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- 7 Indoor Plants That Are Near-Impossible to Kill
- 1. Sansevieria (aka Snake Plant and Mother In Law’s Tongue)
- 2. Hoya (aka Wax Plant)
- 3. Ficus elastica (aka Rubber Plant)
- 4. Dracaena marginata
- 5. Monstera Deliciosa (aka Swiss Cheese Plant)
- 6. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (aka ZZ Plant)
- 7. Pothos and Philodendrons
- 7 Plants That Are Hard To Kill, According To Experts
- If you’re very new to growing houseplants, give the first try to these 6 Easy Low Care Indoor Plants in your home!
- 2. Pothos
- 3. Aloe
- 4. Snake Plant
- 5. Spider Plant
- 6. Peace Lily
- 1. Mother-in-law’s tongue
- 2. ZZ plant
- 3. Peace lily
- 4. Air plant
- 5. Philodendron
- 6. Aloe
- 7. Boston Fern
- 8. Calathea
- 9. Jade Plant
- 10. Fiddle leaf fig
- Top 20 hard to kill indoor plants
- 1. String of pearls
- 2. Peace lily
- 3. Golden pothos
- 4. Spider plant
- 5. Mother-in-law’s tongue
- 7. Echeverias
- 8. Ponytail palm
- 9. Ox tongue
- 10. Zebra haworthia
- 11. Jade plant
- 12. Philodendron
- 13. Prayer plant
- 14. String of hearts
- 15. Fiddle leaf fig
- 16. Umbrella plant
- 17. Burro tail
- 18. Dracaena
- 19. Rubber plant
- 20. English ivy
- Check out more plant inspo here
- 10 Hardy House Plants That Are Impossible To Kill
- Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum
- Snake plant – Sansevieria trifasciata
- Cast iron plant – Aspidistra elatior
- Devil’s ivy – Epipremnum aureum
- Jade plant – Crassula ovata
- Peace lily – Spathiphyllum
- African violets – Saintpaulias
- Dracaena massangeana
- Zanzibar Gem – Zamioculcas zamifolia
- Leopard lily / Dumb cane – Dieffenbachia
- The Best Houseplants That Are (Almost) Impossible to Kill
- 1. African spear plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)
- 2. Air plant (Tillandsia xerographica)
- 3. Aloe (Aloe vera)
- 4. Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
- 5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestrum)
- 6. Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)
- 7. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
- 8. Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
- 9. Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
- 10. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
- 11. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- 12. Purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)
- 13. Red rubber tree (Ficus elastica)
- 14. Snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
- 15. Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
- 16. Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
- 17. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
- Hard to Kill Houseplants for Your Home
- Easy Care Houseplants: Indoor Plants That Are Hard To Kill
- Hard to Kill Houseplants
- Houseplants for Non Gardeners
7 Indoor Plants That Are Near-Impossible to Kill
With all the gorgeous, plant-filled interior spaces I’ve seen lately, it seems like any room could benefit from a little greenery. Even science says so: NASA’s famous Clean Air study shows that certain indoor plants can provide a natural way of removing toxins like formaldehyde and ammonia from the air. Other research shows that just having plants around improves focus, lowers anxiety, and increases productivity. Yet another study concluded that people experience an unconscious calming reaction simply by touching a plant.
But if the idea of keeping a plant alive gives you the cold sweats, don’t despair: You can still embrace the lush life by selecting ones that fit your space and lifestyle. Read on for experts’ top picks for beginners who want to fill their home with plants—no green thumb required!
1. Sansevieria (aka Snake Plant and Mother In Law’s Tongue)
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Sansevieria! Which is your fav? L to R: Laurentii – Bantel’s Sensation – Zeylanica 🤗💚 #snakeplant #motherinlawstongue 😳
“If you’re looking for a plant that can endure a lot of neglect—not that I advocate such treatment—this is the one for you,” says Danae Horst, owner of Folia Collective in Eagle Rock, CA. “Sansevierias can tolerate very low light, as long as there’s some natural light in the room, and have leaves that store water so they can go for longer stretches between watering.”
With over 60 different species of sansevieria, shapes can range from the classic “snake plant” look, to more interesting options like starfish (S. cylindrica “boncel”), or whale fins (S. masoniana)—perfect picks for statement-making decor.
2. Hoya (aka Wax Plant)
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This photo from @purrfectplants is too beautiful not to share. She got this Hoya from us a year ago and it is living it’s best life! Thank you for sharing💚
Do you have a spot that allows for hanging or trailing plants? Then perhaps a hoya fits the bill.
These waxy-leaved plants need lots of bright, filtered light (which means no direct sun). Horst recommends allowing the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings for the best result. If they have a trellis or stake, these vines will climb, or you can let them trail over the sides of its pot. “Over time they put out the most amazing looking little flowers!” says Horst.
