7 Best Low Light Succulents For Insufficient Light Environments

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments

So, maybe the architect who designed your house or apartment never considered that you might want a house plant one day. You have windows, but the light is never enough to keep a sun-lover alive, with most plants screaming, “Heck no, we won’t grow!”

Can succulents live in low light? Yes. That’s why we don’t let you give up on the dream of being a plant parent.

There are a variety of succulents that you can maintain in low light environments and thrive, and that will brighten up your home or office and have you feeling like a proud plant parent.

Here are 7 succulents that thrive in low light environments so that you can also get the opportunity to chant: “Heck yeah! We can grow!”

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Low light succulents @_abbiewilliams_

Sedum Morganianum—Burro’s Tail

Burro’s Tail is indigenous to Southern Mexico and Honduras, named after the Spanish word for donkey. It also goes by Lamb’s Tail and Horse’s Tail. True to its name, this low light succulent resembles a braided tail as it cascades in an overlapping pattern from hanging pots to the edge of a balcony. You can get your burro’s tail own on Amazon! 

Burro’s tail has thick, fleshy leaves that look like long, fat rice grains, in shades of dark green, green-grey, and even blue-green. The leaves look like they have been dusted with a waxy, pale blue powder called epicuticular wax (say this ten times fast), which helps the plant retain moisture and protect it from sun exposure. The plant’s luxurious stem is heavy because the leaves retain moisture, and they can grow up to 24 inches long.

As pretty as the succulent looks, it can be susceptible. This is not your regular touchy-feely plant.  The leaves can fall off very easily with the slightest brush, and sometimes even when you just give the plant an evil eye. This makes it an obvious and massive mistake to re-pot this succulent.

You will be left holding a bare stem, unfortunately.

Burro’s Tail, however, has minimal needs in terms of care. It only requires about 4 hours of light daily, and it should not be direct sunlight, as this will make its leaves start to turn yellow. It should be watered only when the soil is arid. Too much water can cause the stem to rot or even kill your succulent. Think your succulent maybe rotting? Check out our article “Why is My Succulent Rotting?” to find out what you can do to salvage it!

Burro’s Tail is one of the low light succulents indoors, so let it brighten up your interior space with its unique appearance, and remember to place it somewhere away from passing traffic, where you can look but not touch it. Hanging planters like these will look marvelous and complement your burro’s tail quite well, without worrying about someone bumping into low light succulents!

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Flourishing burro’s tail @mountainorganicsbotanicals

Haworthia Cuspidata—Star Window Plant

The Haworthia cuspidata is a cross between Haworthia retusa and Haworthia cymbiformis and is prevalent in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

This exceptional succulent has plump, boat-shaped leaves that range in color from lime green to greenish-grey. The leaves form as a tightly-packed rosette, and with the right amount of light bouncing off the succulent, the leaves tend to look translucent, almost see-through, giving the plant its other name, the Star Window plant.

Some species have a white or red tip running along the outside edge of the leaves filled with aloe. The Star Window plant only grows between 3 and 5 inches, making it a perfectly compact plant to fit in an old teacup like this one!

This succulent likes areas away from direct sunlight and should not be allowed to sit in water for any amount of time. It does well in dry, well-draining soil, and because it grows in clusters, it can be propagated easily from offsets or leaf cuttings. Take a look at our guide on propagating succulents successfully here.

The aloe found in the leaves of the Haworthia Cuspidata has been known to have some therapeutic effects on sunburns, cold sores, itching, and inflammation. It is also famous for being a resilient plant and is safe to have with curious pets. Try out the magic of aloe here!

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Baby star window plant @live.love.plant.grow

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia—ZZ Plants

The Zamioculcas zamiifolia stems from Kenya in East Africa and has been spotted sprouting roots right down to the Northern parts of South Africa. This tropical perennial was commercialized by the Dutch in 1996 and is known around the world as ZZ, Zanzibar Gem, Zuzu Plant, Emerald Palm, and Eternity plant.

ZZ is a surprise, boasting naturally waxy, glossy green leaves protruding from a stem that can reach up to 3 feet long. It can occasionally be seen spotting tiny flowers that grow at the base of the stem, but these are difficult to see as they are usually covered up by the leaves.

This no-fuss plant is a popular in-house feature because it grows well, albeit slowly, in areas with low to bright indirect light. Like most succulents, you have to be careful about how much water you give ZZ. The good thing is it has an in-built indicator. When you spot the leaves starting to drop, ZZ needs more water. If the leaves start to turn yellow, ZZ has had too much water. 

There are rumors that this particular plant could be harmful to curious children and pets if ingested. Whether or not this rumor is substantiated, it is advisable to keep it at a distance from wandering fingers and mouths.

That being said, did you know that the low light succulents ZZ is an air purifier? It cleans airborne toxins, like Toluene and Xylene, from indoor air and restores oxygen levels in the room. Spend one evening with this plant, and you will increase your oxygen levels, lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, all in one!

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
ZZ plant goals @zzbotanicalandhome

Beaucarnea Recurvata—Ponytail Palm

This is the Ponytail Palm, but this is not a palm tree, unlike the name. Ponytail Palm falls more towards succulents thanks to its ability to store water in its bulbous trunk. The bulging stump gives root to a thinner stem that ends in long, slender, hair-like leaves that look like they have been tied in a ponytail. Yes, Ponytail Palm!

