Growing plants in your home or apartment can make the place look so much greater, we all know that. But what if your apartment doesn’t have enough light?
It is a fact that plants need a lot of sunlight to grow, so how can you make your apartment lush without sunlight?
Believe it or not, it is way easier than what you might have thought!
For all of you who want a beautiful garden to lighten up space in your somewhat dark apartment, here is the list of my favorite plants that grow without sunlight.
- 25 Plants That Grow Without Sunlight
- 1. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
- 2. Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)
- 3. Umbrella Papyrus (Umbrella Palm)
- 4. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
- 5. Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
- 6. Peperomia (Pepperomia)
- 7. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
- 8. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)
- 9. Philodendron (Philodendron)
- 10. Japanese Sedge (Carex Morrowii)
- 11. Peace Lily (Spathiphyullum)
- 12. Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- 13. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
- 14. Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
- 15. Silver Queen (Aglaonema)
- 16. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcasi)
- 17. Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)
- 18. Dracaena (Dracaena)
- 19. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- 20. Peacock Plant (Calathea makoyana)
- 21. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
- 22. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
- 23. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
- 24. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- 25. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- Final Thoughts
25 Plants That Grow Without Sunlight
When choosing for a plant to grow in a low light condition, you should always look for those plants that can grow without sunlight, or, more precisely, that can thrive in indirect sunlight.
The plants that you will see on my list truly love some shade and grow in it even faster and better than they would in the direct sunlight.
Related: Fast-growing indoor herbs
So, if you are looking for a plant for your office, bathroom, or north-facing apartment, here is my selection.
1. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
Just looking at this amazing plant can take your breath away and give you a feeling of being in a lush green tropical forest!
This beautiful plant can grow without direct sunlight, but it really loves indirect light.
Since it grows in humid areas in nature, Maidenhair fern really loves moisture, and if you want to take good care of it, do remember that its soil should never be dry.
So if you want to grow this feathery majesty in your apartment, remember to keep it away from windows and water it regularly.
2. Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)
Similarly to Maidenhair fern, this beauty can grow well without sunlight but likes when it gets indirect light.
As any other fern, it also likes a lot of moisture and humid conditions, so do mist the air around it from time to time. However, don’t forget to drain the soil well!
With good care, the Sword fern can easily become your indoor evergreen plant.
3. Umbrella Papyrus (Umbrella Palm)
Umbrella Palm or Umbrella Papyrus is a beautiful ornamental plant that can grow beautifully without sunlight.
As a matter of fact, it almost doesn’t need natural light at all!
It is yet another plant that likes humidity and moisture, so you can place the pot with Umbrella Palm on a tray filled with water and fill it up regularly.
This plant can grow as high as 6 feet tall (or around 180cm) in nature, but normally, it will grow to be around 3 feet tall (around 90cm) in indoor conditions.
4. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Cast Iron Plant can really grow in any conditions. With light, without light… It doesn’t care!
If you are wondering why it is called „Iron“, let me add that this plant doesn’t mind if the soil is poor either!
So, if your apartment is a little low on natural light, and you would still like to grow Cast Iron Plant, you can safely give it a go!
Truth be told, this one is not the fastest grower, but if you are patient enough, you can grow Cast Iron Plant to be two feet tall and over (around 60cm). However, if you want to have a super green garden in almost no time, be sure to check out some of the fastest-growing indoor plants.
So, if your apartment needs a bit of a green touch, but you are extremely busy, or you have black thumbs, there is no need to worry.
Dust the Cast Iron Plant one a week or once in two weeks, and you are good to go!
5. Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
As the very name says – palm!
This plant will bring a lot of feathery green leaves to your apartment, and make it look so cozy and comfortable.
As every plant on this list, it can grow perfectly well without sunlight, but you should keep its soil well-drained so that it stays at its peak health.
6. Peperomia (Pepperomia)
Peperomia is a lovely little plant, perfect for your desk, and it only grows to be around 6 inches tall (15cm).
