Are you looking for the best indoor plants for dark rooms? Whether you are an avid gardener or a beginner gardener, it can be frustrating when you don’t have enough space in your backyard to start a garden. It can be equally frustrating when you try to start a garden indoors and your plants keep dying.
If you’re living in a basement with few windows or living in a home that gets a low amount of natural sunlight, chances are that you’re struggling to keep your plants alive because they aren’t getting enough sunlight.
Don’t give up, though. Reevaluate your situation and see if one of the following solutions could work for you.
Growing Plants in the Dark
Buy Low-light Indoor Plants
Low-light indoor plants are a great solution when you’re looking to add some greenery to your décor. There are plenty of plants that thrive in darkness for you to choose from.
All plants require some light for the photosynthesis process, but some plants are more tolerant of low light conditions than others. However, none of these plants require direct sunlight. Examples of popular low-light indoor plants include the snake plant, golden pothos, the peace lily, and the philodendron.
You’ll notice that most low-light indoor plants have dark green foliage. This is because plants with darker foliage are more efficient at photosynthesis, which means that they can get by with less sunlight. They also tend to grow slower than other plants.
Caring for low-light indoor plants is very simple. They need less water and fewer nutrients than other plants. The soil needs to dry out a little before each watering.
If you overwater a low-light indoor plant, they’ll become soggy and moldy and will die. You’ll still want to research the best method of care for whichever plant you choose to grow. Some low-light plants require a higher level of care than others.
Of course, growing a houseplant is different from growing fruits or vegetables. While there are some vegetables that grow in shaded conditions, they still won’t do well growing inside a house or apartment that receives little to no sunlight.
Refer to our guide on basement gardening if that is something you are planning to do. If you’re hoping to grow vegetables or fruit, you’ll have to supplement your light or join a community garden.
Supplement Your Light
With the right type of light, you can grow your own herbs like cilantro, green veggies, and small fruits indoors. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t use just any light.
Grow lights are the perfect solution. Some grow lights supplement sunlight, while other grow lights completely replace direct sunlight. The most popular type of grow lights include compact fluorescent lights (CFL), high pressure sodium lights (HPS), and light emitting diodes lights (LED).
You might be wondering how to choose a grow light that best meets your need. More and more consumers are turning to LED lights over traditional HPS lights for several reasons.
- LED lights are more energy efficient than HPS lights
- LED lights can be set closer to plant and do not get as hot as HPS lights
- It has been proven that plants grow bigger and faster under LED lights
While some may worry about the initial cost of LED lights, LED lights are more cost-efficient in the long run because they have a longer life span than HPS lights.
If you choose to go with an LED light, you won’t have to replace your lights nearly as often. Check out our reviews of the best LED grow lights for 2023.
If you decide to grow under LED lights, you’ll want to research what vegetables and plants will grow best under them. If this is your first time growing under lamps, it is recommended that you start with a leafy green vegetable such as spinach, kale, or lettuce.
If you’re still not convinced that a grow light will work for your needs or your space, joining a community garden might be for you.
20 Best Indoor Plants for Dark Rooms
1. Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
Perhaps one of the most notorious and celebrated plants for dark rooms, the peace lily offers a perky and endearing influence to indoor spaces. This lush flowering plant features delicate white flowers atop broad deep green leaves on lime-green stems.
They are known to clean the air around them and they perform very well in darker spaces. Not only does the foliage manage low-light conditions well but this plant also features flowers that grow in the dark.
- Pro: Air-purifying (See our list of the 20 best air purifying plants here)
- Con: Can be fussy with moisture and humidity
- Water: Water and mist regularly to keep moist
2. Snake Plant - Sansevieria
This tough plant is hard to damage. Being a type of succulent, it retains moisture extremely well and is a perfect addition to dark bathrooms, bedrooms or hallways.
Known as one of the best indoor plants for dark rooms, the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue features sword-shaped variegated foliage that gently arches and curls upwards.
The gorgeous contrast of lime-green and dark green in the leaves makes this houseplant a very decorative addition to any room. Know more about snake plants and the benefits they bring by clicking here.
- Pro: Air-purifying
- Con: Has limited growth in dark rooms
- Water: Every 10 to 12 days
3. Peperomia – Obtusifolia/Argyreia/Caperata
All three of these stunning species are highly adaptable and can be considered excellent plants that grow in the dark. With low care requirements and gorgeous lush foliage, they’ll certainly be an impressive addition to your home’s indoor greenery.
Refer to our growing guides below to learn more:
Being smaller than a lot of the other plants on this list, they suit smaller rooms and spaces perfectly.
- Pro: Each species features unique foliage and colors
- Con: Growth can be slow in low-light conditions
- Water: Once every 1 to 2 weeks
4. English Ivy – Hedera Helix
This species of English ivy is a non-variegated type and therefore performs very well in dark spaces. This lush trailing plant suits hanging baskets perfectly where the gently arching green foliage will drape and cascade, further increasing the impact within your spaces.
