Plants need sunlight, right? Or do they? Here’s the good news – while most indoor plants need a strong light source (or at least bright indirect light), certain resilient plants don’t require bright sunlight to thrive.
Low-light houseplants are a great choice for humid conditions like your bathroom and rooms with limited lighting, such as a home office or spaces with north-facing windows.
In this article, you’ll find excellent examples of indoor plants perfect for a windowless room with limited natural light. These low-light plants have bucket-loads of beauty that make the best houseplants. Want a closer look? Let’s go!
1. Spider Plants
While its most common name is “spider plant,” this eye-catching plant also goes by the scientific name “chlorophytum comosum.” This plant’s spiky – sometimes variegated – leaves resemble spider’s legs, which gives it its character and charm. Spider plants are seen as highly adaptable to most environments but thrive in well-drained soil and rooms with low, indirect light.
2. Snake Plant
Second on the list of plants with an animal-like appearance is the snake plant! Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue plants, are well-known for their upright, sword-shaped leaves that look like snakes. This spiky plant is a good choice for rooms with little light as its low-maintenance requirements mean it’s virtually indestructible!
3. ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant is another good choice for those not-so-light spaces like a home office. However, this plant is very resilient – it doesn’t seem to prefer light or dark. So, if you need to move it to a lighter spot in the future, you sure can! This plant has two main varieties – the most common verdant green variety or the dramatic black Raven ZZ. But regardless of the type you choose, the ZZ plant will undoubtedly draw attention to your windowless room!
4. English Ivy
You can’t beat English ivy, right? This classic plant is a British staple outdoors, but it can also be brought in to grace your windowless spaces! Due to its trailing nature, this evergreen perennial plant works best in a hanging planter. Try a macramé hanger – they’re in style and are easy to make yourself!
5. Dumb Cane
Dieffenbachia, or “dumb cane,” is a common houseplant that boasts beautiful big, variegated leaves. This is an easy-going kind of plant, growing just as quickly in a windowless room as in a spot with sunlight. It received its common name, “dumb cane,” due to the poisonous calcium oxalate crystals it contains within its stems. Eating these can cause temporary difficulties with speech and irritation in the throat and stomach. Needless to say, it’s best to avoid this one if you have little ones or pets running around!
6. Calla Lilies
One thing’s certain – few low-light-loving plants look as beautiful as the calla lily. This breathtaking tropical plant is available in various colours, from classic wedding white to orange, lavender, and even dark maroon. Unfortunately, like dumb cane, many varieties of lilies are toxic. Therefore, if you’ve got pets or youngsters around the house, it’s best to avoid these plants.
7. Peace Lily
Peace lilies are ideal for a dark corner or room, as they can handle a range of light conditions, from low light to bright, indirect sunlight. These flowering plants originate from the tropical rainforests of South America but are now widely available as houseplants across the world. Interestingly, unlike most plants, the peace lilies bloom better in low-light conditions, so these flowering plants are one of the best ways to bring interest to a spot that only gets limited light.
8. Chinese Evergreen
Just look at this plant’s leaves – need I say more? Preferring low to medium light conditions and only asking for well-drained soil, this plant is one of the best for low-light spots, even for plant novices! Simply water the plant when it dries out (when the soil turns a lighter colour) and watch it flourish! As this plant ages, it may even produce flowers – these look similar to those of the calla and peace lilies!
9. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a houseplant with a twist. This plant boasts fleshy green leaves adorned in spikes and has various medicinal uses, as it contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It’s the perfect choice for a low-light bathroom and – despite its spiky appearance – will give the room a relaxing, spa-like feel. However, if you plan to keep aloe vera, ensure it has a little light exposure – this plant doesn’t do well in pitch-black conditions.
10. Bird’s Nest Fern
The bird’s nest fern is another rainforest plant that loves humid conditions. It’s naturally epiphytic, so when it’s in its rainforest habitat, it grows on the surface of other plants, usually in the rainforest understory. As you can imagine, these conditions aren’t unlike a windowless bathroom’s humid, low-light conditions! This plant’s popularity is mainly owed to its shiny green ruffled fronds that can grow up to 5 feet long but typically won’t exceed 2 feet. If you’re considering a bird’s nest fern, know this – it has three key requirements: moisture, humidity, and warmth. Give it these, and you’ll be on to a winner!
11. Boston Fern
Another of the fern family is the Boston fern. Also known as the “sword fern,” this plant is best known for its unique fronds, with arching stems adorned with little leaflets. It’s a slow-growing plant, so it’s perfect for a windowless room that’s on the smaller side. For example, it’ll make great company sitting beside you at your office desk! Unlike some other plants on this list, the Boston fern does like a bit of care. You’ll need to give it warmth, humidity, and regular fertiliser, and your care must be consistent. Otherwise, you run the risk of your beautiful Boston fern wilting.
