Grow plants without sunlight, we will explain how it is actually possible. Scientists have found that we can grow plants indoors without any sunlight by using artificial lights.

Growing Plants Without Sunlight

To aid you with it, we will discuss the top indoor plants to grow without sunlight along with the easy guideline for growing them.

So, what you must do is to stick with us for a fabulous journey of growing plants without direct sunlight indoors.

Can You Grow Plants Without Sunlight?

Yes, you can grow indoor plants without any proper sunlight at all. They will still thrive, given that you arrange the proper lighting for them artificially. Although it is possible to originate various indoor lighting setups for the plants to help them produce food.


Even though it is widely known that plants need sunlight to produce food and survive, it is still possible to grow and nurture plants without sunlight. You can grow plants indoors, even if they don’t receive any direct sunlight. You can choose from the following light setups to mimic the sunlight. It will help the plants survive correctly.

– High Pressure Sodium Lamp

You can place an HPS lamp next to your plant, and the plant will thrive, because it is the kind of lamp that will start to produce an orange kind of light and the plant will be exposed to proper lighting. However, you must make sure that it doesn’t see excess of it, because it would have similar symptoms to a plant exposed to excessive sunlight.

Benefits of Using High Pressure Sodium Lamps

Moreover, this type of bulb will feel like it is almost natural light coming towards the plant, as it is one of the best lights that you can place in your greenhouse to give a sun-like exposure, which will result in growing the plant’s fruitfulness. 

– Metal Halide

The metal halide is also a type of lamp that you can use for your plant’s source of light, because it will give a proper growth rate to them. However, you must use it when the plant is at its vegetative stage, so far.

It will start producing tiny leaves, and grow in a healthy way. However, this is best used for plants that do not need the extensive amount of light, because they do not emit a high intensity of light.

– Fluorescent Lights

When you decide to place some plants that grow in a low to medium shades of light, then the fluorescent is the ideal one, because even though they do give out a good type of growing source, however, it is quite low in the intensity and the brightness. 

Not all plants would appreciate it, on the contrary, there are a big number that would thrive on this. On another note, some plants do grow in a room without windows and without direct sun exposure, which is why these lights are great. When you have little to limited exposure to natural sunlight, as a result, the fluorescent lights will work superbly as an alternative. 

– LED Lights

If your plant is in need of an incandescent light, then, this is the type of source that they would need. They would give a very low level of heat, and a low level of light, which is indirect, to the plant and if it is a plant that would survive in that state, then these lights are ideal. 

Energy Efficient Indoor Lighting

What you must do is to ensure that these lights have enough illumination capacity. On the other hand, as you would be choosing the right setup allows you to grow many plants indoors in darker environments.

Which means that indoor plants that need low light will thrive in LED lights. We have mentioned nine low-light plants that don’t need natural sun rays. You can efficiently grow them using LED bulbs, also, these plants are highly forgiving, easy to care for and grow in different conditions. You may also choose parlor palm and peacock plant in low-light conditions.

Which Plants Grow Without Sunlight?

The plants that would grow without sunlight are the maidenhair fern, the snake plant, cast iron plant, the lucky bamboo, spider plant, and peace lily. In addition, the staghorn fern, the Chinese evergreen and the devil’s ivy plants would also thrive with artificial lighting.

Many indoor plants will thrive in the darkest conditions. They need minor lighting that you can fulfill with artificial ones. These plants will be a perfect selection if your region receives minimal natural light, especially in winter.

– Maidenhair Fern

The maidenhair fern is famous for its glossy, thick, and dark leaf stalk. It looks great, and many say it looks like human hair. Hence, it is a popular choice for growing indoors. Also, it survives in the least lighting without any degradation in its appearance.

The houseplant will, in fact, grow best in indirect sunlight, as a result, you should place it where there’s no direct access to sunlight. Plus, water it carefully to stop overwatering, because remember that it doesn’t see too much light, and the water will not evaporate, thus creating different complications. 

