Houseplant Girl

What Are The Best Indoor Plants That Grow In Shade?

What Are The Best Plants To Grow In Shade?

The best indoor plants that grow in shade

Indoor plants that grow in shade are not hard to find, and can become your whole house plant collection. From ferns to evergreens to ivy, you’ll be able to find the best plants for full shade that will not just tolerate your sunless home, but thrive in it.

I have a house with very low light, north facing windows, and sunless winters. At first, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wonders of an indoor garden, but after some research and due diligence, I found many options for those in my same situation.

Plants all over the world have evolved in the shady environments, from the rainforest or jungle floors to the shady marshes or underneath the protection of a stump or log. Either way, there are many plants that don’t like full sun, and for good reason.

I’ve done my due diligence so you don’t have to, so here’s a list of great plants that grow in full shade. 


The Peace Lily:

Peace Lily--Full shade plant. Indoor plants that grow in shade. Not only does the Peace Lily plant love shade, but it is one of NASA’s best plants to filter and clean your air. It’s easy to care for and without even asking, it will remove toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from your indoor air supply. You’re welcome!

The Peace Lily is also one of the best plants for beginners, resilient to almost any neglect and poor caretaking skills. It will also gesture to you when it needs water by sagging its petals. This plant thrives in low light conditions or even artificial lighting conditions! If you have a north or west facing window these would be the ideal places to house the plant. You can read more about the Peace Lily Plant Here.


Snake Plant:

plants that grow in full shade. Indoor plants that grow in shade. Another plant that thrives in the shade, Snake plants love to be tough and thrive in difficult conditions, like sunless homes. Similar to the Peace plant, the Snake plant will take neglect as a patch of pride, and thrives with no questions asked. It also cleans and filters your air, so together with the Peace plant, they are a 1-2 punch against environmental toxins.

The Snake plant thrives on low levels of light, or bright light. It thrives everywhere and can even live in fluorescent lighting situations. Learn more about the Snake Plant here


Wandering Jew Plant

Best low light plants. Indoor plants that grow in shade

 I wanted to give a shout out to the Wandering Jew Plant! A wonderful and beautiful plant, Wandering Jews get their name from their ability to be transplanted from house to house, wandering through the houseplant world. Many neighbors and friends would share their cuttings and create new plants, creating a community of Wandering Jew plant lovers.

Unlike the other plants above, the Wandering Jew does need light, however, it wants indirect, bright light. Don’t be surprised if your plant only lives a year, as these plants don’t age well.


English Ivy

Indoor plants that grow in shade

Another NASA approved house plant, the English Ivy house plant is a wonderful addition to your home. It cleans the air and purifies your space, filtering out harmful chemicals from your lungs. Save yourself and get some purifying plants! English Ivy only needs filtered and indirect light, and will respond well to artificial lighting situations. If you live in your office, English Ivy will be a great addition to your cubicle as it will survive under fluorescent lights, unlike myself.

Learn more about the English Ivy house plant here.


The Chinese Evergreen

Indoor plants that grow in shade

One of the best indoor plants that like shade, the Chinese Evergreen is a winner when it comes to beginners and neglectful plant lovers alike. I love the Chinese Evergreen for its beauty and ease. They are able to survive under minimal artificial lighting conditions—even the windowless bathroom or dungeon-like conditions.

With these plants, you must keep an eye out for kids or pets who like to gnaw on fauna as they contain a chemical called calcium oxalate crystals which may lead to irritation and burning when eaten.

This is a great plant for those of us who only have North facing windows, and should be kept out of direct sunlight. This is an ideal indoor plant that likes shade, and everyone should have at least one.

You can read more about Chinese Evergreens here. 

Heartleaf Philodendron

best indoor plants that grow in shade

One of the most popular houseplants in the world, the philodendron is a super tolerant, fast growing vine, perfect for any apartment with lackluster light. This is one of the easiest plants to grow, so hardy, and so beautiful as well. These plants basically thrive off of neglect and they basically dare you to go on vacation and forget to water them…they’ll still survive!

It’s not hard to find indoor plants that grow in shade, there are abundant and beautiful options for all plant lovers.  If you feel that your home is not well suited for plants, thing again. From the Chinese Evergreen to the English Ivy, there are plenty of options for those of us living in less than ideal locations.

You don’t have to live with an abundance of sun, to have abundant beauty.



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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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