Succulents are so easy to fall in love with. I always say there is so much succulent variety that there is one to appeal to everyone’s taste. I love succulents and can’t seem to have enough of it. Succulents prefer bright sunlight and this may be a deterrent (at least for me) in acquiring succulents if you have a low light situation. As I wrote in a previous post, succulents that do not get enough light tend to stretch out and lose their original shape. Luckily, I have discovered some succulents that do well in low light environments. By low light I mean, north facing windows. That is the position with the lowest amount of sunlight (in the northern hemisphere) especially in winter. Below is a list of succulents I have found to do well in my north facing window.
This plant like that in the featured photo above, trails down and looks good in a hanging basket. Because it naturally grows long, it does not look any more stretched out when the light levels are not too bright. It also has a light green colour which means it needs less light than other colourful succulents. This is one of my favourite succulents!
| Haworthia margaritifera
This plant keeps its shape even in low light. I notice though that it leans towards the window and so I rotate it to keep its shape and growth even. I also have 2 other species of Haworthia and Gasteria. It may be too early to tell, but their shape have not been distorted which makes me think these plants may also be good for low light levels.
Another favourite. It has a soft fuzzy feel with dark brown edges which turns brick-red in the summer when there is enough sunlight in my window. I have seen different varieties of this plant, where some are more compact and bushy. Its leaves are also very easy to propagate. It has a few pups around it which grow aerial roots. This also makes it easier to propagate the pups.
| Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Fang’
Just like the Kalanchoe above, this one has also maintained its shape. It naturally grows tall. It gets its name fang from the ‘fang’ like projections on the underside of the leaves. I find myself running my fingers on the under side of its big velvety leaves every time I water it. Contrary to its name, the projections are not at all sharp. It’s just too beautiful.
| Schlumbergera truncata
The famous thanksgiving cactus, also known as claw or crab cactus is usually confused with Schlumbegera buckleyi, the christmas cactus. I wrote about the differences between the two in a previous post and you can read about it here if interested. My thanksgiving cactus (and I would imagine the christmas cactus as well), keeps its shape even in low light. I was even able to get a few blooms this past December.
| Rhipsalis pilocarpa
This epiphytic cactus also does not require bright sunlight to maintain its shape. I assume because it is normally found in jungles, it is used to indirect bright light. It managed only one bloom for me this winter. Although I imagine it would bloom more profusely if it was in a more bright area.
| Rhipsalis cereuscula
Just like its sister above, this one has maintained its shape. It grows bushy in all directions and does not seem to need bright light to maintain its shape.
| Crassula gollum or is it hobbit?
I can never remember which is which. They say the leaves of gollum look like suction cups and that of hobbits are more tubular. It is not clear in this picture but I have both shapes of leaves on this plant. Whichever one this is, it maintains its characteristic leaves in low light. The leaf tips remain green in the winter time but turn red in the summer when I have more sunlight.
| Crassula ovata
Also known as the Jade plant. This plant has also done well for me despite being kept in a north-facing window. It has maintained its shape. The tips turn red in bright light but stays green in low light. This plant will likely not bloom in low light conditions. Mine hasn’t done so yet.
| Crassula perforata
Also called baby’s necklace or string of buttons. This plant does not grow too compact so low light does not change its shape too much. As you can tell from the picture it moves and curves towards bright light.
And there you have it. 10 succulents you can have even in not so bright environments. Other succulents that I think will do well are Aloe vera and Senecio rowleyanus. I have two baby Aloe veras but it’s too soon to tell how well they will grow. Senecio rowleyanus aka string of pearls is also a trailing plant and so probably does not need much light to maintain its shape. This plant is on my plant wish list and I’m on the hunt for it. I hope this helps you in your next succulent shopping.
Do any of you have other suggestions of succulents for low light conditions? Please share in the comments section below.
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Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.