Plants are the easiest way to brighten up a dark room but low light conditions are not every plant’s cup of tea. In fact, most plants thrive in medium to bright light conditions. Fortunately, there’s a gang of outlaws out there that simply love the shade. So, are you looking to brighten up a dark room or shady corner? Check out our list of the best shade plants you can pick for the light-deficient indoors!

1. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden pothos in a pot against pink background

Image credit: foliage_fixation on Instagram

Golden Pothos is one of the so-called indestructible houseplants as it can put up with insane amounts of abuse and neglect, including next to no watering, frequent moving, and insufficient light. When light is too scarce it can thrive in artificial light which makes it great for spaces lacking natural light such as offices, lobbies, and cramped dorm rooms.

Keep in mind that this Pothos is not only one of the most popular common houseplants to grow indoors, it also loves some rock music, as our Music Plant Experiment revealed.

 

Other names

Other names

Devil’s Ivy, silver vine, money plant, Solomon Islands ivy, taro vine, centipede Tonga vine, ivy arum
Native to

Native to

The Solomon Islands
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade to bright filtered light (direct sun may burn its leaves)
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water when the top 1-inch layer of soil dries out
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to both humans and pets if ingested

2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plant in white pot

Image credit: catherine.likes.plants on Instagram

Here’s another low-maintenance houseplant that can tolerate the shade like a champ. In fact, if the Spider plant is older than 1 year and you expose it to light at night (including artificial light), flowering may be delayed and even blocked. We have talked about the Spider Plant on numerous occasions, but for the record, remember it is one of the most common hard to kill house plants in the world that also purifies the air (at least according to NASA studies) in your bedroom or living room, depening on what shady corner you want to spruce up.

Related post: Spider Plant Care Guide – How to Grow Healthy Spider Plants

Other names

Other names

Ribbon plant, airplane plant, hen-and-chickens
Native to

Native to

Southern Africa
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial to full shade; keep away from direct sun
Water requirements

Water requirements

Once a week; sensitive to fluoride in tap water (leaves may turn brown)
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)

Peace Lily

Image credit: fleurifik.foliage on Instagram

Here’s another shade-loving houseplant. The Peace Lily is a common occurrence in dark rooms, lobbies, and offices as it can bloom even in very low light conditions. Since this tropical plant is also an effective air purifier, it means that it makes a great pick for offices and homes.

It is one of those hard to kill plants we talked about on previous occasions. Our advice is to keep it as far as you can from your cat. Or the other way around. It is not a poisonous flower, but its pollen can irritate pets and kids. Some sensitive and allergy-prone adults are not immune either, so if you choose the Peace Lily from our list of best plants for shade, make sure you don’t keep it by the bed in your bedroom.

Other names

Other names

Spath, white sails, closet plant
Native to

Native to

Colombia tropical rainforest
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade to full shade; avoid direct sun
Water requirements

Water requirements

Allow soil to dry between waterings
Toxicity

Toxicity

Poisonous to small children and animals

4. Heart-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)

Heartleaf philodendron

Photo credit: winter_morgen on Instagram

Philodendrons are known for their ability to adapt to indoor conditions like very few plants can. They thrive in hanging baskets or high spots from where their elegant stems can hang down loosely. It is a humidity loving plant so mist it regularly. It is a very forgiving plant, so it won’t mind if you keep it in low light.

Other names

Other names

Sweetheart plant, vilevine, philodendron
Native to

Native to

Central and South America, especially Mexico and the Caribbean
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light to bright filtered light; avoid direct sunlight
Water requirements

Water requirements

Keep soil moist but not drenched in the warm season; water occasionally in winter
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to humans and pets

5. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese evergreen in white ceramic pot

Image credit: greenhomesdelhi on Instagram

The cultivars with plain dark leaves live happily in the shade, while the variegated cultivars need moderate light to bright, indirect light to thrive. Never leave a Chinese Evergreen in direct sunlalso known as the Ten Commandments plantight. This plant is also a great air purifier which makes it an ideal option for bedrooms and offices.

