40 Best Indoor Plants that Don’t Need Sunlight

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A lack of sunlight in your house shouldn’t stop you from having beautiful greenery throughout your home. These indoor plants that don’t need sunlight are perfect for a beginner and will add life to any space – no matter how dark!

I’ll have to be honest, I’ve always been a huge fan of faux plants.

I love that they add the style and comfort of greenery to a home and so conveniently remove the struggle to keep them alive.

And yet recently, I’ve also noticed that when I have a real plant in my house there’s something about it that faux plants just can’t give me – the feeling of LIFE.

I think part of the reason I’ve always just depended on faux plants to add greenery to my home is because I’ve never felt like I can keep my indoor plants alive!

The biggest culprit for this struggle? Our home doesn’t have a lot of natural light…

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The living room only has one window (which is actually the sliding glass door to the back yard), the kitchen has one small window above the sink, and the dining room has just one large window to the front of the house. That’s it!

In our entire main living space we only have a tiny bit of light coming in through a few windows.

If you’re like me and are desperate for some real, live plants in your low-light living space, then today’s post is going to open up your eyes to the possibilities! 🙂

While these shade plants don’t need direct sunlight to survive, they do need indirect light (which can come from the smallest of windows.)

In fact, many of these plants can be harmed by direct sunlight, so be sure you place them in a place where they aren’t too close to a window with direct light.

I hope you’ll get one or two and experience the feeling of life they add to your space!

40 Indoor Plants that Don’t Need Sunlight

1. ZZ PLANT

Also known as the “eternity plant,” the ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is one of the hardiest indoor houseplants around.

Not only can it survive with very little sunlight, but it is also drought resistant!

Be careful not to over-water it (watch for yellowing leaves) and be careful when handling because its juices have been known for irritating human skin.

2. CHINESE EVERGREEN

Chinese evergreens are a great “first-time” indoor plant for beginners. They can survive on low light, are drought resistant and don’t mind dry air.

When mature, they can produce flowers similar to calla lilies and do a great job filling empty corners of your home when placed on the floor.

Younger plants can be placed on table tops and stands as well.

The trick with these is that the darker the leaves, the more light they like. So if you have a really dark space, grab one of the lighter leaf varieties.

3. DRACAENA

While the Dracaena comes in over 50 varieties, the Dracaena Massangean has a tree-like look and works really well floor decor.

They prefer bright (indirect) sunlight and are a natural air purifier!

4. CAST IRON PLANT

The Cast Iron Plant is extremely hardy – its only risks being over-watering or re-planing too often.

They are slow to grow, but also very hard to kill.

Wipe the dust off its leaves with a damp cloth once a week to keep it well maintained.

5. MONSTERA

Also known as the “swiss cheese plant,” the Monstera is a fabulous way to add a tropical feel to your home.

Not only does it add a vibrant pop of deep green, but it’s also a natural air purifier.

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6. SILVER QUEEN

The Silver Queen is both durable and beautiful, making it perfect for a beginner!

But, keep in mind, they’re cold sensitive, so place it in a spot that doesn’t get drafty.

7. WEEPING FIG TREE

All this indoor tree needs to stand tall and fabulous is an occasional trim and routine watering!

It’s a perfect way to add life to an empty corner.

8. PARLOR PALM

In the Victorian era, owning a Parlor Palm was a sign of affluence!

These tall plants are great for living or dining rooms and take moderate care.

They prefer medium, indirect light and can even thrive in artificial light.

Don’t water unless the soil is dry – otherwise you might kill it!

9. DRAGON TREE

Another version of the Draceana, the Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata) is known for its spiky leaves with a red outline.

It’s almost impossible to kill, but be sure this one isn’t in direct sunlight, because that could damage it.

10. UMBRELLA PALM

The Umbrella Palm is a great way to add height and color to your home.

It thrives best in shady, boggy spots – so try placing its pot over a tray of water so it can have a constantly moist substrate.

11. STAGHORN FERN

The Staghorn Fern, also known as the “antelope ears” or “elkhorn fern,” has unique, extravagant leaves making it a great plant for decor.

It can not however, survive on just artificial light, so try to place it in your room with the most natural (indirect) sunlight.

