Even if your home only offers low light conditions (windows are too small, too few, facing a low light direction or obstructed by outdoor vegetation or high-rise buildings), there are still some houseplants you can grow successfully. Like the ones below...that are not afraid of the dark...
Aglaonema - Chinese Evergreen
One of the most durable plants on the market, this popular indoor specimen is perfect for those shady spots indoors. With its undemanding temperament, and ability to adapt to conditions that are detrimental to other houseplants, the Chinese Evergreen grows steadily with minimal care. This is the perfect candidate for the inexperienced (or negligent) owner.
Although the preference is brighter light to maintain the decorative foliage that it’s grown for, this lovely plant will adapt to low light areas. And while this highly-tolerant plant does well in a variety of settings, it doesn’t handle the cold well and needs to be grown in a room that is comfortably warm and draft free. Keep the soil evenly moist during the warm months and drier during the cooler ones. With proper care, this lovely plant will grow happily in your home for a long time and even reward you with many offshoots.
Aspidistra Elatior - Cast-Iron Plant
Place the Aspidistra in moderately-lit areas such as up against a north window or in any shady section of your home near decent lighting. The plant will withstand warm rooms but it prefers cooler, fresher temperatures. Wash the leaves now and then to remove dust and possible pests. Keep the soil evenly moist during the active growing season. Allow it to dry out more during the winter months.
Zamioculcas Zamiifolia - ZZ Plant
If all you can grow is artificial plants, consider this durable succulent that practically thrives on neglect and requires very minimal care. Fairly new but increasing in popularity, the durable Zamioculcas Zamiifolia – referred to as the ZZ plant - is not only easy to care for but also very beautiful with its dark green, glossy leaves. This is a perfect choice for beginners searching for a plant that is as close to indestructible as possible, and for individuals that want to grow plants in their dimly lit homes.
About the only thing that will kill this foolproof specimen is over-watering, so be careful with that watering can. Keep the plant on the dry side; too much water will result in yellow leaves and the possible rotting of the underground tubers. With its ability to store moisture in the tuber, the thick leaves and the fleshy stem, it can go for long periods without being watered. Dry air is not an issue and average household temperatures are fine.
Sansevieria Trifasciata - Mother-In-Law's Tongue, Snake Plant
It is preferable to grow this Sansevieria in a brighter location but it will adapt to lower light. Use a fast-draining, highly-porous soil and water only when the medium dries out. Be extra vigilant with the watering can during the colder months when susceptibility to rot is high. Humidity is not an issue; the plant prefers to grow in drier areas. Average home temperatures are ideal.
Dracaena Deremensis Janet Craig
Most Dracaenas will put up with shady locations, but the Janet Craig will handle it better than most. This popular plant makes an elegant statement in any room it occupies with its simple but attractive shiny, dark green leaves. Although slow-growing, it is capable of growing as tall as ten feet. A large specimen makes a terrific floor plant with its bushy, vertical growth. This beloved plant is a great choice for rooms that offer only low light.
Keep the medium evenly moist during the growing season; reduce watering and allow the plant to dry out considerably during the winter months. Medium light is preferred but the plant will adjust easily to light shade. Average household temperatures are fine. Shield this plant from cold drafts and cold temperatures; if it’s placed anywhere where cold air hits it, move it. Correct any situations that have the potential to cause cold damage or the plant will deteriorate rapidly. Dry air is tolerated but higher levels of humidity are preferred.
Fittonia Verschaffeltii – Red Nerve Plant
Keep the soil evenly moist at all times during the spring and summer seasons; never allow the plant to dry completely. Reduce watering in the winter when growth slows down. Fittonias need to be kept warm. Avoid cold drafts, temperature fluctuations and rooms that are too cool. With its need for ample humidity, unless you can provide it in another way, consider growing this plant in a terrarium or bottle garden.
Philodendron Scandens – Heart-Leaf Philodrendron
The Heart-Leaf Philodendron is one of the most commonly-grown indoor plants as well as one of the easiest. Its ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions and low levels of light for very long periods makes it a great plant for beginners and for those shady indoor locations. This attractive plant with dark green, heart shaped leaves can be left to trail down from a hanging basket or trained to grow upright.
Epipremnum Pinnatum – Golden Pothos
When the plant is actively growing, allow the soil to dry out slightly, then water thoroughly. Let the medium dry out more during the colder months when the plant slows down. Do not keep the soil constantly moist if the plant is not growing or if it’s placed in colder, darker areas. Bright, indirect light is the preference but the plant will grow reasonably well in low light areas. Choose a warm spot and protect against cold drafts. Humidity is not critical but a moister environment is appreciated.
Above are just a few common indoor plants able to adapt reasonably well to the darker areas of a home. It’s important to remember that no plant will survive deep shade for very long, areas that are so light-deprived that even low light plants will protest when grown there. Supplement those overly dark locations with artificial lighting or move the plant to a brighter area.