Low Light Indoor Flowering Plants

Most plants need plenty of light to blossom, but, especially indoors, at home or in your office, all you can offer is very often a dark corner… So, how can you have flowers even in low light?

Nature is very resourceful, thankfully, and there are quite a few stunning low light flowering plants you can grow indoors.

There is no flowering houseplant you can grow in complete darkness; however, there are some that will blossom even in half shade and poorly lit conditions; these are often tropical plants that grow under the canopies of forests, like Phalaenopsis, Anthurium, bromeliads and Brazilian fireworks.

We shall see 12 great flowering plants that you can grow in your home or office even if you can’t offer them good light exposure and we’ll also look at some tips on how to grow them successfully.

12 Low Light Flowering Houseplants That Need Little Light

Here’s a list of 12 low-light flowering Houseplants that will suit even dimply lit indoor spaces:

  • Bromeliads
  • Phalaenopsis
  • Christmas cactus
  • Gloxinia
  • African violet
  • Clivia
  • Brazilian fireworks
  • Anthurium
  • Peace lily
  • Cyclamen
  • Amaryllis
  • Wax plant



The light you get in many room is dim and often like the dappled shade you get in tropical forests.

This is why bromeliads make excellent houseplants; they are succulents from the forested regions Central and South America.

The 75 species of bromeliads have become more and more popular as indoor plants because not only do they have flowers, but they also grow perfectly well in dimly lit places.

But there is more, what many people often mistake for bromeliad flowers, are brightly colored modified leaves called brats; these can be white, yellow, pink, orange, red or purple, and they have very original and unusual shapes, like a beaver tail, or star shaped rosettes etc.

The advantage of brats is that they are permanent on the plant, unlike flowers.

They are very unusual succulents because not only do they like shady places, but they also want frequent watering.

Tips For Growing Bromeliads

  • Bromeliads do not stand direct light and thrive well in dappled shade.
  • Bromeliads’ potting soil should be ½ potting soil, ¼ bark and ¼ perlite or other draining material. Cactus potting soil is not suitable for them and there may be changes according to the species.
  • Bromeliads like high and constant humidity; it should be around 60% and, to avoid damage from dry hair, you should mist spray them regularly if the room humidity is too low.
  • Bromeliads like little feeding; use a 20-20-20 NPK every month but at very low dosage (1/16 of the dose). Some bromeliads though like 5-59-10 NPK every month and at 1/8 of the dose.
  • If the bromeliad has “water tanks” on the leaves, you can water it there; otherwise, you should water it from below.
  • Bromeliads cannot stand low temperatures; anything below 60oF (or 15oC) is dangerous for them.
  • You can grow bromeliads on branches, wood logs etc.; the roots are small and you can easily fit them in a nook or cranny on a branch or piece of wood.



When a room needs peaceful light there is no better plant than a flowering orchid for it.

The world’s favorite orchid, most likely, Phalaenopsis, is fast becoming a household name as “the orchid every one can grow”. And we can add, even if you don’t have plenty of light.

Yes, the “butterfly orchid”, in fact, is well suited for dimly lit places, and with its long lasting blooms, it’s beautiful waxy leaves and elegant presence, it has now made its way into all retailers, including supermarkets.

With almost 60 different species to offer, now even affordable when it comes to the price, you can now enjoy its beautiful presence even on that shelf far away from your window, among your favorite books and heirlooms.

