Not every room in your home is going to have light flooding through the windows. You might even have a hallway or bathroom without windows at all. But even these spaces with low or no light at all can be decorated with a host of houseplants. As long as you strategically choose the best low-light houseplants.
The best plants, if properly selected, can do anything from absorbing excess moisture in the air to improving the air quality by removing dust particles. And yes, some of them can even live with very low light levels.
These 6 low-maintenance houseplant varieties that are easy to care for come highly recommended by our plant and gardening experts for north-facing and low-light rooms.
6 best low-light houseplants
Perhaps the best part about these unkillable houseplants is that they can be left alone without the need to regularly move them to a sunnier spot. But, while some of these plants will also be able to survive in a room without windows, they will still require some light which can be provided by grow lights available on Amazon, or by leaving doors open for light to reach them from another room.
‘These are mainly all incredibly tolerant of low light conditions so they don't have to be moved to a better-lit location at all,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench.
He adds, however, that even though it’s not needed, it won’t hurt them to move them once in a while to a sunny area, as long as they’re trained for such changes beforehand as explained by Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening and plant expert.
‘These plants shouldn't be moved from a dark shelf onto a sunny windowsill without a transitional period with gradual increases in brightness,’ he says.
Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants.
1. Snake plant
Not only is a snake plant one of the best houseplants that reduce dust, but this almost impossible-to-kill houseplant is also able to survive when light is sparse.
‘Not only is the snake plant highly tolerant of low light conditions, but is also overall very low maintenance,’ Steve starts.
Petar adds, ‘Snake plant is a durable, gorgeous and beginner-friendly plant that thrives in low-light areas and requires very little care and attention.’
Where to buy a snake plant:
- B&Q: Snake plant in 14cm Terracotta Plastic Grow pot
- M&S: Medium Sansevieria (Snake Plant) in Ceramic Pot
Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.
2. Spider plant
There are very few things a spider plant can’t do - it’s one of the best bathroom plants that absorb moisture, it reduces dust and it thrives in spaces with very little light too.
‘Incredibly tolerant of low light, the only thing you really need to be careful with with a spider plant is excessive watering. They are prone to rot if over-watered so just be careful. They're very low maintenance so don't require too much water,’ Steve says.
Where to buy a spider plant:
3. Zanzibar gem plant
The Zanzibar gem plant, also known as the ZZ plant, is a tough cookie that’s very difficult to kill for more reasons than one.
‘These plants are incredibly easy to look after, drought-tolerant (meaning they can survive for an extended period of time without water) and, of course, do well in low-lighted homes,’ Steve explains.
Where to buy a Zanzibar gem plant:
4. Cast iron plant
This plant has several names - cast iron plant, bar room plant, Aspidistra elatior and more. And no matter where in your home you place it, it will be just fine due to its versatility and adaptability.
‘The cast iron plant can tolerate low level conditions, as well as thrive in brighter light. It also helps with air purification,’ Steve says.
Where to buy a cast iron plant:
5. Dragon tree
If you’re a fan of larger, palm-style plants, then you will love the dragon tree.
‘Dragon tree is a plant that dislikes direct sunlight and has a unique and beautiful shape. It thrives in rooms with low light and, because of that, is a great choice for dark workspaces,’ Petar says, suggesting this variety for home office spaces, which more often than not are not treated to a lot of natural light.
Where to buy a dragon tree:
- Waitrose Garden: DRACAENA MARGINATA dragon tree
- Amazon: GardenersDream Tropical Dragon Tree "Draceana Marginata"
6. Arrowhead plant
If you have any cool fluorescent lighting in your workspace, perhaps spelling out some motivational slogans, then the experts recommend investing in an arrowhead plant.
‘Arrowhead plant is an excellent office plant, adapting well to rooms with fluorescent lighting. These plants like moisture and benefit from the occasional spray of water. Arrowheads put out vines while growing and if you’d like yours to be a climber, provide it with trellises or poles for support,’ Petar advises.
Where to buy an arrowhead plant:
- Crocus: Syngonium 'Bottle garden / terrarium plant' arrowhead plant
- Boma Garden Centre: Syngonium podophyllum Arrowhead plant
There is no need for those darker rooms in the house to go greenery-free. Instead, they can be little plant jungles just like any other room, just filled with the right houseplant varieties.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
How to decorate with Farrow & Ball's Sulking Room Pink - the ultimate grown-up blush shade
Pink isn't going anywhere - here's how to make it work in any room
By Holly Cockburn
How to clean an electric blanket - keep this energy-saving essential looking like new
Yes, you can put an electric blanket in the washing machine... but only if you follow these rules
By Lauren Bradbury
This interiors stylist gave her home office a fun Western-style transformation
Inspired by her travels, interiors stylist Laurie Davidson gave her home office a fun Western-style update
By Lisa Fazzani