Vines are a versatile option for houseplants, and can be grown in hanging baskets where their long trailing stems cascade downward. They can also be trained to grow on a pole, trellis, or wall.
The downside to growing vines indoors is that you typically need an area that receives an abundance of sun. Thankfully, there are several low light vine plants that thrive in areas with limited sun.
Keep reading to find out just which indoor vine plants for low light you can add to that slightly shady spot in your home!
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Best low light vine plants
The best low light vine plants are the ones that not only tolerate shade but thrive in these conditions.
With that said, keep in mind that some of the best indoor vine plants out there do actually need some light occasionally to live. However, that doesn’t mean that you still cannot grow these vines in low light settings.
1. English ivy
English ivy may be one of the best low light vine plants. This well loved ivy is an evergreen plant, which means it keeps its deep green color all year round. Not only is it easy to care for, but English ivy can handle areas with full shade.
Unfortunately, like a lot of other ivy plants, English ivy isn’t safe for pets and can actually cause serious side effects. If any part of the plant is ingested, it can result in excessive drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Thankfully, consuming English ivy typically doesn’t produce serious health complications nor is it generally fatal. With that said, however, you should still seek medical attention or at least call poison control if your pet has ingested any amount of English ivy.
2. Sweet autumn cleatis
Sweet autumn clematis is a profuse climber that produces white flowers with a pleasant fragrance. They are easy to grow and can work as a houseplant, as well as an outdoor vine in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 11.
This clematis vine grows best when it receives partial shade and is kept out of direct sunlight.
3. Chinese wisteria
Chinese wisteria is one of the classic low light vine plants that produces stunning pastel blooms.
This plant can tolerate some shade but will need about six hours of sun to produce the healthiest of flowers. Additionally, Chinese wisteria is easy to sprout and care for, which makes it a good choice for new gardeners.
As the name would suggest, Chinese wisteria is native to China and is actually listed as invasive in at least 19 states throughout the USA.
4. String of bananas
The string of bananas is another trailing succulent with a vine-like growing pattern that needs partial shade for the best results. Keep in mind, however, that while it does need some shade, it cannot handle full shade as it can inhibit the plant’s growth.
This succulent is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, which means most gardeners will need to grow this plant indoors.
While the string of bananas succulent is a rather easy-going plant that doesn’t require much maintenance, it does have its drawbacks. The main issue is that it is toxic to humans, cats, and dogs.
Additionally, the sap from the string of bananas can cause contact dermatitis. Keep this information in mind when deciding which of the low light vine plants you should grow.
5. Butterfly pea
The butterfly pea, which is also called Asian pigeonwings, is a species of indoor vine plants for low light that can reach up to 3 feet in length.
One of the great things about this plant is that it doesn’t climb and instead twines, which means it won’t take over your office or home. It is native to South East Asia, but the various species of this plant can be found worldwide.
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6. Vinca minor
Most commonly referred to as periwinkle, Vinca minor is a good choice for low light vine plants, especially if you’re looking for one that flowers. It produces small, yet attractive purplish blue blooms.
Vinca minor can tolerate a wide array of lighting conditions, including full or partial shade. Just make sure not to place the plant in direct sun as this will scorch and damage the leaves of the Vinca minor.
This plant is native to Asia and Europe, but has spread throughout the United States.
7. Sausage vine
Sausage vine may have the most unusual name out of all the low light vine plants on our list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good option for your home.
This vine produces palmate leaves and fragrant pale pink blooms, and grows well in shady areas. Sausage vines can reach up to 16 feet in length when grown under the right circumstances.
The sausage vine is most commonly grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11, but can also be grown as hanging plants indoors.
8. Chocolate vine
The chocolate vine gets its name from its stunning brown to dark maroon flowers that have a chocolaty aroma to them. This easy-going plant can tolerate partial shade, as well as full sun. When grown outdoors, the chocolate vine can reach heights of 15 to 20 feet.
Chocolate vines are native to Japan, Korea, and China. Unfortunately, this plant is listed as invasive in several different areas throughout the United States.
9. Swedish ivy
Swedish ivy is a vining plant that grows well in shaded areas in your home.
Additionally, Swedish ivy is also one of the few non-toxic vine plants for indoors that is safe for pets. This means that if your dog or cat ingests Swedish ivy, it won’t cause any adverse or harmful side effects.
10. Boston ivy
Boston ivy is one of the best indoor vine plants, beloved by many gardeners. Despite its obvious ivy-like appearance, the Boston ivy isn’t a true ivy at all. In fact, this plant is closely related to members of the Vitaceae family, such as grapes.
Boston ivy can happily live in partial shade. This unique plant produces deep green foliage that can change to classic fall colors if it is allowed to receive full sun for at least six hours every day.
Pothos, also known as the devil’s ivy, is a good choice for indoor vine plants for low light, no matter what your previous gardening experience. This hardy low light ivy is hard to kill and produces vibrant shiny green heart-shaped foliage.
Devil’s ivy is available in various varieties, including a few variegated types. These varieties typically require more sun to keep those variegated leaves and won’t work as well in low light spaces.
