Can Houseplants Survive in the Dark?

It is a known fact that houseplants need light to thrive along with water and the right soil.

Yes, some plants can survive with low light but with no light?  Generally, houseplants need light to grow.  Are there any plants that can survive the dark?  Read on to find out which plants these are.

Houseplants That Can Survive in the Dark

All plants do need light to survive and grow, but there are some that if they were kept in the dark, they do have a decent chance of staying alive.  These are some plants that can survive without a lot of sunlight, even in the dark but these will be the ones that do not display bright colors, bloom or produce fruit.  To do all that, they need some type of lighting.

1. ZZ plant

This is one plant that you cannot go wrong with as it is a very resilient indoor plant.  It is an easy plant to grow and care for.  The plant has small glossy leaves on stems that can get over three and a half feet long.  Some refer to this houseplant as the “eternity plant” because of its staying power.  It is one that you should keep on the dry side as this is when it does its best growing.  It is also a plant that is not influenced by the majority of the pests that bother other plants.  You can leave this plant in the dark, water it every two weeks and it will still be growing

2. Snake plant

This plant is also referred to as “mother-in-law’s tongue” because the leaf blades are said to be as sharp as a mother-in-law’s tongue but also is known as a vigorous plant.  You do not have to prune it or deal with droopy leaves.  All you have to do is water it every couple of weeks.  It an air filtering plant and one that is hard to kill. When watering you need to watch how much water you give it because it will rot if you leave it in standing water.  This plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night.  Most plants release oxygen during the day.

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3. Swedish Ivy

Although this is called Swedish Ivy, it did not originate in Sweden.  It is not even ivy but it is one of the best houseplants to grow.  Growing one of these indoors is a good project for beginner gardeners.  This plant has the nickname of “Creeping Charlie.”  It does well in a hanging basket but it will need to be pruned regularly in order to develop new branches.  If you notice that its leaves are starting to droop, it could be that the plant is getting too much light.

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4. Peacock plant

This is a gorgeous plant so most people like to display it.  It does love to be in the dark though.  It is a household plant that is known for its foliage.  The leaves are colorful and patterned.  The main thing that this houseplant requires for growth is constant moisture.  You never should let the plant dry out.  Use bottled distilled water or catch rainwater to use for watering.  You want to use water that does not contain fluoride, which tap water does.

5. Peace Lily

peace lily 2

The leaves of this plant are dark green and long and straight.  They are accented by the occasional white lily flower.  Although they can survive in the dark, they will not bloom unless they have low light.  The plant will need to dry out between watering so make sure that you are watering it only when the soil is dry.  It does have a telltale sign that lets you know when it needs water; it sags a little.  If it does get low-light it will bloom several times a year.  It is a plant that is easy to grow.  You will see brown leaf tips if you have over-watered.  An important thing to note about this plant is it is poisonous to children and pets so it needs to be kept out of their reach.

6. Dracaena

In the Dracaena family of houseplants, there are many stunning plants.  All of them are easy to maintain and prefer to be in a dark corner of the room. Many of these houseplants have creatively or braided trunks.  There are over 120 species and are great at handling air conditioning and low humidity but does not like heat.  The maximum temperature you should keep them at is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The plant will start to discolor if the temperatures get higher.

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7. Begonias

With this plant, it can live for three years with good care.  They are a houseplant that loves indirect light or shade.  They offer a variety of leaf shapes and colors.  The one that will live without direct light is the Rex Begonia. When grown as an indoor houseplant, the main reason that they die is because of over-watering.  You need to water them correctly; the soil should not be too wet but remain moist.

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As you can see, these are some of the plants that will survive in the dark but if you want them to thrive, grow, and flower if they produce flowers, then you will need to make sure that they are getting the type of light that they require.  Some require low-light while others require indirect light.  If your plants are in the dark because you have no way to give them light you can try using a grow light so they can get light to grow more.

From this list of houseplants that can survive in the dark the best two plants to get are the snake and ZZ plants.  Both are pretty much indestructible and can stay in dark areas as long as they get the right watering.  Think before you purchase the plants where you are going to put them and how much time you have to spend taking care of them.  This includes the right watering and possibly pruning.  All of these plants are low maintenance too.

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