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Plants That Like The Shade

So you’re looking for plants that like the shade,  but you’re worried about how much light they need. Your house is dark and you know some indoor plants are more demanding of light than others.

This is why we have compiled a list of houseplants that are shade friendly and can tolerate low-light conditions. Why not have a look at some of our plants that like the shade?

What is a shade tolerant plant?

Shade tolerant plants are usually found below the canopy in a forest or jungle. They live in a low-light area amongst the floor space, or climb up trees. The trees themselves are usually much more tolerant of full sunlight and help protect the more vulnerable plants that like the shade.

So we can apply this knowledge of which plants like the shade more and find the right place in your home for them. Below we have listed the top 10 plants that like the shade, so you can add a touch of greenery even in that darker corner of the room, which doesn’t get as much sunlight.

Just remember, all houseplants require some amount of light even if it is indirect. Even though plants that like the shade are more tolerant, they still need some natural light, as we all do. If you are looking for plants for the bathroom, which might not get any light at all – maybe you should consider an artificial plant (though we personally hate the idea of a plastic plant).

It’s also worth noting that plants that like the shade will require watering less frequently than those that like to bathe in sunlight. So make sure you don’t go too heavy with the watering can for your shade tolerant plants.

Plants That Like The Shade Lingo: What Do These Terms Mean?

When it comes to plants that like the shade, there are a number of terms plant-lovers frequently use. However, to the untrained eye they can sometimes be a little confusing. That’s why we have developed this handy little “Plants That Like the Shade” list: 


Partial Shade/Semi Shade – sometimes referred to as “indirect sunlight”, partial shade is the term we give to indoor plants that like being in a darker corner of a brightly lit room. Perhaps, keep your Parlour Palms and Cast Iron Plants in shady areas – something like a room with a North-facing window is perfect.

Full Shade – full shade is the term we give to plants that hate being in the sun. Typically, these are usually woodland plants that provide a little bit of ground cover. These plants are fantastic for dark and moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens.

Dry Shade – dry shade refers to the type of soil your plants for shade sit in! A plant that likes dry shade will also like dryer soil and is typically used to a warmer environment. A living room or bedroom would be perfect for one of these plants!

Damp Shade/Wet Shade – for plants that like moist soil as well as plenty of shade. Usually, damp shade-loving plants will have deep green leaves. Picture something like a Cast Iron Plantor Peace Lily!

Direct Sun – although the polar opposite to some of our shade-loving plants, “direct sun” is a term we give to some indoor plants that love to catch those rays! Plants like the Aloe Vera, African Milk Tree love full sun. Place them near a South-facing window and they’ll do the rest!

Top 10 Houseplants That Like The Shade

Boston Fern

Nephrolepsis Exalta

If you’ve ever taken a walk through the woods or a forest, you’ll have seen ferns amongst the flora and fauna and there’s a good reason for it. Boston Ferns love the shade! Their fronds are sensitive to light and too much will scorch them. A Boston Fern is a great place to start when looking for a shade liking plant.

Cast Iron Plant

Aspidistra Elatior

This shade tolerant plant is one of the most easy care plants out there. From the forest floors of Japan and Taiwan, the Cast Iron likes a shady spot and can tolerate period without water for up to 1 month (temperature and light dependent).

Kentia Palm

Howea Fosteriana

The Kentia Palm was popularised for the fact that it likes the shade and its easy-care nature. It makes a great choice for adding a touch of elegance and opulence to a dark room.

Janet Craig

Dracaena Fragrans

Even though the Corn Plant originates from Africa it is tolerant of shade – even coping in North facing rooms. Just ensure you don’t over-water your Corn Plant if it is in the shade. Test the soil before watering.

Heartleaf Philodendron

Philodendron Scandens

This hanging plant really likes the shade. It’s beautiful foliage will cascade in that shady corner of your room or in a brightly lit spot – just don’t let it sit in a spot that gets too much direct sunlight during the day.

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum

The spider plant is a super easy care plant that requires little attention. Find it a spot it will like in the shade and avoid overwatering to keep it happy as larry.

