When you want to add to the variety of houseplants in your home, indoor trees are an option worth considering. The challenge is lighting – how do you provide light for a tall indoor tree? Maybe you don’t need to if you choose trees that don’t need much sunlight.
Here’s a list of the best indoor trees for low light.
|Tree||Name||Light Needed||Height||Get It|
|Areca Palm Tree||4-5 hours (indirect)||6-7 feet tall|
|Rubber Tree||4 hours (indirect)||6-10 feet tall|
|Parlor Palm Tree||2-4 hours (indirect)||4 feet tall|
|Dwarf Banana Tree||4-6 hours (direct)||5-9 feet tall|
|Ficus Bonsai Tree||4-6 hours (indirect)||15 feet tall|
Best Indoor Trees for Low Light
With a variety of low light trees to choose from, you might first want to consider the space you have and other important factors. How easy a tree is to maintain when potted is worth considering. Water and minimum light requirements are also things I would consider when choosing the perfect large or tall tree for growing indoors.
Here’s a list of the best tall and large indoor low light trees to choose from:
1. Areca Palm Tree
The Areca Palm is one of the best indoor low light trees due to its low sunlight requirements. If you have a south- or west-facing window, you’ll be able to grow an Areca palm as a large indoor tree that won’t need much sunlight to thrive and and enjoy its air cleaning capabilities.
The good thing is that the Areca Palm tree is one of the many types of palm trees that are easy to care for and maintain even when potted. With a simple watering schedule (every 2-3 days), this tree will thrive indoors especially when placed near a window.
Pro tip: If you provide too much direct sunlight, the leaves of this palm tree will easily start discoloring – usually turning yellow. Also, provide just enough water as too much will suffocate the roots and case root rot.
|Name(s)||Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, Dypsis lutescens, golden cane palm, yellow palm, butterfly palm.|
|Light requirements||Bright indirect sunlight (place near an east, west, or south-facing window). Blinds can help block direct sunlight.|
|Water requirements||Water once every 3 days. Keep the soil slightly moist.|
|Maximum height||6 to 7 feet tall when growing indoors.|
|Indoor benefit||Air cleaning and removing pollutants.|
2. Rubber Tree
For large indoor trees for low light rooms, a rubber tree is a great choice because of large glossy leaves that capture the little light available for photosynthesis. This tree can grow 6 to 10 feet tall when indoors. If this height is too much, you can prune the tree to your desired height.
Although rubber trees do well in bright light, they can adapt to the low light that’s indoors and thrive to become tall trees. You can place your potted rubber tree near the east-facing window in your house where it can enjoy the morning sunlight.
A rubber tree is easy to maintain and grow indoors when you keep its potting soil most. This can take watering just once or twice a month especially during the dormant season.
You may need to mist the plant’s leaves or even wipe them with a damp piece of cloth to keep the plant happy and cleaning indoor air, removing carbon dioxide and breaking it into clean, breathable oxygen.
|Name(s)||Ficus elastica, rubber fig, rubber tree, rubber plant.|
|Light requirements||Indirect light – place near a window indoors. Dim light is also enough.|
|Water requirements||Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Wipe leaves in summer with a damp cloth.|
|Maximum height||6-10 feet tall (indoors)|
|Indoor benefit||Cleans air to remove toxins e.g. formaldehyde.|
As is the case with many trees that are native to the tropics, you need to make sure that indoor low light tree receives moderate temperatures, good air circulation, and is placed in a humid environment.
3. Parlor palm
|Name(s)||Chamaedorea elegans, neanthe bella palm, parlor palm tree.|
|Light requirements||Low light, mostly indirect sunlight.|
|Water requirements||Water sparingly, 1-2 times a week. Water less in winter. Always allow soil to dry before watering again.|
|Maximum height||About 4 feet tall. Desktop parlor trees are shorter (1ft).|
|Indoor benefit||Air purification and removing pollutants.|
A parlor palm is a great tree to grow indoors in rooms with low lighting conditions. It is a slow-growing tree that’s native to Mexico and can grow up to four feet tall. With small spaces indoors, it is a good option to grow where it can receive some bright, indirect sunlight.
Apart from being some of the best trees that don’t need much light, parlor palms are easy to grow and maintain indoors because they will easily adjust to shaded conditions and thrive well with minimal attention. As the sun moves away from the windowsill, this tree will still thrive just fine.