This Mexican beauty also goes by Elephant Foot and Bottle Plant, while its scientific name is Beaucarnea recurvata. An enthusiastic sun lover, Ponytail Palm can grow up to 30 feet (9.14 meters) high if given a chance, and back home in Mexico, you could find some over 350 years old! However, this tolerant plant will let you control its growth movements by keeping it in low-light environments.

Ponytail Palm, like any succulent, needs soil with good drainage and can last for up to 3 weeks without a drink. As tempting as it may seem to give Ponytail Pat a haircut, do not do that. The edges of the leaves will turn brown and start to dry up. For more insight into the best potting soils for your succulent babies, read on with this article!

Fun fact: The ASPCA approved Ponytail Palm to be non-toxic to cats, dogs, children, and horses! To ensure your pets’ safety, here are 7 poisonous succulents to pets— keep your fur babies safe!

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Growing ponytail palm @allaboutthemroots

Gasterias—Little Warty

A distant relative of the haworthia’s and aloes, the Gasterias is a perennial succulent local inhabitant of South Africa. This plant honestly has a peculiar look, but then again, weird is underrated.

Gasterias have long fleshy leaves shaped like a tongue and have outgrowths that look like warts on the surface. This makes the leaves have a rough texture like sandpaper. This feature relates to its other names; Little Warty, Ox Tongue, Cow’s Tongue, or Lawyer’s Tongue. 

Unlike the rosette arrangement of most aloe’s, the leaves of Gasterias grow opposite one another along a central axis, and the stem tends to spiral as the plant develops, sometimes getting to 3 feet tall.

Little Warty usually blooms between spring and summer, with flowers appearing on branched inflorescences that grow pretty high above the foliage. The flowers are usually pinkish-reddish in color and have a sac-like shape that resembles a stomach – probably where the name Gasterias is derived from (Latin for stomach).

This unique-looking succulent is a happy camper in cool rooms with limited sunlight and prefers well-draining, sandy soil.

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Perfect gasteria @smartplantapp

Schlumbergera—Holiday Cacti

Technically, this is not one plant but three diverse species summed up under Schlumbergera. Don’t worry. Allow us to explain.

  1. The Schlumbergera truncates is called the Thanksgiving cactus and has pointed leaf margins.
  2. Schlumbergera bridgesii is known as the Christmas cactus has smaller, smooth, segmented edges.
  3. The Schlumbergera gaertneri is identified as the Easter cactus and has bristles at the end of each leaf.

These names are a result of the holiday closest to the dates when their flowers bloom, and the main difference being the shape of the leaves. Isn’t that pretty cool? So thought if you ask me!

This spineless cactus has leaf-like pods that look like they have been stapled together, while the stems act as photosynthesis organs for the plant.

Large, bright, and colorful flowers pop up from areoles on the tips of the stems and range in color to include yellow, orange, white, pink, red, scarlet, salmon, and magenta. Depending on the species you choose, you could get upward-facing or downward-facing flowers. 

Speaking of cacti, we’ve gotten the question “are cactus thorns poisonous?” quite a lot. To answer you are curious question, we answered your question in this article!

Best Succulents for Low Light Environments
Happy holiday cactus @gowetyourplants

The Zebra Plant— Haworthia Fasciata

The Zebra plant is a low-growing succulent reaching a height of between 4-8 inches. This heavily suckering plant forms proliferating rosettes arising from the base. Haworthia fasciata is generally a slow-growing succulent that can last a lifetime. This dainty succulent is clump-forming, and thus, it can fit well with other succulents in the same container.

This South African succulent stands out for its erect, multifarious leaves having streaks of white tubercles on the green outer surface, giving it the Zebra effect.

When stressed (mainly due to long hours in the hot sun), the tip of the leaves may turn red. Haworthia fasciata has a miniature leafy stem that appears to be almost invisible.

Due to its slow-growing nature, the Zebra Haworthia rarely blooms, especially when planted indoors. When it does, blooms appear in summer characterized by tiny, tubular pink or white flowers on an inflorescence (a thin, tall stem).

Magnificent pearly dots @modandmint

Also, Read


Are you excited to complete your home and office with these new succulents?!

Before you do… We wanted to share that we’ve teamed up with Amazon. And to celebrate, they’re offering a FREE 30-day trial of their Amazon Prime Membership! That means free 2-day shipping on THOUSANDS of items— a perfect time to stock up on all your new succulent gear! Click this link to find out more and sign up today.

And don’t forget, we’re on Pinterest! Check it out here for gorgeous and inspiring succulent videos, like propagation guides and jaw-dropping gardens!

Enjoyed learning about the 7 Best Succulents for Low Light Environments? If so, you’ll enjoy the ebook about Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth. With this ebook, you’ll find more detailed answers to help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Thanks for reading, happy planting, my friends!

2 thoughts on “7 Best Low Light Succulents For Insufficient Light Environments

  1. Perfect timing. Excited to try a couple of these. I had to move my just purchased succulents outside because of too little light. They were stretching towards the sun ☀️

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