The Best Low Light House Plants

Plants for low light will thrive in lack of direct sun, or outright shade--this type of plant is successfully grown as a house plant. Container plants that work in indoor low light situations will feature the designation of "partial shade" or "full shade" when purchased at a garden center.

Needle Palm

Rhapidophyllum hystrix, the botanical name for the needle palm, is an evergreen palm. It is a plant fine for containers, indoor growth, and for wet areas in the garden. Needle palms are part of the Arecacea/Palmae, or palm, family. It gets to 6 feet tall with "needles" reaching 4 to 10 inches long in dark brown or black. Leaves are 4 feet long with deep green tops and white bottoms. Flowers are very tiny and yellow or purple-brown in the spring and summer seasons. Plant a needle palm in a shady spot with moist, well-drained soil. It does fine indoors. Propagate by clump division or by their seeds.

Wandering Jew

Tradescantia zebrina, the botanical name for the plant known as the Wandering Jew, is an easy and fast-growing perennial. It is good for indoor use and for containers too. Wandering Jew is part of the Commelinaceae, or spiderwort, family. Leaves are 3 inches long and hairy. Leaves are typically variegated. Plant a wandering Jew in rich soil in bright shade or in semi-shade. Propagate via stem cuttings or by seed.

Asparagus Fern

Protasparagus densiflorus, the botanical name for the asparagus fern, is an easy and fast-growing evergreen perennial. It is a plant good for containers and for use indoors. Asparagus fern is part of the Liliaceae, or lily, family. Stems are 2 to 6 feet long and feathery. The plant can get 2 to 3 feet tall with white flowers and red berries. Plant this in partial shade with no direct sun. Water it regularly. Propagate via root mass division or by seed.

Creeping Fig

Ficus pumila, the botanical name for the creeping fig, is an evergreen, drought-tolerant vine. It is good for containers, shady spots in the garden, and for indoor use. Creeping fig is part of the Moraceae, or mulberry, family. Small heart shaped leaves adorn the vine. Fruits are figs, pale green, and 3 inches long. The vine can climb up to 3 to 4 stories. Plant a creeping fig in any soil, sun to shade. Propagate via cuttings or by layers.

Partridge Berry

Mitchella repens, the botanical name for the partridge berry, is an evergreen fragrant perennial. It is good for shady spots, for indoor use, and for container gardening. Partridge berry is from the Rubiaceae, or madder, family. It has dark green leaves under and inch long. A ground hugger, it never rises over 2 inches tall. Funnel-shaped pink/white flowers appear in summer. Red berries are edible, but not good tasting. Plant a partridge berry in acidic soil in dappled to partial shade. Propagate by seeds or stem rootings.

Keywords: low light house plants, house plants that prefer shade, plants for low light

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.