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Which Plants Are Good For An Office With No Windows?

Monstera leaves under very dark conditions.

Kate Blott |

Low-Light Vs. No-Light Plants: Can Any Plant Live In An Office With No Natural Light?

Opting for low-maintenance plant species that can tolerate low light is one option. Several hardy plants can handle darker spaces and don’t rely on regular watering or feeding. These plants tend to be leafy varieties with no flowers, so you are limited to a narrow aesthetic. If that isn’t what you want, and there’s no source of light whatsoever, then it is time to consider artificial flowers.

Faux plants can take the strain of changing temperatures. High-quality, UV-resistant products can handle strong or little-to-no sunlight and look as good as the real thing. No time to water, feed, and prune a plant? No problem. Artificial flowers only require dusting and a quick wipe with a cloth now and again.

You can fill your space with plants to create an atmosphere to suit your business, personality, or other theme. With faux, you can mix and match all kinds of plants and greenery that may not naturally thrive in your building’s environment.

There are a few plants that can thrive in very low light, including Agalonema and Monstera deliciosa but these are predominantly leafy and tropical plants, not those with bountiful flowers. If your plant needs warmth to survive, don’t leave it on a window where it will experience cold draughts and extreme drops in temperature.

Do All Indoor Plants Need To Be Near A Window?

Low-light tolerant plants may work for you, but even these can suffer if the conditions are not optimal. The peace lily is a good example; it will tolerate low light for prolonged periods but too dark for too long, and this hardy plant will lose the gloss to its foliage, and the leaves go a very dark colour. Peace lilies may not flower with insufficient light. Trailing foliage varieties, such as ivy, are often sold as loving low light, but dark green ivies don’t cope well for prolonged periods. Choose a plant with variegated leaves that are more ‘white’ than green, as these adapt well to low light, and better still, opt for faux, and you won’t have to worry about this, watering, or pests like spider mites!

The Best Plants For Decoration In An Office With No Windows

Contemporary office buildings may be well-lit, but in towns and city centres with older buildings, rooms may be small, have low ceilings, and have minimal or no natural light. With spaces without windows, go for tropical plants that don’t mind artificial lighting. As mentioned above, Calatheas are fine without natural light and thrive with fluorescent lamps that are commonplace in offices. Often grouped as Prayer Plants, there are some fascinating patterns and colour combinations available.

Desk Plants for No-Light Spaces

Desk space is often limited so smaller plants are ideal to cheer up the environment without cluttering the area. It’s common to see cacti and succulents on desks for this reason. Unfortunately, these plants don’t cope in low light, so some lateral thinking is required.


The plants we have looked at are quite large, but many are perfect to take cuttings from. The spider plant is great for cuttings as its offshoots take very little skill to pot on and place on a desk. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, as once it grows on (quite quickly!) there will soon be more off-shoots to share with friends too!

Another pretty plant that can be easily grown from cuttings is Tradescantia Zebrina. Like the spider plant, this one can get quite large but you can keep producing little desk plants from its cuttings with ease. Small shoots from the main plant will need to have a few leaves to get things going. Pop the cuttings into a glass or bowl of water, and leave them in a bright spot. Once some roots develop, this can be transferred to a little pot and placed on your desk.

Naturally Small & Beautiful

Soleirolia soleirolii [or mind-your-own-business!) is fine in shady conditions. Its unusual look has earned it the name Baby Tears. Perfect for tiny pots, this pretty little specimen also loves terrariums or cloches to create a humid environment.

Low Maintenance Options

The golden pothos (or devil’s ivy) will gradually trail over the edge of the desk, but you can always take a cutting or two to tame it. It’s happy in low light but may lose variegation if you don’t pop it into the light now and again - take it home for the weekend and let it have some sun! It doesn’t need fancy soils and only needs re-potting every 2 - 3 years, making it a low-maintenance option.

Super Tolerant

Another ‘hard-to-kill’ plant that will do well in low-light conditions is the cast iron plant . An air purifier, this plant got its nickname because it’s almost immune to neglect. It can grow quite large but is slow to get there, so if you have a newly propagated rhizome, you will be able to keep this plant on your desk for years.

Standing Plants For No-Light Spaces

When there is space to have floor-standing plants, but the lighting isn’t great, there are several options available. Choose from a group of tolerant, tough plants that don’t mind the lack of light, and can handle some neglect

Tall and Elegant

Snake plants have gloriously long leaves with striated patterns in different shades of green that resemble snake’s skin. These sword-like leaves can reach up to 90cm in length, and look statuesque in a statement pot. They shouldn’t be overwatered as their roots will rot, making them a low-maintenance option that can be placed in the corner of a room with little light.

Long and Leafy

The weeping fig (Ficus Benjamina) can reach up to 1.8m tall in the wild but tends to grow slowly and smaller indoors. If there is a low-light room with good space and ceiling height, this would make the perfect addition.

Rubber Plants

The rubber plant was a common sight in homes and offices in the 1970s and 80s. This tall and fairly symmetrical plant looks great in a dark corner, and won’t protest too much about inconsistent care. If you want to have a statement plant, purchase it already mature, as in low light they will not grow well. Choose from a variety of colour options from almost black to light and variegated.

Enter the Dragon

Dracaena or dragon trees are renowned for their ability to survive the poor care of even the most inept gardener! They would prefer to be in a well-lit area but won’t punish their carer for keeping them in the dark. As with many of our examples, they will not grow as quickly but depending on the variety, they will bring a bold structure and different colours to a dark environment.

Parlour Palm

Our final example is the stunning Chamaedorea elegans or Parlour Palm. It really is a palm tree you can grow in the home! This will fit most spaces, as it doesn’t usually get over six feet tall. Super-easy to care for, these palms don’t like too much water and can handle low-light conditions. Covered in lots of leafy fronds, this plant will make your home look and feel like a tropical paradise!

F.A.Q.s - Making Faux Plants Look Real

  • How can I decorate my office without windows?

A selection of low, or no-light-tolerant plants will work, as will artificial plants, either on their own or mixed.

  • Can Ivy grow in an office with no windows?

Ivy is low-light tolerant but isn’t keen on no light at all. Avoid the darker varieties of ivy if there’s very little or no light, instead choose light-coloured plants, ideally with some white variegation.

  • Can a peace lily survive in an office with no windows?

Peace lilies are able to tolerate short periods with no light but they are better in low light. If deprived of light for too long it will lose the gloss to its foliage, and the leaves will become very dark. Peace lilies are unlikely to flower with insufficient light.

  • Do all indoor plants need to be near a window?

Many indoor plants prefer indirect or lower-light conditions to bright, direct sunlight. If the environment has no windows and gets its light from artificial sources, then research plants that can handle these conditions.

  • What plants can live in an office with no natural light?

Examples of plants that can cope without natural light include Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen), Zamioculcas (ZZ Plant), Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant), and Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy). Most of the low-light tolerant plants can cope with fluorescent or artificial lighting. Check before you buy as some plants will have different needs.

Love Faux Plants!

Now you know how versatile faux plants can be in spaces where light is poor, why not join the growing number of people who love faux plants? At Atlas Flowers, we pride ourselves on selecting the best quality artificial plants and flowers products ideal for home or commercial displays. We work with a number of suppliers to bring our customers a wide range of plants, vines and florals, to provide the best possible choice for homes, offices, businesses, or events. If you're still not sure, look at our top reasons to choose artificial flowers to see if we can convince you further! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please contact us to discuss your requirements, pricing, and bulk purchasing options.

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