kept out of any cold drafts.

Rubber Plant

Rubber plants (Ficus elastica), sometimes called India rubber trees or fig trees, are broadleaf evergreen trees or shrubs native to Southeast Asia. Rubber plants commonly reach 10 to 12 feet tall indoors. The leaves are glossy, thick, leathery and dark green with pink to purple stipules. The leaves reach up to 1 foot in length and 5 inches in width. The rubber plant does well in average to warm temperatures.

Snake Plant

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata), also called mother-in-law's tongue, is a stemless perennial plant native to the dry regions of west Africa. Snake plants reach heights of 4 feet and spreads of 1 foot. The blossoms are nocturnally fragrant and greenish-white in color, but usually won't bloom indoors. The erect, pointed leaves are light green-gray with horizontal stripes. Snake plants tolerate warm to cool environments.

Peace Lily

Peace lily plants (Spathiphyllum wallisii) are herbaceous perennials indigenous to the American tropics. House plants reach heights of 2 feet and spreads of 5 feet. Peace lily plants have dark green leaves on long stems. The pure white flowers turn green after about 10 days and hold their color for at least 30 days longer. This plant thrives in average to warm indoor temperatures.

Cast Iron Plant

Cast iron plants (Aspidistra elatior) are herbaceous perennials belonging to the lily family (Liliaceae). Native to Japan and China, this plant got its name because it can survive significant environmental abuse. This stemless evergreen plant grows up to 3 feet high and bears arching, dark green leaves. Houseplants occasionally bloom creamy purple flowers in the spring.

Parlor Palm

Parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are evergreen trees native to the rain forests of Guatemala and Mexico. House plants typically grow to between 4 and 8 feet in height. Parlor palms have showy, bright green stems and green leaves about 8 inches long. These palm trees blossom occasionally throughout the year with white, non-showy flowers. Parlor palms are susceptible to scales, nematodes and mites when grown indoors.

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About this Author

Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like and, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.