If you are a beginner plant enthusiast that has already claimed a few plant lives, worry not! There is still hope.
Low light indoor plants are your answer.
Generally speaking, it’s much harder to control plants in sunny windows, because you can’t control the amount of sunlight you get everyday. This also makes it harder to dose any water or fertilizer.
However, everyone has plenty of indirect sunlight or shade in their home. Low light plants in general are also very forgiving, low-maintenance, and do really well in shadier spots.
If you’re a true beginner, here are the 10 best low light indoor plants for beginners, your perfect introduction to plant care:
Table of Contents
1. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Other names: Golden pothos
The Devil’s Ivy got its name because it’s nearly impossible to kill and can survive through it all.
If you are beginner caring for a Devil’s Ivy, there is almost nothing you can do wrong. The Devil’s Ivy thrives in normal household conditions. All you need to do is keep the plant away from bright direct sunlight, drafts and water only when the soil is dry.
The Devil’s Ivy doesn’t need any kind of special treatment. If you want to go the extra mile, I recommend you use cactus mix soil and you keep them in a natural humid place such as the bathroom or you mist them every now and again.
Just remember to avoid direct sunlight and to water them once the soil feels dry to the touch.
If you have pets or small children, make sure you keep the plant out of their reach as the leaves are toxic.
2. Silver Pothos (Scindapsus pictus)
Other names: Satin Pothos
The Silver Pothos is another incredibly resistant vining plant.
It gets its name from the signature silver markings on the leaves.
The silver won’t be as pronounced in low light, but it will still retain its beautiful detail.
When caring for the Silver Pothos, keep your plant in a well lit bathroom if possible, as it enjoys humidity. It thrives in regular household temperatures and can survive weeks without water.
The Silver Pothos will actually show you when it needs watering by drooping its leaves.
Before watering, you just need to see droopy leaves and dry soil, making it very easy to avoid overwatering.
Similar to the Devil’s Ivy, they like well drained soil so a Cactus potting mix works very well.
3. Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
Other names: Mother-in-law’s Tongue
Snake Plants are another tough plant that can withstand the care of any beginner.
They’re relatively indestructible and arguably grow best when they’re left alone.
If you are a beginner caring for a Snake Plant, your plant will be excellent in low light conditions. They’re adaptable to whatever spot in your home you, choose including the shadowy corners that would otherwise be hostile to plants. Only water it when the soil is completely dry and keep it away from drafty windows.
Tropical plants love warm, dry environments, and that includes the Snake Plant.
Due to its toughness, it will have no problem growing in normal temperature or humidity.
Because it’s a tropical plant, the best soil to use is a 50:50 cactus and succulent mix which creates soil with lots of air pockets, basically allowing the soil to dry faster.
Snake Plants are slow-growing plants, so you rarely need to fertilize them.
Should you want to do it, any liquid houseplant food will do, twice a year – in spring and summer.
4. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Other names: Zanzibar Gem
ZZ plants are vibrant with waxy green leaves with stems that can grow as tall as 3 feet (1 meter) high.
ZZ Plants are also ideal for beginners as they tolerate less than ideal conditions. If you are caring for one, keep it in well drained soil and normal ambient temperature. With just a bit of indirect sunlight, it should be a happy plant.
A moderate watering schedule is all the ZZ plant needs.
They can hold water extremely efficiently, so take care not to water your plant until the soil is dry.
Personally, I water my ZZ Plant every 3 weeks to a month.
If you notice any yellowing of the leaves, it could signify overwatering and indicating that the roots are sitting in too much moisture.
ZZ Plants don’t even need direct sunlight to grow beautifully.
In fact, they can even manage to grow well under fluorescent lighting, so if you’re looking for a plant for your office cubicle, the ZZ is a good fit.
It looks decorative with its beauty, but just like most plants on the list, the ZZ Plant also improves air quality, giving you an excuse to have one in every room.
5. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
Other names: Golden Evergreen
Growing a Chinese Evergreen is incredibly easy, so it’s an excellent choice for beginners.
It’s a durable plant and is very low maintenance.
If you are a beginner caring for a Chinese Evergreen, keep your plant in indirect sunlight and away from drafts. Water it only when the soil is dry and, for best results, use some liquid fertilizer once in spring and once in summer.
With fertilizer, they can grow big and strong but a bit out out of control.
Don’t be afraid to trim it back a bit, it won’t hurt the plant.
Chinese Evergreens can be sensitive to too much water, as it can lead to root rot, so play with a schedule to see what your plant prefers.
6. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Other names: Spider Ivy, Hen and Chickens
The Spider Plant is well known as one of the most adaptable and easy plants for low-light spaces.