This lovely thing doesn’t like direct sunlight because it can hurt its leaves, and so it is perfect for a desk that doesn’t get a lot of light.
On the other hand, it does like moist conditions, so be sure to spray the leaves of Peperomia to keep the humidity around it at the level it likes.
When it comes to the soil, it should stay dry-is, as the thick leaves of this plant say that it can go for days without being watered.
There are some than 1000 varieties of this plant in natural conditions, so you can find many different color combination of its leaves: dark green, light green, grayish, cream, red, and so on.
7. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Contrary to its name, Lucky Bamboo isn’t really a bamboo, but a sweet little flowering plant with a lovely bonsai-like look.
These plants have become very popular in a minimalistic style and are easy to take care of, even when there is no sunlight.
Lucky Bamboo can be grown potted in soil, or grown directly in water.
According to some Eastern beliefs, this plant can attract good fortune, happiness, blessings and prosperity, all the more depending on the number of stalks that grow together.
It can grow pretty tall, so you can keep Lucky Bamboo in the far corner of your room, even if there is no sunlight.
Be sure to check the soil and water the plant when it feels dry if you are not already growing it from water.
8. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)
The first unbelievable thing about this plant that you would never have guessed – it is a succulent! Who would have ever thought, with this size!?
Mother-in-law’s Tongue, or also known as Snake Plant is one of the most popular house plants, and it is extremely easy to take care of.
You might think that there are plants that don’t require a lot of light, but you will never see something quite like this one.
Moreover, this plant works wonders when it comes to purifying the air! Here are some more plants that improve air quality.
If you wonder where the name Mother-in-law’s Tongue comes from, you should just look at the pointy leaves and their sharp edges . As for the Snake Plant, the colors and stripes of the leaves resemble those patterns on a snake’s skin.
Moreover, this succulent stores a lot of water in its leaves, so you shouldn’t water it to frequently, because it can make the roots rot.
9. Philodendron (Philodendron)
Philodendron and all of its varieties is a plant that is so well known for its toughness and the fact that it can withstand almost any condition.
These plants can grow to be up to 3 feet tall (around 90cm) and 6 feet wide (around 180cm) if you take proper care of them.
It is not only that Philodendrons can grow without sunlight. It is that they prefer low sunlight conditions and indirect lighting.
When it comes to watering, be sure to let the top layer of soil dry well before you water your Philodendron again.
You should also know that Philodendrons come as shrubbery and as vines, of which the most popular is the Heart-Shaped or Heart-Leaf Philodendron.
10. Japanese Sedge (Carex Morrowii)
Japanese Sedge is a type of ornamental grass that will grow beautifully in low light conditions.
Unlike most of the plants that I’ve already mentioned, this ornamental grass will need very rich soil to thrive, and it would be the best if you add a bit of mulch on top of the soil in order to prevent the plant’s roots from rotting.
Even though “grass” may sound a bit boring, this gorgeous yellowish-green bushy plant will beautifully adorn any corner of your home.
11. Peace Lily (Spathiphyullum)
Once again, even though the name says so, Peace Lily is not really a lily.
An interesting fact about this plant is that, what seems to be a white flower, is actually a white leaf growing around the yellow flower. I can bet you didn’t know it! 😉
As Peace Lily can grow to be between 24 and 40 inches tall (between 60cm and 100cm), which is considered fairly high, it is best grown in pots on the floor.
This plant likes low to medium light, and if you don’t have enough of indirect natural light in your apartment, it is not a problem, as it can grow perfectly well under fluorescent light as well.
Not only is this plant beautiful, and almost like right out from a fairytale, but it is also a fantastic air purifier.
12. Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
This fabulous vine is the perfect plant to hang in any corner of your home. The vines can grow to be 10 inches (or 25cm) long which will give this plant a fabulous and rich look.
