Hanging Plants That Grow in Low-Light


Pothos hanging in basket with trailing leaves

You’re looking for a houseplant, but not just any houseplant. You have some rather specific criteria. You want the plant to hang, first and foremost, and also thrive in low light. Which plants can you hang in low light areas?

Check out this extensive list of low-light hanging plants:

  • Hoya
  • Peperomia
  • Arrowhead plant
  • Spider plant
  • English ivy
  • Philodendron
  • Burro’s tail
  • Monstera
  • Pothos
  • Staghorn fern
  • Chenille plant
  • Christmas cactus
  • String of pearls

Do you want to learn even more about these fascinating hanging plant species? Then you’ve come to the right place. Ahead, I’ll share plenty of pertinent information on each of these 13 plants so you can add them to your indoor garden!

13 Low-Light Hanging Plants

Hoya

There’s something about growing hoya in a hanging basket that just seems right. Rather than dangle downward, its stems might raise up and out to the side, almost as if the plant is shrugging.

If you have a rather impressive hoya cultivar, a hanging basket is a great way to show it off!

In a perfect world, hoya grows in bright light, but moderate light is fine. That’s also true of low-light conditions such as an office or apartment with one window or no windows.

Just don’t expect as many of those appealing white waxy flowers the hoya grows, as they’ll be a much rarer sight.

Hoya doesn’t need a lot of humidity nor very frequent watering. It can take a year or several for the plant to reach maturity so it will flower, but you’ll notice consistent growth long before then.

Peperomia

The peperomia is one of the more variegated houseplant species around, which means its leaves are patterned and/or colored in unique ways. For your purposes, select the watermelon peperomia.

The watermelon peperomia has leaves that are bright green with lighter green vertical stripes, much like what a watermelon looks like before you cut into it.

Putting the watermelon peperomia in a hanging basket will make the distinctness of its leaves all the more apparent. There, it doesn’t need a lot of light, but some periods of bright, indirect light are best if you can.

Otherwise, water the watermelon peperomia only once the first inch or two of its soil has dried out. This cultivar likes extra humidity but doesn’t mandate it.

A room temperature environment that’s between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit should suffice as well.

Arrowhead Plant

Named for its noticeably arrow-shaped leaves, the arrowhead plant or Syngonium podophyllum is one of those versatile houseplant species that any indoor gardener should find covetable. Looking great when grown in a pot or hanging basket, you’ll want to spruce up your home or office with one (or several) arrowhead plants.

Since the arrowhead plant is unvariegated, that indicates its willingness to accept dimmer lighting. This plant prefers more indirect, bright light if possible, but it won’t die in dim conditions either.

Always avoid direct sun, when picking a place to grow your arrowhead plant. Direct sun can quickly burn its leaves, a truly sad sight!

Other areas of care for the arrowhead plant aren’t too taxing either. Keep temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees, which is doable in any home or office. Add some humidity if you can.

Should your arrowhead plant’s leaves begin dividing into sections, three to five per leaf, that’s part of its maturation, so don’t worry!

Spider Plant

The long, spindly fronds of the spider plant that resemble the creepy-crawly insect seem designed to hang from a basket. There, the fronds can dangle downward, growing long and lush.

Spiderettes will often begin to form as your spider plant reaches maturity. Spiderettes are offshoots of the main plant that are baby fronds.

Although the spider plant doesn’t exactly prefer low light, its hardiness allows it to withstand the poor lighting conditions for a surprisingly long amount of time.

Even if all you’re giving your spider plant is artificial light (regular LED or common office lighting) rather than natural sunlight or grow-lights, it’s not too picky about that either.

Of all the houseplants you could start with, the spider plant is a smart pick. Versatile through and through, there’s practically nothing you can throw at this plant that it won’t adapt to.

Maintain adequate soil moisture by never letting the soil dry out completely between waterings, and fertilize in the spring and summer.

English Ivy

You can never go wrong growing ivy in a hanging basket, the English ivy included. Although it’s called the common ivy, I still think this ivy species has a certain charm to it.

You can dress your English ivy up, so to speak, by shopping for cultivars with different shapes or slightly variegated colors.

Even better is your English ivy will excel in dim lighting, so if you place it near a northerly-facing window, it should be good as gold.

One small problem that can affect English ivy is spider mite infestations. If your ivy has gotten especially long, you’ll want to inspect it every few weeks, looking for signs of the bugs.

When left completely unchecked, the English ivy can reach lengths of 100 feet, but that’s outdoors. In the home or office, you can expect growth between six and eight inches long, which is far more manageable.  

Philodendron

Due to its sheer size, some indoor gardeners might assume you can’t grow the philodendron in a hanging basket, but actually, you can! The heartleaf philodendron with its sweet-shaped leaves looks natural in a hanging basket.

The Philodendron Burle Marx variety, which features long, arrow-shaped leaves, is another great choice for a hanging plant that can grow in low-light.

Are you surprised to learn that the philodendron does just fine in low light? The heart-leaf philodendron, which is one of everyone’s favorites, is also a low-light lover.

That means you won’t have to stress too much about whether its window is northerly, easterly, or southerly-facing. Do keep in mind that any philodendron cultivars with variegation will need more light to maintain their coloring.

What else does the philodendron need to keep it alive? Fortunately, not much!

The Philodendron is one of those awesomely adaptable plant species that can withstand the many mistakes that beginner indoor gardeners may make. I’ve recommended many philodendron varieties as fantastic indoor plants for beginners.

