10 Small Low-Light Plants to Grow

heart leaf philodendron

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If your home only has low-light conditions, it can make having houseplants a bit tricky. If your space is small, it can make it even trickier. Thankfully, there are a lot of great small houseplants that can survive in low light. And while some of these plants' mature sizes can reach up to several feet in height, because they’ll be in low light, it will take quite some time for them to get there.

Here are 10 small low-light plants to grow at home. 

  • 01 of 10

    ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

    zz plant

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    ZZ plants are one of the most low-maintenance plants you could have in your home. They’re beautiful and require little care, or even light for that matter. Seriously, you could keep a ZZ plant in a dark hallway and it would stay alive. It may not grow at all, but it would certainly survive. If you do want to see it thrive, it does better in bright, indirect light and likes to completely dry out in between waterings. 

    • Light: Partial shade to full shade (but will thrive in bright, indirect light)
    • Mature Size: 3-4 ft. tall
    • Water: Allow soil to completely dry out between waterings
  • 02 of 10

    Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

    Three snake plants in white pots against a white wall.

    Adam Yee / Getty Images

    Snake plants come in a ton of varieties and typically do well in low-light situations. They’re slow-growing houseplants that can take years to reach their mature size. Plus, they can live for a long time. You can find versions with dark green foliage, yellow and green variegation, or even speckled blue-ish/green leaves. 

    • Light: Partial shade
    • Mature Size: Up to 8 ft. indoors
    • Water: Allow soil to dry out between waterings
  • 03 of 10

    Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

    Close up image of the leaves of a full golden pothos.

    Nanniie_iiuu / Getty Images

    Pothos plants are some of the most popular houseplants out there and they come in many different varieties. The golden pothos, often referred to as devil’s ivy, is perhaps the one most commonly found in people’s homes. It can thrive in pretty much any light condition, whether that’s complete shade or bright light. They’ll even put out new leaves and vines in low-light situations, making it an excellent choice if your home is lacking in natural light. 

    • Light: Partial shade to full shade 
    • Mature Size: Leaves range in size from 4-8 inches and vines can reach up to a few dozen feet in length
    • Water: Allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings
  • 04 of 10

    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

    spider plant

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    Spider plants are another common houseplant that also does well in low light. They were really popular in the 1970s and have had a resurgence in the last few years. When they’re thriving they grow offshoots with baby spider plants on them that you can either leave on or cut off and propagate them to create a new plant. They can survive in low-light conditions, but they may not give you the little plantlets. 

    • Light: Partial shade
    • Mature Size: 12-15 in. tall
    • Water: Allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out before watering
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

    dragon tree

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    Dragon trees are robust plants that can survive in low light. They’re super easy to care for and while they prefer to be placed in a window with indirect light, they can still do well in the shade. You may not see the plant grow as quickly, but it will still be fine. 

    • Light: Partial shade or indirect light
    • Mature Size: Up to 6 ft. indoors
    • Water: Allow soil to dry out between waterings
  • 06 of 10

    Nerve Plant (Fittonia albivenis)

     Nerve Plant

    Airubon / Getty Images

    Nerve plants are tiny plants that you can often find in terrariums since they are found in the bottom of tropical rainforests. They have small leaves with veins that are often colorful. Varieties can be pink, red, green, or white. While they can certainly survive in low-light situations, the colorful pigmentation may start to dull. Keep it in a brighter area to really see the colors. These plants also let you know when they need water as their leaves will droop dramatically. A douse of water will have the stems perky again in no time.

    • Light: Partial shade to bright light
    • Mature Size: 8 in. tall
    • Watering: Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings
  • 07 of 10

    Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)

    heart leaf philodendron

    Premyuda Yospim / Getty Images

    Philodendrons are another common houseplant that come in a ton of varieties. The heartleaf one is probably the most common. They have heart-shaped leaves and grow long vines. Surprisingly, this plant can still put out new leaves in low-light situations. It wont grow as quickly as if it were in a window, but it will still produce new foliage in partial shade. 

    • Light: Partial shade to bright indirect light
    • Mature Size: Leaf can grow between 2-4 in. in size and vines can grow up to 4 ft. long
    • Watering: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings
  • 08 of 10

    Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

    Money Plant in ceramic pot

    Getty Images

    The Chinese money plant is also commonly referred to as the pass-it-on plant or friendship plant because it’s often given as a housewarming gift. The mother plant will grow tiny offshoots, which can be removed and given to someone you love. It can do well in both low light and bright light. The difference in lighting will just determine how quickly your plant grows. 

    • Light: Partial shade to bright indirect light
    • Mature Size: Around 12 in. tall
    • Watering: Allow soil to dry between waterings
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

    closeup of aglaonema

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

    The Chinese evergreen plant comes in either red and green or silver and green. While they can both do well in low-light situations, it's better to keep the the red variety in bright indirect light so that the color stays vibrant. (Refrain from placing it directly in a window as the leaves can burn.) They do well in shady environments and are an easy to care for plant.

    • Light: Partial shade to bright indirect light
    • Mature Size: 1-3 ft. tall
    • Watering: Allow for the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings
  • 10 of 10

    Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

    Braided lucky bamboo plant in vase

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    Lucky bamboo is another plant that is often given as a housewarming or good-luck gift. In feng shui it’s said to bring good fortune to the recipient. It can be grown in either water or soil and is very easy to care for. Lucky bamboo can be kept in a shady spot but does need a little bit of light to really thrive. 

    • Light: Partial shade to full shade
    • Mature Size: 1-5 ft. tall
    • Watering: If kept in soil, keep soil moist. If kept in water, replenish water every 7-10 days