Indoor plants are a great way to brighten up a dull space and to make a room feel more inviting. But what if you don’t get much natural light? Are there any plants that will be able to grow and thrive in low light conditions?
Succulents make an excellent choice for low lighting conditions, but you need to make sure that you choose the right variety. There are lots of different types of succulents, some of them thrive in low lighting and others need full sunlight.
To make it easier for you, we have put together this list of the best succulents for low light conditions. Keep reading to find your ideal indoor succulent to grow in your house or office.
What Are ‘Low-Light’ Plants?
Each plant has a set of conditions that it requires in order to grow, and these conditions can vary from plant to plant.
These conditions can include the soil type, drainage, how often they need to be watered, what temperature and humidity they require, and also the lighting levels.
Low-light plants, such as low-light succulents, prefer less light. This means that placing them in direct sunlight will not help it to grow and thrive.
You can place them on a north-facing windowsill, or use sheer or opaque curtains to block some of the light. You can also control the lighting conditions with grow lamps.
Succulents are often associated with high light levels because they tend to grow in hot, desert climates. However, there are some varieties that grow very well in dimmer conditions, which makes them perfect for indoor gardens or offices.
They tend to need 6 hours of in-direct sunlight each day, and will grow slower than high-light succulents. Too much or too little light can have a negative impact on the plant, so you will need to monitor it carefully.
These succulents will do well in a low-light environment.
The African Milk Tree, also known as Euphorbia Trigona, looks a lot like a cactus. It is native to Central Africa and is often grown in a hedge structure.
It might be called a tree but it is actually a succulent with leaves shaped like teardrops and thorns on its ridges. It is toxic when ingested, but is perfectly safe to handle. You will need to keep it out of reach of pets or small children.
Too much sun will scorch the leaves so this plant needs indirect sunlight. It also needs to be watered regularly and fertilized.
Snake plant, or Dracaena trifasciata, is als called mother-in-law’s tongue because of its sword shaped leaves. The leaves tend to be green with shades of yellow and they are great for brightening up a room.
This plant is a very popular house succulent as it is easy to care for and maintain. They are tolerant to drought and go quite a while without being watered.
Let the soil dry out completely between watering, and put the plant in a place with indirect sunlight. These plants can last for many years in the right conditions.
Aloe vera is a well known type of succulent and it is an evergreen perennial. It can grow in tropical, semi-tropical and arid conditions and is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world.
It likes shady areas and doesn’t take up much space which makes it ideal for gardens, but you can also grow it indoors.
The plant stores water in its leaves, so you don’t need to water it often. The bright green color is perfect for making your home or office space look more appealing.
Echeveria is a succulent with many different varieties – each with different leaf shapes and colors. The best variety to get for low lighting conditions is gray/green.
They need 4 hours of indirect sunlight per day, and you should rotate the pot periodically to keep the plant growing evenly. Aside from that, they don’t need much maintenance.
You can get away with watering them very little – too much water will actually be detrimental to the plant.
5. Crassula Ovata
Crassiula Ovata, also called the Jade plant, is native to South Africa and is an ideal succulent for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to maintain plants. Jade plants need 4 hours of light a day, and can spend the rest of the time in the shade.
Keep it on a windowsill that only gets sun for a portion of the day. Keep the soil moist during the summer, but during the winter you will only need to water the plant once a month.
This plant is considered to be lucky and has glossy green leaves which makes it very appealing to look at.
The scientific name for this plant is kalanchoe tomentosa, but it is called panda plant due to the fuzzy covering on the leaves. This makes them soft to the touch, but it is best not to handle the plant too much.
The leaves are gray/green in color and have some brown around the edges. You can expect this succulent to grow up to 18 inches tall, perhaps taller in very low light.
This plant gets its name from the fuzzy leaves that look like little bear paws. The green leaves have some red coloring around the edge, and the plant will produce orange flowers in the spring if you keep it in the right conditions.
Tit is an evergreen succulent that will look lovely all year long. This plant likes indirect sunlight but will also be okay in a shaded area.
The zebra plant is native to South Africa and is ideal for growing in low light conditions. Their leaves have white stripes on them, which is why they are named after zebras.
They don’t need much water – when you notice the soil is dry then give them a drink. They don’t need much maintenance and will last a long time. They do tend to grow towards their light source, so turn the pot once a month to make sure it grows evenly.
In the spring and summer your zebra cactus may produce lavender colored blooms, but in low light conditions there are likely to be less flowers.
The ox tongue plant is native to Africa where it grows in the shade. This makes it a great choice for growing indoors with indirect sunlight. It is also drought resistant, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to water it regularly.
