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9 Best Easy-Care Indoor Trees for Low Light to Beautify Your Home

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Written By Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

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Home » Tree Selection » 9 Best Easy-Care Indoor Trees for Low Light to Beautify Your Home

Indoor trees are always fun to grow, filling a room with life, beauty, and elegance.

However, lighting is often a challenge indoors, where there is rarely enough light for plants to grow well.

Even when grown in windows, plants often do not receive enough light. Therefore, choosing plants that tolerate the low light levels found indoors is critical to ensure your plants will thrive.

We will examine nine of the best indoor trees for low-light areas and cover their particular needs so that they will thrive in your house!

1. Dragon Tree – Dracaena marginata

The Dragon Tree is a tough little tree that will tolerate almost any light level, from dim to bright. The only thing they don’t tolerate is wet feet, which may cause their roots to rot.

Allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again, and ensure the soil drains well. Adding some coco coir will help with drainage.

People often confuse these with the closely related Dragon Trees of Socotra and the Canary Islands.

Those are much rarer trees becoming popular in bonsai, but they are a bit finicky to grow compared to these tough Dragon Trees.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 5 – 8 ft tall, 2 – 3 ft spread

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2. Ponytail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata

The Ponytail Palm isn’t actually a palm; it’s an interesting-looking succulent with a bulbous base where it stores water.

That makes it very easy to care for, only requiring water every 1-2 weeks during the growing season or once a month in the winter, much like a cactus.

Use a cactus potting mix with sand and coco coir to ensure it drains well.

While it likes sunlight, it will also tolerate low light, where it grows more slowly.

However, they do like warm conditions, so keep it in a location in your house that doesn’t drop below 50°F.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 6 – 8 ft tall, 3 – 5 ft spread

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3. Corn Plant – Dracaena fragrans

No, this is not actually a corn plant; it’s not even related to corn. Instead, it’s another Dracaena plant with long, flat leaves that look corn-like, other than usually being variegated with light and dark green.

The leaves grow in palm-like arcs from a thick, woody stem.

While these also prefer a bit more light, they are tough plants that can handle less and don’t mind being neglected.

Water deeply once a week during the growing season, but cut back in the winter, allowing the soil to dry a bit between watering.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 4 – 6 ft tall, 3 – 4 ft spread
  • Flowering Season: Fragrant off-white flowers; occasionally flowers indoors.

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4. Money Tree – Pachira aquatica

The Money Tree is a popular indoor tree with a unique braided stem and pretty leaves.

While it tolerates almost any light from full sun to shade, it likes a fair bit of moisture and fertile soil but doesn’t like wet soil.

So, use enriched soil and add some coco coir and perlite to ensure better drainage. Check it often, watering it whenever the soil feels dry, but not if it feels moist.

It also doesn’t like low humidity, so it’s a good idea to mist it often and put it on a pebble tray full of water to increase the humidity around it.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 6 – 7 ft tall, 2 – 3 ft spread

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5. Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow – Dieffenbachia seguine ‘Tropic Snow’

Dieffenbachias are very popular plants that thrive in most conditions and are known to help purify the air indoors.

They are also very tough; even those with brown thumbs have difficulty killing these plants. Give them average potting soil and water them roughly once a week.

Most Dieffenbachias are smaller houseplant sizes, so if you are looking for an indoor tree, ensure you get the Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow. If the conditions are right, it can grow quite tall indoors.

Dieffenbachias are toxic to pets and humans, so keep that in mind if you have fur or human babies to worry about.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 2 – 6(to 10) ft tall, 2 – 3 ft spread

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6. Majesty Palm – Ravenea rivularis

The Majesty Palm is a great indoor tree that thrives in low-light conditions and requires no special care other than water about once a week.

It also grows very tall indoors, reaching up to 10 ft if it has the room to grow.

Majesty Palms are also known for helping purify the air indoors, removing pollutants to help keep your family healthy.

And, since it is a true palm tree, it is non-toxic to pets and humans if anyone ingests it, so there is no need to worry about your fur or human babies around this tree.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 8 – 10 ft tall, 4 – 5 ft spread

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7. Rubber Tree – Ficus elastica

Rubber Trees are gorgeous indoor trees with massive glossy dark green or reddish-green oval-shaped leaves.

They prefer bright indirect light but will handle lower light. It likes to lean towards the light, so it’s a good idea to rotate the pot occasionally.

Rubber Trees don’t like cool drafts and prefer higher humidity. So, consider using a humidifier or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water to increase humidity.

They do have a milky sap inside them that is mildly toxic if consumed, so keep that in mind if you have fur or human babies. However, they are also great at removing indoor air pollutants.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 3 – 10 ft tall, 2 – 3 ft spread* *Height depends on the variety

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8. Norfolk Island Pine – Araucaria heterophylla

Norfolk Island Pine is a beautiful, popular tree for indoor use. While it does prefer bright, indirect light, it can also handle low light.

While they may look like pine trees, they are not related to pines but are an ancient order of gymnosperms. Their curved needle-like leaves are soft and fern-like.

Norfolk Island Pines like moderately moist soil, but make sure it is allowed to dry slightly between watering and don’t allow it to get soggy. Use sandy but rich, well-draining soil.

They can handle cool and warm temperatures but avoid anything below 35°F.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 5 – 8 ft tall, 2 – 5 ft spread

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9. Areca Palm – Dypsis lutescens

The Areca Palm, also called the Golden Cane Palm, loves indirect light. However, it can handle very low light just fine, especially if you put it on your patio for the summer but avoid direct afternoon sunlight.

Areca Palms can be a little finicky, preferring distilled or filtered water, especially if you have hard tap water. Also, water often, but don’t overwater, never allowing it to sit in standing water. It also likes high humidity, so consider using a humidifier or placing the pot on a pebble tray filled with water.

Otherwise, it’s a lovely, non-toxic tree that removes indoor air pollutants.

  • Average Size at Maturity: 4 – 5 ft tall, 3 – 5 ft spread

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Quick Overview

Tree NameDescriptionAverage Size
Dragon TreeTolerates various light levels and requires well-drained soil; confused with rarer Dragon Trees but much easier to grow.5-8 ft tall, 2-3 ft spread
Ponytail PalmA succulent with a bulbous water-storing base, not a true palm, thrives in warm conditions and tolerates low light.6-8 ft tall, 3-5 ft spread
Corn PlantNot related to corn, this Dracaena plant has long, flat, variegated leaves and tolerates low light and neglect.4-6 ft tall, 3-4 ft spread
Money TreePopular for its braided stem and prefers moist soil and high humidity, tolerates a range of light conditions.6-7 ft tall, 2-3 ft spread
Dieffenbachia Tropic SnowThrives in most conditions, known for air purifying, and is very resilient, but toxic to pets and humans.2-6(to 10) ft tall, 2-3 ft spread
Majesty PalmThrives in low light, requires weekly watering, known for air purifying, and non-toxic to pets and humans.8-10 ft tall, 4-5 ft spread
Rubber TreeFeatures large glossy leaves, prefers bright indirect light but tolerates lower light, mildly toxic if consumed.3-10 ft tall, 2-3 ft spread
Norfolk Island PinePrefers bright, indirect light but can handle low light, likes moderately moist soil, not related to pines.5-8 ft tall, 2-5 ft spread
Areca PalmAlso known as the Golden Cane Palm, loves indirect light, can be finicky with water and humidity, non-toxic and removes indoor pollutants.4-5 ft tall, 3-5 ft spread

Indoor Trees That Thrive in Low Light

I hope you enjoyed learning about some indoor trees you can grow in the low-light conditions found inside most homes.

Be sure to carefully follow each plant’s care instructions since all plants will have different needs.

Some thrive on neglect, while others need frequent watering or higher humidity.

Also, pay attention to which ones are toxic or not if you have fur or human babies that like to sample your indoor plants.

Now for the fun part! Choosing which ones you want to grow!

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Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

Lyrae grew up in the forests of BC, Canada, where she got a BSc. in Environmental Sciences. Her whole life, she has loved studying plants, from the tiniest flowers to the most massive trees. She is currently researching native plants of North America and spends her time traveling, hiking, documenting, and writing. When not researching, she is homeschooling her brilliant autistic son, who travels with her and benefits from a unique hands-on education about the environment around him.