Parlor palm trees grow up to 4 feet tall, making them ideal for anyone looking to grow large or tall indoor low light trees.
What about the water requirements of parlor palm trees? The only time you need to water this tree is when you feel that its soil has become dry to your touch. Do not overwater palm trees because they are highly prone to root rot disease. I would recommend that you mist it a little bit during the summer and winter seasons.
4. Banana tree
|Name(s)||Dwarf banana tree|
|Light requirements||4-6 hours of full sunlight per day. Supplement with a grow light.|
|Water requirements||Keep the soil moist but not wet. Allow soil to dry before watering again.|
|Maximum height||5 to 9 feet for indoor dwarf banana trees|
|Indoor benefit||Removes toxins (formaldehyde) in indoor air.|
Banana trees can grow too tall and large for an indoor set-up but the dwarf varieties are the best for indoor potting and can act as great indoor low light trees. Plenty of sunlight is ideal but when placed near a window, the low light is enough to keep an indoor banana tree thriving just fine.
You want to place this tree near a south-facing window if you want to be successful at growing it indoors for clean light. This is because your indoor plant may need a little more light (4-6 hours of full sunlight) per day.
For the taller varieties, you might want to prune some of the large lower leaves to reduce the amount of space consumed indoors.
When you are out shopping for a good banana tree, you should only consider the dwarf cultivars. The term dwarf is quite relative when it comes to bananas as they can still grow up to ten feet tall.
To enable them to reach their potential, they will need regular fertilizing and filtered light. If you notice that its leaves have started to turn brown or are curling, check whether they have any mites.
5. Fig Tree (Ficus Bonsai)
|Name(s)||Ficus retusa, fig tree, bonsai|
|Light requirements||6-6 hours. Tolerant of low levels of light. Place near a window.|
|Water requirements||Water generously when the soil dries up. Good underwatering and overwatering tolerance.|
|Maximum height||Up to 15 feet in height growing indoors|
|Indoor benefit||Air purification|
Ficus Bonsai is a great variety you can plant indoors. While it does not score so well as an indoor plant for low light, it does not need so much light after all. You can grow the common fig as a tree near windows where it will receive about 5 hours of direct or indirect sunlight per day.
Pro tip: If you choose to grow Bonsai tree indoors, you might want to supplement the light with a good indoor grow light to help with the growth. Also, try to avoid tropical Bonsai trees as houseplants because they may need up to 10 hours of direct sunlight, which cannot be supplied indoors.
Bonsai has jewel-like flowers and leaves that can turn any low-light room into a color festival. Currently, there are very many Bonsai varieties that you can make your choice from. I’d recommend you choose the Ficus Bonsai variety because it is easy to maintain and care for as an indoor low light tree.
The colors of most Bonsai varieties range from burgundy, orange, red, pink, green, and silver. This tree can grow for between four and eight inches tall.
You can grow it in a dish garden or in a terrarium. The tree will do very well in soil that is slightly moist. You must, therefore, make sure that the soil is at no time allowed to dry completely.
The following trees are the best indoor low light trees that you can find. They are easy to grow and care for:
6. Fiddle leaf fig
As a homeowner, you can assess how popular an indoor low light tree is by checking whether it has any fake counterparts. But the one thing you need to know about this tree is that it is very easy to maintain, and as such, no need for you to opt for the silk version.
This is a tree that traces its roots back to the jungle. You can, therefore place it in a bathroom or in a bedroom. It can also work very well in your living room, provided you ensure that it is protected from too much sunlight and draft.
Nothing is more bewitching than the scent of a lemon or orange tree that is in full bloom. Its scent is more refreshing than any spray that you may use in the house. Citrus trees tend to be the most dive-prone, when compared with all the other indoor low light trees.
Citrus trees need a lot of water, citrus fertilizer, and humidity. If thinking about having a citrus tree in your house, you should consider purchasing a humidity tray. Take the tray outside whenever possible to ensure that the tree is getting everything it needs to continue growing.
8. Weeping fig
This tree is also popularly known as the ficus tree. Many homeowners like this indoor low light tree because of its rich green color, and the fact that it does not require a lot for one to maintain it. If you feel that this tree is so common in many homesteads, you can always try out the Ficus benjamina. It is also known as the Starlight, and it tends to have leaves that are variegated.
