People usually assume that plants need sunlight to grow, but this is not always true. Several plants can survive and even thrive without direct sunlight exposure.
Whether you want to add color to a shady corner of your garden or beautify an indoor space, understanding which plants grow without sunlight is key.
We will discuss 11 varieties of plants that can survive and flourish in low-light conditions.
11 Plants That Grow Without Sunlight
These 11 plants are perfect for creating a vibrant garden or home décor with minimal sunlight exposure.
1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Snake Plant can tolerate low light situations ranging from partial to complete shade. It requires minimal water, so allowing the soil to dry out completely between watering is important.
The hardiness zone for this plant has been rated as 9-11 (USDA). Its attractive foliage adds texture and color to any room. This could be the perfect pick if you’re looking for a sun-free option for your home or garden.
Snake Plant also produces small flowers in the shape of stars ranging from white to yellowish.
The flowers are quite inconspicuous and rarely stand out, but they provide a pleasant aroma that adds to the aesthetic quality of the plant.
This low-maintenance option is ideal for anyone looking to add greenery with minimal effort. It can be grown indoors or outdoors, so you’ll have plenty of options.
With its beautiful leaves and subtle scent, this plant will enhance any space you put it in, without needing direct sunlight. Snake Plant is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a sun-free option.
2. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)
ZZ Plant is a succulent with glossy, dark green leaves that can survive in low light and require little water.
Although this plant prefers humid environments, it is relatively easy to care for even if grown indoors. Its hardiness zone ranges from 9-10, according to the USDA.
When caring for a ZZ Plant, give it partially to complete shade and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.
It requires minimal attention when placed in its optimal environment. A well-draining potting mix such as cactus or succulent soil will help ensure your ZZ Plant gets enough oxygen while keeping moisture balanced.
The ZZ Plant is a great choice for beginning gardeners and those looking to add life to their homes without spending much time or money on upkeep.
Its ability to thrive in low light and humidity makes it an ideal houseplant that can survive even if neglected for long periods.
It also looks great as a centerpiece in any room, whether placed on the floor or hung from the ceiling. With proper care, these plants can last a lifetime.
Overall, the ZZ Plant is one of the most resilient plants and an excellent option for anyone interested in growing something unique indoors without too much effort.
Its striking foliage adds a beautiful touch to any décor, while its low-maintenance nature makes it a great addition to any home or garden.
3. Peacock Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
Peacock Plant is a tropical perennial plant native to Brazil. It is also known by its other common names, the prayer plant, herringbone plant, and red-veined prayer plant.
As an indoor houseplant, it is grown for its attractive foliage with green leaves patterned in dark green or grey-green and accented by distinctive burgundy veins.
Peacock plants will thrive without direct sunlight as long as it’s provided bright indirect light. Therefore, placing it near a north or east-facing window would be ideal in most homes and offices.
If you don’t have access to such windows, then artificial light sources can be used instead, incandescent bulbs, LED strips, or fluorescent tubes are all suitable choices.
When considering where to place the plant, remember that it prefers high humidity. This can be achieved by misting the leaves daily or placing a humidifier nearby.
In terms of maintenance, Peacock Plant requires regular attention to keep it looking its best. The soil should never be allowed to dry out completely, but overwatering should also be avoided, as this will cause the roots to rot.
Liquid fertilizer applied every few weeks during spring, and summer will help promote healthy growth.
Finally, it’s important to provide plenty of airflow around the plant, if air circulation is poor, this could encourage pests such as spider mites and mealy bugs.
Keeping an eye out for these pests and dealing with them as soon as they appear will help keep your Peacock Plant in peak condition.
4. Wax Begonia (Begonia X Semperflorens-cultorem)
Wax Begonia is an example of a plant that can grow without sunlight. This variety works well in hardiness zones 10 and 11, as the USDA specifies.
Begonias are great for adding color to indoor spaces due to their bright green foliage and showy flowers.
When caring for wax begonias, it is important to water thoroughly while allowing the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions.
Known for being versatile in light exposure, this plant can tolerate most sun levels but will do best with partial shade.
