23 Beautiful Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Direct Sunlight

The green thumb is not for everyone.

Don’t worry, these beautiful low maintenance plants will look great in any home.

They don’t need a lot of light to thrive, and to some extent hold up well to neglect.

1. Alocasia Silver Dragon

This photo taken on March 7, 2021 shows Leiister Soon holding an alocasia silver dragon plant while posing next to an anthurium regale (R) in Kuala Lumpur. The Alocasia plant has large leaves with a pretty pattern.
Photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images

A tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, where it grows on jungle floors with little or no light.

The Alocasia Silver Dragon needs a lot of humidity and does not tolerate low temperatures well. This delicate and rare-to-find indoor plant requires indirect light, out of direct sunlight.

2. Bromeliads

Bromeliads
A member of the public buys a bromeliad in the main pavilion at the Chelsea Flower Show on September 22, 2021 in London, England.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Getty Images

This houseplant can survive with artificial lighting, so it’s perfect for bathrooms or rooms without windows. Low maintenance, it doesn’t require much watering and can survive drought conditions.

3. Cast iron factory (Aspidistra Elatior)

cast iron factory
The cast iron plant has been described as an “almost indestructible houseplant”.
sept75/iStock

A hardy plant that tolerates a variety of conditions well, such as low light environments.

They grow at a very slow pace but do not require much maintenance. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn its leaves.

4. Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila)

creeping fig
This plant needs bright light but not direct sunlight.
Kara Riley / The Spruce

Also known as the climbing fig, this plant is suitable for indoor and outdoor uses. It is mainly used as a table plant or as a hanging plant.

Easy to care for, it needs watering when the soil is dry. The creeping fig tree needs bright light but not direct sunlight.

5. Calathea lancifolia (rattlesnake plant)

Calathea lancifolia
Calathea lancifolia aka ‘rattlesnake plant’.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Zloyel

Native to the rainforests of Brazil, it gets its common name from the distinctive markings on its leaves.

Beautiful but demanding houseplant that grows well in light shade. It has a specific minimum temperature of 55 F (13 C) that must be maintained.

6. Devil’s Ivy (Silver Factory)

Potted Devil's Ivy
Potted Devil’s Ivy.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Grumpy Cow Studios

In the wild, it is usually found in the forests of Southeast Asia where it grows in deep shade.

It requires little care as a houseplant and can purify air polluted with synthetic chemicals from furniture and cleaning solutions.

7. Dracanea (dragon tree)

Photo courtesy of The Spruce / Photographer: Anastasiia Tretiak

A very popular houseplant native to Madagascar in Africa. The Dracanea helps purify the air and it can take a fair amount of neglect.

It does not need daily watering and should be kept out of direct sunlight.

8. Fiddleleaf Fig (Ficus Lyrata)

fiddle leaf fig
Fiddle leaf fig trees do well in moderate sunlight.
Leticia Almeida/Spruce

There is some debate among homeowners whether or not these plants need direct sunlight.

According to fiddleleaffigplant.com: “Violins really like full sun IF they are properly acclimatized to it. The problem is that most violins sold as houseplants have been planted and grown indoors under indirect or artificial light. .You can’t put these trees right in direct sunlight or they’ll get sunburned.”

Native to West Africa, the fiddle leaf fig tree tolerates neglect well and therefore requires very little maintenance.

9. Kentia Palm (Howea Forsteriana)

Kentia Palm
The Kentia palm is a perfect houseplant for a beginner as a first plant.
Kara Riley / The Spruce
This plant is perfect for a beginner as a first plant because it requires little care. Howea forsteriana has good air purifying abilities and is able to filter and purify stagnant air.
According to the Home Design website Spruce: “While kentia palms can grow in low light conditions, you’ll get more foliage if they receive soft, filtered light, so aim for at least six to eight hours a day.”

10. Maranta prayer plant (Maranta Leuconeura)

Maranta
Annual Rose Picta. Horth. Illustration by P. Stroobant and lithograph by L. Stroobant from “Revue de l’horticulture belge et etrangere”, Ghent (Belgium) 1867.
Photo by Fototeca Gilardi/Getty Images/Getty Images

Called a prayer plant because of the way its leaves curl together at dusk, a kind of prayer pose is part of a process called nyctinasty.

Maranta Leuconeura does not need direct sunlight and is a good choice for both expert and novice growers.

