You might be under the impression that you need a ton of sun and a green thumb to keep houseplants alive, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are plenty of indoor plants out there that are easy to care for, forgiving, and low-light tolerant. Some even do in shadier spaces, if you can believe it. If you’re not a full-blown plant parent yet because you haven’t found the right low-light, low-maintenance greenery, then you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the best plant varieties that won’t want anything to do with your already-crowded windowsill—or at the very least, houseplants that can handle being in a shady corner of your space even if they prefer brighter conditions.
And no, they’re not all the same plants you’ve seen a thousand times. While some of these are popular, trusty staples (and for good reason!) there are tons of pretty houseplants on this list that are unique and up-and-coming—some of which you may have never even seen before. From pothos to dragon plants and even a succulent or two, here are some of the coolest low-light plants you can grow in your home.
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This plant (aka pothos) gets its name from the fact that it grows vines even in the worst conditions. That can be bad if it’s planted outdoors where it can choke out other plants, but for growing inside, it’s perfect.
Since this plant is one of the most durable indoor plants (it does quite well in low light) and only needs to be fertilized once or twice a year, it’s ideal for beginner gardeners.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a palm tree as part of your decor, look no further. It might not be quite as tall as the ones in Beverly Hills, but it’s way cuter (and easier to maintain).
Don’t let the sad name turn you off. This quick-growing tree adds some life to any room in the house, and requires little more than the occasional trim and some regular watering.
The sweetheart plant (a nickname given because of the shape of its glossy leaves) can stand dim rooms, but requires pinching to prevent it from growing in long, single stems.
Didn’t expect to find a tropical plant on this list? This houseplant can actually survive on florescent light alone (!) and thrives in humid conditions, like bathrooms.
This no-fuss, heart-shaped vining plant has beautiful silver markings that make it stand out. Those silver markings will be more prominent in brighter light and some may even turn green in lower light, but it can still survive in darker environments—albeit with slower growth.
Nerve plants, or fittonia, prefer brighter light, but they can handle low light quite well—although more colorful varieties might look a little less bright with less sun, according to Costa Farms.
Filtered light is best for this plant. Try using a curtain as a barrier between it and the sun, especially during the the spring and summer when the plant is producing new, tender leaves.
This plant’s adaptability makes it super easy to grow and therefore, super popular. Plus, it’s easy to breed and share with others. It can stand up to a lot of neglect and will thrive in indirect light.
This pretty pink-and-green plant is as low-maintenance as they come, and while its colors will show even more in brighter light, it’ll thrive in low light, too.
With pink and red flecks, the colorful calathea adds an extra punch to your indoor plant lineup. They like medium to low light. Not to mention, it’s nontoxic and pet safe.
With thick, waxy green (or even black!) leaves, the ZZ adds life and lushness to your space without being too high maintenance at all, since it can handle low light and doesn’t require a lot of water.
This succulent is pretty tame (read: easy!) when it comes to maintenance. More light will help it grow, but it can tolerate darkness—just watch out for root rot caused by overwatering.
Hoyas, or wax plants, are not a picky houseplant. They’ll thrive in bright light, but will do just fine in lower light conditions. They’re also super low maintenance, and can bounce back if you forget to water them, too.
Spiky leaves that grow upwards and have a red outline make these plants totally stunning. But too much direct sunlight can damage them, so give this plant some sun some shade.
Schefflera Arboricola plants, aka dwarf umbrella plants, are a great low light plant choice. They dislike bright light and grow slowly, so you don’t have to worry about them outgrowing a small space, either.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, these beautiful, flowering tropical plants are very tolerant of low light, they just won’t flower as much without as much sun.
This cute little plant with its thick, spoon-shaped leaves is both pet-friendly and low-light tolerant. In fact too much intense sunlight can hurt this variety.
This plant, also known as the Victorian parlor palm, is famously resilient. Those pretty feathery leaves liven up any bland corner of your home. It does well in medium light, though can survive in lower light areas. It’s cousin, the majesty palm, is another great option.
The staghorn fern thrives in high-humidity environments with indirect light. This makes them great shower plants.
The fun ripple edges give the bird’s nest fern a unique, fun look. It’s also a pet-friendly plant. It thrives in medium indirect light but can usually tolerate low indirect light.
This whimsical, Dr. Seuss-like plant can be an adorably small tabletop plant or a full-on tree, but in any case, it’s adaptable enough to survive in just about any light levels.
If you want a larger indoor plant that can handle medium indirect light, opt for the money tree. The braided tree trunk sets it apart, too.
You might not think the tropical monstera plant can handle anything less than bright sunlight, but these beauties tolerate low light, they just won’t grow as fast or as dramatically as they would in a brighter space.
Leafy and robust, the arrowhead plant is a great lowlight option. It’s also super easy to take care of, making it perfect for beginner plant parents.
Though these are more vibrant and colorful with deep red, purple swirls throughout the leaves when in direct, bright light, they can still survive in lower light conditions.
With full, bright, and wide neon leaves, this option is a lovely low-maintenance indoor plant. And it offers more than just good looks, removing benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air.
As mentioned earlier, ferns are flexible, easy going plants. They can survive in a variety of conditions, from low to bright indirect light. And this variety is also relatively compact and neater than other types of ferns.