There is no need to include plants in every corner and nook of your home just because it can’t be perfectly lit. Shade-loving houseplants include flowering plants, large ferns, small succulents, indoor palms, and a wide variety of greenery. Hanging plants have been shown to decrease carbon monoxide levels and improve air quality, including air quality in your home’s interior. They can also improve emotional and psychological wellbeing.
These 15 indoor plants need little light to thrive.
Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
Known as an American tropic plant, the rattlesnake plant or red-veined prayer thrives in greenhouse-like conditions with high humidity, warmth, and gentle airflow, as well as in warm, filtered water.
Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
Oftentimes, a sago palm reaches flowering age in only one year, so they make excellent houseplants since they do not require repotting. As a result, sago palm propagation can take years if you manage to propagate them to adulthood at home. Sago palms are extremely poisonous and should not be kept near children or pets. Sago palms are an extremely ancient plant that is known to have co-existed with dinosaurs hundreds of millions of years ago.
Jewel Orchid (Ludisia discolor)
Jewel orchids are native to Southeast Asia, northern India, and China, and have large, velvety reddish-green leaves and white flowers. In contrast to other varieties of orchids, this plant thrives in shade, as well as high humidity, and thrives in bathrooms with their smoky air and fluorescent lighting.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
With their sharp, angular leaves with yellow and green stripes typical, snake plants are one of the easiest houseplants to care for. Snake plants have a slow to moderate growth rate and propagate via underground stems that appear with new growth. Snake plants do well in the humidity of the home and also prefer a room-temperature environment.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia seguine)
With its thick, large leaves featuring patterns of green and yellow, the dumb cane has been one of the most popular houseplants dating back to the Victorian era. A perennial perennial native to the Caribbean and South America, the plant reaches heights of 10-12 feet outdoors, though it rarely reaches that size indoors.
The plant is toxic, producing sap that causes swelling of the throat and tongue when ingested — leading to why it’s nicknamed dumb cane.
Red Peacock Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema widuri)
A red peacock plant is native to tropical and subtropical European and Asian regions. It has shiny, brightly colored leaves that contrast with its red stems. As a tropical plant, this houseplant thrives in warm and humid conditions. This plant is toxic and must be kept away from children and pets.
Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)
A native of Central and South America, arrowhead plants get their name from distinctive leaves resembling arrowheads. Especially as they age, these plants tend to vine, making them ideal for tall planters and hanging baskets. However, they can also be trimmed to maintain their shape. The arrowhead plant thrives in humid climates with plenty of water, but should not be exposed to the direct sunlight because of a poisonous but not lethal sap that causes skin irritation when handled.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
While it shares its name with the lily family, the peace lily belongs to a broader family of houseplants that includes the philodendron and the alocasia. The peace lilies are tropical herbaceous perennials native to Central America that grow up to 3 feet tall indoors. Groups of peace lilies will often produce impressive arrangements.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
House plants native to Central and South America called parlor palms are popular shade-tolerant houseplants. In addition to being tolerant of low light, these palms require minimal watering, making them a great plant for beginners. Because of their bamboo-like stems, parlor palms are also sometimes called bamboo palms, and they bear inedible fruits (though this is rare indoors).
Lucky Bamboo (Dracena sanderiana)
Lucky bamboo is known as a nearly indestructible houseplant and can grow in water alone. This plant is highly prized for its energy in feng shui, with its hollow interior and flexibility representing adaptability in facing hardship as well as openness of the spirit within. Growing lucky bamboo in water requires that the water be changed periodically, and it should occasionally receive a bit of liquid fertilizer, and with enough water in the container for the roots to be completely covered. These plants are safe for humans, but harmful to small pets.
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
A Platycerium fern’s fronds resemble the shape of antlers, which is why they are called elkhorn or staghorn ferns. Normally found growing on trees and rocks in tropical and temperate regions of South America, Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia, these ferns prefer to be mounted on substrate, where they root and absorb nutrients, not through soil, but through their fronds.
Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum)
A native of Central and South America, anthuriums are particularly prized for their attractive blooms which they grow on other plants. They have open, heart-shaped flowers that stay vibrant for months, making them a popular houseplant. Please remember that if the plant is kept in very low light, it will flower less frequently and grow slower. It should be kept away from pets and children.
Bromeliad (Nidularium innocentii)
Houseplants of the bromeliad family come in various species, and some are more demanding of light than others. In contrast to its less shade-tolerant relatives, the species nidularium prefers lower light levels and softer, more pliable leaves. One of the tropical perennials’ leaves turns bright pink or crimson when the flowers are in bloom.
Bush Lily (Clivia miniata)
The clivia, also known as bush lilies, bloom in vibrant reds and oranges and prefer indirect light and shade. Plants of this tropical region are also drought tolerant once they establish their thick, water-retentive roots. By cutting back dead blossoms, the plant will not spend its energy on seeding. This plant is poisonous and should be handled carefully to keep pets and children away.
Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis)
Nerve plants are so named because they faint, or wilt dramatically, whenever they need water or get cold. Peruvian natives, they spread and provide ground cover, so they can tolerate shady areas. A trailing habit is a result of this, as well as the ability of the plant to cascade over the sides of planters. Many varieties have pink veins near the surface of leaves, which become less visible when the leaves receive less sunlight.
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