It needs very little light to grow properly, so you can even grow it in kitchens or bathrooms if you want to add some natural look to those rooms of your apartment as well.
Besides, this plant is well known for its purifying property, and it can help in cleaning the air from Carbon Monoxide.
Therefore, Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy will not only make your space look better, but it will make the air healthier as well.
Let me say that, if you are new to the world of plant parenthood, you can start with Pothos and be sure that it will like your company too.
13. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese Evergreen is yet another superb plant for growing in low light conditions. Besides, this is one more plant from this list that is extremely easy to take care of – even if you are a complete beginner.
Whenever we talk about air-purifying plants, we can’t skip the Chinese Evergreen, as this one found its way to NASA’s list of best plants for air purification and filtering.
Easy to care for and healthy for your home! What else can you wish for!?
As there are a lot of varieties of Chinese Evergreen, and they all come with different leaf-color, this will be the main thing to help you decide on the light conditions.
It is the fact that every type of this plant likes low to medium light conditions, but naturally darker leaves will mean little to no light, while brighter will ask for a little bit of it.
14. Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae)
Bromeliads are gorgeous tropical plants that have beautifully fresh colors of leaves. This colorful tropical look and the fact that they can grow without sunlight make them a fantastic choice for your indoor garden.
If Bromeliad finds itself in direct sunlight, the leaves can get damaged pretty easily, so do keep it in the shades.
If you don’t have enough indirect natural light in your home, that is not a problem either! Bromeliads can grow well under fluorescent light as well.
15. Silver Queen (Aglaonema)
Silver Queen has leaves that come in very light, almost silver color with dark green spots – hence the name of Silver Queen.
This beautiful plant loves low light and is one of the most durable plants that you can find.
And not only that you can grow it in low light, but it will thrive, as direct sunlight can hurt its gentle silver leaves.
However, there is one downside to this plant for some – and that is that the plant doesn’t like cold weather.
So, if your area happens to have harsh winters, maybe you better try with another plant from the list.
16. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcasi)
This plant is one of the toughest plants, and it can survive almost anything.
As it is very tough and almost impossible to kill, it is a perfect plant for anyone who desperately needs a piece of nature, but who doesn’t have a lot of time to take care of their plants, or who, sadly, has black thumbs.
The waxy leaves give this plant a nice shine, so if you want to decorate a room, this one will surely be a good choice.
ZZ Plant likes the light, but only discrete, indirect type. However, if there is no light at all, it can also grow perfectly fine, even if the lack of light means the lack of fluorescent light as well.
If this one takes in too much light, its leaves might start turning brown and curling. So if you spot this, be sure to move your ZZ Plant to the part of your home with more shade.
17. Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)
If you have a boring dark corner in your apartment, the Creeping Fing is just the plant for you.
As the name says, this vine will grow long “blanches” looking almost like it is creeping up or down the wall.
It does grow a bit slowly, but the lush vines with dark green foliage look enchanting anywhere.
However, make sure not to add to much water to this plant, as this is the thing that it doesn’t like very much. It is always better to let the soil dry before you water the Creeping Fig again.
18. Dracaena (Dracaena)
This strong plant comes in many varieties, and many can even come in the form of trees.
However, whichever type you choose, you can be sure that it will grow beautifully because it doesn’t need a lot of specific care and it is a very strong and durable plant.
This plant will grow best in indirect light, but it likes when this indirect light is bright all together. On the other hand, it can survive if there is no light, but it will not thrive that well.
Moreover, this gorgeous plant can help in filtering out the toxins from the air that it grows in.
What is important for this plane is occasional pruning and regular misting of the air around it, so do not overlook these two important tasks.
19. English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Interesting looking leaves of English Ivy can turn any boring corner into a work of art.
The vines will grow long or tall in no time, especially if you start with an already formed plant. If you start from seed, it may take a while to reach its full potential.
This plant likes indirect light, and the more sunlight it gets, the greener and taller it will grow.
