Which Houseplants Like Shade?

Picking a house plant is like picking the right person for a long term relationship. House plants, like relationships need to be nurtured, looked after and understood for them to reach their full potential. We all know that plants need some sunlight to grow, but are there plants that can tolerate the shady parts of our homes?

Generally, indoor house plants require full or partial shaded locations for their life expectancy to reach their full potential. Placing a house plant in the appropriate shaded area of your indoor space will enhance their overall beauty, health and heartiness. 

There are two different kinds of houseplants that will be covered and if you keep reading below, you will learn a little bit about which indoor plant needs full or partial shade to remain healthy and vibrant all year long. 

These Indoor Plants Need Full Shade

Typically, when selecting the right house plant to purchase at your local garden centre, you must consider how much shade your house plant will need to thrive (not just survive) to lead a healthy plant life in your home. 

As a rule, house plants will almost always require some level of shade and knowing which ones need full or partial shade will save you a lot of fussing down the road with dead or dying plants which is an absolute heartache when it happens. Take time when considering what house plant will suit you best and think of the room or space you will place it in and if that room will offer full or partial sunlight to the house plant. 

Most house plants come with a tag or sticker on the plant that contains instructions on how to care for them. The instructions should give you a good clue as to how much shade your house plant will need to thrive which in turn will help you figure out where it should be placed. Once you have selected the best place for your house plant to live, then it is time to hit the local garden center or dedicated plant center in a hardware store and find the house plant of your dreams!

To get you started, this handy list was created to help you think of what house plants need full shade and if they will match the low light conditions in your home. 

Some shade loving plants include:

  • English Ivy: vibrant, hearty, and this houseplant can be placed in dark or heavier shaded rooms. English ivy is a great plant for beginner plant owners.
  • Cast Iron: vintage, clean and this houseplant can handle inside pollutants like fireplace exhaust or dust as well as dark corners. 
  • Boston Fern: Unique, extra leafy and this houseplant can thrive in fully shaded rooms or a room that is mostly dim. 
  • Begonia: Begonias have beautiful, fun patterned foliage and need as much shade as possible or the leaf can scorch and die in too much sunlight. 
  • Zanzibar Gem: spunky and bright, this houseplant is ideal for fully shaded rooms, but not total darkness. 
  • Hemionitis Arifolia: compact, delicate and this houseplant likes all shaded areas, but can be a tad on the fussy side for maintenance and upkeep. 
  • Prayer Plant: this easy-to-care for shade loving plant can thrive in both full and partial shade. Keep its soil moist and it will be happy in a shady spot.

There are plenty more species of shade plant like the ones above that could suit your home style and that can survive in a shady spot without too much issue. In some cases, several species of house plants that require full shade will only need minor upkeep. Care for these indoor plants would be occasional misting on the leaves, feeding during their blooming months and light trimming or pruning of the leaves that have died or are dying. 

Perhaps a fully shaded low light indoor plant is not what you are looking for and you need something with a bit more versatility. What if you have a room in your house that you really want to put a house plant in that only gets partial shade and indirect sunlight, what house plant can survive in these types of conditions? If you keep reading on, a short list of houseplants that require partial shade is discussed. 

These Indoor Plants Need Partial Shade

Oftentimes our homes reveal open spots where we will inevitably stick a house plant or two to fill the void. If your room is in a partially shaded area that gets some indirect light, then there are plenty of house plants to pick from!

As a rule, partially shaded house plants require a bit more upkeep and will need to be monitored more regularly, unlike the fully shaded house plants discussed above. This can mean misting, watering or feeding these types of houseplants more frequently and making sure they have consistently moist soil.

The list below describes a selection of houseplants that require partial shade. Note how in some descriptions certain house plants can manage with indirect sunlight as this can help shape your decision on where to put your house plant!  

  • Slipper Orchid: exotic, colorful and will need the most shade in summer and light shade in winter.
  • Calatheas and Maranta: versatile, patterned and does best in partial shade as direct sun can shrivel their foliage.
  • Spider plant: funky, fast-growing and need partial sunlight to maintain healthy growth, but not too much as sunlight can bleach their leaves.
  • Areca palm: tall and abundant, great spot filler and needs a lightly shaded area to grow healthy.
  • Mother-In-Laws tongue (Snake Plant): striking, colorful and this house plant does best with partial shade and indirect light.
  • Pothos: easy to care for, can train to grow in a pot or on a trellis and does best with partial shade and some indirect sunlight.
  • Dragon plant: This plant has a beachy vibe, with gorgeous green leaves, this house plant can manage partial shade and some indirect sunlight if necessary, but not fully direct sunlight as this could burn the leaves.
  • ZZ Plant: this gorgeous plant will grow in low light conditions, but does best with occasional bright, indirect light and partial shade.
  • Staghorn Fern: This non-flowering indoor plant likes frequent watering and indirect sunlight/partial shade.

There is an array of beautiful and unique houseplants that would be suited to partial shade in your home and is not just limited to the ones you have read about above. Having a partially shaded house plant can offer a lot of flexibility in the movement or placement of the plant. 

As a special nod to these types of houseplants, they tend to add a bit of fun and flare due to the varying colors, shapes and sizes they can be found in. A partially shaded house plant can brighten up a dull room and offer a bit of charm. 

What’s Shade Got to Do with It?

Generally, shade has got a lot to with purchasing a house plant because most houses will have a very dark room, semi-dark room or even a partially sunlit room. You must take into account where the house plant will go to ensure that a maximum amount of shade is available to the house plants that require them. 

House plants are a bit like children in that you grow to understand them after more time passes. You will also begin to understand when your house plant will need to be partially shaded, fully shaded or even need a bit of indirect sunlight.

As a whole, there are various house plants that will require different amounts of shade over their lifetime and understanding which ones are suited to shade or minimal shade is very important. As a parting tip to help your green thumb along, have a clear idea as to what room or area in your home you will put the house plant and follow the directions that come on the tag with the house plant to maximize the chances of having a long-lasting plant. If all else fails, just stick to the basics (or consult one of our guides!) and you will have a shade loving house plant for many years to come.

Kate Inskeep

Kate Inskeep is a mom of three from Illinois who loves growing things. She fell in love with houseplants after a friend gifted her some succulents. Before long, her windowsills were full of plants, and she was hooked.

Recent Posts