Do Indoor Plants Need Sunlight?

Today, most homeowners grow their plants indoors. Indoor plants are popular since they can be grown at any time of the year.

Like standard plants, houseplants need warmth, sunlight, good nutrients and moisture to thrive. However, requirements vary depending on the type of plant species you choose to grow.

Remember, different plant species have different needs. So, take time to understand all your plant needs. But generally, most indoor plants need sunlight to grow.

On average, indoor plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight exposure. Thus, position your indoor plants next to the window or in your porch area during the day.

Alternatively, you can use a grow light to boost the growth of your indoor herb plants. Nevertheless, it depends on the type of indoor plant. Some houseplants thrive under low sunlight while others need high levels of sunlight.

Indoor plants that need sunlight

Jade Plant

For many years, homeowners have used jade plants as indoor plants. This plant grows well under indirect sunlight. Therefore, you can place it next to your window.

Experts report that the jade plant should be exposed to sunlight for at least four hours a day. Additionally, you need to keep the soil moist when growing the jade plant.

Water the plants frequently, but avoid overwatering. The jade plant is highly resistant to drought; hence it can survive in harsh climatic conditions for long periods.

The jade plant can survive for more than ten years. The plant is bulky; therefore, if you plan to grow it as an indoor plant, use a strong plastic container.

The sago palm

One of the indoor plants that needs sunlight is the sago palm. This plant incorporates less maintenance and offers a wide range of benefits. Sago palm provides instant relief to burns and cuts.

This houseplant needs full and direct exposure to sunlight. In our context, full sunlight means exposing the plant to the sun for eight hours.

The sago palm can still survive even under direct sunlight. Also, it would be best if you watered the sago palm from time to time. Ensure that the soil stays moist, especially in the dry season. Be careful not to overwater the plant.

African Milk Bush

The African milk bush plant is a common houseplant that thrives in high level but indirect light. This plant is succulent and has sharp spines; hence repotting it can be difficult.

The African milk bush is also a tropical plant that requires frequent watering. So, ensure you keep the soil moist since the plant cannot withstand long periods of drought.

However, you have to leave the plant to dry in between watering, this may call for you to get a self watering system.

Snake Plant

The snake plant is a popular houseplant. This indoor plant offers excellent functionality and aesthetics. Also, the snake plant grows well in bright light.

Even so, it can still survive in shady areas. Snake plants incorporate less maintenance. When watering a snake plant, leave the plant to dry in between watering.


Papyrus is also a great indoor plant to grow in your house. Like most indoor plants, papyrus requires that you expose it to full sunlight for at least six to eight hours a day. You also have to keep papyrus plants healthy by giving them sufficient moisture.

Ultimately, it is clear to see that indoor plants need sunlight. A good percentage of indoor plants can survive both in direct and indirect sunlight.

If your home does not allow penetration of sunlight, consider using artificial lights for your indoor plants. You can place plants that require low light in sun-deprived rooms.

Houseplants that need low sunlight

At present, there is a wide range of plant species that don’t need sunlight to grow. Such plant species are ideal for indoor spaces that don’t receive enough sunlight. Let’s take a look at some of the indoor plants you can grow without direct exposure to sunlight.


One of the best indoor plants that don’t require too much sunlight is bromeliads. These tropical plants boost your home’s aesthetics and purify the air. You can place bromeliads on your window sill, living room shelves, or coffee table.

Regardless of where you put the plant, ensure it receives enough amount of sunlight. Nonetheless, note that bromeliads only grow under indirect sunlight. They cannot survive when exposed to direct sunlight.

Total exposure to sunlight destroys the plant’s leaves. So, never expose it to direct sunlight. If you don’t have a reliable source of natural light, expose the bromeliads to fluorescent light. They will grow perfectly fine.

Chinese Evergreen

One of the most popular indoor plants that do not need light is the Chinese evergreen. This plant requires low maintenance and carries air-purifying properties. Chinese evergreen also thrive on low light.

The amount of light needed by the Chinese evergreen often relies on the color of the leaves. Typically, if your Chinese evergreen plants have darker leaves, they require less light.

If the leaves are brighter, you would have to expose the Chinese evergreen to medium light. However, never place the Chinese evergreen plant under direct sunlight. Otherwise, the leaves would get damaged.

English Ivy

The next indoor plant that does not require a lot of sunlight is the English Ivy. The English Ivy grows well in bright but indirect sunlight.

This plant grows well in vertical gardens. Nonetheless, it might take longer for the plant to mature, especially if you start planting from seed.

Exposing the English ivy plant to direct light can cause damage to the leaves. Also, the English Ivy can grow well in shady spots.

Cast Iron Plant

Another indoor plant that does not require sunlight is the cast iron plant. This houseplant is a hardy plant; thus, it can survive in different climatic conditions. The cast iron plant often requires very low levels of sunlight to thrive.

Exposing this plant to direct sunlight makes the leaves prone to damage. Unlike most indoor growing plants, cast iron requires you to clean its leaves to prevent a build-up of dirt and debris.


The dracaena plant is also a famous indoor plant that requires minimal sunlight to survive. This plant enhances the beauty of your home. You can place it on the coffee table, shelf, or on the floor.

It makes a perfect floor accessory. The dracaena plant requires bright but indirect light to survive. However, it can also grow in low-medium light. If you are looking for an excellent indoor plant, consider the dracaena. It incorporates less maintenance and keeps the air purified.

Dumb Cane

The dumb cane plant grows well in filtered light. Filtered light refers to light penetrating through a curtain or any other object. Dumb canes cannot withstand bright, direct sunlight.

So, place them next to a window with a closed curtain. Most of these plants require highly filtered low light. In fact, some dumb cane species may stop growing when under high filtered light.

Note that this indoor plant is poisonous. It can cause swelling and itching when it comes in contact with the skin. So, don’t place the plants near small children.

Maidenhair Fern

This indoor plant also grows well in indirect light. The maidenhair fern is a perfect indoor plant option that boosts the aesthetics of your household.

Avoid placing this indoor plant under direct sunlight since it would get damaged. Like most indoor plants, the maidenhair fern requires sufficient moisture to grow. Even so, ensure you don’t end up overwatering the plant.

Parlor Palm

Planting experts report that parlor palm grows well in areas with minimal light. These indoor plants can survive in low to medium indirect light. However, they thrive in shadier spots. You do not need to place this plant next to the window. The parlor palm is an excellent addition to your house.


The majority of indoor plants need sunlight. However, most of them cannot withstand direct light. So, you have to keep them under indirect or filtered light.

Before you decide to grow a houseplant, ensure you understand all its requirements. This way, you’ll be able to grow healthy indoor plants.