You may believe that you need a lot of sunlight and a green thumb to keep houseplants alive, but this is not always the case. There are numerous indoor plants that are simple to care for, forgiving, and low-light tolerant. Some also thrive in shadier environments, if you can believe it. If you haven’t yet been a full-fledged plant parent because you haven’t found the right low-maintenance greenery, you’ve come to the right spot. We’ve assembled a list of the best plant varieties that won’t want to share your already-overcrowded windowsill—or, at the very least, houseplants that can tolerate being in a shady corner of your room even if they prefer brighter conditions.
These indoor varieties are perfect for gardening beginners. Our top ten low-light houseplants thrive in unexpected conditions and are super easy to grow.
Chamaedorea elegans, also known as the neanthe bella palm or parlour palm, is a small palm tree found in the rainforests of southern Mexico and Guatemala. The parlour palm is one of the most common houseplant palms on the market. It is one of the species with xate-producing leaves. With its beautiful showy foliage, it’s a highly decorative plant.
Parlour palm houseplants prefer low light and can struggle in direct sunlight, so don’t put them in the brightest windows. They like a little light and will thrive near a window that receives any early morning or late afternoon light.
In a 15cm Gloss Black Milano Square Pot with White Spar topping, the parlour palm will grow up to 35-45cm (including pot height). And, like any other indoor herb, it will increase the oxygen content in your home through photosynthesis, serving as a natural air filter. The durability of this plant makes it suitable for first-time plant owners. What you really need to do is keep it in a light-shaded, sunny atmosphere at room temperature and water it on a regular basis. Remove any excess water. Do not allow to completely dry out. Fertilize sparingly.
Pothos (also known as Devil’s Ivy) is a common plant because it can be grown in both wet and dry soil. Cuttings from a mother plant may be taken and rooted in water. The plant gets its name from the fact that it grows vines even in the harshest conditions and has been dubbed the “James Bond of plants” due to its nearly impossible to kill. That can be a problem if it’s planted outdoors, where it can smother other plants, but it’s ideal for growing indoors.
They are also regarded as one of the best houseplants for eliminating all pollutants from the air. A great plant for the home or workplace that is also really convenient to care for. They can grow in the dark, but it is preferable to keep them in a good low light area away from direct sunlight. These plants range in length from 15cm to 60cm and come in a hanging plastic pot for this listing. Pothos does not like wet feet, and the soil should not be kept too damp. A Pothos could benefit from a good pruning every now and then – but only selectively.
Feed and water liberally between spring and fall, preferably allowing the compost to dry out slightly between waterings. Try a tin of leaf shine spray to give your foliage plants a shiny appearance.
However, be aware that the pothos plant is toxic and, although only moderately harmful in small amounts, can cause unpleasant and often fatal side effects in animals and humans. It may cause mouth burning, skin irritation, swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, vomiting, and diarrhoea in humans. As a result, it might not be the best choice if you have pets or toddlers who want to explore items by putting them in their mouths.
Aglaonema is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family Araceae. They are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, as well as New Guinea. They are also known as Chinese evergreens.
This is yet another indoor plant with exceptionally clean and fresh-looking foliage. The mint’s evergreen leaves and dark green colouring make the plant very pleasing to the eye, and those who see it would be envious.
Chinese Evergreen is one of the hardiest indoor plants (it thrives in low light) and only requires fertilisation once or twice a year, making it suitable for beginning gardeners. Chinese evergreen plants do well in medium to low light levels or in indirect sunlight. Wherever you put it in the building, make sure it receives warm temperatures and a moderate amount of humidity. However, if possible, this adaptable plant can withstand less-than-ideal conditions.
Chinese evergreens can grow to be about a metre tall and a metre wide. The leaves on these lovely plants can also be very big. They will grow very quickly in the summer, but they need to rest in the winter, so they won’t grow nearly as fast as in the summer.
Aglaonema care is easy enough for a beginner to understand. When they place the plant in their home, office, or other indoor space, they will be able to appreciate its sheer beauty. The plant’s air-purifying properties can benefit anybody who lives in its vicinity for an extended period of time. The factory will rid the world of dangerous substances and needless chemicals, restoring the room’s cleanliness.
The Chinese Evergreen prefers to be placed in bright, indirect light. Watering the plant up to three times a month to keep the topsoil moist will enable you to see good growth and progression. Levels will then fall as we approach winter, in line with the decrease in temperatures and hot weather.
The snake plant, also known as the mother-in-law plant or Sansevieria, is a natural air purifier. It emits oxygen at night, allowing you to sleep better. It has also been shown to eliminate toxic chemicals from the air, including xylene, trichloroethylene, toluene, benzene, and formaldehyde.