Burro’s Tail

Of course, you had to expect a plant species like the burro’s tail or Sedum morganianum to show up on a list of the best low light hanging plants. Also known as the donkey’s tail, burro’s tail vines are thick and fleshy, but then again, this species is a succulent.

The color of a burro’s tail is a pale, pastel green that may have traces of silver.

Succulents are generally easy to care for, so they’re worth filling your indoor garden with. The burro’s tail doesn’t mind low light.

The burro’s tail stems retain water for several weeks at a time so if you’re forgetful about watering, it’s not a problem when growing a burro’s tail .

One thing I do want to mention about the burro’s tail as a caveat: its long vines and the leaves that grow on it are sensitive to being touched or brushed up against.

If you bump into your burro’s tail, its vines could shed, which is a real shame. Hanging it high should prevent this problem though!

Monstera

What’s even better than a Monstera Swiss cheese plant in a pot on the floor? A Monstera Swiss cheese plant in a hanging basket!

If your office is rather drab, the tropical look and feel of a Monstera will instantly transform it. The same is true of any room in your home or apartment that needs some sprucing up.

Despite what its delicate leaf shape would suggest, the Monstera is a resilient plant, especially when it comes to growing in low light.

It’s better if its light source is bright and indirect, but that’s not mandatory. Your care routine might look something like this: every few days, maybe every week, do the fingertip test in the plant’s soil. Let the first two inches of the Monstera’s soil dry out, even down to three inches, then replenish it with water.

Some indoor gardeners say the Monstera almost seems to do better when you ignore it. A lighter care routine certainly fits this houseplant species best, as you’re warding off root rot.

Pothos

Have you grown pothos in pots before? Now it’s time to try pothos in a hanging basket, as you’ll have a chance to see this lovely houseplant with different eyes.

When given the freedom to dangle, pothos takes full advantage, letting its stems grow downward so they’re nice and long, leaves poking out every which way.

The ideal lighting conditions for pothos depends on the cultivar. If your pothos is super-variegated, such as the pearls and jade pothos, Manjula pothos, Marble Queen, or golden pothos, then you must keep this plant out of low light.

Pothos has been known to fade without any sun, so all its variegation will disappear. Cultivars such as the Cebu blue, Jessenia, or neon pothos–while they don’t love low light–won’t change too much in it.

Even if you forget to fertilize your pothos for a while or you skip the fertilizer because you think the plant doesn’t need it, the pothos can survive in nutrient-poor soil. That soil can dry out to a degree as well and still this plant will live, although it will need water sooner or later since it’s not a succulent.

Staghorn Fern

Instead of very delicate fronds, the staghorn fern has stiff, large leaves. Besides growing it in a hanging basket, some indoor gardeners mount the staghorn fern on their wall like a hunting trophy.

Either way, the staghorn fern is a statement-maker that easily meets the criteria of being a low-light plant that you can hang in a basket.

You can continue making that statement with your care. The staghorn fern needs diffused or indirect light but never direct sun. A bit of dim light won’t hurt this houseplant species either.

Maintain relatively moist soil, watering the staghorn fern about every 10 days or so. You can save your fertilizing until the growing season begins in the spring, doing it throughout the fall and then waiting again until next spring.

Chenille Plant

Here’s one I’m certain I haven’t discussed yet on this blog, the Acalypha hispida or chenille plant. This pretty flowering shrub from Hawaii already hangs, so a basket rather than a pot is its best home.

Referred to as the red hot cat’s tail and Philippines Medusa, its long string of flowers are fiery bright red.

Tolerant of lighting conditions from partial shade to full sun and everything in between, dim light shouldn’t hurt your chenille plant. That said, as is always the case when plants don’t get enough light, you might notice slower flower growth as well as fewer flowers.

If you can, a southerly-facing window is the best home for a chenille plant.

Since it’s from Florida, a bit of warmth is expected for the chenille plant, but it can withstand temps down to 60 degrees. Those indoor gardeners with a tendency to overwater their plants will love the chenille plant, as it can drink in all that moisture easily! 

Christmas Cactus

I hope through reading my articles here on Indoor Plants for Beginners I’ve shown you that some cacti species can surpass your expectations of what a traditional cactus can look like. That’s very true of the Christmas Cactus.

When growing this succulent in your home or office, it will feel like Christmas every day, what with this cacti’s gorgeous flowers in shades like fuchsia, neon pink, or bright red.

This cactus will live in low light just fine, but you won’t see as many of its trademark flowers, which is definitely a little sad. Should you move the Christmas cactus to a spot with a bit more light, avoid direct sun so you don’t burn the plant. A cactus that doesn’t like very bright light? Indeed!

The Christmas cactus propagates easily, so if its arms or other parts fall off, you can regrow a fresh cactus and add it to your indoor garden. You might even want to spread the joy of the Christmas cactus with those around you, giving the new plant as a gift!

String of Pearls

My last recommended hanging plant that can thrive in low-light is the string of pearls. This is one of those very aptly-named houseplants, as the string of pearls grows long, spindly vines with little pea-like growths that look like green pearls.

Indirect light, like that from morning or afternoon shade, won’t affect the string of pearls’ growth. A bit of natural light is this plant’s friend, but that being said, it can’t stand exposure to direct sun.

With temperature preferences of 70 to 80 degrees, you can take your string of pearls to work with you and it should do just fine. This houseplant doesn’t like to be watered too often, so avoid being heavy-handed.

You also have to watch your fertilizing habits, as adding too much fertilizer to this plant is known to quickly kill the string of pearls plant!

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Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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