Tips For Growing Phalaenopsis

  • Phalaenopsis will suffer in direct light; it always need indirect light and it will survive well in part shade or shade. It thrives west when light comes from East or West, and it will be damaged if it has more than 1 hour of direct sunlight a day.
  • Never put Phalaenopsis in potting soil; always use bark as a growing medium.
  • Use a transparent pot; the roots of Phalaenopsis phototosynthesize, and in the wild, they hang from branches, they are not in the soil.
  • Water your Phalaenopsis once a week on average;use room temperature water, possibly dechlorinated and soak the roots for 15 minutes; then drain perfectly well.
  • Once the bloom has wilted, check down along the stem; look for a healthy gem, you will find them under small triangular leaves on the stem. Don’t remove the leaf or peel it; just check that it is green and has a small bump. Also make sure it is on a green (purple etc.) part of the stem, not on a dry part. Cut ½ inch (1 cm) above the gem. This, in many cases, will prompt a lateral bloom.
  • Always keep your Phalaenopsis away from heaters and air conditioning vents; they like humidity above 50%. If the room is dry, mist spray your houseplant regularly.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus

This houseplant’s flowers resemble those bells that light up at Christmas,  in living rooms, offices and shops.

Christmas cactus or Schlumbergera is one of the most popular indoor succulents, thanks to its lush, plentiful, original and long lasting blooms. It will like positions away from direct light (and direct heat), and it does not equine too much care.Unfortunately, people tend to forget about their and I often find them in poor conditions.

Tips For Growing Christmas Cactus

  • Bright indirect light to low light conditions are good for Christmas Cactus. No direct light through.
  • Water your Christmas cactus regularly and with very little water; this should be usually once a week.
  • Keep an eye on the segments of the plant; if the outer ones shrink and shrivel, you are likely underwatering it. If, instead, they become soft, you are overwatering it.
  • Never change its orientation towards the light; don’t turn the pot; it likes to have light from a fixed direction.
  • You can remove segments; actually, if you want to revive your plant, it will give you a hand with its segments. Each is “partially sealed” from the others, and if is suffering from drought or overwatering it will sacrifice some segments. Snap them off and it will restart from there.



Meet a beautiful flowering houseplant from South America that can live where light is scarce (but not missing altogether…): Gloxinia.

With very richly colored flowers and decorative, at times heart shaped leaves, this small plant can grow well even in a tiny and half-shade corner that needs a touch of beauty.

The flowers are large compared to the size of the plant, and they can add a rainbow of colors to any room or indoor space; in fact, they can range from white to dark purple, via orange, pink and red. Some are even dichromatic, with petals of two different colors.

Tips For Growing Gloxinia

  • Gloxinia will not stand direct light; it will need indirect light and it can thrive in partial shade.
  • Never overwater Gloxinia; only give it enough water to moisten the soil. If the leaves of your houseplant develop brown spots, it is an early sign that you have overwatered it.
  • Water the soil under the leaves; do not soak water your plants and avoid wetting the leaves.
  • Use low phosphorus fertilizers;20-10-20 NPK is usually fine, in any case, do not use high ammonia fertilizers.

African Violet

African violet

African violets can bring a vibrant colors and playful shapes to dimly lit corners of your home.

Small and easy to grow, Saintpaulia lighten up even the dullest place in your living room with the joy and vitality of the African Continent where they come from.

These plants can blossom where light is low, and their beautiful, soft and fleshy leaves will always add a touch of sensuousness to the place you choose for them.

Tips For Growing African Violets

  • African violets cannot tolerate direct light, except early in the morning and late in the evening and for short periods.
  • Use general potting soil for African violets.
  • Fertilize them fairly frequently, every two weeks, and with a 7-9-5 NPK fertilizer. African violets like abundant phosphorus.
  • Water African violets from the bottom; this plant’s leaves are susceptible to leaf rot, and you should avoid excessive moisture on the areal part of the plant.
  • If the stems get leggy and thin, and the leaves turn dark green, it means they need a bit more light.
  • Don’t repot them unless necessary; these are plants that like to have their roots in tight places, a bit like geraniums; in fact, if the plant is root bound, it will be encouraged to blossom.



Clivia is a flowering houseplant that can add a touch of warm light to your room: with beautiful, long leaves and inflorescence with tubular flowers that range from light yellow to red, Clivia has become a popular houseplant, and it adapts very well to low light conditions.

This genus of flowering plants comes from the forests of South Africa and Swaziland, where you can find it in the undergrowth, where light is scarce.