In case you overwater the plant, it may suffer from root rot and blackened and white spots on the foliage. It will be suitable to water it when the topsoil is dry, which means that you can arrange LED lights around it for the best glossiness of the leafstalks.

– Snake Plant

The snake plant has an interesting name, “Mother-in-law’s tongue’ for its unique shape and color of the foliage. Thankfully, it is a low-maintenance plant with excellent darkness tolerance ability. You need not worry about its lighting ambiance, the reason for the latter is that they you can grow it without direct lights.

Hardy and Low Maintenance Indoor Plant

Plus, the plant is hardy and will grow in any conditions. It is a succulent plant and needs only overnight watering. So, you should quickly grow it in indoor conditions.

– Cast Iron Plant

Cast iron plant is easy to grow even without any maintenance, which means that this plant is suitable if you are too busy and need more time to manage the houseplants. Nature has made it a forgiving plant and strives in almost any condition, and this is through its resilient characteristic.

It doesn’t need any high-end lighting, which is why if you decide to grow it outdoors, in USA hardiness zone it would be in zones 8 to 10, so, you can grow it in different scenes. Plus, the plant needs the least watering, which means that it will bloom in spring and summer, especially if you grow it outdoors. The light purple color of the flower looks fantastic as well.

– Lucky Bamboo

Lucky bamboo is popular worldwide as a plant for office desks and tabletops, thanks to its compactness and forgiving nature. Also, in popular Chinese culture, lucky bamboo is thought to have positive ambiance creating when it is placed indoors, which is why, you will see it frequently on the dining table and office desks.

Plus, its stalks have a swirling or braided appearance that looks fantastic. The green leaves are floppy, and it adds different aesthetics. The plant will be in darker conditions. Hence, you don’t need to worry about its light exposure, because it does will with a simple artificial light.

On the other hand, remember that the bamboo plant needs nutrient-rich soil and proper moisture, which means you can also grow it in a water-filled vase with pebbles. Hence, you must change the water every two to three months or when it creates a foul odor.

– Spider Plant

Spider plant is famous for their graceful foliage, and it has a variegated design. Also, the foliage will dangle down when planted in a hanging basket. It creates a perfect spider-like shape from which it gets the name. If it doesn’t entice and excite you, its air-purifying quality will amaze you.

The plant grows mainly in indirect sunlight and negligence. It will fit your necessity when you are too busy and must remember to care for the indoor plants. You can grow it in loamy soil and with minimal water. But it won’t survive in hardware due to chlorine sensitivity.

– Peace Lily

The peace lily is a perfect indoor plant to grow in low-light or darker conditions. Plus, it has many health benefits that amaze people. It purifies the air and has brilliant dark and green leaves, and all these make it a great choice for home or anywhere indoors.

Bringing Peace to Your Home

The appearance of the foliage and flowers will depend on the lighting conditions. In low light, it only has conventional foliage. If you want the white flowers of it to bloom amply, you should keep them in better sun exposure.

In addition, you must remember that the plant is under watering and drought tolerant, and you must not over pour the water, because it doesn’t have a chance to see strong sun and evaporate it. In short, it grows better in less water than with overwatering. You may water it once a week and occasionally leave it under natural light for blooming.

– Staghorn Fern

Staghorn ferns got their unusual name from their shape, resembling the elk or deer antlers. Although the plant is challenging to grow and care for, its uniqueness makes it fit. Once it matures and the foliage evolves, you can’t but fall in its love.

It grows well in dim lighting, and, it is ideal for a darker ambiance because direct sun rays may burn its fronds. For watering, you should check the topsoil, which means that you should only water it if the soil feels dry. It will grow in regular and loamy soil, which is a great relief for most people.

– Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreens can thrive without consistent and direct sunlight; therefore, it is easy to grow indoors without any worries about sun exposure. Plus, it is a drought-resistant and tolerant plant that is ideal for busy people. Hence, newbies in light houseplants will find it an excellent choice for them, because it will not be a hazard to grow. 

It comes in wide varieties, but for low-light conditions, you should choose the classic green ones. You should mix some perlite, sand, and potting soil for growing it indoors. Also, keep it in warmer conditions and humidity to ensure its green foliage look better. You must also be careful about overwatering Chinese evergreen plants as it causes root rot and black spots on the leaves.

– Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s ivy looks charming with its golden shapes within the green foliage. Also, its golden shapes have earned it the name “Golden Pathos” nonetheless, in Asian regions, it is more known as a money plant, and you will see it in every house, almost.

Versatile and Resilient Indoor Plant

The vine grows in abundance without any direct exposure to the sun, also, this plant is one that requires low maintenance, which makes it ideal for even first-time growers. Make sure that you would be keen on the watering as it would thrive in less water, and the leaves will turn yellow when overwatered.

Finally, for the perfect golden color of the shapes inside the leaves, you should arrange artificial lights, which shows you that you can have the freedom to choose using fluorescent or incandescent bulbs for it.


You can grow plants without sunlight and enjoy their foliage and flowers in offices and homes. These plants don’t require any special care either.

Thus, you will find them perfect:

  • Although many indoor plants grow in low light, try to give them occasional exposure to sunlight. Also, sunlight helps their flowers become more vivid and attractive during the blooming season.
  • You should choose LED and fluorescent blubs over conventional incandescent bulbs. It will save your energy bills and provide a more fabulous ambiance indoors.
  • Scientists have experimented that plants can grow without water or light even. They are working to identify the genes of the plants that help them grow without sun and water. They say it will bring revolution to our world.

If you live in limited light conditions or in places where the sun doesn’t rise for days, choose plants with low-light survival capacity. This way, you can enjoy fresher air indoors even when the sun doesn’t rise for days in your region.


  1. Andrew Courtney. Can You Grow Plants Without Sunlight?. Smart Garden Guide.
    Retrieved from 
  2. Kristin Leutwyler. (June 15, 2001). Scientists Grow Plants without Sunlight or Water. Scientific American.
    Retrieved from 
  3. Suyash. (Oct 10, 2023). 30 Plants that Grow Without Sunlight | Best Plants to Grow Indoors. Balcony Garden Web. Retrieved from 
  4. 23 Plants that Grow Without Sunlight. Garden Lovers Club.
    Retrieved from
  5. Jon VanZile. (07/09/23). How to Grow and Care for Cast-Iron Plant. The Spruce. Retrieved from 
  6. Alexandra Jones. (07/13/23). How to Grow and Care for Maidenhair Fern Indoors. The 
    Retrieved from
  7. Jon VanZile. (04/20/22). How to Grow and Care for Spider Plant. The Spruce.
    Retrieved from
  8. Catherine Boeckmann. (October 4, 2023). Peace Lilies. Almanac.
    Retrieved from
  9. Heather Rhoades. (09/06/23). Care Of Peace Lilies As Houseplants. Gardening Know How.
    Retrieved from
  10. Jon VanZile. (03/01/23). How to Grow and Care for Staghorn Ferns. The Spruce.
    Retrieved from
  11. Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Retrieved from
  12. Nikki Tilley. (04/05/21). Chinese Evergreens Indoors – Growing And Caring For Chinese Evergreen Plants. Gardening Know How.
    Retrieved from
  13. Michael Perry. (February 2, 2021). The houseplant that thrives on neglect and low light. Mr Plant Geek.
    Retrieved from
  14. David H. Trinklein, Ray R. Rothenberger. (June 2016). Lighting Indoor Houseplants. University of Missouri Extension. Retrieved from,them%20less%20expensive%20to%20operate
  15. Caroline. (October 2nd, 2023). Will Houseplants Grow Under Normal LED Lights?. Planet Houseplant.
    Retrieved from,better%20(without%20them%20burning)
  16. (6 Oct 2021). 18 Unkillable Plants for a Windowless Home Office. Maker Stations.
    Retrieved from 
5/5 - (5 votes)