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Indoor Plant Lighting

The biggest challenge for most houseplant owners is getting the required lighting level.

Here is a list of plants and the corresponding light levels to help you place them in your home and garden environment.


Plants that Tolerate Low Light* (Dim Reading Level)

Botanical Name
Aglaonema communtatnum
Aspidistra elatior
Beaucarnea recurvata
Chamaedorea (spp.)
Dieffenbachia maculata
Dracaena spp.
Hedera belix
Common Name
Chinese evergreen
Cast-iron plant
Ponytail palm
Parlor palm, Bamboo palm
Dieffenbachia
Dracaena
English Ivy
Botanical Name
Homalomena rubescens
Hourea forsteriana
Philodendron spp.
Rhapis excelsa
Sansevieria trifasciata
Spathibyllum wallisii
Syngonium podopbyllum
Zamioculas samiifolia
Common Name
Heart-leaf homalomena
Kentia palm
Philodendron
Lady Palm
Snake plant
Peace lily
Arrowhead Vine
Aroid palm

*Many florist’s plants bought in full bloom can be maintained for awhile in low light.


Plants that need medium light (good light but little direct sun light)

Botanical Name
Adiantum spp.
Aescbyantbus lobbianus
Alocasio spp.
Antburium spp.
Araucari beteropbylla
Asparagus spp.
Asplenium bulbiferum
Asplenium nidus
Beaucarnea recurvata
Begonia spp.
Caladium spp.
Calatbea spp.
Calceolaria spp.
Chirita sinesis
Choloropbytum comosum
Cissus spp.
Clivia miniata
Columnea spp.
Cryptantbus bivittatus
Cycas revoluta
Crytomium falcatum
Davallia spp.
Episcia cupreata
Ficus spp.
Hedera belix
Hoya carnosa
Leea coccinea
Common Name
Maidenhair fern
Lipstick plant
Alocasia
Anthurium
Norfolk Island Pine
Asparagus Fern
Mother fern
Bird’s nest fern
Ponytail palm
Bergonia
Caladium
Calathea
Calceolaria
Chirita
Spider plant
Cissus
Clivia
Columnea
Earth star
Sago palm
Japanese holly fern
Deer’s-foot fern
Episcia
Fig
Nerve plant
English ivy
Wax plant
West Indian holly
Botanical Name
Ludisia discolor
Maranta leuconeura
Monstera deliciosa
Neoregelia spp.
Nepbrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’
Oxalis regnelli
Pandanus spp.
Papniopedilum spp.
Pellionia spp.
Peperomia spp.
Phalaendron spp.
Plectranthus australis
Podocarpus macrophylls ‘Maki’
Polyscias spp.
Pteris spp.
Radermacbera sinica
Rhipsalidopis gaertneri
Rhipsalis spp.
Saintpaulia ionantha
Schefflera species
Schlumbergera buckleyi
Selaginella spp.
Soleirolia soleirolli
Tillandsia (green-leaved varieties)
Common Name
Jewel orchid
Prayer plant
Swiss-cheese plant
Blushing bromeliad
Boston fern
Oxalis
Screwpine
Slipper orchid
Pellionia
Peperomia
Moth orchid
Philodendron
Swedish Ivy
Buddhist pine
Aralia
Table Fern
China doll
Easter cactus
Mistletoe cactus
African violet
Schefflera
Christmas cactus
Moss fern
Baby’s tears
Air plant

Plants that need intense light (four or more hours of direct sunlight)

Botanical Name
Adenium spp.
Aeonium spp.
Agave spp.
Arygrantbemum fruiticosum
Cleistocactus straussi
Dyckia spp.
Echeveria spp.
Euphorbia (succulent species)
Heloptropium arborescens
Common Name
Adenium
Aeonium
Agave
Paris Daisy
Silver torch
Dyckia Echeveria
Euphorbia
Heliotrope
Botanical Name
Jasminum spp.
Kalanchoe spp.
Lantana camara
Pisonia umbellifera ‘Variegata’
Plumbago auriculata
Punica granatum nana
Rosa (miniature species)
Tillandsia (silver leaved varieties)
Common Name
Jasmine
Kalanchoe
Lantana
Birdcatcher tree
Cape leadwort
Dwarf pomegranate
Miniature rose
Air plant

Plants that Need Bright Light (Some Full Sun Except at Midday)

Botanical Name
Abutilon spp.
Acalypha bispida
Achimenes spp.
Adenium spp.
Agave spp.
Aloe spp.
Anaas comosus
Bambusa spp.
Beaucarnea ecurvata
Browallia spp.
Brunfelsia spp.
Capsicum annuum
Chrysalidocarpus xmorifolium
Citrus spp.
Clerodendrum thompsoniae
Codiaeum varigatum pictum
Coffea arabica
Crassual ovate (and others)
Curcuma alismatifolia
Cyperus alternifolius
Dionaea musicpula
xEpicactus spp.
Euonymus japonicus
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Exacum affine
Fatsia japonica
Fuchsia xbybrida
Gardenia augusta
Gynura aurantiaca
Hedychium coronarium
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Hippeastrum spp.
Hydrangea macrophylla
Common Name
Flowering maple
Chenille plant
Orchid pansy
Adenium
Vase plant
Agave
Aloe
Pineapple
Bamboo
Ponytail palm
Browallia
Yesterday-today-and tomorrow
Ornamental pepper
Areca palm
Florist’s mum
Citrus
Clerodendrum
Croton
Coffee Plant
Jade plant
Siam tulip
Umbrella plant
Venus flytrap
Orchid cactus
Evergreen euonymus
Poinsettia
Persian violet
Japanese aralia
Fuchsia
Gardenia
Velvet plant
White giunger lily
Chinese hibiscus
Amaryllis
Florist’s hydrangea
Botanical Name
Hypoestes phyllostachya
Impatiens walleriana
Iresine berbstii
Justica brandegeeana
Kalanchoe spp.
Mandeveilla sanderi
Musa spp.
Neomarica gracilis
Nepenthes spp.
Nerium oleander
Ornitbogalum caudatum
Oasmanthus heterophyllus
Pachypodium spp.
Pachystachys lutea
Pedilanthes titbymaloides ‘Variegatus’
Persea americana
Phoenix roebelenii
Pisonia umbellifera ‘Variegata’
Platycerium bifurcatum
Portulacaria spp.
Primula spp.
Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum ‘Tricolor’
Rhododendron spp.
Sanchezia speciosa
Sedum morganianum
Senecio xbybridus
Serissa foetida
Sinningia spp.
Solanum pseudocapsicium
Solensotemon scutellarioides
Streptocarpus hybridus
Tradescantia spp.
Yucca elephantipes
Zantedescha spp.
Common Name
Polka-dot plant
Impatiens
Bloodleaf
Shrimp plant
Kalanchoe
Mandevilla
Banana
Apostle plant
Tropical pitcher plant
Oleander
Pregnant onion
False holly
Madagascar palm
Lollipop-plant
Variegated devil’s backbone
Avacado
Pygmy date palm
Birdcatcher tree
Staghorn fern
Elephant bush
Primrose
Purple false eranthemum
Azalea
Monkey plant
Sanchezia
Donkey’s tail
Florist’s cineraria
Serissa
Gloxina, sinningia
Jerusalem cherry
Coleus
Cape primrose
Spiderwort
Yuca
Calla lily