Tips For Growing Clivia

  • Clivia too cannot stand direct light. When you bring it outdoors in the summer, leave it in a shaded place.
  • Leave your Clivia in a cool place for two months at least, or better from November to February, at 50 to 55oF (or 10 to 13oC). This will encourage blossoming.
  • Do not feed your Clivia when it is dormant; this is between November and February.
  • Feed your Clivia with an organic fertilizer rich in potassium, at half dose, starting after the bloom.
  • Use a potting compost which drains fast and well, rich in peat.
  • When the plant is root bound, it tends to flower more lavishly; so, don’t repot it unless necessary.
  • Water only when half the soil is dry; these plants can stand fairly dry conditions, but will not like excessive water.

Brazilian Fireworks

Brazilian fireworks

If you want spots of white brightness in a room that needs light, then lesser known houseplant, Porphyrocoma pohliana, or Brazilian fireworks, is a fairly large plant with dichromatic pointed leaves, dark green with almost white veins, and beautiful red and purple blooms.

Actually, the flowers are on the violet side and they remind those of sage in shape, but they are accompanied by red-purplish brats that add to their beauty.

This evergreen plant grows well even in mostly shaded places, which makes it ideal to liven up those dark corners in offices and living spaces we all have.

What is more, this is an ever bloomer; it will blossom again and again, from spring to winter!

Tips For Growing Brazilian Fireworks

  • Brazilian Fireworks likes partial shade to full shade positions, best if facing East.
  • Water regularly, about twice a week, but do not overwater your Brazilian fireworks; make sure the top soil is dry before you water it.
  • Fertilize with a balanced general fertilizer once a month.
  • You can propagate it by leaf or cutting; this is an annual plant, so, if you want to keep it for long, snip off a branch before it wilts and plant it in a pot to have a new plant.



Anthurium can light up any room with its shiny red spathe, its large waxy leaves and its great architectural presence.

This Central and South American exotic plant is also available with white or pink spathes if you prefer.

The spathe is that modified leaf that surrounds that thin spike of tiny flowers botanists call spadix, the actual reproductive organ of the plant.

 Each bloom can last up to three months, so, you are guaranteed a splash of color for a very long time if you choose this houseplant.

Tips For Growing Anthurium

  • Anthurium can grow in all levels of indirect light, from bright to dim.
  • Clean the leaves of your anthurium; this is both to preserve their glossy appearance and to allow the pores to breathe. Melt a small quantity of natural soap in lukewarm water, then dip a cloth in it and gently wipe the tops and bottoms of the leaves.
  • Water regularly but do not overwater; anthurium likes moist soil, but not waterlogged; check that the top soil is dry before watering.
  • You can cut the old blooms once they have wilted; this will encourage new blooms.
  • If the leaves turn brownish, it means your anthurium needs a bit more water.
  • Repot your anthurium in spring; this will encourage new leaves and growth.

Peace Lily

Peace lily

Even if your room is dimly lit, peace lily as a houseplant will bring a touch of beautiful calm with its leaves and white spathes, which look like big, solitary petals, and they don’t need much light to do all this.

Related to anthurium, they also look very much like them, a bit like a white and thin version of their cousins.

As a houseplant, Spathiphyllum is very popular because it requires little care and it can fill any, even dimly lit, indoor space with its candid grace, as it does in the forests of Venezuela and Colombia where it comes from.

The contrast of the dark, deep green leaves and white spathes adds to the architectural beauty of this houseplant.

Tips For Growing Peace Lily

  • Peace lily can grow in bright and indirect light as well as in dim light.
  • Always keep an eye on the leaves; if they are not upright and start drooping, your plant is not feeling well. This may be due to overwatering, underwatering, excessive light or even the wrong fertilizer.
  • Never give chlorinated and especially fluorinated water to your peace lily; this plant cannot stand chemicals in water. Rain water is best for this beautiful houseplant.
  • Fertilize your peace lily sparingly and with little organic fertilizer; these are plants that do not like too much food and excessive fertilizer can lead to nutrient toxicity. This is often evident when the plant produces weak or green flowers.
  • Keep the humidity high around your peace lily; if necessary mist spray water regularly on the leaves.