11. Asparagus Fern

asparagus fern
An asparagus fern.
Light and shadow studio/Light and shadow studio

Asparagus ferns do best in dappled shade, so they should be shaded from the sun. It thrives in humidity, so a bathroom is the perfect place for it.

12. Monster (delicious monstera)

giant monstera
Giant Monstera tree.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/lamyai

The Monstera plant needs very little to no sun and can thrive in virtually any light condition.

It is also considered a natural air purifier, capable of removing toxins from the air.

13. Living Room Palm

parlor palm
Parlor palms are “a great starting point for the beginner.”
Light and Shadow Studio/iStock

Chamadorea elegans, also known as Parlor Palm, grows easily and does not require much attention and care. You will only need to water it when the soil is dry. It needs little sun to survive.

The plant was included on NASA’s list of 50 houseplants that purify the air.

14. Peace Lily

lily of peace
Peace lilies are one of the easiest houseplants to care for.
Grumpy Cow Studios/iStock

A low maintenance houseplant with glossy green leaves and occasional white flowers. The white “petal” is not a lily but a leaf bract growing around the yellow bud.

Peace lilies prefer a shady spot in the house.

15. Philodendron

Topical houseplant Philodendron Verrucosum in a pot.
Philodendron Verrucosum topical houseplant with dark green veined velvety leaves in a basket flowerpot.
iStock

Another popular houseplant with beautiful heart-shaped foliage.

Caution: They can be toxic to pets and humans if ingested because their leaves and stems are high in calcium oxalate.

It is a hardy plant, which does not require much attention or sun and is considered one of the easiest houseplants to grow.

16. Pilea Peperomiodes

Pilea Peperomia
Pilea peperomioides, Chinese money plant, in a blue flowerpot, isolated on gray background.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Yvonne Lebens

Easy to grow, it is also known as the Chinese money plant. It prefers a bright spot, but never in direct sunlight.

Although it doesn’t need a lot of water to thrive, the soil should never dry out.

17. Stromanthe Sanguinea

Photo courtesy of The Spruce/ Photographer: Anastasiia Tretiak

Also known as Stromanthe Triostar or Triostar. It is found in the South American rainforest, where tall trees block direct sunlight. Therefore, as a houseplant, it prefers filtered light.

18. Western Sword Fern

A lovely evergreen houseplant, it doesn’t need direct sunlight to grow.

Like most ferns, it prefers a moist, low-light environment. Ideal for bathrooms with high humidity.

19. Snake Factory

snake plant
The snake plant “can be neglected for weeks at a time.”
Grumpy Cow Studios/iStock

Also known as “Hemp Viper’s Bowstring”, “Saint George’s Sword”, and “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”. This houseplant doesn’t need a lot of watering and tolerates the lack of care well.

The plant is said to release oxygen at night, and according to NASA, snake plants can remove toxins from the air inside your home.

20. Spider Plant

spider plant
Spider plant is a great option for inexperienced plant owners.
FeelPic/iStock

Chlorophytum comosum or spider plant, is one of the most adaptable houseplants

It is easy to grow and can do so in different conditions. Spider plants can be moved outside to a sunny balcony, but they cannot be exposed to direct sunlight. In cold weather, it must be indoors because it does not tolerate freezing temperatures well.

21. Silver Queen (Aglaonema or Chinese Evergreen)

chinese evergreen leaves
Chinese conifers are popular because they are easy to care for.
dropStock/iStock

Silver queens are a variation of evergreens, and because of their speckled light green leaves, they prefer low light conditions.

Known to grow between 8 inches and 4 feet tall, these plants are perfect houseplants as they are cold sensitive.

22. Zamioculcas

ZZ Factory
The ZZ Factory is “virtually indestructible”.
OlseaV/iStock

Low maintenance, the ZZ plant is one of the hardiest plants.

They are beautiful to look at with lush foliage and a bright green color.

23. Zebra Cactus (Haworthia attenuata)

The Zebra cactus needs little water and blooms with beautiful white-brown flowers in summer. It thrives in low light conditions, but sometimes needs to be moved to a brighter environment to avoid leaf yellowing.

Haworthiopsis attenuated.
Haworthiopsis attenuated.
iStock

Update 4/11/21, 11:26 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to reflect the debate over whether or not fiddle-leaf figs need direct sunlight.

Correction 11/04/21, 11:26 AM ET: A new photograph of a philodendron has been used; a previous image showed a Monstera, not a split-leaf philodendron.

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