Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
If you live in an apartment or don’t have windows facing ideal directions, consider the best low light succulents for your homes.
Many succulents are perfect houseplants because they are low maintenance, lovely to look at and can tolerate less than ideal lighting conditions.
So, you don’t have to worry much about them even if you can’t position them right on the windowsill or if your home office has not windows.
What Is Considered Low Light?
Before getting into the list of best low light succulents below, I think it is a good idea to understand what low light actually means.
Low light does not mean no light. Nor does it mean very dim lighting like that you experience at night when only the street light is on.
No plant will survive that condition for long periods of time. That’s because plants make their own food via photosynthesis, which requires light as its main source.
Instead, low light means away from direct sunlight. This is often 3 to 6 feet or slightly more. Additionally, it can also mean dappled light or filtered light. Bot referring to situations where the sun’s rays are blocked by something.
For example, in the forest, plants that live under trees only get dappled light as the leaves and branches block most of the sun.
Similarly, a room with no windows and only fluorescent lights on the ceiling is also considered low light. But, grow lights that are positioned just above or a couple of feet away is not low light.
Similarly, if you live in the U.S. or Canada (northern hemisphere), northern exposures are considered low light.
Some growers may also consider the east and west to be low light at certain times of the day since they don’t receive direct sunlight all day long.
Best Low Light Succulents
String of Pearls
String of pearls are an amazing indoor succulent to grow because of their unique looks.
In a container, they look like green peans that are tied to thin stems They look especially beautiful when you layer the “strings” one on top of the other so the pearls pile up.
This succulent grows to about 1 to 2 feet long.
The thrive in full sun. But, do very well in low light conditions as well. Thus making them perfect for homes.
They are likewise well-suited for the temperature in your homes. Although they can grow outdoors as well all year round in USDA zones 9 to 12.
The snake plant is one of the most popular houseplants around. In large part, this is because of its ability to thrive in low light conditions.
The other reasons that people often have this beautiful succulent in homes and offices is that it is very easy to care for (you can neglect it and it won’t die on you) and its stunning looks.
Snake plants are best grown as houseplants unless you live in zones 9 to 11. Like many succulents, they enjoy warm conditions. Thus, they can only live as perennials in regions where there’s no frost throughout the year.
Snake plants are mainly foliage plants although they sometimes bloom during the spring. They need fast draining soil and don’t like sitting in water.
Donkey’s Tail (Burro’s Tail)
While the Donkey’s Tail is technical different from Burro’s Tail (the Burro’s tail is a variety of the Donkey’s tail), they two terms are often used interchangeably because they look very much alike.
Like the string of pearls, these are another unique looking succulent. But, instead of green peas, they resemble braids.
Their thick, fleshy oval shaped leaves line up on both sides of the plant’s stem. As they grow, they can reach mature sizes of up to 4 feet in length. Although, it takes about 5 to 6 years to do so.
This makes them stunning to look at when allowed to trail from containers.
Jade plants are another very popular succulent. They likewise have thick oval-shaped leaves. But, unlike the burro’s tail where the ovals are plump, these are flatter.
Thus, they resemble other foliage plants more.
It is worth noting that there are many different types of Jade plants. In fact, there are more than 1,400 of them around.
While the Crassula ovata is considered the true jade plant, there are many other Crassula varieties you can choose from. Each of them having distinctive looking leaves.
Jade plants can grow up to 3 to 6 feet tall. But indoors in containers, they’re much smaller.
Do note that these are toxic to dogs and cats.
Panda plant is also knowns as the Chocolate Solider. It is named as such because of the subtle brown tips around its fuzzy foliage that look like chocolate.
While you don’t hear of its as much as snake plants or other succulents, panda plants are actually very popular. In large part because of they are very easy to care for.
In most cases they don’t grow too big reaching about a foot and a half tall. But some do get to about 24 to 30 or so inches high.
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Aloe very is perhaps the most well-known succulent of all. However, it is less known as a plant.
Instead, majority of people know it because it is commonly used in beauty products. Its effects are also often emphasized by manufacturers in advertisements and TV commercials.
As such, we’re all aware of its skin healing properties.
This low light succulent enjoys indirect light. It will struggle with too much direct sunlight indoors. Thus, you want to keep it from the direct path of the sun’s rays.
Best known for the gel that it produces when its leaves are broken, this plant actually has beautiful looking spiky foliage. And, there are many different Aloe varieties as well. Although some are too large for the home.
Crown of Thorns
Crown of thorns is said to the plant that was used as Christ’s thorny crown when he was crucified. As such, the plant’s name.
While we can never be completely sure whether this is true of not, you should be very careful when handling this succulent because of sharp, spiky nature of its stem.
Most succulents are know for their foliage. Although, every now and there you’ll find a few with stunning flowers. Such is the case for the flaming katy.
This is a beautiful looking plant thanks to its colorful flowers which can have up to 50 flowers per flower head.
Like other succulents, they have fleshy leaves that are designed to store water. This makes them drought tolerant.
While the flaming katy does enjoy bright, indirect sunlight near a window, it does will in low light conditions as well. Its ability to hold water reduces maintenance. And, its preference for temperatures similar to what humans enjoy make the transition indoor seamless.
The ZZ plant is short for Zamioculcas zamiifolia. For simplicity, many people just call it Zanzibar Gem.
This is another low light succulent that prefers indirect exposure.
The ZZ plant is stunning to look at thanks to its upright nature. As it grows bigger, up to 3 or 4 feet high, its oval-shaped leaves on both sides of its stem become more prominent.
While better known as a houseplant than it is a succulent, the ZZ plant is well-known because it is very resilient and able to tolerate neglect and abuse.
Some growers would go as far as calling it nearly indestructible.
Cacti and succulents often go together. However, it is worth noting that while cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.
That said, the two categories have very similar features. That is, they’re able to store water in their leaves allowing them to tolerate periods of drought (which happens to be the definition of a succulent).
More importantly, while most of us think of cacti as the large 3-pronged plant you see in the desert, they don’t all look like that.
Mistletoe Cactus are low light succulents that enjoy full or part shade. And, they have long, thin stems that will drape downwards from containers.
This makes them different from other cacti which enjoy more sunlight.
Similarly, it does not have spines or spikes. And, it needs more water than other cacti.
Wax plants are better known as Hoya plants. These are popular houseplants because of their lovely looks. But, that’s not all, they are also easy to care for and fragrant as well.
Some have thicker stems and leaves that others. For example, the sweetheart hoya is well-known for its thick, fleshy heart shaped leaves, which make people call it the Valentine plant.
Hoyas are likewise known for their clusters of beautiful flowers. As such, if you want bright colorful blooms, this is one worth considering.
The echeveria is one of the most memorable low light succulents you can grow indoors. Its leaves are arranged to look like a flower. This makes it a popular choice for wedding cakes.
A more interesting thing is that its leaves change color depending on the amount of light you give it.
As such, you can opt for the more green colors or the graying blue ones. Although I’ve noticed the latter ones do better in low light. In contrast, the green and pink ones prefer more sunlight.
That said, you do want to balance its exposure to light as too little will cause it to get leggy.