20 Houseplants That Can Thrive in Dark Corners

Kasey Spencer
Houseplants That Can Thrive in Dark Corners

If you’re like me, someone who has spent over 13 years getting their hands dirty in the garden and sharing those experiences through blogging, you know the value of a well-placed houseplant. Not only do plants add a splash of color and a breath of fresh air to our homes, but they also have a knack for making any space feel more welcoming.

However, not all corners of our homes are flooded with sunlight. Many of us deal with dimly lit spaces that seem to scoff at the idea of nurturing life. Yet, it’s exactly these challenging areas that offer a unique opportunity to get creative with our green friends.

In this post, we’re focusing on those shadowy corners, the spots far from the window that rarely see the light of day. Contrary to popular belief, some plants don’t just survive in low-light conditions; they thrive. From the sturdy ZZ Plant to the elegant Peace Lily, there are plenty of options for greening up even the gloomiest corner of your home.

The Top 20 Houseplants for Dark Corners

Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or new to the gardening game, this guide will introduce you to 20 houseplants perfect for those less-than-sunny spots.

1. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia or ZZ Plant
Image: Envato Elements

The ZZ Plant is a robust plant with waxy, dark green leaves that reflect sunlight, making it ideal for dim corners. Its ability to store water in its roots allows it to endure periods of neglect. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Dust the leaves occasionally to keep them shiny and healthy.

2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Sansevieria Snake Plant
Image: Envato Elements

Known for its upright, sword-like leaves, the Snake Plant is not only striking but also exceptionally hardy. It thrives in low light and can improve indoor air quality. Water infrequently, as the plant prefers dry conditions. It’s almost indestructible and requires minimal care.

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3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Image: Envato Elements

With its glossy leaves and white blooms, the Peace Lily can bring a touch of elegance to darker areas. It’s also known for its air-purifying properties. Keep the soil consistently moist without overwatering. It enjoys high humidity and occasional misting.

4. Philodendron

Image: Envato Elements

Philodendrons come in climbing and non-climbing varieties, both of which can adapt well to low-light conditions. Their heart-shaped leaves add a tropical flair. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry. Use a moss stick for climbing varieties to encourage growth.

5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Chlorophytum comosum
Image: Envato Elements

Known for its arching leaves and baby plantlets, the Spider Plant is adaptable and can thrive in semi-shady spots. Water moderately during the growing season and less in winter. Provide well-draining soil and occasional misting.

6. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden pothos houseplant.
Image: Envato Elements

Pothos is a popular choice for its heart-shaped, variegated leaves and its ability to grow in low light. It’s excellent for hanging baskets or as a climbing plant. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Trim long tendrils to keep the plant bushy and full.

7. Dracaena

Image: Envato Elements

Dracaenas are diverse, with many species thriving in low light. They feature long, narrow leaves often edged with red or yellow. Avoid overwatering by allowing the topsoil to dry out before watering again. Dust leaves regularly.

8. Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

Image: Envato Elements

Aglaonema is valued for its beautiful leaf variegation and tolerance to low-light conditions. Keep the soil lightly moist and provide high humidity if possible. It’s forgiving and low-maintenance.

9. Ferns (Various Types)

Image: Envato Elements

Many ferns, including the Boston and Maidenhair varieties, prefer indirect light and can thrive in darker areas. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide high humidity. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent scorching their delicate fronds.

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10. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Aspidistra elatior cast iron plant
Source: N1 Garden Centre

True to its name, the Cast Iron Plant is tough and can survive in poor light and extreme temperatures where other plants might falter. Water moderately; this plant is susceptible to root rot if overwatered. It requires very little feeding or additional care.

11. Calathea

Image: Envato Elements

Calatheas are known for their striking leaf patterns and colors, thriving well in low light. They are also known as prayer plants due to their leaves’ movements. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide high humidity. Avoid direct sunlight.

12. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastic)

Ficus elastic plant
Image: Envato Elements

With its dark, glossy leaves, the Rubber Plant is a robust grower that adapts well to less light. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out between waterings. Clean the leaves to unblock pores.

13. Monstera

Image: Envato Elements

Popular for its unique, split leaves, Monstera does well in low to medium light. It’s a favorite for adding a dramatic touch to interior spaces. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch, and provide a support structure for climbing.

14. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Parlor Palm
Image: Envato Elements

This small palm thrives in low light and can add a touch of the tropics to any room. Keep the soil evenly moist and provide well-draining soil. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves.

15. Dieffenbachia

Image: Envato Elements

Dieffenbachia, with its patterned leaves, is an attractive plant that does well in filtered light. Note: Its sap is toxic if ingested. Water when the top inch of soil is dry. It prefers humid conditions, so consider misting regularly.

16. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Dracaena sanderiana
Image: Envato Elements

Often grown in water, Lucky Bamboo is a symbol of good fortune and can thrive in low light. Change the water every two weeks and keep the roots submerged. It can also grow in soil with minimal light.

17. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

Monstera Deliciosa plant
Image: Envato Elements

Similar to Monstera, this plant is known for its distinctive holey leaves. It’s a robust grower in low-light environments. Water when the soil begins to dry out. It prefers high humidity and indirect light.

18. Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)

Syngonium podophyllum
Image: Envato Elements

The Arrowhead Plant features arrow-shaped leaves and a variety of colors. It’s versatile and can tolerate low light. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. It can benefit from occasional misting.

19. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)

Maidenhair Fern
Image: Envato Elements

With its delicate, fan-shaped leaves and wiry stems, the Maidenhair Fern prefers low light and a humid environment. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide high humidity. Avoid direct sunlight and drafty areas.

20. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Fern
Image: Envato Elements

Known for its lush, feather-like fronds, the Boston Fern thrives in humid, low-light conditions, making it perfect for bathrooms. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Regular misting can help maintain the humidity it loves.

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