Get rid of the idea that succulents require full sunlight to thrive.
It’s not hard to find succulents that do well in low light.
Most succulents prefer bright indirect light rather than full sun. However, we introduce a succulent that thrives in sun-deprived rooms.
This makes them a good choice for residents of apartments and people who have limited garden space.
Therefore, even if you have filled all your bright, sunny areas inside, you can still grow these low light succulents and cacti in areas that don’t get as much light.
Here are 17 easy-to-grow, low-light succulents that don’t require much light to thrive, that I will discuss in this article (I’ve also listed their individual growing requirements and fun facts about some of them).
Let me first explain what “low-light conditions” are.
Basically, direct sunlight occurs when the sun is not obstructed from reaching the plant, which usually occurs outdoors.
Even in bright and sunny locations, most light can be considered “indirect” once indoors.
The term “low-light” is used to describe areas away from window sills, such as a dining room table or a shelf against a far wall.
Bright, filtered light is not low-light. Low-light areas tend to be north-facing or in rooms that are darkened by outside shadows from trees or other buildings.
Filtered Light Can Be Used In A Bright Area (Outdoors Under A Tree or Indoors on A Window Sill). Or Filtered Light Can Be Used In A Low-Light Area That Does Not Get Direct Sunlight During The Day.
Low-light does not mean “no light”
Be warned though… collecting these beauties is addicting (speaking from experience LOL!). The upside is that soon you will have pups and the initial investment is well worth it.
I am keeping this article simple by sticking to familiar names and adding the new ones between brackets.
You may need to supply your plants with 6 – 10 hours of light when they are grown in rooms without any windows.
As a final tip, if you are displaying succulents in low-light conditions, moving them to a place that gets brighter, filtered light can be beneficial. Or you could set up an area with a grow light or two.
You can boost your plants’ growth with additional light every now and then to prevent them from looking pale and scraggly.
Do this during the growth phase of low-light succulents. Now that we have shed a little light on the issue, here’s the LIST!
17 Stylish Low Light Succulents And Cacti For Growing Indoors
Aloes, Haworthias And Gasterias
Each of these genera are closely related, allowing for the creation of rare hybrids.
If you are a collector, there is no doubt that buying some of the hybrid species is worth the initial extra cost. Hybrids are even more resistant to low-light than the pure species.
The aloe family includes dwarf and miniature species that grow no bigger than 5 cm, as well as trees over 10 meters in length!
Succulents can be propagated easier than plants with pups (see How to Propagate Succulents).
It has been controversial to change the names and restructure the taxonomy of certain aloes and haworthias.
Look for Gasteraloes, a hybrid of gasteria and aloe, which thrives in low light conditions. Look out for Gasteraloes, a hybrid of gasteria and aloe.
1. Aloe Vera (Medicinal Aloe, Barbados Aloe)
The thick, fleshy green leaves inside this aloe are filled with healing properties. Their gel is by far the most popular and well-known aloe.
General Care for Aloe vera
- Light – Bright, filtered light to thrive. Indoor lights will retain its freshness and flesh.
- Water – You should water it once a week, letting it dry in between.
- Soil – Well-drained
- Feeding – During the summer, use organic liquid fertilizer containing seaweed. Feed every two weeks.
- Humidity/Temperature – Aloes prefer a dry climate, so there is no need for extra humidity. In winter, cooler temperatures are preferred with a minimum of 10°C (50°F).
- Decor tip – Plant a trailing and rosette succulent species in a mixed planter at eye level in a pot on the sill.
2. Aloe Variegata (Partridge-Breasted Aloe, Gonialoe Variegata)
The leaves are spiraled in three ranks, with coral-colored flowers in late winter, early spring. The flowers are borne in tubular clusters. This plant does well in low-light areas and requires very little care. When it blooms, it adds a lovely subtle ambiance to a room or desk.
General Care for Aloe variegata
- Light – The best light source for growing is low light or filtered light.
- Water – In the summer, provide plenty of water during growing phase. In the winter, give less.
- Soil – Well-drained
- Feeding – During active growth phase, feed every two weeks with standard liquid fertilizer.
- Humidity/Temperature – A lower winter temperature of 12°C (55°F) is ideal for this aloe because it tolerates dry climates.
- Decor tip – It will brighten up any low-light area with its foliage and flowers. Display it in an attractive ceramic or clay pot on a ledge, sill or mantle. Ideal for the office or work desk.
3. Aloe Aristata (Lace Aloe, Aristaloe Aristata)
This small aloe produces dense rosettes with raised white spots, and has a very attractive appearance.
General Care for Lace Aloe
- Light – Enjoys low-light or filtered light, keep out of direct sunlight.
- Water – Water once a week, allow to dry out between waterings. Water less in winter.
- Soil – Well-drained
- Feeding – Every two weeks with standard liquid fertilizer, only during active growth phase.
- Humidity/Temperature – Tolerates dry air well. Likes cool winter temps and can go as low as 7°C (45°F).
- Decor tip – Leave offshoots to mature on plant so that a beautiful, spreading clump forms. Display on desk or in bare, low-light corner of a room.
