house plants for shady rooms growing on a tray

13 Ideal House Plants For Shady Rooms

Decorating a dark and shady room can be challenging, but with the right houseplants, you can transform even the dreariest space into a lush oasis. Whether you’re looking for low light trailing plants to hang from the ceiling or small plants for dark corners, there are plenty of options. In this article, we’ll explore 13 ideal house plants for shady rooms, including popular varieties such as Golden Pothos and Peace Lily and lesser-known gems like the Silver Inch Plant and Swiss Cheese Plant. So, if you’re looking to breathe some life into your gloomy space, read on to discover the best plants for shady rooms.

1. Golden Pothos

devil's ivy growing indoors

Golden Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is one of the most popular house plants for shady rooms that trails beautifully. The plant features heart-shaped leaves variegated with golden-yellow and green, making it a striking addition to any room.

One of the best things about the Golden Pothos is that it’s low-maintenance and can thrive in various conditions. It prefers bright, indirect light but tolerates low light levels, making it a great option for dark rooms. However, avoiding direct sunlight is important as it can damage the leaves.

When it comes to watering, the Golden Pothos is forgiving and can tolerate infrequent watering. However, you should allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot. During winter, it’s best to reduce the watering frequency to avoid waterlogged soil.

The Golden Pothos is an easy plant to care for in terms of maintenance. It benefits from occasional fertilisation during the growing season, and pruning can help to encourage bushier growth and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy. Additionally, you should watch for any signs of pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, which can sometimes afflict the plant.

2. Slipper Orchid

slipper orchid flower

If you’re looking for a house plant to add a touch of elegance to your dark room, the Slipper Orchid is a great option. This plant, also known as the Lady Slipper Orchid, is native to Asia and features delicate, colourful flowers that bloom from a long stem. The foliage is also unique, featuring mottled green and silver leaves that add visual interest.

The Slipper Orchid prefers low-light conditions, so keep it out of direct sunlight. As such, it is one of the ideal house plants for shady rooms. This plant requires consistent moisture, but it’s important not to overwater it. Instead, let the top inch of soil dry out between watering and water it thoroughly when it’s time.

The Slipper Orchid is relatively easy to care for. However, it’s important to fertilise the plant regularly during growing, using a balanced fertiliser diluted to half strength. Additionally, you should watch for any signs of pests, such as scale insects or spider mites, which can afflict orchids.

3. Indoor Begonia

indoor begonia leaves

The Indoor Begonia is a great option if you’re looking for low-light trailing plants to add colour to your shady room. This houseplant comes in various colours, including pink, red, and white, and features delicate, asymmetrical leaves that add visual interest to any space.

The Indoor Begonia prefers indirect sunlight and can tolerate low light conditions; one of the best house plants for shady rooms. However, avoid exposing this plant to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

In terms of watering, the Indoor Begonia prefers to be kept consistently moist, but you should avoid overwatering it. Additionally, you should let the soil dry out slightly between waterings without letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can cause root rot.

When it comes to maintenance, the Indoor Begonia is relatively easy to care for. It benefits from occasional fertilisation during the growing season and pruning can help to encourage bushier growth. 

4. Monkey Face Plant

monkey face plant on white background
Monkey face plant grow and care guide

The Monkey Face Plant is worth considering if you’re looking for unusual and interesting house plants for shady rooms. This unique plant gets its name from its large, holey leaves, which have a distinctive pattern that looks like a monkey’s face.

The Monkey Face Plant prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate low-light conditions, making it a great choice for shady rooms and dark corners. However, direct sunlight can burn its leaves.

The Monkey Face Plant prefers consistently moist but not waterlogged soil. Plus, letting the soil dry out slightly between waterings is important to prevent root rot. Additionally, this plant benefits from occasional misting to increase the humidity around it.

The Monkey Face Plant is relatively easy to care for. It benefits from occasional fertilisation during the growing season and pruning helps to encourage bushier growth.

Read More: Monkey Face Plant Care Guide

5. Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra Elatior

The Cast Iron Plant is a great choice for anyone looking for low maintenance house plants that can tolerate a range of conditions. This plant is also known as the “Iron Plant” due to its hardy and durable nature, so it’s an ideal option for those new to houseplant care.

This houseplant tolerates low light conditions well and bright, indirect light, making it a versatile option for any space. As well as shady spots, the Cast Iron Plant is one of the easiest houseplants to care for. It doesn’t require much fertiliser and can thrive without pruning. It prefers to be kept on the drier side and can tolerate drought periods. Additionally, this plant is resistant to pests and diseases, making it a great choice for those who want low maintenance house plants for shady rooms. 

