Jan 6, 2022
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Shade-loving and shade-tolerant indoor plants: photos and names

Shade-loving and shade-tolerant indoor plants: photos and names

If you want your home flower garden to delight you throughout the year, this can be organized, in the article we will tell you about unpretentious plants.

The vast majority of indoor plants prefer bright, diffused lighting, but some species are able to grow and thrive in the shade.

Such flowers become indispensable when landscaping dimly lit corners of houses and apartments.

What indoor plants can grow in the shade

All types of plants that are able to develop in the shade enough without any problems are divided into two main groups:

  1. Shade-tolerant – species that can grow in both sunny and shady places.
  2. Shade-loving – plants that prefer only a shady location.

Most often, shade-tolerant plants feel equally well both in the sun and in shade. The lack of light has almost no effect on their growth rates and external attractiveness.

Typically, these species have wide, smooth foliage that has a specific location. Due to the fact that the leaves are in the same plane, they do not shade each other. Sometimes this feature is called “sheet mosaic”.

In addition to the characteristic location, the leaves of shade-tolerant plants in the light can acquire a certain color: brownish or red-purple. This is due to the production of anthocyanin pigment, which often contributes to the more decorative foliage. But in other plants that can grow in the shade, the leaves, on the contrary, begin to shrink and fade from bright light.

Popular flowers such as balsam and oxalis are among the shade-tolerant ones; some varieties of begonias and violets can tolerate shade.

Among the ornamental shrubs grown at home, this group includes dicentra (broken heart) and fuchsia.

Shade-loving plants are not so numerous. In natural conditions, such species prefer the most deaf and dark corners, where the sun’s rays hardly reach.

An unusual arrangement can leave burns on their foliage, so planting such plants in the sun is not recommended. The most famous representatives of this group are mosses and ferns.

An unusual look and a love of shade are also distinguished by the plow or selaginella, also grown as a houseplant.

Types of shade-tolerant and shade-loving plants

Each group of these plants includes several main categories, depending on the characteristics of their structure and development. Some species attract with beautiful flowers, others – with spectacular foliage, which looks best in the shade, and still others – for their unpretentiousness or other valuable qualities.

There are many fancy flowers that can feel equally good in the sun and in the shade.


Popular and undemanding begonias often prefer partial shade. It is in such conditions that their foliage acquires a larger size and bright color. In the scorching sun, leaf blades can become smaller and fade.


The genus of begonias is very numerous, it includes both flowering and decorative leafy species, and each of them may have its own requirements for lighting.

So begonias with beautiful foliage (for example, royal or rex) prefer shady places and need shading in the afternoon.

Shrub species (for example, coral) are able to grow both in the sun and in partial shade, while tuberous and ever-flowering begonias will need lighter corners for full flowering.

Usambara violet (Saintpaulia)

With proper care, this unpretentious perennial flower is able to delight with its buds for most of the year. Saintpaulias have beautiful fluffy foliage that is sensitive to direct bright light, so it is recommended to keep their pots on moderately lit west or east windows.


In summer, violets can feel good even on the north side, but in winter this level of illumination will not be enough for full budding.

Moreover, varieties with dark green, variegated or thick foliage are considered more resistant to bright light than varieties with light, corrugated or particularly fluffy leaves.

If the violets have enough light, they form neat rosettes with bright foliage and many peduncles. Due to the excess of light, the growth of the bushes slows down, and the foliage turns yellow or turns brown.


Clivia is an attractive plant related to amaryllis. Twice a year, tall peduncles form on its bush, each of which holds about 10-20 buds. Clivia flowers resemble small lilies, and the leaves are fan-shaped.

Best of all, such a plant will be able to develop in a warm and moderately humid place, and in winter it will need a cool wintering. The lighting for growing clivia should not be too bright: because of the hot sun, burns may appear on the beautiful foliage.


The bush feels better in the diffused light of the east or west direction, but most likely it will not bloom on the north side. In the summer, the flower pot can be taken out into the air in a shaded place.


One of the most common houseplants. Chlorophytum is notable for its long leaves forming basal rosette bundles. They can have a solid green color or be complemented by a light stripe.

Green-leaved species are considered more shade-tolerant: such plants do not like the bright sun, so they try not to keep them in direct rays. Chlorophytum is able to develop well even on northern windows.


Despite the status of an ornamental-deciduous species, chlorophytum can form small white star-shaped flowers in paniculate inflorescences, which add attractiveness to the bush. Its offshoots, which are stems with a daughter outlet at the end, also look elegant.

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