Indoor Shade Plants

Indoor shade plants liven up a shaded spot in the home with bright bursts of color. There is a wide range of low-light plants to help create your own indoor garden. Plants that prefer low light are typically happiest along a north- or east-facing window. Indoor plants also need a nutrient-laden potting soil to provide essential nutrients and proper drainage. Feed the indoor plants monthly with fertilizer and remove all dead or dried foliage to promote new growth.

Mother-in-Law's Tongue

This hardy perennial is an excellent shade plant to keep indoors. It is among one of the toughest of indoor houseplants and can withstand a dark or shaded niche indoors. The mother-in-law's tongue grows up to 4 feet tall with small, white and fragrant flowers. The stiff, long leathery leaves are dark green and fringed with cream or white. Mother-in-law's tongue is striking clustered together along an indoor shelf or shaded windowsill.

Cast-Iron Plant

The cast-iron plant is a tough and hardy indoor plant, as its name implies. Cast-iron plants survive under low-light conditions as well as extreme temperatures. With an upright shape and course foliage, the plant is slow growing and drought-tolerant. The cast-iron plant bears long, dark green foliage that grows up to 2 feet tall. When in bloom, the cast-iron flower is brown-purple in color and contrasts nicely with the green foliage. Some cast-iron plants are variegated and have white stripes that shoot down the length of the leaves.

Asparagus Fern

This fern-like perennial has cascading, arching leaves that are bright green in color. Asparagus ferns are able to grow in low light conditions. The needle-like branches of the asparagus fern are very narrow and have bell-shaped yellow-green flowers. The asparagus is well-suited to growth in a container placed along a shaded windowsill or along a kitchen shelf for a bright burst of color to the space.


The philodendron is an indoor climbing houseplant that has dark green glossy leaves. This creeping plant cascades down a plant stand. The leaves of some types of philodendron are heart-shaped, while others have long, narrow leaves. The flowers come in a wide range of colors including pink, red, purple and white. The thick leaf stalks are fuzzy and covered in green hairs.

Emerald Star

The emerald star is an ideal indoor plant for poorly lit spaces. The evergreen bark bears green leaves that are up to 1-½ feet long and 5 inches wide. These lovely plants grow in clumps up to 2 to 3 feet tall. The upright shape of the emerald star makes it an attractive, long-lasting centerpiece for the dining room table.

Keywords: indoor shade plants, mother-in-law's tongue, cast-iron plant, asparagus fern, creeping philodendron, emerald star

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.