People who have this tree are always complaining about the same issue—leaf drop. You can prevent this by ensuring that it gets enough light, either artificial or natural light. For its maintenance, you only need to make sure that it is planted in soil that is well-drained and be sure to water it whenever possible.
9. Norfolk Island Pine
These trees are available for use as indoor Christmas trees, but they can still be used all year long. Even though the tree grows very slowly, you need to understand that when they are outdoors they can grow up to one hundred feet.
Additionally, there is no dwarf variation that is available in the market. When they are placed indoors, these low light indoor trees will tend to grow about two feet per year. This information should enable you to plan, and plant the tree accordingly. Occasional misting, moderate watering, and regular fertilizer application are some of the tasks that will help make sure that your pine remains happy at all times.
10. Umbrella tree
They are great choices for homes that do not receive a lot of direct sunlight. In short, they are best for homes that have north facing windows. Although they require very little care, they tend to be very attractive to mites and scale. Before bringing the tree indoors, ensure that you check to confirm that it does not have any unwanted hitchhikers. The trees require constant moisture, and you may, therefore, have to water them on a regular basis.
Also known as spineless yucca. They provide a great accent to homes with contemporary designs. This is a tree that comes with a solid trunk and strap-like leaves that come out of its top. You can place them in groups of three to make the house more attractive. The tree does not require much light, but you may need to ensure that you take it outside after every few weeks. If it starts growing into the available space, you can always cut it into two to control its growth.
Before you choose a tree to have in your house, you first need to consider its needs, e.g. the kind of lighting the tree will need, its full size once it has matured, and the kind of watering it will require.
What are low light plants?
Ever wanted to grow a plant in your house but was afraid of doing so because you thought that they may not be able to get the light they need? Well, worry not. Low light plants are plants that are able to thrive in conditions that have very low lighting.
They also tend to be very easy to grow, as many of them require little or no maintenance at all. If you are still not convinced, you need to consider the kind of lighting that is available in your house. For instance, a room that is facing southwards and has many windows will normally have lots of light.
Rooms facing the north or a room that does not have a window is deemed to have very little light, or is a low-light room. For a room that does not have any windows, it is recommended that lights be left on for at least twelve hours each day. Alternatively, consider rotating your plants for the next few weeks, making sure that you move them from the low-light room into a well-lit room after every few days.
Can you grow tall indoor trees in low light?
YES, it is possible. According to Better Homes and Gardens, some of the easiest trees to grow and cater to are those that thrive in rooms that have low-lighting conditions. You can use such plants to add life and color to all the rooms in your house.
Some of the picks for dark rooms or rooms with low-light according to Better Gardens and Homes include.
This is one of the most popular houseplants across the globe as it is very tolerant to low-lighting conditions. It is vine that can be placed in a hanging basket, or you could train the fast growing vine to climb a totem or small trellis;
Maintenance will involve watering the tree when you feel that its soil has become dry to your touch. Some of the varieties that provide a good foliage include Brasil and Micans.
This is one plant that is popularly confused with Philodendron. For it to grow and thrive, you need to ensure that is far away from direct sunlight. The plant is easy to care for and can be trained to grow into a trellis.
The plant comes in varying colors and also has a bicolor, e.g., green and yellow, white and green, and dark green. All you have to do is water the plant when the soil becomes dry. You should also consider trimming it when you notice that it is becoming leggy.
What to consider when choosing an indoor plant
Have you ever come across a house plant and wondered how that plant would look like if it was in your conservatory or living room? Then after purchasing it and taking it home you realize that it has become sick and has started posing problems for you?
This is a normal occurrence when a person purchases a plant based on how it looks without taking time to determine whether it is right for the intended room, and whether you are in a position to provide it with the care it needs. There are a few considerations to make before buying an indoor plant.
Look at the room conditions
Many people tend to forget vital points, it, therefore, makes sense to take some notes before you can choose a plant.
- Lighting—many indoor plants require bright light without being subjected to direct sunlight rays. If the room where you intend to place the plant is facing east, west, or southwards, then you could be in luck. But if the room happens to be facing the northern part and you intend to grow cacti, then you may have a problem on your hands.