Sansevieria is a flowering plant genus native to Africa, especially Madagascar, and southern Asia that has been reclassified as Dracaena based on molecular phylogenetic studies.
Sansevierias are ideal houseplants because they don’t need much water. They thrive in clear, filtered light. Furthermore, they can tolerate partial light conditions, so don’t be concerned if they are in a dark corner of the house.
Sansevierias thrive in indirect light that is moderate to bright. They can, however, do well in low-light situations and can even withstand full sun. Your Sansevieria does not need much water, and overwatering will cause it to rot. What you need to do is keep the leaves dry while watering and let the soil dry between waterings.
Sansevierias prefer to be fully dry between waterings. Overwatering is the most common mistake made with these plants. Even if you put your plant in bright indirect light, you will only need to water it once every 10 days (at most) during the growing season.
Moss balls are a low-maintenance beginner pet that can teach anyone the fundamentals of pet care. The water in a Marimo aquarium just needs to be changed once a month, but Buscay says you could possibly get away with it being changed more often — moss balls aren’t picky.
Marimo is like a moss ball. It is an unusual Aegagropila linnaei growth type in which the algae form large green balls with a velvety appearance. In Japan and Northern Europe, the species can be found in a variety of lakes and rivers. Marimo ball colonies have been observed in Japan and Iceland, but their numbers have been decreasing.
They do not need food or fertilisers because they produce their own food by photosynthesis. It is reasonable to use fertiliser on other plants in the tank to encourage faster growth. Marimo balls grow steadily, up to 5 mm per year, ultimately reaching 2 to 5 inches in aquariums or 8 to 12 inches in nature.
Decorate it with a lovely glass vase or an aquarium. It lives in water and doesn’t need much light to survive (in fact, it doesn’t like direct intense light at all)—just make sure the water is changed every two weeks.
Marimo balls are considered good luck charms in Japan, and since they can live for 200 years or more, they are often held as family heirlooms. Marimo moss balls can grow to be 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) in diameter in their natural environment, but your home-grown Marimo moss ball will probably not be quite this big – or maybe they will! Moss balls expand at a slow rate.
Marimo balls are also very easy to propagate. Squeeze the water from your moss ball and cut it in half with a knife or scissors. Roll the fresh clumps in your hands to form small balls, then wrap them in cotton sewing thread to keep their shape.
Ponytail palms are an eye-catching, long-lived indoor plant that thrives on neglect. They are very simple to grow, as long as you don’t overwater them! Here’s how to grow and care for a ponytail palm in your own backyard.
Since this is a succulent, it should be kept in semi-dry conditions. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings—perhaps once every 2-3 weeks. Over the winter, use just a small amount of water. Your Ponytail Palm, like most succulents, can flourish in dry conditions.
When planted outdoors, the usual planting season is spring, but a ponytail palm can be planted at almost any time of year. This is a species that grows slowly and lives a long time. A 1-foot-tall plant can take five years or more to double in size.
Beaucarnea recurvata, also known as elephant’s foot or ponytail palm, is a plant species in the Asparagaceae family. The species was once found in many states in eastern Mexico, but it is now only found in the state of Veracruz. It is not related to true palms, despite its common name.
This whimsical, Dr. Seuss-like plant can be a tiny tabletop plant or a full-fledged tree, but it’s adaptable enough to live in almost any light level. It has a distinct appearance due to its swollen brown stem that stores water.
NASA described this lovely indoor plant as one of the best plants for air purification. It reduces toxic gases in order to keep the air you breathe clean.
This Ficus plant, otherwise known as the weeping fig tree helps purify the air, as the plant absorbs a variety of contaminants from the air, including ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. This really indicates that the plant is beneficial to your health!
Not only that but it will grow slowly and will have a spread that is roughly half its height. When grown indoors, the plants are usually pruned to maintain a height of 3 to 6 feet, and their trunks are often braided for decorative appeal.
Weeping fig can be cultivated as a specimen tree in tropical climates, reaching up to 60 feet in height, and is often planted and pruned as a hedge.
Ficus benjamina, also known as weeping fig, Benjamin fig, or Ficus tree, and widely sold in stores as simply Ficus, is a flowering plant in the Moraceae family native to Asia and Australia. It is Bangkok’s official tree. Ficus benjamina var. japonica is a recently described variety of Ficus benjamina.
All you really need to do is make sure the compost has a chance to dry out between waterings and to keep this plant in a bright, indoor location, away from direct sunlight, which can burn the foliage. Its preferable to water it anywhere between ‘on a daily basis’ and ‘once a week’ but be careful as to not over water it.