Providing adequate drainage is essential when growing begonias as they require moist but not soggy soil conditions.
Fertilizing every 1-2 weeks during the growing season helps keep a healthy-looking plant. Wax begonias are a great choice for an attractive and low-maintenance plant that does not require direct sunlight.
5. Nerve Plant (Fittonia Spp.)
Nerve Plant is an interesting plant that can grow without direct sunlight. It is native to tropical rainforests and has earned its common name due to the intricate network of veins on its leaves, which resemble nerves.
The plants thrive in shady environments with little direct sunlight, making them a great choice for indoor spaces or shady gardens.
When grown indoors, Nerve Plant does best when placed in indirect light near a window, as too much direct sun will cause the foliage to scorch and fade.
The soil should be kept moist but not wet; allowing it to dry completely between watering will result in drooping leaves.
In terms of temperature, Fittonia prefers warm temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16°C). When cared for properly, this resilient houseplant will reward you with its vibrant foliage for many years.
Nerve Plant is a very low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require much fertilizing. Feeding it every few months with an all-purpose fertilizer should be enough to keep it healthy and thriving.
Pruning is also optional but will help encourage the growth of more vibrant foliage.
Snip off any damaged or yellowing leaves at the stem if needed. This stunning indoor plant will bring life and color to any space with proper care.
This delightful tropical houseplant grows quickly and can even be propagated by division when it becomes overcrowded in its pot.
Nerve Plant makes a great addition to terrariums as it requires low light and little water. Its ability to thrive without direct sunlight makes it the perfect choice for indoor spaces or shady gardens with limited natural light.
Its vibrant foliage adds interest and texture to any room and brings life to the dullest interior spaces.
6. Peperomia (Peperomia Spp.)
Peperomia is an attractive, low-maintenance plant that does not require exposure to direct sunlight, making it a great choice for any indoor space.
It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and Africa, with more than 1,500 species in its extended family.
Peperomia can tolerate moderate light conditions and need little water or fertilizer to stay healthy. The soil should be allowed to dry out between watering sessions, and this plant enjoys high humidity levels.
It is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, making it easy to maintain indoors or outdoors.
Peperomia’s vibrant foliage typically comes in shades of green, red, grey, or white, with interesting patterns of mottling across the leaves.
This easy-to-care-for plant can grow up to 18 inches in height, and some varieties, such as Peperomia obtusifolia and Peperomia prostrate, trail down from the pot.
This makes it a great choice for hanging baskets or even terrariums. Peperomia is a versatile houseplant that does not require direct sunlight and can survive in low-light environments, making it ideal for any indoor space.
With its attractive foliage and resilience, this plant will look beautiful with minimal care and maintenance.
7. Rubber Tree (Ficus Elastica)
This is a popular houseplant that grows in indirect light or moderate sunlight. It does not require direct sun exposure to thrive, but it needs bright light for its leaves to remain green and vibrant.
This plant should be watered when the top few inches of soil feel dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to water sparingly and only when necessary.
The Rubber Tree prefers humid climates, so misting the leaves occasionally may help keep them from drying out too much.
The Rubber Tree is a hardy plant, surviving best in USDA zones 10-11 and able to tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4°C).
Planting in well-draining soil and avoiding exposure to drafts and excessive sunlight are all important for keeping this plant happy and healthy.
This is an ideal choice for beginner gardeners due to its easy maintenance requirements and tolerance of low light conditions. With the right care, you can enjoy the attractive foliage of a Rubber Tree indoors or outdoors.
8. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese Evergreen is an exceptionally graceful and easy-to-care-for plant that has been popular as a houseplant since Victorian times.
Although Chinese Evergreens can tolerate low light levels, they grow best in bright, indirect light, or partial shade.
The colourful variegated leaves of this tropical foliage plant can range from deep green to grey-green with brilliant splotches of silver, white and pink.
When grown in low light conditions, the colours are usually less intense than those with more sunlight.