- Temperature—the prevailing temperatures during the summer and spring months tend to be ideal for growing indoor plants. However, you can expect to experience some problems during the cold winter months when the temperatures start to fluctuate as you alternate between switching your central heating system on and off. The problem is further compounded by dropping temperatures and cold drafts that are common during this period. If you are lucky, your plants will survive but there are many species that do not fare so well and eventually end up dying. Therefore, be sure to make inquiries on how a plant reacts to cold weather before you can take it home.
Low light or easy plants
Indoor house plants come in very many forms, with some being easy to grow and maintain. A majority of them, such as the ones discussed above can withstand low lighting conditions without any problems. The buying process can be simplified by choosing any plant that can withstand low lighting conditions. But you need to be careful to make sure that a plant with such needs is not placed on a window facing southwards.
If you happen to have a low light plant, you will find that many prefer to be neglected than to be given too much of something, e.g., light or water. For many families, this would be the best plants as they will not pose a problem. All you need to do is ensure that you do not overdo anything or else it could harm your plant.
Another consideration you need to make will involve your pets. Many pets, especially homes with pets can pose a problem for certain indoor house plants. Cats have been known to chew on plants. Given that there are plants that are mildly toxic, they can make your cats to fall sick.
Unlike having a dog, the issue with cats is that they can jump to high places in a bid to get to a plant that has been placed in a top shelf. It is, therefore, worth confirming that the plant is not toxic before you take it home.
Tips to buy indoor house plants
- Cacti and succulents—they are an ideal choice for houses that are busy and are likely to forget to water the plant as they are not always at home. Succulent plants and cacti can go for long durations of time without water as their leaves tend to be very strong water storage organs. Additionally, these plants are very resilient.
- Children—if you have small toddlers who are always running around your house, you may want to consider where you place your indoor house plants. Consider the toxicity of your chosen plants to their skin. Some can cause irritation if they come into contact with your child’s skin.
- Costs—in many cases, you will find that the cost of a plant will be determined by its size. The larger a plant is, the more expensive it is likely to be. Some of the most expensive plants that you can find in the market are the tall—tree like plants.
Benefits of growing an indoor house plant
It is possible to underestimate the benefits that one can gain by growing an indoor house plant. The benefits actually outweigh the effort that is applied by the growers as they tend to these plants.
One of the leading reasons why people have indoor house plants is to improve their décor. It is easy to transform how a room looks and feels by including some indoor house plants.
For instance, you can use palms and shrubs to liven up large rooms and empty spaces. Many plants falling into these two categories are able to withstand low light conditions and this means that they can be placed in areas such as close to fire places, hallways, stairs, and in doorways.
Problem for décor growers
Décor growers will find that it is easy for them to purchase the wrong plant for a room. When a room has all the wrong conditions, it is likely to die within no time, and this means that it will not be able to spruce the room as initially intended.
The solution here is to take your time and research the kind of conditions that each plant requires. Focus on temperature and lighting conditions. Fortunately for you, many indoor house plants are easy to maintain, and can survive with little or no attention at all. You just have to pick a plant based on the needs of your residence.
Indoor air quality
One major benefit of having an indoor air plant is that the plant can assist you improve the quality of your indoor air. Such a plant can purify the air and get rid of any toxins that could be present in your environment. You may remember learning about plants that are able to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen in your science class. These are the plants that you need to have in your home if you want to promote good health for the entire family.
NASA created a study that sought to establish which plants were good for their space stations, and which ones were not. In their study, they listed all the plants that were beneficial to have at home, and the kind of pollutants that each plant was capable of eliminating from the environment.
Health and well-being
As mentioned above, removing toxins from the environment is not the only benefit that you can enjoy from having an indoor house plant. Various studies have showed that sick people are likely to get better much faster when they have quality indoor house plants in their rooms.
Additionally, the blooming of flowers has also been known to assist in improving a person’s mood.
- Clemson University Home and Garden Information Center: Indoor Palms Profiles
- Wikipedia: NASA Clean Air Study
- University of Missouri: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
My name is Alex K. Worley. I am a web geek who loves gardening and connecting with nature. I maintain a small backyard organic garden from which I source most of my green food. I hope to help you learn something new about gardening.