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How Do Indoor Plants Grow Without Sunlight (10 Examples With Explanation)


You think your dimly lit apartment can’t accommodate pretty plants? Think again! While most plants need sunlight to grow, there are certain varieties that can tolerate the lack of light or even shade perfectly.


How do plants grow without light?

This is not quite correct, in fact, plants all need light, it is the basis of photosynthesis that allows to capture energy. Some plants simply need much less light than others.


Plants that grow in the jungle, under trees, often capture very little light, and still manage to grow well. Of course, the 10 plants listed below will not grow in complete darkness, but you just need to have a window that looks outdoors to allow it to have enough energy!


10 plants growing in sunlight

1- The calathea

Calathea seduces all green addicts. This plant with the extraordinary reasons has many varieties, all more beautiful the ones than the others: calathéa medallion, orbifolia, calathéa lancifolia…


If you are looking for a plant to decorate a room that is dark enough and does not get much sun, this is the one for you. The calathéa is a tropical plant which likes the wet environments, a sieved bathroom should perfectly suit him. You don’t have a green thumb? Don’t panic, there’s nothing easier to maintain!


2- Caladium

With its magnificent pink heart-shaped foliage, the caladium brings a touch of plant decoration as trendy as it is singular. This tropical plant originating in Brazil appreciates the shade or the half-shade. However, to benefit as well as possible from its pretty colors and to brighten your interior, place it a few hours in the sun, while avoiding the hottest hours. Attention, the caladium fears the cold (64°F minimum)!


3 – Zamioculcas

With its shiny foliage, the zamioculcas lacks neither charm nor character. Tough, it is one of the least demanding houseplants that exist. The zamioculcas likes light as well as shade. In short, it is THE easy-to-live plant to plant your interior while decorating it with its luxuriant leaves. You can easily forget it in a corner, it will forgive you!


4- The pothos

Nicknamed “ivy of the devil”, the pothos is a plant of type liana, endowed with delicate leaves in the shape of heart. It will thus make its small effect once suspended in height in your house! Side maintenance, the pothos tolerates the shade very well and prefers the subdued light. Simply water it when the soil above is dry.


The most common variety, the golden pothos, has beautiful shiny leaves with green and yellow variegated. There are others such as “Golden Queen” which is golden yellow or “Marble Queen” whose foliage is almost entirely marbled with white.


5- Pilea cadierei

Contrary to the pilea peperomioides which needs sun, this variety likes the half-shade & will be appropriate very well for an interior little luminous. The pilea cadierei, called aluminium plant, stands out thanks to its oval leaves with the silvery reflections.


Its esthetism is not its only asset since it is also very easy of maintenance. The pilea simply requires a humid atmosphere so do not hesitate to vaporize it with water (not too hard if possible), it will be all the more beautiful!


6- The tradescantia or misery

Misery is a very appreciated decorative plant. And for good reason: robust and undemanding, it adapts to all environments! The trandescantia does not need direct exposure to the sun: you can place it in a more shaded area.


It is the perfect plant for beginners or forgetful people. Impossible not to crack in front of its pink or purple and green zebra foliage. It will bring an irresistible touch of color to your apartment.


7- Aglaonema

The Aglaonema is a house plant with delicate marbled leaves. This exotic plant is satisfied with a subdued light and does not tolerate the full sun which is likely to stain its foliage irremediably. It adores the bathrooms but will also open out in all the other rooms. If your apartment is not very bright, aglaonema commutatum is the species that best accepts shade.


8- The sanseveria

The Sanseveria, also known as the “mother-in-law’s tongue”, requires very little maintenance and tolerates shade perfectly. With its long yellow and green leaves, this indoor plant with a graphic look is perfect to plant your home. As aesthetic as it is easy to live with, it fits any environment. Its plus: the lack of water does not scare it.


9- Aspidistra

If the temperatures are not very high and that the air is not too dry, this plant will like in the shade. The best is to place it in a rather fresh, but a little dark bathroom where it will bring a little greenery and a decorative note. It is a plant easy to maintain.


10- The cleavia

It particularly appreciates the shaded places, however if you want this plant to flower, you will have to place it in the sun from time to time. If it remains too long in a dark place, it will still develop a beautiful foliage.



Indeed, there are plants that are less demanding in terms of luminosity, which will allow you to dress and decorate small, dimly lit corners of your home or garden, or even in the shade. These plants do not literally grow without light, they simply need much less energy than most plants!


The most important thing is to know their needs and the possible consequences on their growth, which can be slightly slowed down.

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