5 Indoor Plants that Need Minimal Sunlight

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Just because your home doesn’t get a lot of sun doesn’t mean you can’t keep indoor plants. You just need to be a little pickier about the plants you choose. There are plenty of plants that can live and thrive with little to no light. If you’re looking for some plants that don’t need sun, here’s the list for you.

Plants that Don’t Need Sun


The following is only a short-list of the many plants out there that need minimum sunlight to thrive. Many fern variations do well in little to no sunlight as well, but not all are included on this list. When you shop for plants, be sure to check the little information stake stuck in the dirt with them; this will let you know how much light and water the plant needs to thrive.

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1. Dumb Cane

Dumb cane is one of the plants that don't need sun


This plant listed under its technical name, Dieffenbachia. It’s a beautiful plant with large foliage that does as an indoor plant. It offers some variance in colors. It’s with green leaves often, but there are also cream-colored variations.

Dumb cane is a single stem plant. As your plant matures, it may grow more stems, and thus more foliage. It has a flower that resembles the calla lily. This is a dangerous plant for pets and children, as it has a numbing agent that can paralyze the vocal cords if eaten.

Filtered light this plant needs when it comes to exposure. Too much sun can burn the leaves. Keep it in a northern area of the house with some daylight. This is also a plant that thrives in normal home temperatures. If you live in a hot zone and don’t have air conditioning, it could suffer.

2. Spider plant

Chlorophytum, or spider plants, are a tropical plant. However, they still do well in little to no light. Put them near the window that gets the most light in your home, and they should do fine. They do best in areas with higher humidity.

This is a neat plant that looks like tall blades of grass. It gets its name from the baby plants that grow from the tips of its blades (and look like little spiders). This is a flowering plant that grows tiny white flowers from which the “baby” plants will emerge.

3. Rubber plant 

Even people with absolutely no green thumb can usually keep a rubber plant alive. Its technical name is Ficus elastica, and it needs little light. Of course, it will enjoy some light now and then, but it thrives with or without it.

The main thing you want to remember when it comes to this glossy green plant is that you don’t want to over water it. Overwatering can cause it to lose its leaves, though it’s not likely to kill it. This plant can grow pretty tall when well taken care of.

4. Parlor Palm

If you’re a fan of palm trees, the Chamaedorea elegans may be the right houseplant for you. You can keep this plant anywhere in your home or office and expect it to thrive, even if it barely gets any light. You just need to water it properly, keeping it watered regularly, but not soggy, in the warm months and letting the top inch of soil dry in between waterings in the cold months.

This is a tree, meaning it will get up to around 4-feet-tall at maturity. Because of its size, you will want to re-pot in a bigger container every couple of year.

5. Cast-iron plant

So named because it is a hardy and sturdy plant, the Aspidistra elatior, or cast-iron plant, is another houseplant that can survive even the person furthest from having a green thumb. It thrives in both high humidity and cooler temps. It needs low light and shouldn’t be kept in direct sunlight.

The cast-iron plant can live a long time. It has strong dark green leaves that have a glossy texture. It can grow to over 2 feet in height. They are also sometimes classified as shade trees and found with the outdoor plants, even though they make an excellent houseplant.

Shopping for Plants that Don’t Need Sun

When it comes to shopping for plants that don’t need sun you have a few options, as you can see. This collection is only a small list of what’s out there. Just remember,  if you have pets or small children, it’s important to do some research on which plants could be harmful to them before you bring new plants into the house. Puppies and cats (and kids) that are adventurous could end up sick or dead if you have the wrong plants in your pet-friendly home.

Jonathan E. Bass

Graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. I am currently a gardener. I have a small garden behind my house. I love it.

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