Top 10 house plants that love shade

The dark and dingy corners of our homes can often appear unloved and unwanted, so why not brighten them up with a shade loving plant pet?
Prickle Plants 10 Low Light Plants

Becoming a plant parent is often filled with plenty of tricky decisions. One of our biggest worries as a plant parent is whether our plants will be happy in their new home. Across the UK, there are houses that are packed together with not very much natural light making it into our rooms, which means that many of us have to search for house plants for low light conditions.

When it comes to our indoor plants low light choices though, we have an abundance of wonderful plant pets that we can pick from. From beautiful and ornate low light plants to air purifying low light plants that clean the air we breathe. Ahhh.

Here are Prickle’s top 10!

Calathea Elgergrass (Calathea rufibarba)

Calathea rufibarba, more commonly known as just Calathea or Elgergrass, is one of the most striking in the indoor plants low light category, with distinctive and robust leaves and a variety of beautiful colourings to pick from. The foliage is almost serrated and if you pick this plant pet, you will no doubt think of crinkle cut crisps every time you admire it.

Like many plants that love shade, the Calathea has air purifying qualities too, making it perfect for bathrooms, laundry rooms or any other shaded room that are ripe for toxins and harmful chemicals to make it into the air. This plant pet will love the warmth and humidity of your bathroom, preferring to live in damp conditions to thrive.

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Sometimes known as the Sword Fern, the Nephrolepis exaltata Boston Fern is another eye-catching shade loving plant. Typically, ferns grow on forest floors under the canopies of larger plants and trees making them ideal for growing in even the darkest corners of our homes. The foliage is evergreen, promising a fresh burst of colour all year round to brighten up your home. They grow at a snail’s pace and like to be left in shaded, warm and humid conditions.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

If you’re looking for house plants for low light that you can be lazy when caring for, then the ZZ Plant is the ideal choice. They grow slowly, don’t need too much watering (fortnightly is fine) and they are used to growing in drought-like conditions, making them extremely resilient. If you have pets or small children, the ZZ Plant may not be your plant of choice as the leaves are toxic to both humans and animals when eaten!

Sweetheart Plant (Philodendron scandens)

The Sweethear Plant has unusual large open leaves that definitely leave a good impression. They are climbing plants that will spread if not attached to something stable to climb to. They’re unashamedly clingy!

This means that you can transform your shaded space in multiple ways, and some leave the plant to creep and cascade off pots instead of planting them upright.

Unlike the plants mentioned above, the Sweethear Plant grows in colder climates making it perfect for keeping in shaded rooms that don’t get too much heat. When grown in colder rooms, the Sweethear will drop its leaves more often so have the vacuum at the ready. In warmer rooms, it will retain its foliage more happily.

Pinstripe Calathea (Calathea ornata)

At the beginning of the article, we mentioned ornate shade loving plants – and the Pinstripe Calathea falls into this category. Its foliage is marked with delicate and fine streaks or stripes that make it look simply divine. Don’t be tempted to place this one remotely close to direct sunlight as the beautiful leaves will burn and lose their unique markings in no time at all.

The Pinstripe loves warm and highly humid rooms making it another must-have bathroom plant. The higher the humidity the better the leaves develop and that means a visual reward for anyone that grows them. The Pinstripe is not happy being overwatered and will catch a bad case of the root rot, so don’t let it sit in a puddle of water at all.

Calathea Medallion (Calathea roseopicta)

Another Calathea that makes our list and another plant that grows well in warm and humid conditions is the Calathea roseopicta, also known as Calathea Medallion. As with the other Calatheas mentioned, this plant has remarkable foliage, and the patterns can be truly psychedelic in their design.

Be sure not to leave the Medallion by open doors or windows as cold drafts can damage the plant irreparably. This one likes to stay cosy!

Watermelon Peperomia (Peperomia argyreia) 

If you have a love of spiders (a controversial topic) then the Watermelon Peperomia is the perfect plant pet choice because its leaves have a spiderlike pattern on them. Because of their colouring the spider-leg lines also resemble a nice fresh juicy watermelon!

You will need to establish a carefully planned meal schedule with the Watermelon Peperomia as it is a bit of a fussy plant pet – it doesn’t do well with being over-watered or under-watered. Native to rainforests it thrives in highly humid conditions and the leaves benefit from lots of moisture in the air.

Our mister is ideal for keeping this plant happy.

Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium aureum)

Another fern that makes our list, the Blue Star Fern is a bit unusual as they grow natively off the ground among the higher canopies as opposed to most ferns that grow at ground level. No fear of heights here! They are a very easy plant to care for and despite being higher off the ground (and closer to the sun) they are extremely light shy, so keep them in shaded areas.

If your Blue Star Fern ever gets sick, you can rectify the problem and it will bounce back almost immediately; they’re extremely resilient plants. Not the prettiest plant on our list, but perhaps the easiest to care for and interesting to look at all the same.

Trailing Jade (Peperomia rotundfolia)

Peperomia rotunfolia, also known as Trailing Jade, this plant pet as you might have guessed has a tendency to trail and flow beautifully out of its pot. The leaves are small and robust that hang on stems that cascade and weave in and out of each other. A really eye-catching plant pet to admire.

Now, the Trailing Jade does have a few caveats that you should consider when picking out this plant pet. Unlike most of the shade loving plants on this list, they do like some sunlight and are best grown in conservatories rather than bathrooms. And if you have your heart set on it, then make sure you snap it up as these plants are not widely stocked in garden centres in the UK!

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Our last entry is the Bonnie, one of the best air purifying low light plants. Sometimes known as the Ribbon Plant or the Curly Spider Plant, the Bonnie sends long spindly shoots of foliage over the edges of their pots. They like moist but well-drained soil and partial shade conditions – meaning that unlike the other plant pets mentioned above, you can even grow this one outside in the UK!

Are there any shade loving plant pets we have missed and simply must include next time? Let us know and make sure you follow Prickle on social media to Prickle about with us again in the future!

Got a question?

Did you like this Prickle guide? Fancy reading more about our favourite house plants? Follow us on social media @prickplantsuk and get some Prickle advice from your plant pros. Need some one-on-one advice? Email us on We’re always here to hear you!

Previous article Next article