6. Ivy

ivy climbing over an indoor support

Ivy has been a favourite house plant of homeowners for generations. It is well known for its long trailing vines and distinctive, pointed leaves. The plant is available in a range of varieties, including English ivy, Algerian ivy, and Persian ivy, each with its unique characteristics.

Ivy is an excellent choice for low light trailing house plants because of its ability to thrive in differing conditions. It prefers bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions. Additionally, ivy can help to purify the air, which is perfect for any indoor space.

When growing ivy indoors, there are a few tips to remember. First, ivy prefers to be kept consistently moist but not soggy. You should avoid letting the soil dry out completely, which can cause the plant to wilt and die. Additionally, ivy benefits from occasional misting to increase the humidity around it.

Another important consideration when growing ivy indoors is to provide it with support for its trailing vines. Ivy can be trained to climb a trellis or allowed to trail down from a hanging planter. Either way, providing the plant with a structure to support its growth is important.

Ivy is relatively easy to care for. You can prune it to encourage bushier growth, and occasional fertilisation during the growing season can be beneficial too. However, it’s vulnerable to pests, so watch for creepy crawlies.

7. Boston Fern

boston fern leaves

Boston Ferns are an elegant house plant that has been popular for decades. They are well known for their delicate, feathery fronds that reach up to two feet long. These ferns add a touch of lush greenery to any room and are excellent at removing pollutants from the air, making them a great addition to any indoor space.

One of the reasons that Boston Ferns are such popular houseplant is their ability to thrive in low-light conditions. Although they prefer bright, indirect light, they can also tolerate lower light levels, which is ideal when looking for house plants for shady rooms. 

Boston ferns prefer to remain consistently moist but not waterlogged, so you should avoid letting the soil dry out completely. They also benefit from occasional misting to increase the humidity around them, especially during the winter when indoor heating can cause the air to become dry.

8. Spider Plant

the flowers of a spider plant

The Spider Plant, also known as Chlorophytum Comosum, is a popular houseplant loved for its striking appearance and ease of care. Characterised by long, narrow leaves variegated with white or yellow stripes, it produces small, white flowers that eventually turn into baby spider plants.

One of the unique features of the Spider Plant is its ability to produce baby spider plants, also known as plantlets, that you can easily propagate. These plantlets can be removed from the mother plant and placed in their own pots to create new Spider Plants. The Spider Plant is a great choice for anyone looking to expand their houseplant collection or share plants with friends.

The spider plant is renowned for tolerating a wide range of light conditions. While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can also thrive in lower light levels. Additionally, Spider Plants are known for their ability to purify the air, so you can improve the air quality of your home while brightening it up. 

Spider plants prefer well-draining soil; you should water them when the top inch of soil feels dry. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important not to let the plant sit in standing water. Spider Plants also benefit from occasional fertilisation during the growing season.

9. Swiss Cheese Plant

swiss cheese plant, one of the best house plants for shady rooms

The Swiss Cheese Plant, or Monstera deliciosa, is a popular houseplant with unique and striking foliage. Distantly related to the Monkey Face Plane, the large, glossy leaves of the Monstera deliciosa are deeply lobed and perforated with holes, giving it a distinctive appearance that resembles Swiss cheese.

One of the unique features of the Swiss Cheese Plant is its ability to produce aerial roots, which you can train to climb up support or trellis. This makes the Swiss Cheese Plant a great choice for anyone looking to create a dramatic vertical display of plants in their home.

Although it prefers bright, indirect light, it can adapt to shadier areas, so it is one of the best house plants for shady rooms. The Swiss Cheese Plant is also relatively easy to care for and can grow large with the right conditions.

To care for your Swiss cheese plant, use well-draining soil and water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Overwatering can cause root rot, so be careful not to let the plant sit in standing water. During the growing season, occasionally fertilise your Swiss Cheese Plant to keep it healthy.

Read More: Swiss Cheese Plant Care Guide

10. Mother-in-law’s Tongue

The Mother-in-law’s Tongue, or Sansevieria Trifasciata, is known for its tall, upright leaves that can grow up to several feet. These leaves are typically green with yellow or white stripes and have a sharp, pointed tip resembling a sword or a tongue.

Mother-in-law’s Tongue is one of the best house plants for shady rooms because it can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright indirect light. Plus, it’s a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require frequent watering and can even go for weeks without it. In fact, overwatering is one of the main causes of problems with this plant, so it’s best to err on the side of underwatering.