It will also grow very well in containers so this plant is certainly one of the best indoor plants for dark rooms.
- Pro: Offer multiple applications indoors
- Con: Can be susceptible to leaf spot
- Water: When soil is dry to touch
5. Spider Plant – Chlorophytum Comosum
These plants absolutely love low-light spots. Their long lanky bright-green foliage is highlighted further with dark green streaks, making this plant one of the best-variegated species to choose from.
They also feature small white blooms that drape down the edges of the foliage. This plant will look fantastic in colorful containers or indoor hanging baskets.
- Pro: Air-purifying
- Con: The soil needs to be evenly moist
- Water: Once every 7 to 10 days
6. Bird’s Nest Fern – Asplenium Nidus
Famed for its crisp and sturdy foliage, this plant is another one of the best indoor plants for dark rooms. Its foliage forms in lush rosettes which present themselves in the plant’s vibrantly green leaves.
Large-leaved plants always tend to perform better in low-light conditions and this plant is no exception. Be sure to occasionally clean the leaves and this plant will add welcoming pops of color to any space.
- Pro: Grows to a good size
- Con: Requires almost monthly feeding
- Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks
7. Lucky Bamboo – Dracaena Sanderiana
These tropical little plants feature highly ornamental braided stalks with adorable relaxed light green leaves that form at the top. This plant is another type of succulent so it is perfect for low-light spots inside.
Though toxic to pets, this plant’s easy-going attitude and unique form make it one of our best plants for dark rooms. Perch in decorative pots for an instant wow factor indoors.
- Pro: Known to be a symbol of good luck
- Con: Sensitive to overwatering
- Water: Every 10 to 12 days
8. Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis
Another stunning option for a plant that has flowers that grow in the dark, moth orchids are perfect for adding welcoming touches of color to your indoor spaces.
They enjoy low light and will bloom happily in these environments. Considered a medium maintenance plant, moth orchids feature thick dark-green leaves with eye-catching bright pink and white variegated blooms.
The distinctive and decorative flowers have made this plant one of the best indoor plants for dark rooms globally. Moth orchids will need to be staked for extra support.
- Pro: Unique pink blooms
- Con: Tends to only thrive in soilless orchid mixes
- Water: Every 12 to 14 days
9. Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema
With a few truly decorative species to choose from that offer variegated leaves in shades of green, yellow, pink and red, the Chinese evergreen is an easy choice for any grower or space as it is considered one of the most durable indoor plants.
They thrive in low-light conditions and are also very tolerant of drought. They look fantastic positioned in dark corners or as a centerpiece to a dark room. The big highlight of this plant is the striking leaves.
Regardless of which species you choose to establish, this plant will give you unapparelled pops of color and lushness to your indoor spaces. We love this plant so much, we listed 50 Aglaonema varieties for you to look out for.
- Pro: Eye-catching colorful variegated foliage
- Con: Can be fussy with humidity
- Water: Once every 7 to 10 days
10. Golden Pothos – Epipremnum Aureum
Devil’s Ivy or golden pothos is the perfect pick for anyone looking for a low-light plant that looks incredible when planted in hanging baskets or tall containers.
This vining plant features sturdy variegated green vines with large lime-green heart-shaped leaves. Even in dark conditions, the plant will easily produce vines and foliage, making it one of our more popular plants for dark rooms. Enjoy its unmatched beauty indoors.
- Pro: Looks great in any container or basket
- Con: Grows at a rapid rate so you’ll need to transplant regularly
- Water: Lightly once per week
- Related Post: How to Treat and Prevent Pothos Yellow Leaves
11. Prayer Plant – Maranta Leuconeura
Another candidate for popularity when looking at the best indoor plants for dark rooms, the prayer plant is an excellent choice as it handles low-light extremely well while still producing bright and cheery foliage.
It will quickly boost the appeal of dark and drab spaces with its highly decorative variegated leaves that form with tints of lime-green and dark green with pink to burgundy leaf veins.
These beautiful leaves perk upwards at night, resembling hands in prayer, hence the plant’s common name.
- Pro: Unique foliage, especially at night
- Con: Requires regular misting
- Water: Every 5 to 8 days
12. ZZ Plant – Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
Similar to the snake plant, the ZZ plant is another species that can tolerate being left alone and neglected for long periods. It is an excellent choice for those looking to be more water conscious and it features petite arrow-shaped glossy dark-green leaves with brighter undersides.
Its form is perky and reaching, making it one of our best indoor plants for dark rooms. It will suit smaller locations very well and won’t require much maintenance at all.
- Pro: Leaves store water so maintenance is very low
- Con: Leaves can become wrinkly if underwatered
- Water: Once every 2 to 3 weeks
13. Sago Palm – Cycas Revoluta
Though not a true palm, the sago palm can certainly still give you that palm tree aesthetic indoors. It forms as a cuter, more petite version of the huge true palms, making it one of our more decorative plants for dark rooms.
