Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

10 of the best low light indoor plants

Friday, 12th February, 2021 // Tips & Advice

For shady homes and locations – by Laura Barry

Everyone loves indoor plants. They can instantly make a space feel prettier, brighter and greener. Indoor plants can purify our air, promote feelings of happiness, inspiration and wellbeing, and they reconnect us with nature. Not only that, but low light indoor plants that require little water means that even those with a black thumb stand a chance of raising a frondy friend.

However, while everyone loves a good indoor plant, not everyone has the perfect conditions within their homes to cater to the air, light and water requirements of most popular indoor plants. In particular, if you live in a house that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or if you’re living in an apartment block and trying to make the most of your one window and sliding glass door (neither of which usually get great natural light!).

In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 10 per cent of all Australians are now living in an apartment, but that doesn’t include townhouses. Of this, more than 38 per cent of people living in an apartment or unit live in a block that’s four or more stories high – not always conducive to effective plant growth.

We spoke to professional landscaper Matt Leacy, co-founder and director of Landart Landscapes, to get his recommendations for low light indoor plants.

1. Devil’s Ivy (Pothos Epipremnum)

“These low light indoor plants are really easy to care for as they thrive with little attention and they can propagate easily,” says Matt.

How to care for them:

Devil’s ivy will thrive in any potting mix and grows well in partial to full shade. Indoors, it will grow best if you situate it somewhere that gets a bit of filtered sunlight, or bright artificial light. This plant is drought resistant, so water when the top two inches of soil are dry, roughly once a week then once every two weeks in winter.

Devil's ivy


2. Lady Palm (Raphis)

“This low light indoor plant only requires a drink once a week,” says Matt. “This palm is really slow growing, so it’s worth buying an advanced specimen to maximise impact.

How to care for it:

This variety of low light indoor plant will grow in almost any well-drained soil, and are cold tolerant. Give it a drink when the top inch of soil is dry. This low light indoor plant prefers to be positioned away from full sun, but will grow well in a position that gets light.

3. Cast Iron plant (Aspidistra)

“As the common name ‘Cast Iron Plant’ suggests, this plant is close to indestructible,” says Matt.

How to care for it:

This low light indoor plant can thrive in ht and dry summers but isn’t put off by the cold, either. Water it when the soil is dry and don’t worry if it doesn’t get too much sun.


4. Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcus zamiofolia)

“Give this plant a small drink once a fortnight. The key with the Zanzibar Gem is not to over-water it,” says Matt.

How to care for it:

This low light indoor plant prefers indirect light, and the amount of water it needs depends on the amount of light it gets. Lots of sun means lots of water, less sun means less water. However, the zanzibar gem will prefer a low light interior.


5. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica ‘rubra’)

“The rubber plant has beautiful dark foliage with a pink new growth. It can add some drama, fill in a corner or breaking up a white or dark wall.”

How to care for it:

This plant light a bright room but no direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but never let it stay wet or get bone dry. Water once a week to once a fortnight, depending on the season.

6. Peace Lily (Spathyphylum)

“The peace lily is great for people that don’t want to monitor watering all the time,” says Matt. “The leaves will droop when watering is required. Depending on the space, you can get away with watering once a fortnight.”

How to care for it:

Water this low light indoor plant when the top inch and a bit of soil is dry. Or we the leave start to droop. If the foliage is drooping, give it a good soak and wait for the soil to dry out before you water it again. While this plant can endure bright room, it does not enjoy direct sunlight, and will thrive in the shade. Give it a regular mist in summer. The peace lily does not like the cold.

Peace lily

7. Silver Snakeplant (Sansevieria ‘Moonshine’)

“This is a very hardy low light indoor plant that only needs watering once every three to four weeks,” says Matt.

How to care for it:

This low light indoor plant will grow in any position out of direct sunlight, doesn’t like to be overwatered and will thrive in any environment from offices to homes.

8. Philodendrons

“For watering, it’s good to do the finger test with this low light indoor plant. Put your finger in the soil and if it feels dry, give the plant some water. This plant prefers to be kept moist, but be sure not to over-water it.”

How to care for it:

This plant prefers to avoid direct sunlight but likes a bright room. It grows year round and only needs watering when the soil is dry. Always choose a pot twice the size of the plant. Give it a regular misting during dry, hot summers.

9. Mistletoe cacti (Rhipsalis)

“The rhipsalis is one of the most interesting hanging plants around and very hardy,” says Matt. “I water mine once a week and it thrives in a position with no direct light.”

How to care for it:

This low light plant prefers well-drained soil and a bit of humidity, so give it a mist now and again. Water it in summer, but increase the time between drinks during winter. Keep it away from direct sunlight, as it enjoy moderate light.



10. Maidenhair fern (Adiantum)

“This plant brings such a beautiful light, brightness to any space,” says matt. “It is very delicate in appearance and should be treated that way – with care. Keep it in a warm position.”

How to care for it:

This plant doesn’t mind a bit of filtered light but dislikes direct sunlight and high temperatures. Water it regularly to keep the soil always moist, but never let it get wet. Make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter.

Maidenhair fern

Disclaimer: The opinions posted within this blog are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, others employed by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate or the organisations with which the network is affiliated. The author takes full responsibility for his opinions and does not hold Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate or any third party responsible for anything in the posted content. The author freely admits that his views may not be the same as those of his colleagues, or third parties associated with the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network.