Another benefit of the Mother-in-law’s Tongue is that it’s a great air purifier. According to a NASA study, this plant can remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air.

To care for your Mother-in-law’s Tongue, plant it in well-draining soil and water only when completely dry. This plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefers to be in a warm and humid environment. In addition, it doesn’t require frequent fertilisation, so you can skip this step altogether or do it very sparingly.

11. Peace Lily

The Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum, is a popular houseplant known for its lush, dark green foliage and beautiful white flowers. In addition, it’s a plant that thrives in low light conditions, making it a perfect addition to any dark room in your house.

One of the defining features of the Peace Lily is its striking white flowers. The flowers look like a small spoon or spade and last several weeks. The flowers are not only beautiful but also serve as an indicator of when you should water the plant. When the flowers start to wilt, it’s a sign that the plant is thirsty.

The Peace Lily is also a great air purifier and can remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air, making it an ideal plant for your home. In addition, it’s an easy-to-care-for plant that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. However, it prefers to live in well-draining soil, and you should water it only when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering can cause the plant to develop root rot, which can be fatal.

One important thing to note is that the Peace Lily is toxic to pets and humans if ingested. In addition, if ingested, the plant can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and difficulty swallowing. So, keeping it out of reach of children and pets is essential. 

12. Silver Inch Plant

The Silver Inch Plant, or Tradescantia Zebrina, is one of the more unique house plants for shady rooms. Its long, trailing vines feature striking purple and silver stripes on the top side of the leaves for an attractive addition to any room.

Like many other house plants for dark rooms, the Silver Inch Plant is incredibly easy to care for. It tolerates various lighting conditions and can thrive in low and bright light. However, it prefers to be in bright, indirect light to maintain its vibrant foliage colour.

To care for your Silver Inch Plant, water it regularly, but only a little. It prefers moist but well-draining soil; you should water it when the top inch of soil is dry. Overwatering can lead to fatal root rot.

Propagation of the Silver Inch Plant is also easy. You can propagate it by stem cuttings, which you can root in water or soil. Once rooted, the new plants can be potted and grown alongside the parent plant or shared with friends and family.

13. Parlour Palm

The Parlour Palm, or Chamaedorea Rlegans, is a popular house plant native to Mexico and Central America. This versatile plant can thrive in various lighting conditions, so it’s another of the best house plants for shady rooms.

One of the defining features of the Parlour Palm is its small size. It typically grows to a height of only 2 to 6 feet; one of the ideal house plants for dark rooms with tables, bookshelves, and other small spaces. In addition, its elegant fronds have a delicate, feathery appearance and add a touch of tropical elegance to any room.

The Parlour Palm thrives in bright, indirect light. However, it can tolerate lower light levels, but too much direct sunlight will scorch its leaves. If you notice brown tips on the leaves, it’s a sign that the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight.

To care for your Parlour Palm, keep it in a well-draining potting mix and water it regularly. The plant prefers evenly moist soil and does not tolerate drought or overwatering well. It also benefits from occasional misting to increase humidity.

Choosing The Best House Plants For Shady Rooms

Bringing greenery into your home positively impacts your physical and mental well-being, but finding the right house plants for shady rooms can be a challenge. Luckily, plenty of low light trailing plants and other species can thrive in the dimly lit corners of your home. So, whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or a newbie, don’t be afraid to experiment with different varieties and find the perfect plants for your shady space. With a little care and attention, these 13 ideal house plants for shady rooms will bring life and colour to even the darkest corners of your home.

FAQs

Which Indoor Plants Don’t Need Sunlight?

Some indoor plants that don’t need sunlight are the Golden Pothos, Cast Iron Plant, Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Spider Plant, and Chinese Evergreen. These plants are known for their ability to thrive in low light conditions and require minimal care.

What Plant To Put In A Dark Corner?

A good plant to put in a dark corner is the Swiss Cheese Plant, also known as Monstera Deliciosa. This plant has large, unique leaves that can add a tropical touch to any room. Other options include the Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, and Dracaena.

What Is A Good Plant For A Room With No Windows?

A good plant for a room with no windows is the Cast Iron Plant, also known as Aspidistra Elatior. This plant is known for tolerating low light conditions and can thrive in areas with limited natural light. Other options include the Chinese Evergreen, ZZ Plant, and Peace Lily.

Resources

NASA. (n.d.). Indoor plants and the NASA air quality study. Retrieved from https://www.eltafans.asia/indoor-plants-and-the-nasa-air-quality-study/ [accessed 29/05/23]

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