Sansevieria (snake plant) in decorative basket near home office desk

Low Light + Low Maintenance Plants to Get You Through the Winter

By Genevieve Mills

Sansevieria (snake plant) in decorative basket near home office desk

It's the end of October, and the weather has definitely turned chilly.  The days are getting shorter (we're turning back the clocks this weekend!), and that means less light outside and inside.  Less light means less benefits of natural sunlight and more chances of being hit with Seasonal Affective Disorder--depression brought on by darker, colder days (and made worse by our social distancing this year).  What's a person to do?

Several scientific studies have shown that including plants in your interior space can actually elevate your mood and lower your anxiety. And even the act of caring for plants can give you a sense of purpose during those long days cooped up inside. Because humans are hard-wired to be happier around nature (thanks to millennia of living out in the natural world), our bodies positively respond to being around plants and elements that reflect natural patterns. That's the power of biophilia! Plus, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making our air better for breathing.

But what if my house doesn't have a bunch of giant windows to capture the limited winter light?  What if I'm terrible at keeping plants alive? Well, here are three low light, easy to care for plants that will boost your mood, brighten up your space, and hopefully keep you going until springtime rolls around.


  • Sansevieria (Snake plant)  It is almost impossible to fail with a snake plant.  They barely need water (once every few weeks at the most!) and can live with just some general artificial light. Plus, they're some of the besy oxygen producers out there! They come in a wide variety of colors, patterns (light green, dark green, variegated), and sizes (dwarf varieties are so cute!).  Start collecting snake plants--you won't be disappointed.


  • Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ plant) The ZZ is another low-light, low maintenance wonder plant.  Like the snake, it's root system is actually a thick, underground tuber-like thing called a rhizome, which holds water for the plant for long periods of time.  Unlike the snake plant, ZZs have lovely compound leaf branches, that slowly unfurl as they grow.  The new growth also starts out as light, bright green, and slowly deepens to a rich, dark green over time.  They are truly sculptural and their ease of care makes them all the better!


  • Pothos Plant (Devil's Ivy) There is a reason why pothos are the ubiquitous denizens of the plant world. They are a great low maintenance trailing plant that can tolerate low light situations (they'll be happier by a window) and watered regularly--once a week or so.  Left to their own devices, they will send out long, trailing vines that you can wrap over shelves, around doorways, and up stakes or ropes. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, ranging from gold, green, and neon, to white, moss green, and even spotted.


Plants are amazing and really can change you for the better. So pick yourself up a new plant friend, bring nature indoors, and see if that doesn't help you keep those winter blues at bay!