5 Overlooked Plants That Can Survive In The (Almost) Dark

updated May 15, 2019
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(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

We’ve talked a lot about hard-to-kill houseplants, especially when it comes to really dark homes that don’t get tons of natural light. You probably know about cast iron plants, the ZZ, and the sansevieria. But here are a handful of often overlooked plants that you might not know do well in low light, and don’t remind you of the doctor’s office.

(Image credit: Dorothy Chiron)
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Maidenhair Ferns

Maidenhair Ferns are fantastic because they have frilly, fun leaves that are different from the usual thick leaves of indoor plants. Most ferns do well inside with low light (and ferns look great in terrariums). Check out others like Silver Lace Fern with variegated leaves.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)


These plants offer a wide range of leaf colors and shapes and, if you get a Rex Begonia, it will live quite happily without any direct light. Just make sure you don’t overwater it. Soak it and let it dry out, and repeat.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)


Mint will normally grow in a bog, so as long as you keep it moist and it gets a little bit of light, you should be able to harvest mint for tea, fruit salads, and cocktails. It also has the added advantage of giving off a nice scent indoors.

(Image credit: Sigit Adhi Wibowo)
(Image credit: Sigit Adhi Wibowo/Shutterstock)

Swedish Ivy

Plectranthus australis has an old fashioned look that sort of reminds us of grandma. And fun fact: it’s actually neither Swedish, nor an ivy. Also called Creeping Charlie, it’s a fast-growing trailing plant that works well in hanging planters. It’s an ideal plant for beginners, because it thrives in a range of soil, watering, and light conditions.

(Image credit: DoodleBirdie/Etsy)

Moss Terrariums

If you seriously have very little light, consider creating a moss terrarium. It just needs moisture and glances of light. Position it near a window where it can get reflected light and it should thrive. If you don’t know where to start, consider a kit to get you going, or buy a beautiful one that’s already constructed. The moss terrariums from Doodle Birdie on Etsy (above) are remarkably beautiful and ready to go.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)