Make sure you let the soil completely dry out in between watering, and in the winter you need to water them even less frequently. They like coarse soil, as do many succulents.
The leaves are thick with white patterns on – the variation in patterns is one of the lovely things about this plant. Some of them even have yellow coloring on the leaves.
Burro’s tail is a great choice of succulent if you want to use a hanging basket. The bushy shaped leaves will naturally grow out and down, creating a full effect that looks great when dangling.
This plant is so opposed to full sunlight that it secretes a white, waxy substance to protect its leaves from the light. Keep an eye on the color of the leaves – if the color is fading then you need to give the plant more shade.
Water this plant whenever the top 1 to 2 inches of soil become dry.
ZZ plants are one of the most popular indoor plants for low lighting conditions. They have a complex root system that stores water, making them drought resistant in their native African habitat.
What that means for you is you don’t need to water them often. ZZ plants will grow best in well-drained soil and are easy to care for. Their leaves are shiny with a waxy feel, which means they are often mistaken for artificial plants.
Make sure you keep them out of reach of children and pets as the leaves are toxic.
Mistletoe cactus is another great choice if you are looking for a hanging succulent. It can grow quite large over time – up to 6 feet long and 2 feet wide – but you can trim it back or divide it if you want to keep your plant small.
The leaves have no needles, and they are long and fleshy. This succulent is native to the South American rainforests. This means they like to be in full shade, but they prefer moist conditions.
Whenever the soil feels dry, give it some water. It might grow some small flowers, and then small white berries will grow in their place. This is where the plant gets its name.
The chandelier plant is a perennial succulent that is in the same family as the Jade plant. The leaves are a similar shape, with scalloped edges. The main difference is the flowers.
A lot of people choose the chandelier plant specifically for its warm orange blooms, which also come in shades of pink, yellow, red and white.
The flowers can grow in long trails. Chandelier plants grow best in areas that are partially shaded, as the flowers need a little sunlight in order to blossom.
Most people think of a poinsette when they think of a festive plant for the holiday season, but what about the holiday cactus?
The scientific name for this plant is schlumbergera, but it received its jolly nickname due to the pretty flowers that bloom during the winter. The flowers come in a variety of shades of pink, red and white.
This succulent naturally grows on trees and in rocky areas of the Brazilian jungle. They can store their own water and they do well in indirect sunlight or partial shade.
You need to make sure that you regularly water your holiday cactus, but avoid making the soil too soggy.
This is the perfect low light succulent for a hanging basket. The leaves are heart shaped and sit on delicate stems which are like fine string – the effect is whimsical and romantic.
They also have bulbils along the stem which look like small beads. String of hearts is an easy plant to grow indoors, and you may even see some small flowers in the spring and summer.
The vines will grow very long – sometimes up to 6 feet – so if you have tall ceilings they will look fantastic. They can also look amazing on a windowsill, with the vines draping down to the floor. This plant likes bright but indirect light, but will also grow in partial shade.
This succulent is native to Mexico and makes a fantastic, low maintenance indoor plant. The leaves are long and thin, resembling the tail of a pony, which is where the plant gets its name. I
t is a slow growing plant, but over time it can reach impressive heights of up to 6 feet tall! One of its recognizable features is the trunk which has a bulbous shape.
This is where the plant stores water, which means you don’t have to water it too regularly. Make sure you let the soil dry out before you give the plant more water. These plants aren’t toxic so you can have them around children and pets.
This succulent is native to South Africa and is known for its trailing nature. It looks lovely flowing out of a pot or even a hanging basket.
The round leaves are small and sit on a delicate stem, giving the effect of pearls on a string. When the plant grows it has a cascading appearance which is dramatic and brightens up any room.
It will grow well in various lighting conditions, but prefers indirect and low light. If it gets too much sun then the leaves may become damaged or faded. You can let this plant go for several weeks without water because it is drought resistant.
Happy bean, also called pincushion peperomia, is a less common choice but it makes an excellent indoor succulent. It grows upright and tends to reach a maximum height of 8 inches, making it ideal for a desktop plant or to sit on a bookshelf.
It can also grow up to 8 inches wide, but you can keep it trimmed if you don’t want the shape to be too out of control. It will grow best in filtered light – in a bright room with sheer curtains perhaps.
It can also grow in bright shade. It needs to be watered when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil become dry.
Whether you want a small potted succulent, a trailing succulent in a hanging basket, or something that grows nice and tall, there is something for everyone on this list.
All of these succulents will grow well in low lighting which makes them a great choice for your home or office. They will brighten up your room and create a nicer atmosphere.