House plants

8 Best House Plants For Shade And Low Light

Last updated on March 14th, 2022

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If you have a space in your home that is a little shaded, for example, the corner of a room or a room that doesn’t have access to natural light from windows, or the room simply has low light levels, there are still plenty of houseplants to choose from where this actually mimics their natural environment.

The problem is many houseplants that are classified as shade-tolerant plants are actually plants that prefer indirect light, such as in a bright room but not in front of the window. However, we did find 8 house plants for shade that will thrive in those darker corners of the room where you may have previously used artificial plants. Some have even been listed on NASA’s recommended plants for purifying air, which is an added extra bonus.

We start off our list with the Peace lily which was one such plant that has air purifying qualities while also being suitable for low light conditions.

1. Spathiphyllum – Peace Lily

Peace lilies are not actually lilies at all, but they will naturally clean the air in your home

Peace Lilies are known for their oval, glossy leaves that come to a point, interspersed with stunning white blooms. These flowers can last for two months or longer and give a stunning show while also cleaning the air we breathe for a healthy home. In spite of their name, these are not actually part of the Lily family but are tropical plants that can reach up to 1 metre indoors and need medium levels of indirect sunlight. 

2. Chlorophytum comosum – Spider Plant

Many beginners cultivate spider plants because of how tolerant they are, but more importantly, they will clean the air you breathe.

The spider plant is a magnificent houseplant because it is quite common, ideal for beginners, tolerant of neglect and can thrive in any conditions, including low light levels. This makes it perfect for growing in shaded, low light areas in your home. Its name derives from the linear leaves complete with green or striped white colours. If you don’t want plain green, this mixture of green and white centres are sure to do the trick. Eventually, it will produce flowering stems on which panicles of small white flowers grow. 

3. Cyperus alternifolius – Umbrella Palm

Keep stood in water

This umbrella palm is a native of Egypt and is more of an aquatic but it grows well in the home if you stand the pot in a saucer of water to keep the soil moist.

This umbrella palm is a native of Egypt and is more of an aquatic plant, however, it grows well inside the home if you keep it stood the pot in a saucer of water to keep the soil moist. It grows naturally in sun, along lake margins or in swamps. That said, you can grow it in your home in shaded, low light areas when you keep the palm in water. It is a wonderful accent plant to have with long strap-type leaves that create the shape of an umbrella. For this houseplant, pick an area where you can keep the plant inside standing water.

4. Hedera helix – Common Ivy

Also known as common ivy, this vine will grow prolifically and is often seen in woods wrapping itself around tree trunks in below the canopy in the shade. If you are growing it indoors, you have a lot of control over how large it gets and how much it spreads.

Also known as common ivy, this vine will grow prolifically and is often seen in woods wrapping itself around tree trunks, below the canopy and in the shade. If you are growing it indoors, you have a lot of control over how large it gets and how much it spreads. When left to their own devices they can quickly cover a house, eventually breaking into the foundation, however, grown inside and properly pruned you can allow it to reach the exact heights you want.

In fact, the vine can be trained to grow up a trellis inside, filling a nook in your home or a large window area with tinted glass. It also grows well in an indoor basket, as pictured above. It is an evergreen plant that needs partial shade, so it will thrive just fine in shaded, low light areas of your home. 

5. Ficus elastica – Indian Rubber Tree

Traditionally a tree from which sap is converted into rubber, this tree can be grown indoors with easy and will even take a couple of morning hours of direct light.

The sap from these trees is used to make rubber, but growing it in your home you won’t need to worry about that. While they can grow upwards of 33 metres in nature, you can trim and prune yours so that it remains much smaller. In fact, you can prune and shape it to whatever size you prefer, so they make excellent large houseplants.

Bright green in colour, they prefer temperatures between 15-28 degrees Celcius. Proven to get rid of any formaldehyde in the air you breathe, it is beautiful, hardy and one of the most common houseplants.

6. Chamaedorea Elegans – Dwarf Mountain Pine

 Chamaedorea Elegans needs shelter and partial shade so placing it near a window is helpful but it will grow in low light too.

The dwarf mountain pine has palm-like and stalked pinnated leaves, that reach up to 60cm in length and contain up to 40 linear leaves. The leaves pave the way for tiny, yellow flowers although once your plant reaches maturity they are often only grown for their foliage indoors.

A slender evergreen houseplant that grows in a naturally upright habit. They need shelter and partial shade, so placing them near a window is helpful, however, they will grow in low light too. 

7. Sansevaria – Mother in Laws Tongue

Another very popular house plant, this house plant features upright, stiff leaves that can be 30cm or 100cm in height, depending on the variety you choose. It even absorbs toxins

Known for the easy care and maintenance required, these plants are great for indoor spaces. They do well in low light or shade and will remain a rich green banded plant with yellow borders. They span in size so you can find smaller plants for smaller, darker corners or larger plants to fill a large corner of a room. The leaves are rigid and stand upright, so give the plant plenty of upward space in which to grow. This was also featured as one of the best air purifying plants for indoors.

8. Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant

This plant gets its nickname from the many holes that naturally grow inside the large leaves and has become very popular over the year being featured in many an Instagram post.

The Swiss Cheese Plant has large, heart-shaped leaves that are a stunning green colour and is probably one of the most popular houseplants currently available, and it’s not hard to see why.

As the plant matures, those leaves start to accumulate holes throughout, which is what lends the plant its nickname. This plant is very flexible and will grow indoors in sunny or shaded conditions as long as you give it a lot of humidity and warmth. When grown indoors, you want to make sure the container has a lot of drainage holes so that the soil can dry out in between waterings.

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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