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Eight Houseplants That Thrive in Low Light

Martha Stewart Living logo Martha Stewart Living 4 days ago Lauren Wellbank
a plant in a pot: Getty / MmeEmil © Provided by Martha Stewart Living Getty / MmeEmil

If you have limited access to daylight indoors—or you're looking to dress a room where sunlight is harder to come by, as is the case with many bathrooms and bedrooms—then you'll want to check this list of low-light loving houseplants. According to Bridget Zazzara, the indoor retail and seasonal plant manager for Logan's Trading Company in Raleigh, North Carolina, these houseplants can withstand even the darkest corners of your home.

a plant in a pot: No natural light? No problem. These varieties will survive in even your darkest rooms. © Getty / MmeEmil No natural light? No problem. These varieties will survive in even your darkest rooms.

Related: Houseplants for Any Kind of Light

Snake Plant 

Also known as Sansevieria sp, this plant is known for its tall, skinny leaves and attractive foliage. "Varieties can be anywhere from three- to four-inches tall to three- to four-feet tall," says Zazzara. "When in bloom, flowers resemble small lilies along a single stem and are very fragrant." This variety is drought tolerant (which means it is perfect for more negligent plant parents!) and high on NASA's list of air-purifying plants.

ZZ Plant

The ZZ, or zamiaculcas zamiifolia, is another drought- and low light-tolerant option. This variety comes with solid green foliage that reaches between one- to three-feet in height. "The cultivar 'Raven' has unique leaves that emerge light green and then fade to near black," notes Zazzara.

Peace Lily

Known for its beautiful large white blooms, the Spathiphyllum sp, or Peace Lily, is a moisture-loving plant that can get by with a little less light than other tropical iterations. Even better? It's a major air purifier.

Devil's Ivy/Pothos

If you're looking for a plant that thrives in low light, you can't go wrong with Devil's Ivy. Also known as Pothos or Philodendrons, these long vining plants that can reach lengths of 15 feet or more. "Foliage can range from dark green to chartreuse to variegated white-and-green and more," says Zazzara. These plants are also easy to propagate—just placing cuttings in water.

Neanthe Bella Palm or Parlour Palm

Chamaedorea elegans, which also goes by the common names of Neanthe Bella Palm or Parlour Palm, is a slow growing palm that can reach several feet in height. It likes to be slightly dry, so beware of over-watering it.

Chinese Evergreen

Looking to brighten up a dark corner with a little color? Try Aglaonema sp, or Chinese Evergreen, which is known for its multicolored green or red-and-pink foliage. The colorful plant, another air-purifier, can tolerate moist to slightly-dry soil in between watering. Some varieties can reach two to three feet tall.

Lady Palm

The Raphis Excelsa, or Lady Palm, is an extremely slow growing palm with unique dark green foliage that is shaped like a hand. The Lady Palm can grow to be 15 feet over the course of several years. These palms will tolerate some soil dryness, and will also fare well with a bit of bright but indirect light.

Spider Plant

If you're looking for a hanging plant, the Chlorophytum sp, or Spider Plant, is the perfect choice. It likes to get slightly dry between watering, and will tolerate indirect light (so it's best for a spot where some light hits). If you want to propagate some for yourself, you can do so by taking one of the "baby" plants and setting it in a dish of water until new roots sprout.


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