All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions

10 Resistant Plants that Survive in Low Light Spaces

10 Resistant Plants that Survive in Low Light Spaces
Home Cafes / Penda. Image © Zhi Xia
Home Cafes / Penda. Image © Zhi Xia

With increasingly smaller homes and apartments, there has been a growing impulse to integrate plant species into interior spaces. But what kind of plants should be used for an environment lacking in abundant natural light? In this article, you will find some suggestions for species recommended for shaded or semi-shaded environments, an especially important distinction when we talk about interior spaces that receive little sunlight.

Zamioculca. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock Aglaonema. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock Dracaena . Image © Gringoann, Vía Shutterstock Sansevieria Trifasciata. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock + 33

© Victor Affaro. Image Cabana Urbana / Studio Marcio Michaluá
© Victor Affaro. Image Cabana Urbana / Studio Marcio Michaluá

Most of these species have thicker and more resistant foliage, with a color close to dark green, but you will also find some flowers that effectively survive in dark environments. It is essential to carefully analyze the characteristics of each species; some will need sunlight sporadically, others, a little more often. 

If chosen correctly, the vegetation can be incorporated as an essential part of the architectural space through integrated planters, structures for hanging plants, green walls, or furniture that doubles as pots. 

© Victor Affaro. Image Cabana Urbana / Studio Marcio Michaluá
© Victor Affaro. Image Cabana Urbana / Studio Marcio Michaluá

First, some important precautions to ensure a longer indoor plant life: 

  1. Pay attention to the humidity level when watering your plants. Check if the soil feels moist to the touch. The earth should not be soaked or dried.
  2. Take care of the foliage, removing dust from the leaves with a damp cloth.
  3. It is recommended to choose ceramic pots with holes in the bottom.
  4. Avoid placing the plants near electronic equipment, which emanate heat that can be harmful.

Sergey Makhno Office and Showroom / Illya Tovstonog + Sergey Makhno Architects. Image © Andrey Avdeenko
Sergey Makhno Office and Showroom / Illya Tovstonog + Sergey Makhno Architects. Image © Andrey Avdeenko

Next, we select 10 effective plants for dark interiors:

Aglaonema

Very common in residential environments, it has about 50 variations with infinite possibilities, from its foliage to its structure.

  • Scientific Name: Aglaonema spp
  • Popular Names: Aglaonema, Chinese Evergreens
  • Family: Araceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Oceanic, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Asia, Philippines, Oceania
  • Height: 40 to 60 centimeters, 60 to 90 centimeters
  • Brightness: Diffuse Light
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Aglaonema. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock
Aglaonema. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock

Zamioculca

One of the most flexible plants, adapting well to many types of places - even those that receive little light or little ventilation. An important recommendation, however, is to avoid very cold regions, since it does not tolerate temperatures below 18º Celsius.

  • Scientific Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Popular Names: Zamioculca, Zanzibar gem, ZZ plant, Zuzu plant
  • Family: Araceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Mediterranean, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Africa
  • Height: 40 to 60 centimeters
  • Brightness: Diffuse Light, Half Shadow
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Zamioculca. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock
Zamioculca. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock

Rhapis excelsa

Medium in size, this species is quite common in corporate interior spaces or collective use areas such as residential building rooms. It does not need much water and grows well in both shade and half shade.

  • Scientific Name: Rhapis excelsa
  • Popular Names: Broadleaf Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Asia, China

Legal Practice Center / Unileão / Lins Arquitetos Associados. Image © Joana França
Legal Practice Center / Unileão / Lins Arquitetos Associados. Image © Joana França

Sansevieria

Grows very well in medium shade and does not require constant irrigation. You should avoid moistening its foliage.

  • Scientific Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Popular Names: Saint George's Sword, Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Snake Plant
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Africa
  • Height: 40 to 60 centimeters, 60 to 90 centimeters
  • Brightness: Half Shadow, Full Sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Sansevieria Trifasciata. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock
Sansevieria Trifasciata. Image © Liubabasha, Vía Shutterstock

Epipremnum aureum

This species has an especially beautiful mixture of green and yellow tones in its leaves. Its soil must always be moist for it to grow healthily, so frequent watering is recommended. Ideally, substrates should be added for firmer growth.

  • Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Popular Names: Golden Pothos, Ivy Arum, Money Plant
  • Family: Araceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Oceanic, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Solomon Islands, Oceania
  • Height: 1.2 to 1.8 meters, 1.8 to 2.4 meters, 2.4 to 3.0 meters, 3.0 to 3.6 meters, 3.6 to 4.7 meters, 4.7 to 6.0 meters, 6.0 to 9.0 meters, 9.0 to 12 meters, over 12 meters
  • Brightness: Diffuse Light, Half Shadow, Full Sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Home Cafes / Penda. Image © Zhi Xia
Home Cafes / Penda. Image © Zhi Xia

Neoregelia

Neoregelia is a type of Bromeliad that is highly resistant, adaptable to both medium shade and full sun. Its broad foliage adds high aesthetic value and its greatest advantage is that it grows well in shaded environments or with artificial light, especially in humid areas. It is recommended that constant cleaning maintenance be performed to avoid the accumulation of water in its center.

  • Scientific Name: Neoregelia sp
  • Popular Names: Neoregelia
  • Family: Bromeliaceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Oceanic, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: South America, Brazil
  • Height: 30 to 40 centimeters
  • Brightness: Half Shadow, Full Sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Bromelia. Image © Gringoann, Vía Shutterstock
Bromelia. Image © Gringoann, Vía Shutterstock

Dracaena Fragans

This species does not need constant maintenance. It is considered non-polluting since some NASA studies indicate that it contributes to the elimination of formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air.

  • Scientific Name: Dracaena Fragrans
  • Popular Names: Dracaena, Cornstalk Dracaena, Happy Plant
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Mediterranean, Oceanic, Subtropical, Temperate, Tropical
  • Origin: Angola, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia
  • Height: 60 to 90 centimeters, 90 centimeters to 1.2 meters, 1.2 to 1.8 meters, 1.8 to 2.4 meters, 2.4 to 3.0 meters, 3.0 to 3.6 meters, 3.6 to 4.7 meters, 4.7 to 6.0 meters, 6.0 to 9.0 meters
  • Brightness: Diffuse Light, Half Shadow, Full Sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Dracaena . Image © Gringoann, Vía Shutterstock
Dracaena . Image © Gringoann, Vía Shutterstock

Samambaia

This was a plant widely used in homes between the 1970s and 1990s and has returned as an important trend in contemporary interiors. It needs moist soil, shouldn't expose itself to the sun, and must avoid strong winds. It likes to receive some natural light. Among the most common subspecies of it is the Nephrolepis Exaltata

  • Scientific Name: Nephrolepis Exaltata
  • Popular Names: Sword Fern, Boston Fern
  • Family: Davalliaceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Africa, Central America, North America, South America, Asia, Indonesia
  • Height: 40 to 60 centimeters
  • Brightness: Diffuse Light, Half Shadow
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Botequim Sapucaí / Alfredo Lanna Neto + Mateus Castilho. Image © Trópica Fotografia
Botequim Sapucaí / Alfredo Lanna Neto + Mateus Castilho. Image © Trópica Fotografia

Calatheas

There are more than 20 species of Calatheas and all are suitable for areas with small dark spaces since they do not grow well in areas with abundant sunlight. Reaching up to 1 meter high, it is considered a very resistant plant.

  • Scientific Name: Calathea Zebrina (Sims) Lindl.
  • Popular Names: Aglaonema, Zebra Plant
  • Family: Angiospermae / Marantaceae
  • Origin: Native Brazilian

Calathea. Image © Sandra_M, Vía Shutterstock
Calathea. Image © Sandra_M, Vía Shutterstock

Chlorophytum

Small in size, this plant is very suitable for indoor and outdoor environments, since it can adapt to shade for long periods.

  • Scientific Name: Chlorophytum Comosum
  • Popular Names: Spider Plant, St. Bernard's Lily, Spider Ivy, Ribbon Plant
  • Family: Agavaceae
  • Climate: Equatorial, Mediterranean, Subtropical, Tropical
  • Origin: Africa, South Africa
  • Height: 30 to 40 centimeters, 40 to 60 centimeters
  • Brightness: Half Shadow, Full Sun
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Clorofito. Image © Sandra_M, Vía Shutterstock
Clorofito. Image © Sandra_M, Vía Shutterstock

Additional advice: if you are looking to generate a flowery interior environment, opt for species such as the Spathiphyllum (or Peace Lillies), Violets, or Begonias. They will bring color and freshness to even the darkest interior environments.

Bullguer Center / SuperLimão Studio. Image © Israel Gollino
Bullguer Center / SuperLimão Studio. Image © Israel Gollino

Referências

Project gallery

See all Show less
About this author
Cite: Migliani, Audrey. "10 Resistant Plants that Survive in Low Light Spaces" [10 plantas resistentes que sobreviverão em ambientes com pouca luminosidade] 28 Oct 2019. ArchDaily. (Trans. Franco, José Tomás) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/927031/10-resistant-plants-that-survive-in-low-light-spaces/> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.