17 Plants That Don’t Need Much Sunlight

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In the world of flora, sunlight often stands as a non-negotiable element for growth and survival. So, you could assume that all need sunlight to grow, but guess what? There is a fascinating subset of plants that challenge this norm by flourishing in the absence of direct sunlight.

These plants have unique adaptations that let them thrive in shaded, dimly lit environments. So beautify your indoor spaces and the dark corners of your garden or yard with these plants that don’t need much sunlight

So, do you live in a low-lit house or a shady area but still desire plants? Here are 17 options.

17 Plants That Don’t Need Much Sunlight

Plants That Don't Need Sunlight

1. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Plants That Don't Need Much Sunlight


Are you a beginner looking for a forgiving, resilient plant that thrives without  much sunlight? The Chinese Evergreen should be at the top of your list.

While this plant can tolerate some neglect, don’t let it sit in full sunlight to avoid scorching it.

Aesthetically, it will brighten your spaces with striking foliage in shades of green, silver, red, and cream.


Chinese Evergreen is unsafe for both dogs and cats.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

Read More: Best Plants For a Bathroom

2. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

small plants that don't need sunlight


Do you have a knack for killing plants and are about to give up on growing them entirely? Try the ZZ plant. Killing this hardy plant is almost impossible.

This plant naturally thrives in shaded and understory areas and has evolved to utilize minimal light for photosynthesis efficiently.

Brighten your offices, hallways, rooms, and other indoor spaces with the ZZ plant.

Hardiness zones: 9-10

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3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)

indoor plants that don't need sunlight


Recognized for its elegant white blooms and glossy, deep green leaves, the Peace Lily thrives indoors without direct sunlight. This flowering plant enjoys shade, is resilient, and needs minimal attention. With good watering, your Peace Lily can bounce back from wilting.

Besides brightening indoor spaces, Peace Lily helps remove toxins from the air. Also, keep it from your kids and pets since ingesting it causes mild irritation.

Hardiness zones: 11-12

4. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

plants that don't need direct sunlight

Aptly named for its durability, the Cast Iron Plant is a shade-loving perennial native to Japan and Taiwan. This exceptionally independent, hardy plant thrives where other plants might struggle while withstanding neglect, low temperatures, and low light conditions.

You are more likely to kill this plant from overwatering than underwatering. So, it suits you if you often forget to water your plants. Its dark green, glossy, and lance-shaped will help make your home elegant.

Hardiness zones: 8-10

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5. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum spp.)

indoor plants that don't need sunlight


When it comes to ferns, the Maidenhair Fern is among the most gorgeous, with a vibrant green color. It also has delicate, triangular fronds composed of small leaflets that give them a distinctive, feathery look.

If you want a fern for your bathroom, this is a perfect choice, as it thrives in shade and highly humid environments. Keep it lush and healthy by regularly misting it.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

6. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Plants That Don't Need  Sunlight

From the name, you could think this Dracaena is bamboo. Nonetheless, this dramatic plant is an excellent choice if you want to do Feng Shui in your home.

Lucky Bamboo grows long, slender stalks with vibrant green leaves clustered at the top.

What’s remarkable is that you can shape and train the stalks to grow in intricate shapes but keep them from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

7. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

hard to kill plants that don't need sunlight

Add a touch of class and sophistication to your dining area and living room with this stunning plant. This plant can significantly improve the aesthetics of a space, and once you see it growing in your home, you will know why it was a sign of affluence and taste in the Victorian era.

Parlor Palm’s delicate, feathery, green fronds arch gracefully from its slender stems. While it thrives without sunlight, you must supply partial sunlight to see its little yellow flowers.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

8. Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)

small plants that don't need sunlight


Whether you want a shrub or vine Philodendron, you’ve got it; choose this plant’s variety that suits your needs best for various spots in your home that don’t get sunlight. Consider it for your study.

Some Philodendron species feature heart-shaped leaves, while others display deeply lobed or variegated foliage. You can show and utilize this plant as you please since it embodies trailing, climbing, or upright growth habits.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

9. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

indoor plants that don't need sunlight


The defining feature of this plant lies in its remarkable foliage. It has ornate leaves, often variegated with patterns of green, red, and cream, and prominently marked leaf veins that add to its visual appeal.

Moreover, the leaves exhibit nyctinasty, a phenomenon where they move in response to light changes.

