Indoor Plants for Shade

Grow Plants in Low Light

Indoor plants for shade, or low light houseplants, thrive in conditions where other plants might struggle. While most of these plants provide interesting foliage, some like the peace lily also provide pretty flowers. Most office buildings and north facing windows are considered low-light, but check your own home's conditions to determine if the area where you'd like to grow houseplants has low light. If it does, don't despair. There are plenty of beautiful houseplants to brighten every room.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

A favorite in both homes and offices, the peace lily (Spathiphyllum) loves cool, low light areas. It's one of the few houseplants for shade that blooms. The leaves are glossy and dark green. When the plant gets slightly pot bound, or too big for its pot, it sends up flower stalks. Each stalk begins with a light green color, with the tip unfurling into a long-lasting white flower. Spathiphyllums can grow several feet tall and several feet wide, and will live for many years if given the proper conditions. Water when dry and keep the plant in a low light location. They strongly dislike full sun.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Even if you think you have a brown thumb instead of a green thumb, you can still grow English ivy. These plants thrive in most any condition. They have beautiful, ivy-shaped leaves, and make wonderful hanging plants. They like gentle, filtered light or shady spots in the house. Water once weekly and check for spider mites, tiny insects that often plague English ivy.

Corn Plant (Dracaena)

Dracaena or corn plant is another popular house plant for shade. These tropical house plants grow anywhere from a foot tall to several feet tall and have large, flat leaves that looks a little bit like a palm. Dracenas like warm temperatures and slightly moist soil. They can be prone to spider mites and mealybugs, so check the plants frequently. If you spot these tiny crawling critters, use an insecticide from the garden center especially formulated for house plants, and read and follow the label directions carefully.

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra)

Yet another plant that loves shade in the home is the aspidistra, or cast iron plant. It's named the cast iron plant because it's so hard to kill! Aspidistra hails from Asia, and has a long and happy history of use as a houseplant. George Orwell even celebrated the aspidistra in the title of a 1936 novel. Aspidistra can tolerate extremely shady areas in the home, cool temperatures, and changes in moisture from very dry to wet. The leaves also look nice in flower arrangements.


You may have seen pothos growing in tangled profusion from hanging baskets in the home, or twining around a trellis. With its heart-shaped leaves and green and gold veined foliage, pothos is a favorite shade houseplant. Keep the pothos in a low light area and water it weekly. It withstands low light and dry conditions. It also makes an excellent office plant. If a friend has a pothos, ask for a cutting. Simply place the cutting in a glass of water, and within weeks you'll see roots. Place the rooted cutting in a pot of soil, and soon you'll have your own pothos.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Among shade loving house plants, snake plant has a funny alternate name. It's also called Mother in Law tongue because of the sharp edges. Snake plants are another plant that's easy to grow indoors. They have wonderful marbled foliage and enjoy low light or shade to moderate light.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Chinese evergreen plants also love shade. The next time you walk into an office building lobby or a shopping mall and see groups of plants, look for Chinese evergreen. It's very popular for interior design because of its beautiful foliage. It isn't fussy about growing conditions and prefers low light, moist soil, and normal room temperatures.

Easy Indoor Plants for Shade

Whether you choose a peace lily or a snake plant, there are many beautiful house plants that will thrive in northern windows, office lighting, or shady corners of your home. Choose from among these many beautiful plants, water them regularly, and enjoy their beauty for years to come.

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Indoor Plants for Shade