Cyclamens are great winter bloomers, when light is low, and this when they are grown as houseplants too; they like shady places and their original flowers have fascinated gardeners and amateurs for millennia.

 In temperate zones, the small native species can be found in woods, and they are one of the few flowering plants that can grow under pine trees.

Most indoor varieties, however, are cultivars derived from species like Cyclamen persicum, which hails from the Middle East.

These a plants that need a bit of light, but not too much; just an hour of good light a day and the rest in part shade will suffice.

Ideal for small spaces, like office desks and bookshelves, cyclamens are sometimes delicate though, so, they need a bit of care.

Tips For Growing Cyclamens

  • Cyclamen likes brighter indirect light in summer, but shadier places in winter. Partial shade on average is good for this flower.
  • Allow your cyclamen to acclimatize; many people lose their cyclamens within a few weeks from buying them. This is because these plants easily suffer from shock when they change environment.
  • Keep the soil moist but not wet; watering must be regular but limited.
  • Indoor cyclamen varieties often cannot tolerate low temperatures; keep them above 40o or 50oC at any time.
  • The potting soil must have excellent drainage; these plant’s roots will rot very easily if there are any pockets of water in the soil.
  • Stop watering as soon as the leaves start dying; your cyclamen is going into dormancy and watering at this stage may end up rotting the bulb-tuber.



You can’t miss an amaryllis in a room… With its huge star shaped flowers, long and thin leaves, bright colors and almost imposing presence, this flower is an eye catcher like few. It is a winter flowering houseplant, so, it does not require much light.

This stunning flower has become popular when bulbs started traveling by mail, and every gardener will remember that time… I still recall when I first saw what appeared like a “flower from out of space” in a famous Dutch bulb catalogue, fell in love with it an bought it.

I thought it would be a con, instead, the massive bulb arrived and in a few weeks I had a huge, red flower in my living room.

Tips For Growing Amaryllis

  • Amaryllis can grow in a wide range of light conditions, from full sunlight to full shade.
  • Place the bulb on top of a jar with water in it and leave it on a heater; do this to encourage rooting before you plant it in the soil.
  • Only give your amaryllis about ¼ cup of water a week.
  • Never plant the whole bulb into the soil; always leave about 1/3 of the bulb above ground.
  • Allow the leaves to die, then cut them then dry and store the bulb in a dark and dry place. This will allow the leaves to send energy back to the bulb, which you can use again next year.
  • Always pick the largest possible bulb; the bigger it is, the more strength it has.

Wax Plant

Wax plant

Original and lesser known wax plant will give you star shaped white flowers in clusters and large and shiny leaves to bring light even where sunlight is very scarce in your indoor spaces.

Also known as porcelain flower, Hoya carnosa is an exotic plant from Australia and Eastern Asia whose flowers are not just beautiful; they also have a wonderful scent to perfume your room.

Tips For Growing Wax Plant

  • Wax plant likes partial shade. Too much light will burn its leaves, however, it will grow in rather dark conditions, but its bloom will be reduced. Facing East is better.
  • The temperature must stay between 50and 80oF (10 to 27oC); this plant is very sensitive to temperature.
  • If the plant loses leaves, it means you need to increase watering.
  • Keep the temperature as steady as possible; sudden changes of temperature may prevent it from flowering.

Brighten Up Dark Indoor Corners with Flowering Houseplants

Maybe not many flowering plants are suitable for both dark and indoor spaces, true. In fact the choice is not huge.

Still, there are enough, with different shapes and colors, to fill in the odd dull and dimly lit spot in your home or office.

Whether you choose a Phalaenopsis or a peace lily, an African violets or a Christmas cactus, your room will always look better and even brighter with one of the beautiful flowering Houseplants we have met in this article.

Amber Noyes

Written By

Amber Noyes

Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.

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