The leaves spread out horizontally during the day for maximum light absorption. As evening approaches, they fold upward, creating a unique spectacle resembling hands closed in prayer, hence its name.

Hardiness zones: 11-12

10. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Plants That Don't Need Sunlight

Grab yourself a Snake Plant if you are looking for an iconic, stunning plant for lightless growing. This West African-native plant boasts striking foliage comprising leaves in various shades of green, with different patterns and variegations.

Looks aside, the Snake Plant is one of the hardiest plants around, so even if you unintentionally neglect it, it will continue standing strong. In fact, lean towards less watering rather than watering too much.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

11. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Outdoor plants that don t need sunlight


This plant is renowned for air-purifying. It effectively removes toxins for a healthier, nice-smelling environment. Your garage, bathroom, and other areas with strong smells will smell better with this plant growing there.

Apart from helping purify your home, the Spider Plant is also a stunner. It features green, sometimes variegated with white stripes or edges, long, slender leaves that arch gracefully from the center of the plant, resembling spider legs.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

12. Sword Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

best indoor plants for dark rooms


Since Sword Fern can grow in low-light conditions, it is suitable for outdoor gardens in shaded corners, as well as indoor spaces with minimal natural light.

An important thing to note is that Sword Ferns love humid environments, so grow it in your bathroom or spritz it with water regularly.

Sword Ferns are also beautiful. They boast long, slender fronds that arch gracefully from a central point, resembling a sword or blade. The fronds are composed of vibrant green leaflets, giving them a feathery and delicate appearance.

Hardiness zones: 8-11

13. Bromeliads

Plants That Don't Need  Sunlight


Bromeliads are tropical beauties prized for their bold foliage, vibrant blooms, and relatively low-maintenance care requirements. Tropical Bromeliads grow in shaded environments in their natural habitats, which makes them ideal for the areas in your home that don’t receive sunlight.

With this plant, you can infuse color and tropical charm into low-lit living spaces, whether to adorn indoor tabletops or enhance outdoor garden beds.

Hardiness zones: 10-11

14. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Outdoor plants that don t need sunlight

Adorned with green, heart-shaped leaves that cascade elegantly from long, trailing stems, this popular houseplant adds a touch of elegance and freshness to spaces.

It thrives without direct sunlight, making it ideal for the areas of your home with limited direct sunlight.

Pothos’ resilience and ability to thrive in various growing conditions make it suitable for beginners. Keep it away from curious pets, though, because it is mildly toxic when ingested.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

15. Peacock Plant (Calathea makoyana)

small desk plants that don't need sunlight


This stunning, captivating tropical plant goes by names like zebra, rattlesnake, and cathedral windows. Like a peacock, this plant is pretty showy, boasting large, oval-shaped leaves with intricate patterns that resemble the eye-catching display of a peacock’s tail feathers.

Direct sunlight can make a Peacock Plant sad. It is accustomed to shaded understory conditions, thus perfect for areas with subdued natural light.

This stunning plant is particular with its care, though (it prefers rain or distilled water, moist soil, and humid temperatures)

Hardiness zones: 10-11

16. Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)

small plants that don't need sunlight


This South American native plant is next on our list of plants that do not require sunlight. These small plants will look great on your table or desk, helping you add some greenery and visual interest to these spaces.

Moreover, Peperomias’ diversity in leaf shapes, colors, and textures makes them ideal for hanging baskets or terrariums. Peperomias love humidity, so place yours on pebble trays and mist them on a weekly basis.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

17. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia spp.)

indoor plants that don't need sunlight

Last on our list is a highly sought-after indoor plant with striking foliage featuring an array of leaf shapes, textures, and colors, ranging from heart-shaped to round, thick, or variegated leaves. Some species have glossy foliage; others feature leaves with textured or waxy surfaces.

You will commonly find Dumb Canes in office spaces and homes. However, if you plant this low-maintenance plant in your home, keep it away from your kids and pets because every part of it is toxic.

Hardiness zones: 10-12

Final Remarks

Now that you have a long list of plants that not only survive but flourish without sunlight, you can bring a touch of greenery and vitality to your home and witness nature’s adaptive capabilities.

From hardy Snake Plants to the graceful Peace Lily, these plants beautify spaces and contribute to air purification and overall well-being.

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