Low-Light Plants

Just like four-year-olds, sometimes we need training wheels to get us going. For those of you who think a plant can’t survive in your hands, you’re mistaken. We’ve got the perfect starter low-maintenance plants for you. By the time you’re done taking care of these low-light plants, you’ll be ready to lose those training wheels and tackle the rest of the plant kingdom with confidence.


1. Aglaonemas

If you want to impress your friends, then Aglaonemas or Chinese evergreens are for you. These plants and their varieties can vary in their color, from rich, dark green to leaves with red veining and maybe even a little pink thrown in. Aglaonemas do well in dry or moist conditions and low light. So go ahead and put it near that north-facing window—that place where all your other plants have been known to pass on to the afterlife. Aglaonemas can grow up to 4 feet tall, although they are relatively slow-growing. Luckily for the absent-minded, Aglaonemas don’t need to be watered every day; once a week is usually sufficient.

low-light plants

2. ZZ Plant

Get ready for this one! The Zanzibar gem plant (ZZ) typically only needs to be watered every 5-6 weeks! ZZ plants are perfect for those with bouts of temporary amnesia or those of us who just can’t seem to find that watering can. It’s relatively new to the American plant scene, distributed worldwide in the late ’90s. The plant is originally from East Africa, where it adapted to perilous drought conditions. Although low light and low maintenance, ZZ plants can be toxic to pets and humans, so it makes a great office plant.

3. Snake Plant

Snake plants are what Architectural Digest dreams are made of. These sleek and sophisticated plants are an interior designer staple. With its long green leaves with yellow borders, it’s a stunning addition to any room. This plant does well in both bright and low light, so take your pick. Watering requirements are low as well, once a month or even every 6 weeks.

4. Pothos

The pothos or devil’s ivy can’t be killed! But don’t put that theory to the test; while it’s a hardy plant, you still need to give it some care. With a trailing vine and heart-shaped leaves, a pothos is a lovely way to show someone you love them while also saying you have relatively low expectations of them keeping a plant alive. Hailing from French Polynesia, devil’s ivy can be grown in water and soil and does well in most environments—but beware; it does not like direct sunlight. Let the soil dry before watering again, and you’ll be fine.

5. Calathea

Calathea plants, also called prayer plants, are alluring with their green leaves and striping. The Calathea is a tropical plant hailing from Brazil and can be a little finicky. It’s sensitive to cold temperatures and loves warm and humid environments. Even though they are tropical, they enjoy indirect light. Because they love humidity, you will have to water them a bit more than the other low-light plants—once a week or every other week until you find your rhythm.

Low-light plants are some of the most striking and exceptional-looking plants perfect for city dwellers with little direct light, office buildings, and especially for beginner plant lovers. Do your best, and your plants will reward you with their beauty.