Terrible At Keeping Plants Alive? These Houseplants Will Survive Even In Dark Rooms, Trust Us

Why are plants harder to keep alive than children? We've consulted the experts.

the best plants for dark rooms

by Charlotte Pavitt |
Updated on

Hate to break it to you, but wanting to be one of those cool girls whose trendy flat is beautifully adorned in a variety of spectacular houseplants isn't easy. In fact, it's a bit of a chore.

There's that minor issue of actually remembering to water them (but not too much because you can drown them that way), repot them (when you do manage to get one to grow a bit) and generally keep them alive (R.I.P. Gary the Fern). But some of the greatest hindrances to building a houseplant empire worthy of Pinterest boards are actually beyond your control. Yep, we’re talking about your dark, damp flat. That's probably to blame too.

Props to you if you can remember anything from year 7 biology, but in case you can't, plants need sunlight to do this little thing called photosynthesis. You know, that process that involves using the sunlight for energy to grow and stuff? Well, that requires IRL light and if your humble abode is anything like ours (cramped, dim and lacking in beautiful bay windows) then any houseplants you bring home are going to struggle a bit.

Five Easy-Care House Plants You'll Struggle To Kill Off

According to black-owned, boutique plant & homeware store Mmea London - these are the 5 low maintenance plants you can buy (and hopefully keep alive). These plants are versatile, you can stick them in those darker rooms, and will survive being forgotten. They know it's not personal:

• Sansevieria (snake plant)

• Aglaonema (chinese evergreen)⁠

• Aspidistra (also known as the cast iron plant due to its indestructible nature) ⁠

• Spathiphyllum (peace lily)

• Epipremnum aureum (also known as devil's ivy, golden pothos or scindapsus)⁠ ⁠

Why do some plants prefer dark rooms?

We asked Beth Chapman founder of Leaf Envy why some houseplants don't like the sun as much as we do. She said it's because in their native habitat, these plants may thrive on the forest floors or in a shady environment so prefer low light to dappled sun

That said, there are a few particularly resilient houseplants that are built to withstand the dark. These are the guys you're gonna want to get to know. These are the guys you can purchase, pop on a shelf anywhere in your dark depressing room and not be too stressed about. Here are some of the ones we're into...

SHOP: The Best Houseplants For Dark Rooms


Houseplants For Dark Rooms

Bloom Box Club, Cast Iron Plant, £46.991 of 14

Bloom Box Club, Cast Iron Plant, £46.99

If you want the best plant for dark rooms, it has to be the Cast Iron Plant. This bad boy can almost grow in the dark and has built up an impressive tolerance to low light conditions for shading under the canopy of taller trees in Asia. Plus, the luscious glossy leaves will add a vibrant pop of colour to those drab areas of the home.

Chinese Evergreen 'Maria'2 of 14

Bloom Box Club, Chinese Evergreen 'Maria', £14.99

An Aglaonema, or Chinese Evergreen, is not a fussy one and adorned with beautiful leaf patterns, will withstand low light rooms. It's good for you too; it'll help to clean the air and purifying your home, and help to relax your mind.

Amazon, Zamioculca Zamiifolia Indoor Plant, £12.993 of 14

Amazon, Zamioculca Zamiifolia Indoor Plant, £12.99

Full name Zamioculas Zamiifolia. Strength: happy in the dark. Like, with no natural light at all. Weakness: won't grow in the dark, but it won't die either. It produces tall stems with wide, dark green leaves and can go grow to between 60-90cm over time.

Primose, Dieffenbachia Collection, £15.994 of 14

Primose, Dieffenbachia Collection, £15.99

No matter what your light conditions are, this plant will adjust and flourish. The Dieffenbachia boasts unique, splotches, and speckled leaves in bright yellow and green, giving it the nickname of leopard plant - very on-trend and perfect for beginners.

Patch Plants, Val Sweetheart Plant, £65 of 14

Patch Plants, Val Sweetheart Plant, £6

If you saw this plant in the wild you probably wouldn't recognise it. It's actually a climbing plant, with lots of those heart-shaped leaves strung along its vines. It's commonly found in countries in South-East Asia, where it can grow up to four metres tall.

Primrose, Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera Deliciosa, £15.996 of 14

Primrose, Swiss Cheese Plant, Monstera Deliciosa, £15.99

If you don't have a Monstera plant, are you really a plant-lover? The Monstera is the jungle giant, iconic and guaranteed to make an impact in your home. They are incredibly easy to look after, flourish in indirect sunlight, and can also handle low light conditions - just don't expect as much growth.

Amazon, Devil's Ivy Golden Pothos, £20.987 of 14

Amazon, Devil's Ivy Golden Pothos, £20.98

She is the perfect houseplant. She'll live in almost any light conditions and looks spectacular as a hanging plant. Not to mention, she's seriously low maintenance, easy to grow, and air purifying - this one's a giver.

Leaf Envy, Never Never Plant, £208 of 14

Leaf Envy, Never Never Plant, £20

Calatheas thrive in medium, indirect sunlight but tolerate lower light levels too. Bright direct sunlight can cause the stunning colours on their leaves to fade, with prolonged exposure likely to burn and scorch their leaves.

Bloom & Wild, The Peace Lily, £339 of 14

Bloom & Wild, The Peace Lily, £33

Bet you didn't know they originate in tropical rain forests which means they're used to super low light and will still bloom when you plonk them there. Also means they like to be warm and well-watered, though.

Amazon, English Ivy, £22.4910 of 14

Amazon, English Ivy, £22.49

Another trailing plant that's perfect for hanging baskets or popping on the bookshelf, the English Ivy is elegant with cascading leaves that thrive in shaded spaces. We're a fan of the subtle striped leaves that'll easily brighten those darker corners.

Patch Plants, Bertie Boston Fern, £3011 of 14

Patch Plants, Bertie Boston Fern, £30

Like a lot of ferns, she's used to living in partial shade, so she's ideal for a room with lower light.

Beards & Daisies, Snake Plant, From £1012 of 14

Beards & Daisies, Snake Plant, From £10

A very hardy and low maintenance houseplant, they are very tolerant of occasional (unintentional) neglect! According to NASA it is one of the best plants for improving air quality, removing toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide from the air, this makes it an ideal home and office plant. This is a great plant for keeping in your bathroom.

Hortology, Epipremnum aureum - Golden Pothos, £29.9913 of 14

Hortology, Epipremnum aureum - Golden Pothos, £29.99

Epipremnum aureum has large, glossy green leaves with irregular cream and yellow streaks and blotches that are valued for their air-purifying qualities. Golden Pothos also tolerates lower light levels without losing its variegation and looks best displayed as a hanging plant.

Leaf Envy, Philodendron Scandens, £2014 of 14

Leaf Envy, Philodendron Scandens, £20

Heart-shaped luscious leaves characterize this beauty. She's laid back, easy to look after and tolerates low light levels - plus she has air purifying qualities.

Looking for an easy cheat? Look no further than Patch Plants:

These sets of Unkillable or Shade Loving plants from Patch Plants are the lazy girls starter kit to plants that will survive in dark rooms. Put them pretty much anywhere and they’ll be fine.


Bring life to darker corners with these tough guys. They all thrive in low light conditions. This


If youu2019re just beginning your plant journey or you like plants that require minimal effort,


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