Looking for shade-loving plants that also happen to improve your sleep? Check out this post by our expert: The 6 Best Plants for your Bedroom that Improve your Sleep

Other names

Other names

Aglaonema, poison dart plant, painted drop tongue, silver queen
Native to

Native to

Sub-tropical and tropical Asia
Light requirements

Light requirements

Full shade (for the dark green cultivar); moderate light to bright filtered light (for the variegated one)
Water requirements

Water requirements

Consistent moisture as soon as the top 1-inch layer of the soil dries out
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to people and pets if ingested

6. Prayer Plant (Maranta leucoreura)

Prayer Plant leaves

Image credit: sacredcluster on Instagram

The Prayer plant gets its name from its leaves’ habit of folding up before bedtime as if the plant were praying. Prayer plants enjoy low light conditions but if kept in the full shade they may become leggy. These plants don’t grow too large, so they are the ideal occupants of small office desks, shelves, and coffee tables.

Also known as the Ten Commandments plant (because of the ten stripes on each leaf), the Prayer Plant also makes one of the best office plants to enhance your working environment.

Other names

Other names

Ten Commandments plant, maranta, rabbit’s foot, herringbone plant
Native to

Native to

Brazilian rainforest
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low to moderate light, including artificial light
Water requirements

Water requirements

Keep soil moist but not soggy
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

7. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Snake plants

Photo credit: ma_plants on Instagram

Next on our list of best shade plants to consider this year for your low-lit indoor garden is the Snake Plant, a regular guest of this website and an all-time favorite of many of us around here.

The Snake Plant is one of those plants that simply refuse to die regardless of how neglected they are. It fits nearly all types of interiors, is a great air purifier (the variegated cultivar), and is generally a very undemanding and forgiving plant. You can keep it in full shade and it won’t object.

Related post: Snake Plant Care Guide – How to Grow This Houseplant

Other names

Other names

Sansevieria, mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, Saint George's sword
Native to

Native to

Tropical West Africa, primarily Nigeria
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water occasionally (plant is very drought-resistant)
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to people and pets if ingested

8. Peacock Plant (Calathea Lancifolia)

Peacock plant

Image credit: foliage_fixation on Instagram

The Peacock plant may be easily mistaken for the prayer plant, but their maintenance varies greatly. The Peacock plant is a tropical beauty that enjoys some shade too but needs a lot of humidity, so mist it daily or keep water in the plant tray to keep it happy. Here is its description, together with its care & maintenance guide:

Peacock plants are, like the bird, very decorative and showy. While the foliage may not contain the exact colors of the peacock, it displays vivid shades of green and maroon and is carried very proudly like the peacock’s tail.

Other names

Other names

Calathea, rattlesnake plant
Native to

Native to

Brazil
Light requirements

Light conditions

Low to medium filtered light; keep away from direct sunlight
Water requirements

Water conditions

Water frequently (ensure good drainage); sensitive to tap water
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

9. The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plant

Photo credit: liensplantlife on Instagram

You know we love the ZZ plant and talk about it with every chance we get. Our luck is that this beauty is not only one of the most common houseplants you can care for even in the absence of any green thumb, but also one of the best shade plants out there!

The ZZ plant is considered to be the king of indestructible houseplants as it easily adapts to everything nature or a careless caregiver throws its way, including shady corners and infrequent watering. This beautiful plant can go weeks without water due to an underground potato-shaped rhizome that acts as an emergency water supply.

Other names

Other names

Zamioculcas, eternity plant, aroid palm, Zanzibar gem, Zuzu plant, golden tree
Native to

Native to

Eastern Africa
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light (plant may not thrive) to bright filtered light (best)
Water requirements

Water requirements

Allow soil to dry between waterings; avoid overwatering
Toxicity

Toxicity

Toxic to both humans and pets

10. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidastra elatior)

Cast Iron Plant

Photo credit: as.flowers.info on Instagram

Just like the ZZ plant, the Cast-iron plant is nearly indestructible. It fares well in dry conditions, it is not bothered if you move it frequently, and it actually thrives in the shade. The only downside of this Asian beauty is that it is a slow grower, which means that it is a bit more expensive than other plants on our list of best shade plants.

