Best Houseplants for Low Light Areas

Hi Sarah,

Coincidentally, I have just been involved in writing an article for a staircase company, talking about how different houseplants can be used in and around a staircase in a low light area. Here are some pictures of the plants I discuss in that article. You can read all of my care tips for each of them in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

Most dracaenas  survive in low light, but Dracaena Janet craig is my favorite.

Dark green, long leaves Dracaena janet craig

Chinese Evergreen plants do well and

come in many leaf patterns.

Dark green patterned Chinese Evergreen plant

Heartleaf Philodendron, indestructible, looks

best on a table or hanging.

Dark green heart shaped leaves on Heart leaf philodendron
The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra) is just that; it grows anywhere!
Coarse textured, leathery leaves on Cast Iron Plant (aspidistra)
The solid green pothos is a good choice, but avoid the marble queen or golden pothos, they require more light.


Solid green pothos plant

You can find more low lightWhen you select “Low Light” a list of the most adaptive plants in our database appears. These plants can live in lighting conditions too low to support any other plants in our database, but will grow faster in medium and high light. Variegation (color) in the leaves is often lost in low light. A plant in low light needs less water and fertilizer than the same plant in better light. Place a low-light plant within 2-3 ft. of a window with a northern exposure, 3-5 ft. of a window with an eastern exposure, 4-10 ft. of a window with a western exposure, and 10-18ft. of a window with a southern exposure. A low light area has between 50-150 ft. candles of light. The best low light house plants are: Chinese Evergreen, Dracaena Janet Craig, Peace Lily, Heart leaf Philodendron. plant suggestions in the article I wrote for the staircase company that I mentioned above.


Learn about houseplants that can be dangerous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..