7 Plants That Can Grow Well in Complete Darkness


Since we were kids, the image of the sun hitting the leaves of plants to facilitate photosynthesis, hence, growth, is already imprinted in our brains.

It is so hard to imagine that some plants could really grow in complete darkness because it completely changes the game. To order some of them, look here.

Just imagine that there are plants that do not need to repot, strategize where to put, buy LED lights for or adjust your schedules just for them to get sunlight! But there are such plants and we will give you a rundown of these in this article.

How do plants grow in complete darkness?

It is a common fact that plants need sunlight to grow but for those very rare ones that can survive in complete darkness do not have chloroplasts which are needed for photosynthesis.

Those that need light are called autotrophs while those that can thrive in darkness are called heterotrophs.

These types of plants technically do not need the help of the sun and the processes it activates for it to grow but they sometimes depend on decaying matter in the soil for them to survive.

They follow a special circadian rhythm which makes them not dependent on sunlight for them to grow.

Plants that can grow in complete darkness

So now that we know what really happens in the dark with plants and how some plants are well-equipped for the dark, it is time to pay homage to these plants (and promise, you will not find any mushroom variant here because there are indoor plants that love the dark).

Heterotrophs are a very intriguing plant kind not only because they can thrive in complete darkness but also because little did we know that they are also common houseplants. So here is a rundown of the plants that can grow in complete darkness.

1. Dracaena

If there is a plant that does not love sunlight or any direct hitting light for that matter, it is this plant.

It is very forgiving to darkness and can only tolerate small filtered light or those that cannot help but peep through the blinds. It is easy to cultivate and has minimal growing requirements.

2. Philodendron (heartleaf)

It is very understandable for this plant to make it to this list because its natural habitat is rainforests where thick foliage wrap the surroundings.

It is so used to the dark that is why little to no light exposure as it grows in pots would be tolerable for this plant. Another upside for this plant is that it can also survive in humid conditions. As a matter of fact, it will survive in dark, windowless rooms.

3. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata, mother-in-law’s tongue)

The lesser the light, the better the growth; this practically sums up the snake plant’s relationship with sunlight.

This plant also has very low maintenance requirements and you can just leave it at some place where full shade is given.

Most importantly, this plant is known for its ability to give off more oxygen at night so you would really want to have it in your bedroom because this means that it is purifying the air and it is making you sleep more comfortably and calmly.

4. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema, Chi Minh ty)

You would easily distinguish this plant because of its silver and green accentuated leaves.

Other than that, it is also one of the most famous houseplants to grow because it is easy to cultivate and has minimum growing requirements only. It is versatile to harsh conditions including tolerance to low light to no light conditions.

5. Zeezee plant (Zamioculcas, Zanzibar Gem, ZZ plant)

This is a well-loved plant because of its glossy, indestructible leaves. Rumour has it that even the most unskilled, brown thumb person in planting could grow this plant because it can grow by itself, even without that much attention, water and even light.

It can thrive off in complete darkness and still maintain that glossy look so what more can you ask of this plant.

6. Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

This might be a tropical plant but believe us when we say that it can thrive in total darkness.

They are indoor plants and will make good accents in the living room and they don’t need that much sunlight (they can survive even without it) as long as the soil has the proper moisture it needs to get going.

7. Maidenhair fern (Adiantum)

Like the Philodendron plant, fern variants also niche in rainforests. All the more that ferns do not need sunlight to grow because they grow heavily on the ground of forests and yet they are one of the most widespread plant varieties if you ever catch yourself in a forest trek.

All it needs to survive is a moist soil. Other than being able to withstand the absence of light, its leaves repel water so its foliage will be undamaged even at the strongest rainstorm.



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Sophia Rivera is a passionate gardener and home improvement expert based in California. With a deep-rooted love for nature and design, she pursued her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. Sophia is not only academically qualified but also a hands-on practitioner in the field. Her certification as a Master Gardener from the California Master Gardener Program is a testament to her extensive knowledge and commitment to gardening and sustainable living. Sophia's expertise is further solidified by her status as a LEED Accredited Professional, highlighting her dedication to green building and eco-friendly home improvement practices. With over a decade of experience in transforming homes and gardens, Sophia has become a trusted name in California's home improvement scene. Her work focuses on creating beautiful, sustainable, and functional spaces that cater to the unique lifestyle and environmental conditions of California.


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