7 Best Houseplants for Low Light Conditions

 Illustration: © The Spruce, 2018

Low light conditions are always a challenge for the indoor gardener. Help is here. Check out this list of low light plants that will survive (and sometimes thrive) with the least amount of light.

  • 01 of 07

    Lucky Bamboo

    Bamboo plant on side table by sofa
    ML Harris / Getty Images

    Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) is native to Cameroon in West Africa and has many common names associated with it: lucky bamboo, ribbon dracaena, ribbon plant, Belgian evergreen, Chinese water bamboo, and friendship bamboo, though it is not actually a member of the bamboo family.

    These plants pop up in offices, on desks, in businesses, and in homes pretty much everywhere. An important part of feng shui, lucky bamboo plants are said to bring good luck and fortune, especially if the plants were given as gifts. It also helps that they have a well-earned reputation as being nearly indestructible. 

  • 02 of 07

    Spider Plants

    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum) in a blue pot
    Lynne Brotchie / Getty Images

    The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow. The spider plant is so named because of its spider-like plants, or spiderettes, which dangle down from the mother plant like spiders on the web. Available in green or variegated varieties, these spiderettes often start out as small white flowers.

    Spider plants can be grown as hanging or trailing plants, in baskets, or pots. They will survive for a long time in less-than-ideal light conditions including artificial light.

  • 03 of 07

    Golden Pothos

    golden pothos vine in white planter
    Jackiecambron/ Twenty20 

    The conditions that these plants can thrive in are incredible. It can be dark. It can be dry. These conditions are practically un-plantlike. If you're looking for a sure-thing in shady conditions, try a pot of golden pothos.

    Golden pothos is one most popular of all house plants. It has attractive, durable and easy to grow vines sporting smooth, leathery, heart-shaped leaves with distinctive marbling alternating along rope-like green stems. Pothos vines are among the top ten air purifying plants for indoor use.

  • 04 of 07


    Flowerpot with nest fern
    Mareen Fischinger / Getty Images

    Not all ferns will thrive in shady corners, but it is safe to say that many of the finest are easily suited to low-light conditions.

    Ferns are some of the oldest plants in the world—they have been thriving for 300 million years and grow in an astonishing array of environments. As houseplants, they have been in cultivation for centuries. Worldwide, the American Fern Society estimates there are about 12,000 species of ferns ranging from cold hardy to tropical and from miniature to the monstrous tree ferns of New Zealand and Australia. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Snake Plants

    snake plant
    Clive Nichols / Getty Images

    The sansevieria species are some of the best low-light plants. They are striking in appearance and strikingly easy to grow.

    The snake plant, or mother-in-law's tongue, is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality. The optimal place to keep this relatively inexpensive and low-maintenance plant is the bedroom because it converts CO2 into oxygen at night.

  • 06 of 07


    Close-up of Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
    Francois De Heel / Getty Images

    Among a huge variety of plants that are used for home, office, apartments, malls and landscape decoration, the dracaena family is used practically everywhere. This group of plants consists of nearly 40 species that vary in sizes and forms.

    This group includes ti Plants, D. Draco, and lucky bamboo, to name a few. They are great plants for low-light conditions.

  • 07 of 07

    Aechmea Bromeliads

    Color Stories - Pink
    Simon McGill / Getty Images

    Surprised to see a tropical bromeliad on the list? You should welcome this one into your low-light situation. Aechmea is commonly sold in flower, and a flowering aechmea will often hold its bloom and shape for months and months in poor light or artificial light conditions.