12. Maidenhair Fern
The final fern variety on our list is the maidenhair fern. You may have seen this one around – it’s a very common houseplant. Why, you may be asking? Well, primarily due to its delicate leaflets and dainty branches, which gives it the appearance of lace. Unfortunately, with this plant’s soft appearance comes some pretty high maintenance requirements. It’s quite picky about its environment, asking for steamy, humid conditions in particular. Therefore, if you plan to put this plant in your office, think again. The only place this plant will likely survive indoors is a bathroom or wet room.
13. Golden Pothos
Also known as “epipremnum aureum” and “Devil’s Ivy,” the golden pothos won’t make a fuss if placed in any lighting conditions, making it a prime candidate for a dark room without a window. However, the pothos plants love a bit of moisture, so a dim kitchen or bathroom will work best unless you’re prepared to mist your plant baby often! The golden pothos makes a great climbing or trailing plant, so it’ll fit well in any space, whatever its size!
Looking for a plant with a powerful flower punch? The bromeliad will do it! This plant boasts striking, thick spikey leaves with a highly distinctive bloom in the centre. As you can see, it really does steal the show! The contrast between the dark green of the leaves and the vibrant red of the bloom ensures this plant never goes unnoticed!
15. Lucky Bamboo Plants
Lucky bamboo is a plant with a reputation – supposedly bringing good luck to whoever keeps it nearby. Lucky bamboo plants are the best way to inject a little oriental twist into a windowless bathroom. It’s a popular choice in low-light areas like windowless bathrooms because of its spa-like yet unique look and easy maintenance. Lucky bamboo grows best in a container will small stones or pebbles and an inch or more of water. Use a clear glass container to truly enjoy every aspect of this unique plant!
16. Air Plants
Air plants are funny-looking things, right? While they are similar in appearance to succulents, air plants have wavy and curly leaves instead of succulents’ fleshy leaves and stem. Air plants gained their name as their thin, wiry roots latch onto branches, cliff faces, or virtually any vertical surface they can in the wild instead of firmly rooting themselves in the soil like most plants. Air plants don’t need soil and can hang from the ceiling if you wish, making them an interesting addition to any home.
17. Swiss Cheese Plant
All you need to do is look at the Swiss cheese plant’s leaves to know where it gets its name from. And you don’t need to look any further to determine why everyone loves this plant so much! With interesting perforated leaves, the Swiss cheese plant is a unique beauty. The term “monstera” in its scientific name translates to “monster.” This refers to its size – it can grow up to 2 m high and 2.5 m wide! So, put your Swiss cheese plant in a floor-standing pot and see how big it can grow!
READ NEXT: 35 Big Leaf Plants for Indoors & Outdoors.
18. Parlour Palm
The parlour palm (or “parlor palm” in America) is one of the best plants for adding height to a dimly lit space. It has a compact shape but can grow to 8 feet tall in ideal conditions, so it’s perfect for a floor-standing planter. However, if you’re working with a smaller space, you can also get the “desktop” varieties that grow to 1 foot tall – these are the prime choice for a desk or kitchen countertop! This plant doesn’t like too much water, so only water it when the top few centimetres of the soil are dry, and feed with a liquid feed monthly in the warmer months.
19. Cast Iron Plant
The cast iron plant is one of the best for an office space with no windows as it provides excellent height, perfect for a desk or floor-standing planter like the one in the image. To truly celebrate your cast iron plant, place it in a plain-coloured pot or planter and watch its dark green leaves shine!
20. Arrowhead Plant
The arrowhead plant is another favourite for windowless rooms, as it can handle extremely low light levels. However, it does benefit from some light, so if you place it in a windowless room, keep some fluorescent lights handy. Arrowhead plants like moist growing conditions, so they’re perfectly placed in a bathroom or terrarium. And if you want to opt for a slightly different look to your run-of-the-mill plant in a pot, grow your arrowhead plant in water!
Philodendrons typically love shady conditions and don’t fare well in direct sunlight, making them perfect for a room without a window. They’re also an excellent plant for beginners, as they don’t require a whole lot of watering – simply allow your philodendron’s soil to dry out completely, then water it – this will usually be once a week in the warmer months, and less in the colder months. One of the best philodendron varieties for dark rooms is the heart leaf philodendron due to its awe-inspiring heart-shaped leaves.
If you found this article helpful and want other plant recommendations, you’ll love our article on 25 Aesthetic Bedroom Plant Ideas.