It’s nice to let the sun shine in from time to time, but some (or all) aspects of our homes might not get to do so. Most of the time, a lack of natural light can be remedied with lamps and other lights, but many houseplants require direct sunlight to thrive. The simple solution is to place plants that do not require sunlight in the rooms that lack sunlight.
For spots in a room that need touches of green, but do not receive enough direct sunlight, low-light houseplants are ideal. Indirect light is a prerequisite for all the above plants to thrive along with artificial light for the majority of them.
Here’s a guide to finding the perfect greenery for your home without needing to use the sun.
Plants That Require No Sunlight
Bright pops of color are the trademark of bromeliads, which are tropical plants. Plants with a tropical feel and unique appearance make great houseplants. Depending on the species, bromeliads look best on shelves, tabletops or even on the floor.
A majority of bromeliad species prefer indirect sunlight as opposed to direct sunlight. Indirect light occurs when the sun does not directly hit the plant. A direct light example is if your plant is outside under the sun or if you place it next to an open window with the sun shining directly on it. Bromeliad leaves can be damaged by prolonged exposure to full sun. Ideally, you should not put it directly in front of a window, but give it plenty of space. When natural light is unavailable, bromeliads can also thrive on fluorescent lighting.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Among the many indoor plants that do not require sunlight are Chinese evergreen plants. If you’re new to caring for houseplants, it’s said to be a good plant to start with. Chinese evergreens produce flowers that resemble calla lilies and look best when placed next to furniture and in open areas of the home. Chinese evergreens are compact enough for desk, tabletop, and shelf decor. Chinese evergreen plants are also on NASA’s list of air-purifying houseplants, so they are easy to care for and healthy for your home.
Depending on the color of its leaves, the Chinese evergreen has specific sun needs. If your plant has darker leaves, it prefers low light. Varieties with lighter-colored leaves, such as pink or orange, prefer medium lighting. Chinese evergreens should not be placed in direct sunlight, as many of the other plants on this list suffer from scorched leaves.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Cast iron plants are also known as iron plants due to their hardiness. Plants of this type can survive a wide range of conditions, making them a top choice for busy gardeners and black thumbs. This plant’s lush green leaves are perfect for accentuating any corner of a room that needs a touch of nature.
Cast iron plants are low-light plants that can grow almost anywhere in your home. They are slow to grow, but they are also extremely hard to kill. To prevent their leaves from turning brown or scorched, they must be kept away from direct sunlight. Wipe the leaves of your cast iron plant once a week with a damp cloth to keep dust off. A clean leaf allows it to more easily absorb the sun’s rays and its nutrients.
In your home, the dracaena is an easy-to-care-for houseplant. Many varieties of this plant are available, and they look great on shelves, tabletops, and on floors. The larger varieties, such as the dracaena massangeana, have a tree-like appearance and look great on floors.
Dracaenas do best in bright, indirect light, but can survive in low to medium light if necessary. Also, Dracaena plants are excellent air-purifying plants that can remove toxins from your home. You can read more about how to take care of your dracaena in our dracaena care guide.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Mother-in-law’s tongue is another name for snake plants. This nickname may have originated from the sharp point of the leaves. As a result of its striped color, it earned its name as a snake plant. These plants are tall and hardy enough to withstand forgetful plant parents. Even with a few weeks of neglect, snake plants can maintain their impressive appearance. Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, but prefer indirect lighting. It’s important to let their soil dry between waterings because they easily rot. Learn more about snake plant care in our snake plant care guide.
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Both homes and offices are often decorated with dumb canes, which are beautiful plants. This plant is poisonous in all parts, thus the name dumb canes. Therefore, this plant should be kept away from children and pets. It can cause swelling and other problems if eaten, and it can cause itching if its sap comes in contact with the skin. The danger from this plant is minimized when handled properly with minimal contact.
Depending on the species, dumb canes can thrive in low and high filtered light. Sunlight that is filtered is sunlight that shines through something else, such as a sheer curtain or a window. Despite the ability to survive on low filtered light, some species may not continue to grow depending on their variety. Check the species of your dumb cane to see what type of light it prefers.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Climbing plants like English ivy can transform any drab wall into a beautiful work of art. In addition to trellises, fences, and other places where it can grow, ivy is wonderful. If you grow from seed, however, keep in mind that the vines will take a couple of years to grow.
Despite its preference for bright indirect light, English ivy can tolerate low light. Ivy’s leaves will display a beautiful color the more light it receives. Direct light, however, can cause it to die. Some other ivy varieties, such as the pothos listed below, do well in indirect light and shady spots.