Sometimes it can be difficult to find plants capable of surviving on a little less light if you live in a small apartment or house without much light or have no more space to place pots on your windowsill. Don’t despair, however, because they are out there!
Although all plants need light, this list contains 8 species that require less light than average.
A ‘no light’ plant doesn’t exist. All plants require some amount of light. You can measure light with a light meter app on your phone.
If light levels are drastically below 50-200 foot-candles, you might need to invest in grow lights to keep these plants happy.
Sansevieria (snake plant)
In addition to the snake plant (also pictured at the top of this article), salvia is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue.
The Sansevieria genus contains a number of different species, including my personal favorite, Sansevieria cylindrica, and is relatively easy to care for, especially in low-light conditions.
It’s often caused by overwatering, and in general, ‘loving it to death’ for this plant.
Put drainage holes in your Sansevieria’s pots and use well-draining soil. The first time you water, soak the soil deeply and drain any excess water. Then, don’t water again until it has dried out quite a bit to prevent the roots from rotting.
Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant)
A perfect office plant for its low light requirements, beauty, and easy care, the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is the ZZ plant.
This species prefers being neglected and tolerates excess watering better than Sansevieria. Nevertheless, some care requirements should be kept in mind to ensure your ZZ plant looks its absolute best.
If the soil is moist and the plant is getting plenty of light, you can water the plants once a week or twice a week during summer. Winter watering needs are even lower. Do not overwater: this plant would not appreciate wet soil. Whenever watering the plant, always make sure it has absorbed all the water from the previous watering before adding more water.
You might not be seeing any growth at all on your ZZ plant because the amount of light in its current location is not adequate. Moving the plant or using grow lights will likely be the solution to this problem.
Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia sp.)
Easy to care for and with sturdy patterned foliage, Dieffenbachias are ideal beginners plants. Besides being beautiful, members of this genus are also easy to grow and do not require a sunny window sill to thrive. As long as they do get some light, they’ll do just fine a few feet away from the window.
There are a number of different Dieffenbachia available, all of which have different leaf patterns. If you like foliage and need some fresh greenery in your home, this is the plant for you.
Make sure the soil drains well and has moisture-retaining elements, such as sphagnum moss; containerized African violet mix is fine. It is a pretty enthusiastic grower, so don’t forget to apply some fertiliser during the growing season. Keep the soil lightly moist.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Usually referred to as Devil’s Ivy or Pothos, Epipremnum aureum is a common sight at shopping centers and restaurants. And for good reason!
You can propagate this plant very easily, it is decorative, and it will grow above average under less than ideal lighting conditions. You will only need a good watering when the tops of the soil get dry and some light for it to thrive.
Since Pothos is vining, it is ideal for hanging baskets. The hanging baskets come in handy when there is limited room in your windowsills. Another option is to allow the plant to grow upwards on a plant totem or attached to the wall, resulting in larger foliage and a completely different look. Keeping pothos cuttings alive for indefinite periods in a vase of water is also an option, however it may not work for everyone.
Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Aspidistra elatior, also known as the cast iron plant, is another super low light plant. In contrast to the other plants on this list, cast iron plants aren’t as popular for their flowers as they are for their lush, glossy green foliage (or, if it’s available, variegated type).
It has a strong hardiness, making it a perfect houseplant even though it typically grows outdoors in gardens.
Soil moisture needs to dry after a summer watering, and watering frequency and amount should decrease during the winter.
A ZZ plant is known for its slow growth rate, especially in low light conditions, and the cast iron plant is no different. It shouldn’t deter you, however. Unless the plant doesn’t shed any new growth all year round, it’s probably fine.
When you think it’s not doing well, you can move it to a brighter spot, but remember it doesn’t love to be directly exposed to sunlight.