Devils Ivy

epipremnum aureum

This shade liking plant performs best in a brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Devils Ivy are actually a climbing plant and grow from the floor to reach some of the brighter light at the top of the canopy.

Rubber Plant

Ficus Elastica

The rubber plant can tolerate the shade, but prefers a brightly spot where possible. It will really go almost anywhere, just avoid over-watering if situated in a very shady spot and keep your eyes peeled for the leaves getting too soft – if they do, move it to a spot with a little more light.

Peace lily


Peace lilies like the shade and will not tolerate direct sunlight. In fact, their leaves get scorched quite easily if they’re sat in too much sunlight so keep them away from a south facing window and find them a cosy spot in the shade.

Chinese Evergreen


Another indoor plant that likes the shade. The Chinese Evergreen can sit in a North facing window without too much bother. It’s a really easy care plant and looks great as a medium-sized plant.

Choosing your houseplant according to its light needs

To make it easy we have grouped our plants based on their need for natural light, so you can choose your plant according to where they will live. Why Not Look at NASA’s Clean Air study for their air-purifying qualities…

How can I make the most of growing plants in my shadier room?

In shadier spots, one of the hardest things to overcome is getting enough light to your plants.  Often in rooms with smaller (or no) windows – like your kitchen or bathroom, some indoor plants are going to struggle to stay alive! So, we’ve some up with this essential guide to help you with your plant-care regime.

  • Use Shade Tolerant Plants – If you’re thinking about buying a plant for a shadier room, there’s one that will fit the bill perfectly: English Ivy. The easiest way to keep your plants thriving in shadier spots is by buying plants that love it. This trailing plant finds these conditions absolutely perfect, making your job as a carer so much easier! Simply, hang this plant off a shelf and you’re good to go. 
    • Equally, if you have a unit you want to place a plant on, other fantastic options are the Chinese Evergreen and Peace Lily. These plants prefer darker conditions and will thrive in your shadier spots!
  • Use Window Sills – If you have access to a window in your kitchen, or bathroom, this can be the perfect place for plants needing an hour or two of direct sunlight. Indoor plants like the Chinese Money Plant rely heavily upon the sun’s rays to thrive and grow.
  • Water less often – One of the most important pieces of advice we can offer is to avoid overwatering your plant. Plants require less water if they preside in shadier spots. Keep your eyes peeled for how dry the soil is, allow the top inch to dry by testing with your finger and top up when necessary.

Shade Tolerant Hanging Plants

One of the easiest ways to improve your home decor is by adding hanging plants into your home!

Perfect for almost any room in the house, these indoor plants will be perfect on a shelf, bookcase, or hanging from a wall. Put simply, a hanging plant, sometimes called a climber, is a plant with a lovely, long, cascading foliage. Many of this variety are well known for their love of shade and will certainly liven up even the dullest of rooms. Here are some of the hanging plants we have on offer:

  • SAVE 25%
    Heartleaf Philodendron Scandens hanging indoor plant
    Heartleaf Philodendron Scandens indoor hanging plant

    Heartleaf Philodendron

    Philonendron Scandens

    From £14.99 Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page
  • SAVE 10%
    english ivy hedera helix hanging climbing trailing plant

    English Ivy

    Hedera Helix

    Original price was: £9.99.Current price is: £9.00. Add to basket
  • SAVE 25%
    devils ivy golden pothos hanging plant climbing uk
    devils ivy epipremnum aureum golden pothos indoor hanging plant

    Devils Ivy

    Epipremnum Aureum

    From £14.99 Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

Measure how much light your plants are getting

There are a few different ways to monitor how shady your plants environment is in. Without purchasing any products to test, a good way to check is if you can’t read a book where the plant is without additional light then it’s too dark for your plants. However, to get a better reading and to test both the light levels and soil moisture and acidity, we recommend purchasing one of our soil & light testers.

  • soil & light tester
    soil & light tester

    Soil & Light Tester

    £9.99 Add to basket
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