If you are a beginner caring for a Spider Plant, you can keep it in the bathroom as it enjoys humidity. Water it once per week roughly, and although it survives in low light, it really appreciates brighter indirect light.
To really make them thrive, you can fertilize with liquid plant fertilizer every month during the growing seasons (spring and summer) .
They’re unique in that they can often produce little baby plants that can be repotted separately from their parent plant, making it perfect to put in other rooms of your home or share with others.
Spider Plants can be grown completely in water, but they can sometimes be sensitive to very hard water.
If that’s the case, you can collect rain water or boil your tap water every now and again.
Another bonus to having a Spider Plant is that they are excellent natural air filters, so having a Spider Plant in your home can also improve your health.
Spider Plants are non-toxic for humans or pets, making them excellent for pet owners.
Other names: Prayer Plants
Calathea plants are popular because of their beautiful colored leaf marks.
These low-light plants don’t flower as much in the shade, but can still thrive and maintain their leaf details.
If you are a beginner caring for a Calathea plant, you need to keep it in low-light, humid conditions. The bathroom is a perfect environment for it. Water the plant once a week or when the top 2 inches of soil become dry, keep it away from the cold and that’s it.
As a rule, they prefer to be warm and humid, so if you can’t keep it in the bathroom, having a humidifier or misting the plant occasionally helps the Calathea to thrive.
In their natural environment, the Calathea plant is covered by other vegetation and doesn’t get much direct sunlight.
So, in your home, they prefer low-light conditions.
In fact, if you place your plant in bright light, their leaves will become less vibrant and lose color.
Calathea will let you know if you are doing something wrong.
If you’ve overwatered the plant, you will notice the leaves begin to yellow.
If you underwater the plant, the leaves will start to wilt.
Another benefit to the Calathea plant is that it’s pet-friendly.
If you have an adventurous dog or cat, they won’t find trouble in the Calathea plant.
8. Rex Begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum)
Other names: King Begonia
Characterized by stunning colorful leaves, the Rex Begonia is a semi-tropical plant that does well in low-light and shady conditions.
Of course, the more sunlight the plant gets, the more vibrant the leaves, but they still retain color in other conditions.
As a beginner caring for a Rex Begonia, remember it prefers indirect sunlight and likes warmer conditions. They need to be potted in a relatively shallow pot and require regular watering, but wait for the soil to feel dry. Extra water sitting at the top of the plant can cause mildew to grow.
Other tips to have a big beautiful Begonia is that they like fast-draining soil that won’t retain too much moisture.
Ideally, fertilize every two weeks at half strength with liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer.
Rex Begonias grow bushier towards the sunlight, so, if one side of the plant gets more light than the other, rotate it frequently to even out the exposure.
9. Kimberly Queen Fern (Nephrolepis obliterata)
Other names: Sword Fern
Ferns of all types do well in low-light conditions, but Ferns also thrive in high humidity.
This would be another good bathroom plant to consider.
If you are a beginner caring for a Kimberly Queen Fern, keep the plant in a humid environment such as the bathroom and water it a few times a week. They need warm temperatures, in between 60-80 ºF (15-23 ºC), so keep it away from drafty windows.
This fern can handle almost any lighting condition as long as it’s getting the appropriate amount of water.
If you place it somewhere that’s a little darker, you’ll likely have to adjust your watering to fewer times per week.
They should never dry out and need watering regularly.
To stop the unnecessary accumulation of water, you need to choose well-draining soil for your fern.
Ferns are one of those plants that would love misting everyday.
10. Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
Other names: Swiss Cheese Plant
Monstera plants are most recognizable by the natural holes in their leaves.
Monsteras need their space but don’t need to be in direct sunlight to flourish.
If you are a beginner growing a Monstera plant, it’s best to mix some perlite in the soil to improve soil aeration and drainage. Water it once or twice every two weeks and allow the soil to dry in between waterings. Also, keep your Monstera away from bright sunlight or very dark rooms.
The less light it has, the more leggy it is likely to grow.
The more light the Monstera gets, the more water it will need.
Monsteras can also be sensitive to tap water, but letting water sit out overnight or using filtered water are all good options.
It prefers humidity, but it can handle non-humid conditions.
It also likes to be warm, so as long as your home is at regular room temperature, your Monstera will do well.
You don’t need to have large bay windows or a big windowsill to display all your plants.
Plants can find a home in any corner of your home.
If you’re a beginner, low-light plants are a good starting point because they tend to be more resilient to changing conditions and require a lot less maintenance to look lively.
With just a little water, the right soil, and the perfect spot, your low-light plants will be happy in their home.