Bright Ideas for Dark Rooms

Houseplants can brighten even the darkest homes with a fresh feeling and bright blooms. However, not all of us are lucky enough to have the perfect conditions for growing plants indoors, such as ample floor space near south facing windows. If you love plants but have north-facing windows, or perhaps want a plant several feet away from a windowsill, here is your guide to selecting plants that can thrive in these less than ideal conditions.

Choose Plants that Thrive in Low Light

When selecting a plant for a dark space, one of the first things to consider before  is where you want to place it. The specific area of the room where your plant will be going will affect not only the lighting available for your plant, but the shape and size of plant that you can place there.

For a corner or tall space:


Kentia Palm

Zamioculcas (ZZ Plant)


Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

Sanseveria, Snake Plant, ISTOCK

For Ultra-Low or No Light Spaces

If you have a basement or area that receives almost no natural light, these plants are your best bet. They are extremely tolerant of low light.

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Aspidastra ISTOCK

For Small Spaces or Shelves

If you wish to put a plant up on a bookshelf or somewhere smaller, pothos and philodendron are great options that take up less vertical space but will grow to cascade over the sides of a table or shelf. For a north facing window, try an African violet if you want some blooms.

Keeping Plants Healthy in Low Light

There are a few care tips and tricks from our greenhouse team that anyone can use to keep their plants looking fresh and healthy

Rotate Regularly for Better Light

Choose a pair of plants for your space rather than just one. Place one of the two in your low light spot. Place the other in a brighter place, but without direct sun. Switch you plants weekly to keep both plants looking beautiful. By doing this, you can successfully keep a variety of plants healthy in lower light conditions. 

Add Light with Gro-lights

You can supplement natural light by using Gro-light bulbs in ceiling fixtures or lamps that will shine down on your plants.

Water Properly

These foliage plants generally prefer to dry out between waterings. Appearance can also be an indicator, leaf shine can instantly freshen the look of plants. If you’re unsure of the specific watering requirements for your plant in your space, check our our watering guidelines or talk to a MGC plant specialist to get more information.

Add a Colorful Container

If the purpose of your plant is to brighten up your space, there are many ways to do that beyond plant choice. Consider putting your low light plant in a fun pot or unique container! We have so many options to choose from at each of our locations.

Try Silk Plants

If you have a particular vision and don’t have enough light to bring in the plants you want, keep an open mind as sometimes silk plants are the best option for locations without any light. Good silk plants lend beauty and color to dark spaces, and look as real as the real thing. We also recommend silk plants if you’re worried about the safety of keeping certain plants around your pets or children.

We encourage you to come in and speak with a plant specialist for assistance selecting the perfect plant for your space. Have a picture of the space and let us know what the light conditions are, (Does your window get morning sun or setting sun? Is it a north or south facing window? etc.) and we would be happy to devise specific recommendations about what plants can thrive in your space.

Love your low light plants? We would love to see them! Share with us on Instagram or Facebook and tag @merrifieldgardencenter for a chance to be featured on our page.