12. JAPANESE SAGO PALM

This easy-to-maintain indoor plant brings the feeling of southern California into your home!

13. SNAKE PLANT

Better known as the “Mother-in-law’s Tongue,” the Snake Plant is a very durable and popular indoor plant.

Not only does it need watering just once a month, but it can also go weeks with neglect while still standing tall and firm.

Grab one of these for your home if you’re looking for incredible style without all the maintenance!

14. SWORD FERN

The Sword Fern is a beautiful, full plant that’s perfect for adding luscious green to your home.

It likes humid climates, so try placing it in your bathroom or regularly spritzing it with water. It also likes acidic soil, so you might consider fertilizing it on occasion.

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15. DUMB CANE

The Dumb Cane is a very popular house plant, its stunning leaves and ability to grow up to 5′ tall make it a favorite of many.

But, be careful with this one, as the entire plant is poisonous. Keep it out of the reach of pets and children and don’t touch the sap.

If you have cats in your home, here’s a great infographic from iLoveVeterinary.com for other plants to avoid.

16. ELEPHANT’S EAR

The Elephant’s Ear (native to the Philippines) is a new-found favorite among houseplant enthusiasts and is appreciated for its unusual style.

The leaves can easily burn, so be sure to keep it in a shady spot of the house.

17. PEACE LILY

If you’re looking for a flowering plant that doesn’t require much attention, the Peace Lily is your best bet!

Not only do they love shade, but they actually like for their soil to dry out between waterings.

They flower multiple times a year and purify your air too!

18. CREEPING FIG

This slow-growing creeper has an enchanting style and is extremely easy to maintain. Let its soil dry out between waterings.

19. PEACOCK PLANT

A variation of the Calathea, the Peacock Plant is a bit higher-maintenance than some of the others listed here.

It prefers frequent watering and has specific minimum temperature requirements (55 F) that should be maintained.

But, in exchange for a little more attention, you get a beautiful, showy houseplant on display in your home.

20. MAIDENHAIR FERN

Maidenhair Ferns are an elegant plants that can easily elevates the style of a room.

That being said, they need a bit more care – like frequent waterings with distilled water and bright indirect sun.

21. LUCKY BAMBOO

These are popular gifts and can be grown in water or soil!

22. ENGLISH IVY

Place your ivy near a trellis or wall where they can climb, knowing that it can take years for the plant to get long vines.

The more light the English Ivy gets, the more vibrant its leaves will be!

23. PANDA PLANT

Named for its silvery-white, fur-like hairs, the Panda Plant can (but rarely does) bloom indoors.

This plant savors the shade, so place it in a darker area of your home and let the soil dry out between waterings.

24. BROMELIAD

These tropical plants are a top household choice and do great indoors.

In addition to being indoor plants that don’t need sunlight, the Bromeliad can even live on solely florescent lighting!

It prefers humid climates, so try it in a bathroom or kitchen.

25. SPIDER PLANT

The Spider Plant is a very popular indoor plant and is extremely easy to grow.

Place it on a window sill or try it in a hanging basket!

26. RATTLESNAKE PLANT

Known for the unique and exquisite leaves (with green on top and red underneath) the Rattlesnake Plant is a popular indoor plant.

Remember, they prefer humid environments, so keep them in a bathroom or spritz them with water regularly.

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27. PRAYER PLANT

Prayer Plants, named after their leaves that “fold in half” at nightfall (like praying hands) have unique leaves and are very easy to grow indoors without sunlight.

Watch out for spider mites and be sure to keep them in a humid area.

28. BIRD’S NEST FERN

The Bird’s Nest Fern has crinkly, wavy leaves with a center that resembles a crow’s nest.

They tend to grow in bunches when found in nature and are a fun, unique indoor houseplant.

29. PHILODENDRON

The Philodendron, also known as the “sweetheart plant” for its heart-shaped leaves can come in both vine and bush varieties.

All varieties prefer bright, indirect sunlight and stringy stems with large gaps between leaves is a sign that yours isn’t getting enough light.

30. PEPEROMIA

There are over 1,000 varieties of Peperomia – ranging from small dense green foliage to colored leaves that display gray, red, and cream.

Avoid direct sunlight so their leaves don’t burn.