It can be grown as a small tree but it can also grow a little bigger so if you’re keen on establishing a plant that can give you more options in terms of size, the sago palm is an easy choice.
Enjoy its palmy influence indoors and plant it in darker, stone-based containers for a beautiful contrast. Check out our complete guide to growing Sago palms here.
- Pro: Grows to a great height but can be kept small too
- Con: Leaves are susceptible to curling and yellowing if not cared for properly
- Water: Lightly water once every 2 weeks
14. Silver Satin – Scindapsus Pictus
The perfect small-growing plant for low-light, silver satin can add gorgeous flair and life to any indoor space. With its distinctive variegated foliage and cascading plant stems, this cute houseplant can look fantastic in any container or hanging basket.
It will need some attention from time to time but it will be well worth it in the long run. It will suit living areas and kitchens perfectly, allowing its relaxed form to soothe your frequently visited spaces.
- Pro: Easy to propagate
- Con: Can be fussy with waterings
- Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks when the soil has dried a little
15. Corn Plant – Dracaena Fragrans
Resembling small tropical palm trees, corn plants are another excellent option when looking for the best indoor plants for dark rooms. Their lush arching strappy leaves are dark green in the center with bright-green edges.
They are low-maintenance and can easily spruce up dim areas with their lively leaves and relaxed forms. Another excellent houseplant quality they possess is their ability to grow tall and narrow, making them a fantastic choice in dark corners, planted in tall containers.
- Pro: Tough nature
- Con: Toxic to cats and dogs
- Water: Every 7 to 10 days
16. Cast Iron Plant – Aspidistra Eliator
As its name suggests, this plant is almost indestructible. It can withstand a lot of neglect and is famed for its large attractive foliage. The waxy leaves are a welcoming green that grow in large teardrop-shaped forms and the plant has a very upright habit.
These plants can thrive with artificial lighting and make for excellent larger-growing additions when considering plants for dark rooms. Place them in large decorative containers to further emphasize their presence indoors.
- Pro: Tolerates changing temperatures and inconsistent waterings
- Con: Prefers north-facing windows
- Water: Once every 1 to 2 weeks
17. Heartleaf Philodendron – Philodendron Hederaceum
Easily the best choice of philodendron for low-light spots, the heartleaf philodendron also features unique large and attractive foliage. It is perfect for darker living rooms or kitchens but can look great in corners planted in tall containers.
The smooth leaves and their homely form will quickly boost the appeal of your indoor spaces. It may require some fertilizer and additional pruning to keep it looking vigorous but this plant is certainly one of the best indoor plants for dark rooms.
- Pro: Can be established as a feature plant or trimmed to trail and crawl
- Con: Sensitive to overwatering that can turn leaves yellow and stems black
- Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks
18. Japanese Aralia – Fatsia Japonica
The ideal tall plant for dark rooms, Japanese aralia is a fantastic indoor tree that copes very well with low light and it still manages to produce lovely lively foliage.
The leaves are what make this plant so special, appearing as large star-like heads that grow from the tree. This small tree is perfect for taller spaces or hallways where its luscious presence will always impress year-round.
- Pro: Can survive freezing temperatures and cold drafts
- Con: Requires medium levels of maintenance
- Water: Never let it dry out. Water once or twice per week
19. Weeping Fig Tree – Ficus Benjamina
This beautiful evergreen tree is another great choice for smaller spaces. It features dainty smooth green leaves with lime-green edges and an attractive upright form.
It looks its best when planted in naturally colored containers but will ultimately suit any container. It is fast-growing even in low-light conditions and will add life to any room.
The weeping fig tree is another top candidate in our selection of the best indoor plants for dark rooms.
- Pro: Low maintenance
- Con: Needs regular waterings and can’t be neglected for too long
- Water: Two to three times per week
20. Bromeliad – Guzmania Lingulata
One of the more unique-looking flowering plants on our list, bromeliads are terrific tropical additions to indoor spaces suffering from low light.
They feature lush strappy lime-green leaves that gently arch downwards and the main attraction are the brilliantly red flower spikes that form from the middle of the plant.
The best part of establishing bromeliad is that they can thrive off of fluorescent lighting alone and they absolutely love humidity so placing them in bathrooms will allow them to look and bloom their best.
- Pro: Unique bright-red flower spikes
- Con: Needs humidity to thrive
- Water: Once a week when the soil is dry
For more plants to grow, check out our list of tropical indoor plants that will surely beautify your home.
Join a Community Garden
If you don’t have a backyard and still want to grow vegetables and fruit in a more natural setting, joining a community garden is a great idea.
Community gardens allow people to buy smaller plots of land within a larger gardening space. The plots of land around you will be utilized by others in your community.
The benefits on joining a community garden include growing your own fresh produce, getting connected within your community, and beautifying your city or town.
The rules of the garden will vary by community, but most community gardens have rules in place that govern how plots are assigned, when the garden will be open, and who is responsible for shared areas of the garden such as paths and surrounding lawn.