12. String Of dolphins
String of dolphins is a low light succulent that produces adorable dolphin-shaped plump foliage on trailing stems. While not a true vine, the string of dolphin does have a vine-like appearance and grows well in hanging baskets.
String of dolphins can handle low light settings, but it does well when it can receive about six hours of bright, indirect light.
13. Climbing hydrangea
Climbing hydrangeas produce the iconic hydrangea-like blooms but in a climbing form. Their clusters of white blooms have a pleasant aroma and appear throughout late spring all the way to the end of summer.
Unfortunately, this low light vine plant is more of an outdoor plant than houseplant, although you can certainly try it indoors if you think you have the right environment for it
14. Sweet pea
Not only does the sweet pea have an adorable name, but it also is a great option for anyone wanting to grow indoor climbing vine plants.
This long vine produces delicate flowers in a wide array of vibrant hues. Sweet peas are often found growing outdoors on an arch or trellis, and can even be a wonderful addition to your cutting garden.
Sweet peas grow best when they have about six hours of sunlight a day, but it can also live in partial shade. Keep in mind, however, that the vine won’t produce as many flowers if it doesn’t have enough light.
15. Heartleaf philodendron
Heartleaf philodendron is a climbing variety of the much loved philodendron plant and shares the same iconic heart-shaped foliage. This plant, however, has a vining nature and is often called the sweetheart plant.
While this plant can handle low light conditions, it grows best when it gets about four hours of indirect light every day.
16. Arrowhead plant
Arrowhead plant is a great option if you’re not sure whether you want your plant to grow as a vine or kept pruned in a container. In most cases, the arrowhead plant is considered a member of the low light vine plants.
Keep in mind that if the arrowhead plant is a variegated variety you should refrain from keeping the plant in low light or shady conditions.
This is because variegated arrowhead plants need light to maintain its variegation. So if you plan on growing your arrowhead plant in low light conditions, make sure to select a non-variegated variety.
17. Bleeding heart
Bleeding heart may sound like a gruesome plant, but it is actually quite attractive with its delicate heart-shaped blooms dangling from vine-like stems. These blooms are reddish pink with white trim, and the plant produces several of these flowers which can cover the entire stem of the plant.
The bleeding heart plant thrives in shady areas and can be grown both indoors and out, if you live in the right regions.
18. Kadsura vine
If you’re looking for low light vine plants that have variegated leaves, consider the Kadsura vine.
Unlike other variegated vines that lose their much sought after variegation when they don’t receive enough light, the Kadsura vine can handle low light conditions without their variegation fading or disappearing.
Kadsura vines are native to the woodland regions of Japan, where the plant can receive semi-shade and is protected from the harsh sun’s rays by the tree canopy above.
19. String of pearls
String of pearls is a whimsical-looking succulent that produces pearl-shaped leaves on long, trailing stems. The string of pearls is one of the easiest indoor vine plants for low light to care for.
String of pearls is not a cold hardy plant and grows outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12. It can also tolerate drought-like conditions, which means it doesn’t need an abundance of watering. On the downside, however, the string of pearls is susceptible to overwatering.
20. Evergreen clematis
Evergreen clematis is a good choice if you’re looking for low light vine plants. Additionally, evergreen clematis is available in a wide array of varieties, with the ‘Nelly Moser” being the best option for shade.
In fact, this variety thrives in the shade, producing brightly colored blooms. Getting too much light or sun for this plant can actually bleach and damage the clematis.
Evergreen clematis plants grow in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11, and can be grown as a houseplant outside of these zones. With that said, however, clematis will bloom and grow better if they can go through a dormant period for about six weeks.
21. Blue trumpet vine
The blue trumpet vine does grow best and blooms better when it’s in full sun, but it can also tolerate some low light conditions. In fact, these plants are often added to lists of the fastest growing vines for shady areas. Additionally, they also grow well in most soil types, although they prefer soil that drains well.
Blue trumpet vines are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, but can be grown indoors as a houseplant if you live outside of these zones.
22. Variegated kiwi vine
The variegated kiwi vine is a partial shade-loving woody plant that produces colorful foliage and fragrant flowers. Variegated kiwi vines also produce edible fruits in early fall.
In order to get the most vibrant leaf colors, this plant will need full sun when it’s cooler and shade when it’s warmer. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, and can reach heights of 15 to 20 feet with a 6 to 10 foot spread when grown outdoors.
23. Japanese hydrangea vine
The Japanese hydrangea vine is an easy-going plant that is happy to grow in various lighting conditions. It can handle full sun to full shade and everything in between.
With that said, however, the Japanese hydrangea vine does best when it is in partial shade and will actually produce more blooms in dappled or part shade.
This woody vine is native to Japan and Korea, and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. When grown outdoors, it can grow between 15 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide.
24. Crimson glory vine
The crimson glory vine is a vigorous grower that can handle partial shade with no problems. It produces heart-shaped foliage that turns from green to crimson-purple, orange, and scarlet during the fall season.
This vine is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9, and grows best when it is planted outdoors where it can climb up large surface areas, such as walls, trees, and fences.
Crimson glory vine is easy to propagate via hardwood cuttings, but it is also susceptible to botrytis and powdery mildew.
25. Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper is a well-known vine that grows fast and can tolerate all sun exposure types, including full shade. It is a classic plant that can grow as a climbing vine quickly covering walls and fences, as well as a ground cover that carpets the horizontal surface.
Virginia creeper produces traditional green leaves that burst into shades of crimson red and burgundy in the fall months. This vine also features light green to white flowers that turn into berries that act as a food source for birds.
FYI: The Virginia creeper is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 11 and can reach as tall as 50 feet with the right conditions. This vine is also rather disease free and is even deer resistant.
26. Magnolia vine
The magnolia vine doesn’t require a lot of light and can actually grow just fine in low light conditions. It produces edible berries when grown outdoors in the right conditions, as well as small flowers that appear in the spring.
This plant is also known as the Five Flavor Fruit and has been used for thousands of years in China to treat a wide array of health problems. In fact, the berries from this vine are often considered as one of the essential herbs in Chinese medicine.
Just about all parts of this vine are pleasantly scented, including the blooms, berries, leaves, and even the bark! Most people describe the scent as flowery and sweet with a fresh twist, like a cross between traditional magnolia flowers and limes.
Magnolia vines are fairly easy to care for, can reach up to 30 feet tall outdoors, and are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8. This plant is self-fertile, so you don’t need multiple plants to get it to fruit.
27. Dutchman’s pipe vine
Dutchman’s pipe vine is a climbing, woody plant that thrives in full sun and partial shade. It produces heart-shaped foliage and unique blooms that look similar to a small pipe. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, and attracts butterflies and other pollinators when grown outdoors.
Additionally, the Dutchman’s vine is resistant to deer and black walnuts, and doesn’t have any significant problems with pests and diseases.
While this plant can be grown outdoors as well as indoors, it does contain a toxin called aristolochic acid. This toxin can cause irreversible kidney failure when ingested and should be kept out of reach from pets and children.
28. Madagascar jasmine
Madagascar jasmine can thrive in partial shade and grows both indoors and out. It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.
This vine produces highly scented, long-lasting white blooms that can fill a room with its pleasant aroma. For the best bloom production, however, you will want to give this vine indirect but bright light when possible.
The Madagascar jasmine is one of the few non-toxic vine plants for indoors, which means it is a safe option for homes with cats and dogs. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should allow your pets to bother the vine even if it is not harmful to them.
While the Madagascar jasmine may not harm them, they can still damage the vine, breaking and tearing leaves, stems, and blooms.
29. American potato bean
If you’re looking for a fun and new challenge, consider growing the American potato bean vine. Not only can this vine handle low light conditions, but it is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7.
This plant produces underground tubers that are edible and were once an important food source for Native Americans and early European settlers. The American potato bean also has unusual-looking blooms that are pleasantly fragrant with a creamy burgundy color.
These flowers have the traditional legume-like shade and are also edible. In fact, most parts of the plant can be safely consumed, including the roots, blooms, seed pods, and shoots.
With that said, however, you shouldn’t allow your pets to consume any part of the American potato bean since the toxicity to dogs and cats is not well researched.
30. Dutch honeysuckle
Dutch honeysuckle is a partial shade-loving vine that is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. It produces brightly colored blooms in a wide array of colors, depending on the cultivar you are growing. The aroma of these blooms may be one of the most well known out of all the low light vine plants on the list.
Like other honeysuckles, the Dutch honeysuckle produces masses of funnel-shaped blooms, which attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, as well as enticing hummingbirds to visit the flowers.
Dutch honeysuckle is deer resistant and practically disease free. It is also more compact than some of the other vines, reaching heights of between 5 and 6 feet and widths of about 3 feet.
What vine grows best in shade?
There are several indoor climbing vine plants that grow best in the shade, including the butterfly pea, Chinese wisteria, clematis, Virginia creeper, English ivy, trumpet vines, bleeding heart, Carolina jasmine, and Swedish ivy. Some will, however, need occasional light if you want them to grow.
For homes with pets, make sure to select a species that is listed as non-toxic vine plants for indoors. These types of plants are safe to grow inside with dogs and cats, and won’t pose a risk to their health if they ingest the plant. A few options include the burro’s tail plant and Hoya carnosa.
Remember that even if a plant is listed as non-toxic or safe for your pets, it doesn’t mean you should allow them to bother or chew on it. Even safe plants can cause gastrointestinal distress when consumed, and it also damages the plant as well.
Which ivy grows best in shade?
Boston ivy and Virginia creeper are two of the best low light ivy plants you can grow indoors. English ivy and Swedish ivy should be added to that last as well. All four of these species do well indoors and can tolerate and even thrive in low light settings.
All of the ivy plants can be grown indoors, and if you live in the right region, you may even be able to grow the ivy outdoors as well. If you’re looking for non-toxic vine plants for indoors, however, stick to the Swedish ivy since it is the only ivy plant on our list that is safe for dogs and cats.
The good news is that, except for extreme cases, consuming ivy isn’t typically fatal to dogs and cats. It does, however, cause unpleasant gastrointestinal distress for your pet. To help keep them safe, you should always put your plants up and out of their reach.