31. HAWORTHIA (ZEBRA CACTUS)

Similar looking to the Aloe plant, the Pearl Plant (named for its pearly white dots) is a succulent that’s sensitive to cold temps and blooms tiny white-brownish flowers in the early summer.

32. REX BEGONIA

Rex Begonias are known for their colorful foliage and prefer medium to low light.

33. DEVIL’S IVY

Devil’s Ivy (also known in Asia as the “Money Plant”) is a widely popular houseplant in Asian countries.

They’re excellent climbers and are a great beginning plant for anyone starting out on their plant owning journey.

It’s named for it’s ability to “choke out” other plants in nature and grow vines even in the worst conditions.

They’re best in a hanging pot or potted on a desk.

34. ARROWHEAD PLANT

Regular pruning is all this lovely plant needs to thrive indoors!

35. ANTHURIUM

These beautiful floral plants bloom well in medium to low light and add vibrant color to your home.

Water regularly and keep their soil moist.

36. JAPANESE SEDGE

This ornamental grass loves shade making it the perfect indoor plant.

37. BEAR PAW’S FERN

This unique and attractive plant has blue/green “furry paws” looks great in a pot.

Try it in a room with cool colors or accent a room of pastels with its delicate paper-like leaves.

38. PAPER PLANT

The Paper Plant gets its name from the fact that its leaves are extremely fragile (like paper) and is susceptible to cold or dry conditions.

Watch for yellowing leaves which implying too much sun.

39. FITTONIA

The Fittonia has many vibrant colored varieties and are very popular among smaller houseplants.

While they add great color to a space, they’re also more difficult to maintain. They prefer constant humidity, making them best for a terrarium.

If you do try them in your home, place them in a bathroom with a shower and spritz them with water regularly.

40. ASPARAGUS FERN

The Asparagus Fern is easier to take care of than other ferns because it doesn’t need a humid environment.

It appreciates low light and needs room to grow out into it’s full size.

Tips for Growing Indoor Plants that Need No Light

  • Don’t over-water your plants.
  • Prune them regularly.
  • Clean the dust off their leaves.
  • Fertilize your soil.
  • Watch for pests!

What plant needs the least amount of light?

While most of the indoor plants that need no light listed here can live on tiny amounts of indirect light, if you’re looking for one that could just about survive in a closet, then I would recommend you start with a fern or a terrarium with some moss.

Ferns and moss are known for thriving in the dark forests under the canopy of the trees and can survive with very little light.

What is the easiest houseplant to take care of?

In my opinion, air plants are by far the easiest houseplant to take care of. I mean, they don’t even need water to survive!

But, if you’re looking for a plant that goes in soil, then succulents are going to be your best bet.

Succulents are a great option for a beginner because, not only do they need less light to survive, but they also need less water!

In addition to the succulents listed with the other indoor plants that don’t need sunlight above, here are few you might want to try:

  • Jade Plant
  • Zebra Cactus
  • Holiday Cacti
  • Burro’s Tail
  • Aloe
  • Ponytail Palm

Plant Stands for Indoor Plants

Small and medium-sized indoor plants often look best when displayed on a plant stand.

There are all sorts of plant stands available online so you should be able to find one that fits the rest of your home’s decor quite easily.

Here are a few of my favorite stands for under $50:

Try placing your plant on a stand next to your sofa or nightstand for instant addition of comfort and style!

I hope this list of the 40 best plants to grow indoors helps you add some new, green life to your home!

Don’t be afraid to try one out in a spot and if it’s not doing well, move it somewhere else. Eventually you’ll find a home for it where it thrives!

I can’t wait to try a few in our house. Now the only question left is, which one should I try first?! 😉

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8 thoughts on “40 Best Indoor Plants that Don’t Need Sunlight”

  1. This is a great list – just one quick note though, #31 is not called a Pearl plant. It’s a variety of succulent called Haworthia Zebra and it’s one of my favorites. Hope that helps people look forward to adding them in their house.

    Reply
  2. I love this post so much! I also have a home that doesn’t offer a lot of natural light so this is tailor made for me! Personally, i’m obsessed with Monsteras, that tropical vibe just can’t be beat but now I have all these other options:) Thank you for putting all of this together!

    Reply

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