14 Intriguing Houseplants That Like Shade

Are you looking for houseplants that like shade? You’re in luck – as there are plenty of gorgeous greens to pick from that actively avoid the sun!

Finding plants to place in shady spots is becoming easier than ever as plants are imported from other parts of the world. For example, those which are native to rainforests feature on our list together with some old favourites! Read on for some help choosing a plant to place in a shady home or office.

Best Houseplants That Like Shade:

Jungle King

The majestic Anthurium ellipticum is happiest in shady areas! A native of tropical rainforests (hence its name), the Jungle King tolerates shade but not thirst. It must be kept moist in a pot with good drainage – so be sure to take special care.

It also needs to be kept at a temperature no lower than 16 degrees Celsius – and a note of caution, this plant is poisonous to animals, too.

Philodendron or Imperial Red

This can be considered a high-end and expensive plant, especially if you buy a large specimen. It can be great value for money, however, because it’s an absolute stunner! 

Growing to approximately 65 centimetres, you will need to help it keep up its energy with a regular weak feed, fortnightly in the growing months of summer. It’s a statuesque plant and a great air purifier, too!

Peacock Plant

leaves of a peacock plant
Calathea Orbifolia | Peacock plant

The delightful Calathea Orbifolia or Peacock Plant prefers shade – it’s a great feature plant in a shady room such as a home office or back bedroom.

The peacock plant is particularly interesting because you can actually see it move – it literally changes shape over time! It needs careful attention, and to be kept warm and moist. Many of us think it’s well worth this effort for such an interesting and attractive show piece.

Sweetheart Plant

This is a great plant for busy owners with not much time to give it attention. Very easy to look after, this plant won’t take up much of your time – but you still need to water and feed it!

It has variegated leaves which are heart-shaped, and its stems are yellow. Sweetheart plants are engaging – with their aerial roots, they reach and cling to anything within reach! This makes them perfect for training along a pole, rail, shelf or frame.

Five Holes Plant

Monstera Adansonii is a native plant of the tropics – and you can bring it home to cold and rainy Britain! This plant needs some light but cannot tolerate direct sun.

It’s a perfect trailing plant for a shady corner – but it is usually a climber, too! This plant is popular because it’s quite easy to care for and adapts easily for upright or downward displays.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

close up of chinese evergreen aglaonema plant
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Also known as Cherry Baby, if ever there was a plant to cheer up a dull corner, this is it! A stunning vibrant pink, its leaves splay out and upwards.

However, it needs special care. It must not be allowed to dry out – and it also needs to be kept warm in winter. It’s more demanding than some other shade tolerant plants, but that striking colour brings visual warmth to any shady rooms!

Peperomia Hope

When it comes to houseplants that like shade the peperomia hope looks delicate but is actually very easy to care for. It has rounded leaves, and their green contrasts well with the red accents colour of the plant.

This plant has the added attraction of flowering in summer – it’s a semi succulent plant from the same family as the popular peppercorn, and stores water in its leaves. If these fall off, it needs more attention!

It survives comfortably under fluorescent lighting, and looks especially attractive when backlit by a lamp or wall light.

Slipper Orchid

Placing this beauty in a shady room will allow it to show off a grand structural display enhanced with colourful blooms. It does require some light – especially in winter, but not direct sunlight.

It’s quite easy to care for, simply water sparingly but regularly. Also – ensure this plant is in a container with good drainage. 

Golden Pothos

golden pothos plant being sprayed with water
golden pothos

This is a wonderful houseplant to place in a shady spot – it almost seems to glow! This is a bright green jewel of a plant that will appear to light up a dull corner.

It can be trained to grow elegantly upwards or tumble dramatically from a hanging basket or pendulum. The choice is yours, of course!

Midas Touch

This plant is great for creative people who don’t have much spare time. It is easy to care for and even tolerates being forgotten from time to time! Just try to not leave it too long without water.

It enjoys living in the shade – and equally content to be draped across a curtain pole, trained to climb, it will also happily cascade from a hanging basket! 

In fact, why not have two side by side?  One could be growing upwards from the floor as the other comes tumbling down from a shelf.

Aspidistra

Popular since Victorian times when aspidistras grew in rooms with coal fires, these plants are survivors – and help us to breathe easy, too! They are good for purifying the air.

Aspidistras come with variations of spots or stripes. They are striking plants, suitable for ultra modern or classically designed rooms. They cannot tolerate drying out and need some light, but direct sun is a no-no. They prefer draft-free, shady spots and an occasional feed.

Begonias

This may seem surprising, but begonias are native to forest floors. They have adapted well to live under shady canopies and in dappled, dim light. This makes them suitable for shady spurs in the home or office!

Colouring ranges from pink and grey to green – so take your pick. Some of them flower, too, such as the Begonia Maculata. During summer months, this produces pretty white flowers which add a touch of sparkle to shady places.

Spider Plants

top down view of a spider plant on a tiled worktop
spider plant

Spider plants are well-known for being hardy, attractive and easy to care for. Their slender, variegated leaves drape over pots, baskets or any container you choose to put them in.

Spider plants do need some light but do not do well in direct sun. They require regular, minimal water. They can get ‘root rot’ if over watered or the pot is not draining well enough.

Velvet Calathea

We’ve chosen this houseplant because it has an extra special feature – the texture of its leaves! They feel like silky velvet – hence the name. They are coloured green on top and burgundy on the underside. Seen from the side or beneath, the contrast in colours can be very eye catching.

Reaching up to an average of 60 centimetres, this beauty can sit happily in a shady corner on a table shelf. It looks good in a planter or even stood in a container on the floor – and it is safe for pets.

However, this plant does require more care than some. It needs a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, ideally, and frequent regular watering during summer months – and feeding every couple of weeks.

Why it’s worth growing houseplants for shady rooms

Growing houseplants that do well in shade is a real pleasure – especially when it’s too wet outside to deal with the garden!

A useful tip for people thinking about introducing plants to a shady indoor spot is to remember those tender, outdoor specimens. If you have geraniums and/or spider plants outdoors, it’s worth considering placing them indoors. They’ll happily survive a winter providing the room is not too hot and they are kept moist.

Otherwise, you’ll find that most house plants that like shade are very easy to care for. You don’t always have to pop your greens on the windowsill in the bright sunshine – and honestly, those in this list will thank you for it.

Why not keep a look out for these lovely shaded superstars and grow some of your own?