Can Philodendrons Grow in Shade? (6 Low Light Philodendrons)

Some houseplants are known for being notoriously picky in what they like, and it’s common for houseplant owners to wake up one day and find all their plants are starting to wilt. Sometimes it might seem like this happens for no reason at all! A good way to prevent this from happening is by knowing the sunlight preferences of individual plants. So, it begs the question, do philodendrons like sunlight, or do they prefer to grow in shade?

Most philodendrons, like other houseplants, prefer indirect sunlight over direct sunlight. They thrive in shade, and many types of philodendrons will scorch if placed in direct sunlight. But they do require bright indirect sunlight, so areas that still have plenty of bright, natural light are ideal.

Philodendrons are popular houseplants that are quite easy to take care of as long as they get the right ratio of shade and sunlight. Keep reading to see what kind of philodendrons like sunlight, and how to tell if they’re getting enough indirect sunlight to survive.

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

These are probably the most popular philodendrons. Not only are they pretty, (it’s shaped like a heart!) it also is one of the easiest vine philodendrons to take care of (and philodendrons are already known as easy houseplants to care for).

Since calling a philodendron a “heart-leaf” isn’t super specific and almost all of them have heart-shaped leaves, the specific species we’re talking about here is the Philodendron scandens (it is often confused with Philodendron hederaceum and Philodendron cordatum). These heart-shaped beauties are also called sweetheart plants because of their blatantly heart-shaped leaves, which stand out a bit more in this variety of philodendrons than other species.

These plants not only thrive in indirect, bright light, but they also can grow in water. Some people even bring it to the next level and add a heart-leaf philodendron to their aquarium. If you choose to do this, make sure to keep the roots in the water and the leaves in the open air. They’re water-friendly, but they’re not exactly underwater plants.


This plant is unique. It’s a hybrid philodendron plant, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t like shade. They thrive in shaded areas, and the best place for them is a windowsill that is mostly shaded from the sun. If the only windowsills in your house receive direct sunlight, keep these little moonlight buddies away.

These plants are clump-forming (which is just a way to say that they don’t vine like the heart-leaf philodendrons) and they have smooth, light-green leaves that look absolutely gorgeous. Some have even compared the leaf color to limes, which makes it stand out. Moonlight philodendrons can bring a pop of color to any bare or lackluster room.

Just know that as they age, their leaves will grow subtly darker. And if the areas they’re placed in are too shady and they’re not getting enough light, the only way to tell is through the vibrancy of the leaves. This is true for all philodendrons. If they’re not getting enough light, their leaves will start to fade and the color won’t pop as much as before.

Philodendron Gloriosum

These are cool-looking plants. They have big, velvety leaves that are a nice evergreen color with veins that are off-white, so they pop against the dark green leaves. They’re also vine philodendrons, so they have a tendency to creep and crawl around the room if they’re not kept in check. To learn more about caring for vine houseplants, check out this website.

These plants, like most other plants on this list, like indirect and bright sunlight. We’re gonna keep saying it until you’ve got it memorized. Philodendrons like indirect but bright sunlight and Philodendron gloriosum are no exception. A good spot for them is near the window but not in the line of the sun. Just like the others, it can and will burn in the sun, making all of its beautiful, green and white leaves curl up as if they’ve been in the desert.

Philodendron Birkin

This type of philodendron sports beautiful leaves that imitate a pinstripe suit! Its big leaves are dark green with thin white lines spreading throughout the leaf, and the width between each thin stripe depends on the plant. Sometimes the pattern varies from leaf to leaf.

It’s a non-crawling philodendron, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. This plant grows fast and it gets big. A philodendron Birkin’s maximum height is 3 feet. So if you want a small houseplant, this might not be the best option for you. However, it is also extremely easy to take care of, and if you like the gorgeous pinstriped leaves, this might be the perfect plant for you.

Like with the rest of the plants on this list, the Birkin prefers (you guessed it) bright, indirect sunlight. They don’t do well in dark shade or under direct rays of the sun, but other than that, any light conditions will work just fine.

Philodendron Micans

These guys are also called the “velvet-leaf” philodendron, and it’s because their leaves feel like soft, green velvet. Their leaves are usually green, but you can experiment with different lighting to make the leaves look evergreen, light green, or even bronze. And new leaves usually start out as a pinky-purple color.

They prefer shaded areas with bright indirect sunlight. But if you want your philodendron micans (or any other philodendron on this list) to have long, leggy stems and smaller leaves, then letting them grow in low light conditions is perfect.

Philodendron Pink Princess

These plants aren’t as prissy or high maintenance as the name might make them seem. The nickname “the pink princess philodendron” came from the fact that the leaves are shaped like hearts. Not to mention, the underside of the leaves and the stems boast a deep pink color, perfect for anyone who wants a houseplant with a warm pop of pink.

They’re a vine philodendron that is great for an elegant aesthetic. And, as always, these royal plants will survive and thrive in a bright environment with indirect sunlight.