Other names

Other names

Aspidastra, common aspidistra, iron plant, bar room plant, saloon plant
Native to

Native to

China, Japan, Taiwan
Light requirements

Light conditions

Low light, including artificial light and heavy shade
Water requirements

Water conditions

Water regularly in the warm season; reduce water in winter
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

11. Dracaena Lemon Lime (Dracaena fragrans)

Dracaena lemon lime

Photo credit: winter_morgen on Instagram

Dracaena Lemon Lime is one of the best shade plants thanks to its ability to tolerate really well shady spots. But although low light conditions are not a deal-breaker for this type of dracaena, don’t expect the plant to thrive in full shade. Just avoid placing it in the full sun or in the full darkness.

Other names

Other names

Corn plant, lemon lime
Native to

Native to

North Africa
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low to medium light, even permanent shade
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water once every 7-10 days; sensitivity to fluoride in tap water
Toxicity

Toxicity

Mildly toxic to pets

12. Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta)

Japanese sago palm

Photo credit: heatherfcassidy on Instagram

This bizarre slow-growing palm thrives in warm, low-light, and humid conditions. Just like the ZZ plant, the Japanese Sago Palm is a tough as nails houseplant. It looks like a combo of a palm and fern but it is neither. This interesting plant has pre-historic origins as it belongs to an ancient plant family, the cycads.

Just a heads-up, this ornamental plant is poisonous, so don’t let pets and kids around it without the proper supervision. Other than that, the Japanese Sago Palm can make the central piece of a shade indoor garden and it is one of the most amazing trees to grow indoors. We call it a tree casually because cycads are distant relatives of cone-bearing conifers.

Other names

Other names

Sago cycad, king sago
Native to

Native to

Southern Japan
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade to full sun
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water occasionally (the plant is fairly drought-resistant)
Toxicity

Toxicity

Poisonous to both pets and humans; it has a mortality rate of 50 to 70%

13. Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus)

Swedish Ivy

Photo credit: jag_arquiteturapaisagista on Instagram

Despite its name, the Swedish Ivy is neither Swedish nor an ivy. It mainly grows as a groundcover since it cannot climb or grab onto support like vines do. We added it to our list of the best shade plants because it is very tolerant when it comes to low light conditions. Who knows, maybe you can design a hanging plant-based indoor garden with and around it!

Other names

Other names

Creeping Charlie, Swedish begonia
Native to

Native to

Southern Africa
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light to medium, filtered light; avoid direct sun
Water requirements

Water requirements

Start watering if the upper 1-inch layer gets dry
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

14. Ferns

Boston fern in bathroom

Photo credit: _house_77 on Instagram

Ferns are highly adaptable when it comes to lighting conditions. The best ferns for rooms lacking natural light include the Boston Fern, the Kimberley Queen fern, and the Asparagus fern. Since ferns also love humidity, they’re great plants for your bathroom.

 

15. The Yucca Cane (Yucca elephantipes)

Yucca cane in white pot

Photo credit: laurynsplants on Instagram

Yucca Cane also known as the ‘spineless yucca,’ is a type of yucca tree that lacks spines, which makes it a very popular houseplant. It is one of the best shade plants because it is very low maintenance and tolerates well low light conditions even though it would be much happier in medium light or full sun.

Related post: Yucca Plant Care – How to Grow This Tree Indoors

 

Other names

Other names

Spineless yucca, yucca tree, giant yucca
Native to

Native to

Mexico
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water every 2 to 3 weeks (plant is drought resistant)
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

16. Rex Begonia

 

Rex begonia plant

Photo credit: sticklingfeber on Instagram

Rex begonia doesn’t need direct natural light to thrive. It is a beautiful plant with stunning foliage that differs from one plant to the next. Its Achilles’ heel, though, is overwatering.

Other names

Other names

Iron cross, king begonia, fancy-leafed begonia, painted-leaf begonia
Native to

Location

India
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade to full shade
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water only when the soil is dry; avoid overwatering
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

17. Rubber Tree Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber plant

Photo credit: captainmonstera on Instagram

The Rubber tree plant is a low-maintenance fig that just loves staying in the shade. Be careful though that this tough houseplant can reach up to 12 feet. So, give it plenty of room to grow. It is also drought-resistant and does not do well with overwatering.

