My Office Space Doesn’t Have a Lot of Natural Light. Should I Still Get Indoor Plants?

My Office Space Doesn’t Have a Lot of Natural Light. Should I Still Get Indoor Plants?
  • Does your indoor environment have limited natural light? You can still keep indoor plants alive in low-light settings!

  • In fact, many tropical indoor plants do better with diffused rather than direct light.

  • Keep reading to find out how much light your office plants really need, and which houseplants thrive in shade.

Parlor Palm indoor plant
Parlor Palm

There are so many benefits to adding indoor plants to the office including increased productivity, decreased work stress, and improved air quality.

Decorating with indoor plants is also a simple and elegant way to beautify your work environment, whether that’s at home, in a corner office, or behind a cubicle desk.

But what if you don’t get a lot of light in your space? Can indoor plants survive in your low-light environments?  

We have great news for you! Plenty of tropical indoor plants have actually evolved to survive in the shady conditions typical of jungle floors, the environments where most of them originate.  

We’ll break down the light requirements your plants need and give you a few recommendations so you can bring the jungle into your office no matter how much natural light it has!


How Much Light Do Indoor Plants Need?

A good nursery will give you care information specific to your plant including its light requirements. Most likely, your plants need to be placed in an area with one of the following light conditions:

  • Direct bright lightThis describes an area that receives at least 5 hours of direct sunlight. South-facing rooms tend to have the most direct bright light.
  • Indirect bright light – Areas in your interior that are brightly lit bit not necessarily directly hit by the sun. Think an area to the side of a window in a south- or east-facing room.
  • Medium light – East- or west-facing rooms tend to have medium light conditions. They aren’t dark, but they aren’t the brightest rooms in your space.
  • Low light – North-facing or windowless room (like basements, closets, and hallways) can be described as low light environments. These spaces require artificial light to be well-lit.

If you’re afraid that your home or office is too dark for indoor plants, ask your local nursery to point you in the right direction (or keep reading for our recommendations). Plants are for everyone—and every space!

No Windows? Even More Reason to Get Lots of Indoor Plants in Your Space

Did you know that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside?

According to the EPA, indoor air quality is on the decline thanks to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that seep into the air from synthetic building materials frequently used to construct, decorate, and furnish indoor spaces.

One of the best ways to detoxify the air is to crack open your windows. But what if you have few windows—or none at all? 

If you’re starting to feel a little claustrophobic, take a deep breath and stare at a plant (seriously, it’ll reduce your stress). With indoor plants, you can enhance your air quality and aesthetic at the same time!

birds nest fern indoor plant
Birds Nest Fern

Indoor plants purify the air, removing toxic amounts of VOCs such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. Natural oxygen factories, houseplants can also remove carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from the air in your office or apartment.  

If you don’t have windows in your space, improve your air quality by decorating with low-light houseplants! 

5 Shade Tolerant Houseplants for Your Windowless Rooms

jade pothos indoor plant
Jade Pothos

No windows or restricted natural light? The following shade-loving indoor plants won’t mind:

  • Jade Pothos – Elegant and low-maintenance, the Jade Pothos is perfect for hanging or placing on shelves and desks.
  • ZZ Plant – The glossy, emerald leaves of the ZZ Plant make it a striking addition to bare corners and floors.
  • Parlor Palm – Bring the tropics into your interior with a Parlor Palm, a low-maintenance, pet friendly indoor plant from the Southern Mexican rainforests.
  • Birds Nest Fern – One of the easiest indoor plants to care for, the Birds Nest Fern’s long, foliage looks lovely spilling out of a hanging planter or splashing down a wall shelf.
  • Snake Plant – The sword-shaped , variegated eaves of the Snake Plant are so beautiful, it’s hard to believe how easy it is to keep this popular houseplant alive.
snake plant indoor plant
Snake Plant

Although they can survive with limited light, even the most shade-tolerant indoor plants need some light.

If you’re in a windowless room, keep the lights on for at least 12 hours each day. You can also rotate the plants in your low-light room into an area with more sunlight every couple of weeks.

How do you keep your indoor plants alive without much natural light? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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Reading next

How to Arrange Your Indoor Plants in the Office
The Biggest Floor Plants and Why You Should Get Them

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