Chinese Evergreens have a moderate growth rate and will thrive in humid environments; however, if you keep them indoors, make sure to mist them regularly to increase humidity around their leaves.
The potting soil must drain well to dry out completely in between watering. These plants are hardy and can handle temperatures down to 55°F (13°C), so they’re ideal for cool climates.
Chinese Evergreen is a great choice for those looking for an attractive foliage plant that requires minimal care yet has the potential to make a dramatic statement in any room of the house.
Despite needing little sunlight to thrive, this evergreen will still reward you with stunning colour and texture when given some bright indirect light or partial shade.
Just remember to keep the soil moist but not soggy and mist regularly if necessary. With just a little love and attention, your Chinese Evergreen could live happily ever after.
9. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Maidenhair Fern is an attractive, low-maintenance plant that can add a beautiful touch of greenery to any home.
It has delicate fronds with soft foliage, grows best in partial to full shade, and requires minimal sunlight to survive.
For optimal growth, the Maidenhair Fern should be kept moist but not wet and watered when the soil begins to dry out.
This fern prefers cooler temperatures between 10°C – 25°C (50°F – 77°F) and does well indoors if given enough filtered light or indirect sun exposure.
To get the most from your Maidenhair Fern, it is important to find an ideal spot that offers adequate air circulation for its fronds, such as near a window with sheer curtains or near a low-light plant like the Peace Lily.
The Maidenhair Fern is best grown in soil that retains moisture but drains well, such as a mix of peat moss and potting soil.
It can be fertilized every few weeks with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion to help promote its growth.
Additionally, misting it with water regularly will help keep the fronds hydrated and prevent brown tips from forming.
With proper care, your Maidenhair Fern will thrive without direct sunlight and make a beautiful addition to any home or office space.
Its graceful foliage makes it a great accent plant for table tops and shelves where it can be admired up close.
10. Rattlesnake Plant (Goeppertia Insignis)
Rattlesnake Plant is a perennial houseplant perfect for those looking to add some greenery to their home without worrying about direct sunlight.
Native to Brazil, this plant prefers partial or complete shade and can easily tolerate low-light conditions.
When watering your Rattlesnake Plant, keep the soil moist in warmer months but allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out between watering in the winter.
This plant is also known for its striking foliage, which includes glossy green leaves with white veins and an interesting rattling sound when touched.
The Rattlesnake Plant will bring a unique touch of nature into your home, and it’s hardy enough for most indoor environments.
It is rated at a hardiness zone 11-12 (USDA) and can be grown in temperate climates, making it a great choice for homes across the country. With its easy care routine and interesting foliage, this plant will make an impression.
11. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
Golden Pothos is a low-maintenance, fast-growing houseplant tolerant of many light conditions.
This hardy plant will thrive in your home if you have a sunny window or no natural light. It is native to the Solomon Islands and grows best in zone 9-10 (USDA).
When kept indoors, Golden Pothos prefers bright, indirect sunlight but can also handle lower light levels.
When watering, allow the soil to dry out completely between each water session, particularly if the plant isn’t receiving much natural light.
If you notice signs of overwatering, like yellow leaves or root rot, reduce your watering schedule immediately. Golden Pothos is an easy-to-care-for plant that is great for beginners.
Its long, trailing vines make it an attractive addition to hanging baskets or shelves, and its low-maintenance nature makes it a great choice for busy homeowners.
It’s also known for its air-purifying properties so you can enjoy a healthier home environment with this beautiful houseplant.
With proper care and the right light conditions, Golden Pothos will thrive in your home.
This hardy plant is ideal if you want to bring some natural beauty into your living space without having to worry about difficult upkeep or excessive sunlight requirements.
With their minimal sunlight needs and easy care routines, these 11 plants make ideal candidates for busy homeowners or those looking to add a bit of greenery to space with lower light levels.
Whether you choose a Maidenhair Fern, Rattlesnake Plant, or Golden Pothos, you can be sure that your plant will thrive and provide an attractive addition to any home.
With proper care and the right conditions, these plants will prove an easy-to-care-for way to bring natural beauty into your living space.