Pictures of lush germaniums in a shaded corridor or jade plant in a dimly lit office look great on magazine covers.
But in reality, those plants would wilt and die within a month in those conditions.
They have no chance even if you hired the best plant maintenance experts to care for them. The best care, fertilizer, and watering can’t help your plant survive if it’s in an environment that doesn’t meet its needs.
Most plants thrive best in warm spaces, with bright light and a gentle breeze.
But what about the dingy hallways? What about the basement IT offices, and the small, dark rooms with a sliver for a window?
They don’t deserve to be left bleak and devoid of plant life, with just a generic piece of art to keep them company.
But worry not… Mother nature has an entire range of low-light plants tailor-made for low-light environments.
Here are the 8 hardiest low-light plants that not just survive, but thrive in dark spaces.
The first three plants in our list, are classic indoor favorites that are nearly impossible to kill.
- Pothos (a.k.a the Devil’s Ivy)
This quintessential indoor plant is capable of staying alive and growing for years in low light conditions. You can choose between letting the Pothos grow like a creeper, for boho-chic ambiance; or rooting it as a potted plant for a more classic aesthetic.
When it comes to Pothos, keep in mind that the lighter the leaves, the more sunlight it will need.
Pothos water requirements:
You can water a Pothos thoroughly, and then wait for the soil to dry out partially before watering again. If the leaves are limp or brown at the tips, then it’s a sign the plant is parched.
- Snake plant
Also known as the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, this elegant plant is virtually indestructible. The snake plant may grow slowly, but they survive in both the darkest of corners and on the brightest of windows.
These potted plants are available in both smaller desktop varieties, as well as larger ones to be placed on the floor.
Snake plant water requirements:
A round of watering every 15 days – 1 month should keep it healthy. If you’re unsure, check to see if the soil is completely dry before watering. The snake plant can survive without being watered for weeks, but watch out for the fatal root rot caused by overwatering.
- Cast iron plant
Originally native to Japan, this low-light plant is a perennial indoor favorite. Much like its namesake cast iron pots, this plant is also incredibly hardy and survives the harshest conditions.
Cast-iron plants also filter the air and reduce air-conditioner-induced dryness, by adding some humidity to the air.
What more can you ask for from a plant, really?
Cast iron water requirements:
Like the pothos, cast iron plants also need to be watered thoroughly without letting the soil dry out too much. To ensure you’re not underwatering, check the dampness of the soil once a week. In fact, in low light conditions, the plant might need watering only every 2-3 weeks.
The next two plants on our list, are for those who’re looking for more ornamental plants
- Peace lily
This stunner of a plant has large, glossy dark green leaves balanced out by delicate white flowers. It’s one of the only plants that flowers even in low light conditions, making it a sought-after gem among indoor plants.
But this plant is poisonous if licked or ingested. So remember to keep it far away from areas where children or pets are allowed.
Peace lily water requirements:
Peace lilies like consistently moist soil. So wait for the top 1 inch of soil to dry out, before watering the plant thoroughly. But avoid overwatering, as that can cause the leaves to turn black and brown.
- Dracaena marignata open weave
Dracaenas as a species are gorgeous plants that tend to survive even in low-light, low-water conditions.
But the Dracaena marignata is a true show stopper. It has sturdy woven stems that are capped by lush, whimsical foliage with long, slender leaves.
Here’s something for you to remember though. This beauty needs at least one day of indirect sunlight every 10 days to keep it looking fresh.
Dracaena marignata water requirements:
Root rot caused by overwatering is the most common cause of death for a Dracaena Marginata. So while the plant needs to be watered well, allow the top 3/4th of the soil to dry before watering it.
If you’re in looking for plants to match a more tropical theme, then the last three plants on our list should keep you covered.
- Kimberly queen fern
Ferns in general, are flexible, easy-going plants. They survive in almost every environment, much like the pothos.
This variety makes it to our top 8 list, not just because of its hardiness but also it’s aesthetic. The Kimberly Queen is clean and compact, while still bringing a fresh burst of life to any space it is placed in.
Kimberly queen water requirements:
Generally, this plant needs to be watered once every 2-3 days, but this varies depending on the weather. As a rule of thumb, allow the first 1-2 inches of the soil to dry out before watering the plant.
If the leaves start turning pale green, water more often. But if they start browning, then it’s a sign of overwatering.
- Bromeliads (soft leafed varieties)
This colorful, long-leafed beauty is as hardy as it gets for a low-light plant. It survives not just in regular low light, but it grows even with just a fluorescent light.
Bromeliads also do well in high-humidity spaces. So this plant should be the perfect addition to spruce up, otherwise clinical-looking toilets or washrooms.
Bromeliad water requirements:
Bromeliads prefer to dry out, so they only need to be watered every 1-2 weeks, depending on the variety. You’ll want to water both the soil and cup, making sure to keep the latter only halfway full to prevent rot.
- Zanzibar gems (a.k.a ZZ’s)
Last but not least, this low-light plant is a part of the succulent family. Native to East Africa, these plants have long stems, with many small, thick and waxy dark green leaves to fill out the foliage.
These plants also have the additional benefit of being drought-resistant. So you won’t have to worry about them wilting a dying if they haven’t been watered in a couple of weeks.
Zanzibar gem water requirements:
ZZ’s are succulents, and like all succulents, they hate being overwatered. So wait for the entire soil to dry out fully, before watering them. This usually means they will need water only every 3-4 weeks. Watch out for their leaves turning yellow, as that is a sign of overwatering.