However, much like the pothos, it is not very pet friendly as it is toxic to both cats and dogs, causing dermatitis from skin contact and oral inflammation, excessive drooling, and vomiting if consumed. Excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty chewing, pawing at the lips, loss of appetite, and mouth discomfort are all symptoms.
Didn’t expect to see a tropical plant on this list, did you? This houseplant can live solely on a fluorescent light and thrives in humid environments such as bathrooms.
Bromeliads typically have both striking foliage and flowers. A bromeliad, on the other hand, can only bloom once in its lifetime. Though this may seem to be a disappointment, particularly if you purchased the bromeliad for its blooms, the flowers do last for a long time—usually 3 to 6 months.
Bromeliads are annual monocotyledons, or plants with one seed leaf, such as lilies or corn, rather than two seed leaves, such as roses or beans. Since their seeds contain a food reserve, bromeliads can be cultivated in the same way as most other plants. Bromeliads can grow from an inch to 30 feet in size when mature.
The Bromeliaceae is a family of monocot flowering plants of 75 genera and around 3590 known species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana.
Bromeliad plant care is simple and does not necessitate the use of any special equipment or fertilisers. During the growing season, feed the plants with a half-strength fertiliser once a month. Some bromeliads thrive as “air plants,” which are glued or nested onto logs, moss, or other organic non-soil products.
Caring for Bromeliads only consists of a few simple steps that will allow you to enjoy bromeliads both indoors and outdoors for several seasons to come.
- Provide bright light without exposing it to direct sunlight.
- Maintain adequate humidity levels.
- Ensure healthy air circulation around the plants.
- Maintain a moist but not soggy environment for the plants.
- Make sure there is enough drainage.
- Fertilize in moderation.
However, while their roots prefer to be moist, they can never be allowed to remain soggy. Water that does not drain properly through your potting medium can cause your plant to develop root or crown rot. It is oftentimes sufficient to water your bromeliad once a week.
As far as toxicity goes, this plant is considered non-toxic to pets. However, ingestion can cause mild gastrointestinal distress (vomiting, diarrhoea).
Nerve plants, or fittonia (f. albivenis), prefer brighter light, but they can handle low light quite well—although more colourful varieties might look a little less bright with less sun, according to Costa Farms.
It is a flowering plant in the Acanthaceae family that is native to the rainforests of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Brazil. It is a herbaceous plant with dark green foliage and starkly contrasting white or red veins. It is also known as the nerve plant or the mosaic plant.
Nerve plant grows best in low to medium light, though it also thrives in a sunny window if the light is filtered with a sheer curtain. If it gets too hot sun, even indoors, the leaves may burn, turning brown and crispy. Water nerve plant when the soil surface just barely starts to dry.
As for its care; Ideally, most growers find it’s easiest to grow these lovely but temperamental plants in terrariums or covered gardens where they can get the high humidity and diffuse light they love so much.
One of the common names of Fittonia albivenis is nerve plant, which has the ominous sound of something that affects the nervous system. However, this rainforest native with lovely white or pink veining on its leaves is non-toxic to cats and dogs. The small houseplant thrives in low light with moderate watering.
The name Nerve Plant, however, comes from its shape, which consists of striking contrasting veins running through the leaves. These plants got their nickname because of their bright leaf veins. Since it is a rainforest plant, it thrives in wet, moist habitats.
This is a beautiful tropical houseplant. Calathea thrives in spots with high humidity, making it a particularly good pick for kitchens and bathrooms. There is a wide variety of types available; all are good at making clean air in homes and offices.
Calathea is a genus of plants in the Marantaceae family. This genus contains several dozen species. Many of the species are native to the tropical Americas and are common as pot plants due to their decorative leaves and, in some cases, colourful inflorescences.
Calathea prefers damp soil or planting materials that are not soggy. They wouldn’t want a lot of water because it could kill them. When watering a Calathea plant, do not overwater it to the point that the plant sits in standing water.
In addition to that, calathea plants dislike being cold. Calatheas are difficult to care for because of their exotic foliage and have very unique water, light, and fertiliser requirements. A calathea plant, like many other finicky plants, is well worth the effort. Too much direct sunlight burns the leaves and fades the lovely leaf colours.
Calathea prefer damp but not wet soil. Make a mixture of 50% potting soil, 20% orchid bark, 20% charcoal, and 10% perlite. They often dislike being dry. Place your finger in the soil every few days to see if it feels dry. Water once every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry halfway down between waterings. Water more often in bright light and less often in low light.
Calatheas are among the few indoor plants that are safe for children, in contrast to many other plants that are toxic to humans if consumed. So, if you have a small child at home, you should keep these around the house without a worry in the world.