Houseplants That Do Well in Low Light & Cool Temperatures

TEG Project Manager

Garden Addicted
Jul 9, 2012
Reaction score
Bright indirect light and warmth are essential for many indoor plants. The best environment for them is a warm, sunny room with plenty of daylight throughout the day. So that means cool rooms with less light cannot have any houseplants?

Even cool and dim rooms can enjoy houseplants by making the right selections.

If you are worried about the lighting and temperature in your room but could benefit from some plants, worry no more. Check out these plants that love cool temperatures and low light.

1. ZZ Plant​

ZZ plant (Zamioculcus zamiifolia) is an excellent choice and definitely at the top of this list. It is often found in indoor public places, so you may be familiar with it. Due to its low maintenance requirements, is cold-hardy, and it always looks great, even in low lighting.

Despite its neglect, it looks perfect enough for many people to think it's a plastic plant.

Make sure the soil is dry before watering. Too much watering in a cool room leads to root rot. ZZ plants are also great because they can be moved to a warmer, brighter room if you wish. As long as it isn't directly exposed to sunlight, its leaves won't yellow and curl.

2. Maidenhair Fern​

Despite its ability to thrive in low light and cooler temperature conditions, this plant is certainly less resilient than the ZZ plant. The soil must remain moist when growing Maidenhair ferns (Adiantum spp.). A cool room can pose a challenge, so ensure that the soil and pot drain well.

The Maidenhair fern is happy in bathrooms, which tend to be low-light and cool. There is no problem with the steam produced in the bathroom or the variable temperature.

3. Snake Plant​

Another plant that is easy to grow is the snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata, formerly Sansevieria). In the wrong conditions, it can survive in low light, in the coolest of rooms, and in the hands of forgetful gardeners. It is also easy for them to recover if their condition deteriorates.

4. Jade​

Even though Jade houseplants (Crassula ovata) prefer indirect sunlight, they can also handle low lighting. If it is placed near a window or door, it can withstand sudden cool winds. During spring and summer, water Jade regularly and fertilize it with liquid fertilizer to keep its foliage bright.

5. Philodendron​

The Philodendron plant (Philodendron spp.) is an extremely tough houseplant. It only requires a reasonable amount of moisture and good potting soil. It does not require much care and is relatively unaffected by cold temperatures. And low light does not affect it.

6. Chinese Evergreen​

For cooler, lower-light rooms, Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema spp.) are a perfect choice. Although it prefers subtropical environments, it remains lush and green under those conditions. Maintain an even moisture level. Make sure Chinese evergreens are not overwatered.

7. Cast Iron Plant​

This plant is nearly indestructible, just like cast iron itself. A cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) does not mind low light. It won't even mind a cool room. Whenever the soil dries out, water your cast iron plant to keep it looking good.

8. Rubber Plant​

In the past, rubber plants (Ficus elastica) were one of the most popular houseplants. Several reasons account for its recent popularity, including how easy it is to grow. Rubber plants also look good even in less-than-ideal conditions. Temperatures as low as 39ºF are fine for this plant, even in low-light areas.

In low light conditions and low temperatures, rubber plants need to be watered with precision. Allow the soil to dry between waterings, but not too much. Make sure the soil does not become soggy or waterlogged.

9. English Ivy​

English ivy (Hedera helix) thrives in dark areas and can tolerate cool temperatures, just not continuously low temperatures. If you allow your room to be heated and cooled regularly, this houseplant would be perfect.

The growing tips can be pinched off to produce a bushier shape.

10. Lady Palm​

Adaptable and preferred for moderate temperatures and humidity, the Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) is a popular house plant. An environment where the temperature varies or is constantly cool is ideal for it. While Lady Palms prefer indirect sunlight, they actually thrive in low-light rooms if they're cared for properly.

You should choose a room that has low light levels and is cool to start your new Lady Palm houseplant. It is best to move an existing lady palm gradually if you are moving it from indirect sunlight to a darker, cooler area. Each day, move it a little closer to the lower light, away from the indirect light.

11. Kentia Palm​

In indirect sunlight, Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) have a higher rate of frond production, but they will be more successful in low light. But there will be fewer fronds produced. Although Kentia palms perform best in warm houses, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 25°F for brief periods of time.

As it is so adaptable, it is perfect for cool and low-light environments. This is a big plant that often adds a "wow" factor.

12. Prayer Plant​

Even without lots of sunlight, the Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) produces colorful foliage. In fact, the more sunlight it receives, the more faded the color becomes. Although it is only tolerant of cold temperatures around 65°F, it will do well in consistent cool temperatures around that range.

13. Peace Lily​

The peace lily has the ability to tolerate low light levels or bright indirect light. It is tolerant of nighttime temperatures as low as 60°F, so if you have a warm daytime room and a cool nighttime room, it will thrive. A room that stays around 60ºF all day and night should be fine for your peace lily. This plant will not thrive if the temperature is lower than that.

Keep your home free of drafts and swift temperature drops. In addition, do not place peace lilies directly in front of a drafty window or an AC unit.

The Best Ways to Grow Houseplants in Low Light and Cool Environments​

If you're in a low-light room, placing plants near artificial light sources can help your plants thrive. For darker rooms whose main source of light is from the ceiling, hanging baskets are a good choice.

Overwatering plants in cool rooms is not a good idea. Root rot and other soil-bound problems are a result of cold and wet soil. Depending on the plant, you might only have to water it once a week or twice a month.

Maintain a healthy environment for your plants. Make sure the leaves are free from dust so they can benefit from the very limited light they have.

It only takes a little light to make a huge difference. It may be as simple as moving the plant a few feet toward a warm wall or area if it's struggling in low light and cool temperatures.

During low light conditions and in cool rooms, houseplants can slow down. There is no guarantee that plants will grow quickly in those conditions, even if they are suited for them.

Keep the room's temperature and light constant. In order to prevent the plant from stressing, ensure subtle shifts are made. In many cases, it is not the cold or low light that causes issues, but the shifts in conditions.

Do you have any of these plants in your home? How have your experiences with them been?


Garden Master
Dec 13, 2007
Reaction score
border, ID/WA(!)
DW enjoys houseplants. Green leaves ... she doesn't seem to care about flowering and, if they might flower but do not, it matters not a whit to her. And, with low light conditions, flowering may not occur.

House plants have so many common names, Project Manager. One should appreciate knowing that each and every plant you have listed - is known to Wikipedia :). I just verified that! You have given me a new common name for one that has been in the living room for years and years - the ZZ plant :D. Good Grief, I'd never begin to know or pronounce it's scientific name!

I will add one more to your list: A culinary useful plant in low light conditions is Broad Leaf Thyme. Started from cuttings that can develop roots in a jar of water in our kitchen window, be moved to a pot of soil midsummer, kept outdoors in a completely shaded location, and brought indoors for the cold months -- it has been my window companion for years.

:) Steve
Last edited:


Leafing Out
Dec 25, 2023
Reaction score
As a botany specialist I think, these are the best choices:

ZZ Plant, Cast Iron Plant, Geraniums, Jade Plant, Maidenhair Ferns,Sago Palm, Snake Plant, Dracaena


Garden Addicted
May 21, 2020
Reaction score
As a botany specialist I think, these are the best choices:

ZZ Plant, Cast Iron Plant, Geraniums, Jade Plant, Maidenhair Ferns,Sago Palm, Snake Plant, Dracaena
I've never heard of a cast iron plant before. I don't know if it has another name here but I'd like to see one.

Latest posts