Table of Contents

The Best Low-Light Houseplants for Indoor Gardening

Struggling with Low Light? You’re Not Alone

Spring is here, and plants are on my mind. I’d consider myself to have a green thumb, but ever since moving into our current home, I’ve struggled to keep indoor houseplants alive. I’m the girl who comes from a family of gardeners, has had 20 houseplants at a time, propagates for friends, and keeps a bountiful outdoor garden. So why can’t I seem to keep plants alive inside our house? It’s something I totally gave up on until recently.

I visited my favorite garden center to chat with the experts and give it one last go. What I found out was surprising and new information to me. Online articles had led me astray, and I’d wasted my time and money these past few years. Click through to see which plant I landed on to break my streak and learn about the expert-recommended easy indoor house plants that actually thrive in low light conditions.

Busting the Myths About Low-Light Plants

As I mentioned, I’d given up on indoor plants. As I continued to kill beautiful and expensive plants, I turned to convincing faux plants, and I’ll say – there’s definitely a place for those. But I was missing the benefits of caring for a live plant. They’re air-purifying, it’s rewarding to watch them grow, and they really do add actual life to your home.

Was it my efficient light-filtering windows? Did I suddenly lose my green thumb? Turns out the low-light house plants I read about in many articles don’t actually survive in low light conditions – let alone thrive. Even in our south-facing living room, my plants continued to look unhappy, and ultimately, in an effort to save them, I gave them away. They’re happily thriving at our friends’ cabin now, and have tripled in size – which only added to my sense of defeat.

When chatting with the experts, I learned there are truly only a few plant options that thrive in low light indoor conditions. Contrary to the articles I had read online that recommended plants such as ficus varieties, money trees, and rubber trees, the experts told me those will continually fail in my house. Turns out I was trying to keep plants alive in an environment that didn’t suit them.

Multiple experts at my greenhouse echoed this sentiment: there is a BIG difference in what a plant will tolerate versus the environment in which it will thrive. A plant that tolerates low light will only survive for so long and requires supplementation to keep it alive – time spent outside, a grow light, etc. It won’t grow, it will often look unhappy or drop leaves, but it can survive with extra attention. I’ve tried these plants many, many times and have continued to fail, so I decided this is not a direction I wanted to try again.

A plant that is better suited for low light indoor conditions will thrive – it will grow, it will look happy, and it doesn’t require extra effort, just a spot near a window and correct watering. This seemed like a much safer and easier bet. Turns out I was simply choosing the wrong plants.

The Experts’ Top Picks for Low-Light Indoor Plants

Sadly, there aren’t many plants that are well-suited for this low-light environment. I also live in a dry, non-humid climate, which adds to the difficulty. If you don’t want to waste your money, are looking to easily keep your plants alive, and have a similar low-light situation, my garden experts recommended these fail-proof four plants:

Plant Light Requirements Watering Needs Size
Dracaena Low light or indirect light Water when soil is dry to the touch Up to 8 feet tall
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) Low light or bright indirect light Water when top inch of soil dries out Up to 3 feet tall
Snake Plant (Sansevieria) Low light or indirect light Water when soil is dry to the touch Up to 3 feet tall
Pothos Low light or indirect light Water when soil is dry to the touch Trailing stems up to 30 feet

I went into the greenhouse looking for something specific – a tree to keep in the corner of our living room. I wanted it to look organic or textural, add height, have air purification benefits, and have a sculptural aesthetic. I’ll admit I picked out six or seven beautiful trees that better fit my aesthetic, all with a resounding “That one is not going to work” from the garden expert before I finally landed on a dracaena.

At the end of the day, I’d rather have a happy houseplant because I’ve made the mistake of purchasing solely based on aesthetic, only for the plant to die – resulting in time, money wasted, and a deflated ego. The dracaena really does look nice in our living room, and it seems happy in the corner. Our bedroom balcony patio roof extends and covers the French doors and windows, meaning this area gets less light than you’d expect from a south-facing window. The tree has already sprouted some new leaves and seems to be thriving, and I’m already feeling more confident about this one.

Caring for My New Low-Light Houseplant

I also wanted to share some of my top picks for larger planters and planter baskets this spring. I’ve started to dig mine out of our cute shed for the season ahead. So far, it’s been easy – I’m ignoring it most of the time, watering it once it has completely dried out. I’m told overwatering is the demise of this plant, and I’m making sure it stays in the indirect sunlight from the living room window.

I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I’ve tried other plants that were labeled as “low light” only to watch each look unhappy and die. This time around, I’m choosing to trust my local experts, who debunked many of those articles I had read before.

I also think it’s situational – how low is your “low light”? A basement? A shady corner? Some rooms simply won’t support live plants. I’ll start by saying there is zero shame in that. I’ve wasted a ton of money on live plants, and sometimes you want the look of a specific plant that simply won’t grow in the room you envision it in – which is where a convincing faux plant is the best fit. Today’s Gardens has a great selection of realistic-looking indoor plants that don’t require any care.

An olive or ficus variety – I like the delicate, wispy textures. I also enjoy indoor maples, ginkgoes, and palms. The lack of humidity here is also limiting for me. Looking for more plants & gardening posts? I’ll link some fan favorites for you below – ’tis the season to get your hands dirty and plant. Although we had snow yesterday, and spring felt finicky this past weekend, I think the moral of my plant story is this: don’t believe everything you read on the internet, obviously, and don’t try to force something into your home if it’s not the best fit.

I do hope my dracaena gets curvy and a little weird as it grows. I prefer the ones that look more like topiaries, wonky while they find their way to the sunshine. I’m sure the longer I live with it, the more I’ll learn about it. Do you have any houseplants or indoor trees? Do you feel like you have a green thumb? Is there a certain plant that you’ve yet to conquer? Give me all your dracaena tips, please! And don’t worry – there’s still plenty of maintenance-free faux plants to be found in our house, and they’re so realistic they sometimes get watered – so you’d never know.

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

Contact Us

General Contact :
[email protected]

Information :
[email protected]

Subscribe For Great Promo

Join with our subscribers and get special price,
free garden magazine, promo product announcements and much more!

© All rights reserved 2022