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If you're familiar with succulent plants, you know that they can easily thrive in various types of extreme conditions. However, they are generally known to be easy-maintenance, sun-loving plants. Many of them don't require a lot of water, and some of them don't require much natural sunlight. Some succulents simply grow better or just as easily in dark environments. This can be advantageous to new growers or anyone who wants to grow succulents but doesn't have access to a lot of natural light in their homes.
It's also beneficial to gardeners who have outdoor setups that receive very little sunlight. So if you have a light compromised home or desire to place indoor plants in other areas than near windows and skylights, this post is just for you.
Here, we will cover 11 succulents that can absolutely thrive without sunlight--though they'll at least require some artificial lighting. We'll also cover other details regarding their growth, such as recommended soil needs and basic growing instructions. Continue reading to learn more about these plants.
11 Beautiful Succulents That Don't Need Sun
1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Also known as Mother-in-law's Tongue, the snake plant is a simple plant to grow indoors or outdoors. It grows in growing zones 9-11. This low-maintenance plant thrives in low-light spaces and doesn't need a lot of natural sunlight to grow. It prefers well-drained soil that is dry for the most part and can thrive in temperatures as low as 50 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
It has flat leaves that reach up to three feet and are typically anywhere from one to two inches in width. Snake plants prefer standard fertilizer in the form of liquid or slow-release pellets. You can easily grow this plant using artificial light, and it works well in any room in the home.
2. Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis)
You may be familiar with this plant, as it's commonly used for several medical ailments and skincare benefits. This spider-legged plant can absolutely thrive without much sunlight. Its thick and fleshy leaves are adept at holding large amounts of water, which means you won't have to water the plant often.
It prefers cooler temperatures of around 50 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or growing zones 8-11. Aloe vera plants prefer well-drained soil to avoid issues such as root rot. You can use most succulent fertilizers, liquid or granular, on this plant, and it's best to apply them during the summer months when it's growing.
3. Zebra Plant (Haworthia Fasciata)
Here is another cactus plant that doesn't need much sunlight to survive. Known for its bumpy, white tubercles, this striped plant can form rosettes in just a few weeks, given its environmental conditions. The zebra plant thrives and low-lighting and cool temperatures of anywhere from 50 to 65 degrees. It can be placed anywhere around the home, including bedrooms and bathrooms.
Zebra plants grow best in growing zones 11 and 12 within a soil-based potting mix that is loose and well-draining. It's important not to overwater the zebra plant, as it can easily develop fungal issues and root rot. You can use granular or soil-based fertilizer on this plant, though it is a relatively low-maintenance cactus variety.
4. Green Ice Hybrid (Gasteraloe)
This plant is another succulent variety that can survive without much sunlight. You'll only need to water it sparingly, but be sure to give it a thorough soak when you do. It's best to water it less in the winter, as it will grow less during these months. You'll know it's overwatered when its thick pointy leaves begin to appear fan or lamp, or when its normal green hue begins to turn yellow or brown.
The green ice succulent grows in growing zones 6-8 and loves well-drained loam or sand for its potting mix. You can even use a mixture of both in a 1:1 ratio. This small plant makes for the perfect desktop or tabletop plant, and it can help add an interesting appeal to dark shelves, balconies, and patios.
5. Donkey’s Tail (Sedum Morganianum)
The donkey tail succulent has thick water-absorbing leaves that face down, giving it a droopy appearance. This is one of the best hanging succulent plants for low-light environments. It can survive in cool temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most varieties of this succulent prefer light humidity instead of dry air, and this particular variety can grow in most cacti succulent soil potting mixes. It grows in growing zones 9-11. It's best to place this plant on an elevated surface, as it can grow up to two to three feet long, and the trailing stems can make quite a watery mess if they are accidentally crushed.
6. Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis Baccifera)
The mistletoe cactus plant resembles string beans with its thin, long pod-shaped leaves. This succulent can grow in artificial lighting and doesn't require a lot of it. It prefers acidic, well-drained soil and thrives in peat moss and sand for better aeration. It grows in growing zones 9 and 10.
The ideal temperature for this variety can range anywhere from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and it prefers average humidity of around 40% to 50%. If you plan to fertilize the plant, it's best not to do so more than once a month as it may overwhelm the cactus, causing chemical burn, amongst other issues.
7. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
Here's another great option if you prefer succulents that don't need a lot of light. Jade plants have oval-shaped leaves in thick woody stems. These small tree-like plants make for very decorative house plants. Not only that, but they live for a very long time and can easily adapt to various environments. It grows in growing zones 10 and 11.
Jade plants prefer warm, dry weather anywhere from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and they should be allowed to dry completely between watering sessions. Keep in mind that these plants are very susceptible to root rot and require well-draining soil to stave off other similar fungal issues. Jade plants grow perfectly in low light conditions and are fairly resilient overall.
8. Dwarf ox-tongue (Gasteria Bicolor Var.Liliputana)
This small plant has chubby dark green leaves that contain raised white bumps. Though it is a relatively slow-growing plant, it can make quite an attractive display once the offshoots begin to grow. Initially, you'll need only a four-inch pot to grow this small cactus, and you can grow it in filtered or low light.
You don't need natural sunlight. It's best to let the plant dry out between waterings, however, and you only need to water it approximately two to four times a month. Well-drained soil with sand or rocks helps keep this plant thriving, and it's perfect for offices or bedrooms. It grows in growing zones 9-11.
9. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa)
This beautiful succulent has velvet-like leaves and is typically a blue grayish color with deep red-brownish markings on its leaves' tips. Surprisingly, these plants actually grow longer in low-light settings, which means that they are great for homes that don't have many windows. It grows in growing zones 11 and 12.
These plants prefer cacti and succulent potting mix, and even if you allow the soil to dry out for a few weeks, it'll still thrive. Ideal temperature conditions include an average relative humidity of anywhere from 40% to 50% and a temperature of anywhere from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ succulent has flat, waxy oval leaves and typically reaches between one and three feet tall indoors. It grows in growing zones 9 and 10. This thin and resilient plant prefers rich porous soil that is well-draining and on the dry side. It typically grows in desert areas with temperatures anywhere from 50 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This succulent can grow well in filtered or low light, though they can survive well in natural sunlight. It should never be exposed to full sunlight, however. They are perfect plants for spacious corners or entryways, and they don't require much maintenance other than a good watering session every one to two weeks.
11. Holiday Cacti (Schlumbergera)
This popular indoor cactus plant is another great low-light option that doesn't need sun. Its stems resemble leaf-like pads and will typically flower in the summer months displaying pink and reddish areoles. It grows in growing zones 9-11.
Well-draining aerated soil is best for these plants, and they look their best when they are in full bloom. They thrive and temperatures anywhere from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and average relative humidity of about 40% to 50%. You can use any cactus or succulent fertilizer to replenish any nutrients lost during the winter months.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has given you enough options to consider if you're looking for a succulent plant that doesn't require much sunlight. It's also important to remember that most succulent plants will require well-draining soil that's dry for the most part.
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