Related post: Rubber Plant Care – How to Grow This Tree Indoors

Other names

Other names

Rubber bush/plant, rubber fig, Indian rubber bush
Native to

Native to

The Amazon
Light requirements

Light requirements

Partial shade to full shade
Water requirements

Water requirements

Keep soil moist but not soggy in the summer; water 1-2 times per month in winter
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

18. Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis)

Nerve plant

Photo credit: uzmasplantlife on Instagram

The Nerve plant is a creeping plant with stunning dark olive-green foliage embellished with white, pink, or red vein patterns. The plant can grow in shade, but it loses the vein patterns if kept for too long in low-light conditions. It thrives in high humidity, soil included. We have included it in our top of most amazing, best office plants to spice up your workspace – and for all the right reasons!

Other names

Other names

Fittonia, painted net leaf, mosaic plant, silver net leaf
Native to

Native to

South America
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low to medium light
Water requirements

Water requirements

Keep soil moist but not drenched
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

19. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia amoena)

Dumb cane in white ceramic pot on a coffee table

Photo credit: heavenly.houseplants on Instagram

This plant is one of the absolute best shade plants for home and office because it is very tolerant, inexpensive, pretty, and easy to care for, just like many other aroids. The Dumb Cane plant gets its name from the fact that its sap, which is a skin irritant, may cause temporary loss of speech. This houseplant gracefully adapts to any lighting conditions.

Other names

Other names

Mother-in-law plant
Native to

Native to

West Indies
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light to medium light
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water as soon as the first 2 inches of soil are dry; avoid overwatering
Toxicity

Toxicity

Poisonous to children and pets

20. Lady’s slipper (Paphiopedilum)

Lady's Slipper in bloom

Photo credit: thestripedpetal on Instagram

The Lady’s slipper plant is a low-maintenance orchid that is adapted to shade and high humidity. Is one of the most user-friendly orchids out there as it is not very demanding and can easily re-bloom in one’s home. If you want it to produce flowers though offer it a bit more light for a few weeks.

If you want to learn more about orchids and other shade plants, check out our guide on the most common houseplants to grow this year. For orchid understanding and caring guides, the American Orchid Society is one of the best resources out there!

Other names

Other names

Paphiopedilum, Venus’ slipper
Native to

Native to

Southern China and India
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light
Water requirements

Water requirements

Water every 5 to 7 days; make sure that humidity stays at 40% -50%
Toxicity

Toxicity

Not toxic

21. Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera Deliciosa)

Split-leaf philodendron (Monstera Deliciosa)

Photo credit: woondeal on Instagram

Last – but certainly not least – on our list of best shade plants for low-lit rooms and corners is the Split-leaf philodendron. It is a tropical broadleaf evergreen that thrives in shade and warm temperatures, which makes them ideal for dark homes and offices. To keep this plant thriving you need to give it medium light, but full shade is also good as long as you don’t mind the plant becoming leggy and leaves not developing the trademark slits.

To make sure you get the proper philodendron for your tastes and needs, check out our guide on the most popular philodendron types. You may get another variety that tolerates shade well and needs low to moderate maintenance!

Related post: Easy Philodendron Care Guide – How to Grow this Plant

Other names

Other names

Monstera deliciosa, Swiss cheese plant, Mexican breadfruit, windowleaf plant
Native to

Native to

Central America and India
Light requirements

Light requirements

Low light to medium, filtered light
Water requirements

Water requirements

Allow top layer of the soil to dry out between waterings; keep soil moist but not drenched
Toxicity

Toxicity

Very poisonous to children and pets

Conclusion

Finding a beautiful plant for low light conditions is not that hard, is it? Most of the best shade plants on our list are also happily low maintenance which makes them perfect for absolute beginners too. Do you know other shade-loving plants that should make it to our list? Drop us a line in the comments section below!

 

info@youhadmeatgardening.com'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *