Most succulents like bright, indirect light, but what if your house or office don’t have ideal spots for such plants? Low light succulents may be your answer. Some succulents tolerate low light better than others, perfect for decorating an apartment or any room in a house that does not get enough natural light.
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Differences between High and Low Light Succulents
Do succulents need sun? Yes, but since direct bright light can scorch their foliage, plant owners need to provide partially shaded spots or locations with indirect light. High light succulents need four to six hours of light every day and partial shade during the rest of the day. Meanwhile, low light succulents can handle indirect light or partial shade all day long.
High light succulents tend to have more colors than the low light variants. The former may show dark and green colors, along with pink, purple, or maroon parts. The low light variants often have darker green colors. Despite the lack of colors, low light succulents often have more variations in textures.
Popular Low Light Succulents
Many low light succulents are easy to get and requiring little care. Some can be planted in mini pots or planters, while others are perfect for hanging baskets.
Here are some of the most popular succulents that don’t need light:
Aloe thrives in bare minimum condition and produces offshoots quickly. Aloe is perfect if you want to repot new plants and give them as gifts. Dwarf aloe plants are the most ideal for the low light condition.
A popular option for homes and offices, snake plant, thrives even with some level of “neglect”. The plant requires little watering and low light, and it has long striking leaves with unique markings. It can help to cleanse the air.
Pearl plant is a creeping vine that has rows of pearl-like foliage. This is a great plant to plant in a hanging basket because the “pearls” hang elegantly. This plant requires low light and low humidity.
Burro’s tail is a trailing succulent, with foliage that consists of numerous small, thick leaves. This plant has an eye-catching look, but it is unsuitable for areas with high feet traffic since the leaves are prone to fall off.
ZZ plant has “fresh” look with its large leaves and jutting stems, making it perfect for all room designs. It is perfect for homeowners with little time for meticulous plant care.
Kalanchoe (“panda plant”) has unique light-colored leaves with slight dark markings. The thick, slightly hairy leaves create a unique look in any house with low natural light.
Some of these low light plants, such as ZZ plant and kalanchoe, are toxic for pets. Be mindful of where you place them if you have cats or dogs.
Popular Low Light Cacti
Low light cactus is a great alternative for those who like more striking or “desert” look from indoor plants. Just like succulents, cacti require very little water and are very hardy. Here are popular cacti to keep in a low light environment:
Schlumbergera (“holiday cactus”) has unique stems that consist of multiple joints. They are evergreen plants that produce brightly-colored flowers on the stem tips. While they thrive in low light, they need much moisture to grow happily.
Rebutia is loved because of its unique shape, which consists of small globes that grow in a cluster. The flowers are bright, eye-catching, and grow from between the globes.
Parodia haselebrgii (“scarlet ball cactus”) is a ball-shaped cactus that can grow in a cluster or as a single globe. While it loves indirect light, it cannot survive direct bright light, since the cactus may get scorched. The top of the globe produces a brightly-colored flower, with shade ranging from orange to pink and red.
If you ever heard the word “zebra cactus”, remember that it is not a cactus, but one of the aloe-type small succulents. They have long, pointed leaves that inspired the “cactus” name. Despite not being a real cactus, zebra cactus is also a popular low-light succulent.
Safe Low Light Succulents for Pets
Some succulents are unsuitable for pet owners because they produce toxic sap that affects animals’ health when chewed. If your cat or dog roams freely inside the house, you must be mindful with the type of plant they may touch or chew. Luckily, many low light plants are safe for animals.
From all the plants mentioned before, holiday cactus, zebra plant, and Burro’s tail are among the safest succulents for pet owners. Many people are worried about Burro’s tail since this plant’s leaves are often fall off (and may get bitten). However, its nontoxic nature makes it safe for pets.
If you want a flower-like succulent that is also safe for pets, Blue Echeveria can be your option. The leaves grow in a circular formation that resembles a flower, and it grows so quickly. You may repot the new growths in multiple planters without worries, thanks to the nontoxic nature.
Tips to Keep Low Light Succulents
Low light houseplants still need light to “operate”, but not as much as other plant types. If you live in the Northern hemisphere, place your succulents near a window or light source that faces the east. It allows the plants to get at least three to four hours of light.
Low light plants can also thrive in any room that has filtered shade or windows. You can put these succulents in such rooms, as long as they get indirect light from outside (not from the lamp). Another option is to move the pot near the window for a few hours a day before putting it back to your chosen spot.
Both high and low light succulents need proper drainage in their pots. Make sure you don’t overwater them to prevent rotting. Otherwise, low light plants are great options to decorate an enclosed room.
Succulents come in wide range of varieties based on characteristics, including their need for light. Low light succulents are perfect to adorn a house or office without much natural light. They provide unique visual, and many of them are easy to care. Make low light succulents your living decorations, regardless of your home environment.