However, be sure not to burn it with too much of bright sunlight.
20. Peacock Plant (Calathea makoyana)
This amazing colorful plant has many varieties, and with it, many names. It is also known as Cathedral Windows, Zebra Plant, Rattlesnake Plant, and if you just look at the patters on its leaves, all will be clear to you.
Even though the Peacock Plant can grow well without sunlight, it is not, so to say, that undemanding.
Calathea Makoyana likes humidity and warm temperatures, but the soil shouldn’t be damp, and it prefers if you water it with distilled water or rainwater. The lowest temperature that it can withstand is 55°F (or 13°C).
When it comes to light, it likes low to medium light, and if it gets too much natural light, it can start showing “sad leaves”. Unlike in many other plants, pale spots and markings mean that Peacock Plant had too much sunlight.
21. Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
If you are looking for an interesting looking plant for your dark apartment, Staghorn Fern, also known as Antelope Ears, is the perfect piece of nature for you.
This is a plant that grows best in indirect or filtered light, so do not expose it to the direct sunlight too much or keep it near the window, as all of it can hurt this beauty.
Unlike many plants from the list, Staghorn Fern cannot survive with artificial light only, so be sure to give it a decent amount of natural light. Once again, make sure that it is not directly in the way of sunbeams.
22. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
The name of the Prayer Plant comes from its movement in the day and night time. When it is dark, the leaves go up, almost as if they are going to touch in a prayer – hence the name.
The big oval leaves of this plant and light pink stripes that go through them make the Prayer Plant so beautiful and perfect for bringing life into any boring room.
This is a plant that likes indirect light, but if you don’t have enough of that in your apartment, it will still be able to live and grow perfectly fine.
Moist soil and humidity are what the Prayer Plant likes, so be sure to spray the air around it rather often.
23. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
Dumb Cane is a gorgeous plant and a very common one that can often be found in homes and offices all around the world.
If you, however, have pets and/or children around, I would suggest skipping on this one, as it can be poisonous. It can cause itching and swelling, especially if you have sensitive skin.
This plant can grow in both low and high light conditions, but it is important that the light is indirect and that the plant is not right under the sun’s rays.
Another thing that works well is filtered light that shines through a curtain or something similar to it.
24. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The name of Spider plant comes from its very looks and long, skinny leaves that might resemble spiders legs. The spider plant is sometimes also called Spider Ivy or Ribbon Plant.
It is yet another plant that can help in cleaning and purifying the air that it grows in.
Besides, it is easy to take care of, and it likes a bit of a shady space, so it will grow well even if you don’t have that much sunshine in your apartment or office.
What you probably didn’t know is that this plant can sprout little white flowers on some occasions and if cared for properly.
Spider plant can grow fantastically in low light conditions, and it prefers indirect sunlight, as direct light can burn its leaves.
Besides, fluorescent light can also do wonders for this plant.
If you notice some brown spots or marks on the leaves, you might try to water your Spider Plant with distilled water or rain for some time.
And if you want to learn even more about spider plant care, check out our ultimate guide!
25. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
These lush plants are fabulous and just perfect for any room in your home.
In the Victorian era, growing a Parlor Palm in your house meant that you were well situated and of high class.
The truth is that the Parlor Palm is not that exclusive nowadays, but it is extremely elegant and beautiful all the same.
This plant can grow well in low light, but it is the best to keep it in medium light conditions. However, it is forgiving, and it will keep growing even if there is not that much light in your indoor garden. If there is artificial light around – Parlor Palm will be perfectly happy.
What you should know is to water this plant only when the soil is completely dry, as it really doesn’t like being in too much water.
Hopefully, this list will help you decide on the perfect plant for your apartment.
They all grow strong and beautiful, even in low light conditions, but the choice is only yours, after all.
Are there any other plants that can grow without sunlight? Share your experience with us in the comments below!