4. Haworthia Margaritifera (Pearl Plant, Tulista Pumila)
In the midsummer, the foliage has greenish-white tubular flowers on long flower stalks splattered with raised white bumps. The leaf surfaces are fleshy, dark green with irregular bumps scattered liberally throughout the leaves.
General Care for Haworthia margaritifera
- Light – Low-light or filtered light
- Water – Moderate water in summer, Water sparingly in winter.
- Soil – If you grow this plant in a soil-based potting mix, feeding is unnecessary.
- Humidity/Temperature – Normal room temperature is good but provide winter rest period at around 10°C (50°F). It likes high humidity so stand the pot on a tray of moist pebbles.
- Decor tip – Great in clay pots to cheer up dark corners and shelves. Or place in arrangement with an assortment of small, individual pots of varying shapes, heights and colors.
5. Haworthia Attenuata (Haworthia Fasciata, Zebra Plant)
This species is less common. There is a slight difference between the two species, and it is easy to buy a plant that has been mislabeled. H. fasciata has an inner leaf that is smoother.
Its outer leaves appear like stripes, hence the name Zebra plant, because both plants have white tubercles.
There are rosettes and clumps on this plant, giving it a pot-appealing appearance.
General Care for Haworthia attenuata “Zebra plant”
- Light – Low-light or indirect, filtered light although they do grow well in sunny outdoor areas if they are watered well.
- Water – Don’t over water and always give less water in the dormant growth phase which is during winter months
- Soil – Use a soil based potting mix if you prefer not to feed.
- Feeding – If the growing medium is not soil based, feed fortnightly with a standard liquid fertilizer. Only feed in active growth period
- Humidity/Temperature – Likes humidity.Stand in a pebbled tray and keep pebbles moist.Can take winter temperatures as low as10°C (50°F)
- Decor tip – Stand alone or group with other pots. Adds contrast to mixed arrangements.
6. Gasteria Bicolor Var.Liliputana
There is something adorable about its chubby leaves. Its dark green leaves are variegated with bumpy white centers and bumpy white margins all around.
A 4″ pot can be filled with it to begin with.
Its leaves grow to only a maximum of 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.
When it eventually begins producing pups, it can be split into individual pots and planted, or it can be potted as a whole, into a decorative ceramic or clay pot, where it will make an attractive display with its little offshoots.
General Care for Gasteria bicolor
- Light – Low-light or filtered light.
- Water – Let pot dry out between waterings
- Soil – Well drained. Grows in rock crevices in its natural habitat
- Feeding – Will benefit from regular feeding during the growth phase.
- Humidity/Temperature – Can take moderate frost.
- Decor Tip – Looks great in rockeries. Plant into a shell or piece of driftwood.
7. Gasteraloe “Green Ice” Hybrid
One of the many gasteria x aloe hybrids, this plant tolerates low light well. The requirements are the same as for the G. bicolor.
Adding it to the list makes it easier for would-be collectors to begin their collection online. Thousands of varieties are now available online, so it is easier for collectors to find what they need wherever they are.
Rarer species are hard to find in local garden shops.
It’s important to make sure the plants arrive within seven to ten days if you buy these plants online.
This will put the health of the plant in jeopardy (because it will most likely arrive bare-rooted).
General Care for Gasteraloe “Green Ice”
- Light – Prefers low-light or indirect filtered light. If it appears to start losing it’s variegated effect then move it to a better lit area. This applies to all variegated plants.
- Water – Water sparingly but do give it a good soak through. Water even less in winter.
- Soil – Well-drained sand or loam. You can add 1 part leaf mold to 1 part sand and 1 part loam.
- Feeding – Not needed if using a mix like the one I mention here.
- Humidity/Temperature – There is no need to provide extra humidity. It can take cooler temperatures in winter, just like the G. bicolor and the G. batesiana.
- Decor – Makes a good desk plant. Will add appeal to dark shelves in north-facing rooms or out on a patio or balcony. As long as it does not get direct sunlight this species will grow and flower in filtered light too.
8. Gasteria Batesiana ‘Variegata’ Or Ox-Tongue
G. batesiana is a larger species than G. bicolor or G. bicolor var. liliputana.
The leaves of G. bicolor are flat and appear opposite each other; they do not form a rosette. In contrast, G. batesiana has rough, triangular, lanceolate leaves, hence the common name, ox-tongue.
General Care for Gasteria batesiana ‘Variegata’
- Light – In the wild it thrives in shady spots, growing on step cliffs or between rocks. Indoors, low light is ideal.
- Water – Water moderately in summer months and much less in winter, during dormant growth phase.
- Soil – Sand or loam with added leaf mold is ideal
- Feeding – Only feed if you see the leaves turning a brown color, from the outer edge in. Use standard liquid nitrogen based fertilizer.
- Humidity – It may want some extra humidity in summer months. Use a mist spray or stand on a pebbled tray during hot months.
- Decor tip – In a pot on a north facing wall or room. Looks great displayed alongside other smaller succulents. Makes a striking appearance when potted in a white pot and placed in a spot with white or gray walls.
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