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3. Ficus elastica (aka Rubber Plant)
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Our Ficus elastica selection right now is kind of amazing- several species/cultivars and sizes in stock! #freshatfolia
“If you’re looking for a large plant to fill a not-so-bright corner, ficus elastica would be the one,” says Deanna Florendo, San Francisco-based plant stylist and curator of Habitpattern.
It will thrive in lower-light conditions and is very forgiving when it comes to a missed watering. Its large, glossy leaves might need an occasional wipe-down to get rid of dust and water spots, but generally, you don’t need to do much. Florendo suggests repotting your ficus elastica once every couple of years.
4. Dracaena marginata
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basically rescued this 7 ft tall #dracaenamarginata from dying in a garage – it’s thriving y’all. 🙌🏼 #madagascardragontree#dragontree#plants#plantsofinstagram#plantsheal#simplicity#plantsplantsplants#tallplants#daintyplants#urbanjungle
Another of Florendo’s favorites is known as the dracaena marginata, sometimes called the dragon tree.
“It’s an attractive, drought-tolerant plant that is great for beginners,” she says. “It prefers medium light, but will also do well in low light to partial shade.” She also notes that this plant can grow fairly tall, often over six feet even indoors, which can be a stunning addition for spaces with high ceilings.
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5. Monstera Deliciosa (aka Swiss Cheese Plant)
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The ubiquitous monstera deliciosa has gained favor with plant lovers because of the distinctive splits and cutouts on its dark, glossy leaves. It requires bright to medium indirect light and medium water, but can tolerate a little drought.
“If you forget to water your Monstera, it won’t hold a grudge,” says Rhiannon Cramm of Mickey Hargitay Plants. A happy Monstera can result in a voluminous plant that might require pruning, but this plant is also easy to propagate from cuttings—meaning you may find yourself with monstera babies to give away.
6. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (aka ZZ Plant)
All of the experts I spoke with agreed that the ZZ plant is an excellent pick for forgetful caregivers, withstanding periods of drought and lower light conditions. Horst describes this plant as a sculptural beauty, and notes, “Over time the leaves can arch in a graceful fashion, and, if kept in good light and cared for well, the plant can grow to be quite large.”
7. Pothos and Philodendrons
Our last pick was a tie between pothos, picked by Cramm and Florendo, and philodendron, picked by Horst. These similar-looking plants are often confused for one another, thanks to the fact that they’re both vines that can be trellised or left to trail. Both do best with bright, filtered light, and watering about once a week, and both offer a variety of leaf shapes and patterns that can add style to any space.
7 Plants That Are Hard To Kill, According To Experts
If your plant-mom skills are turning your living space into a mausoleum of botanical mishaps, you’re not alone. Millennials across the country are leaning into their houseplant dreams, only to find themselves guilty of a murder they didn’t mean to commit. That said, it’s not impossible to achieve that Instagrammable jungle-chic vibe in your home — you just have to choose plants that are hard to kill. Because no matter how well you tend to your plants, if you don’t find the most resilient ones, the odds of their survival are not in your favor.
Without maximum sunlight, lots of humidity, and a controlled environment, there’s a good chance that the happy, hopeful plant that you bring home will end up a wilted, droopy, dead plant in a matter of days. But according to Tugce Menguc, Urban Stem’s in-house plant expert, it’s totally possible to curate a plant selection that’s incredibly durable — aka, hard to kill. As for what key indicators to look for while plant shopping? Menguc says, “Deep green leaves show the plant’s ability to photosynthesize more efficiently, and can make the best use of low light conditions. When living in low light environments plants need less water.” In other words, don’t over-water your plants!
The kind of plants that Menguc is talking about are the plants you want to spend your money on, because they’re going to live long enough for you to enjoy them. They’re the kind of plants that will actually improve the vibe of your living space because they stand tall and bright and fill the room with clean air and positivity. Let’s be real: there’s nothing more depressing than a room that’s filled with plants that look like they’re frowning. Here are some specific examples of these types of plants.
These plants are so easy to take care of, they don’t even need to be planted in soil. You can put them in water and they’ll thrive all the same. Water them once a week — but if you miss a few days, they’ll be fine. They’re good in low light, and grow slowly and steadily.
You wouldn’t be able to kill a ZZ Plant if you tried. They’re good in low light, no light, bright light, and they look so green and sturdy that people often mistake them for artificial plants. Water them when the soil feels very dry, and that’s it.
Snake plants grow insanely tall over time, filling narrow spaces beautifully. They only need to be watered once a week and do completely fine in low light areas. After a year or so, you might find that your snake plant is reaching up towards the ceiling!
Deprive the Chinese Evergreen of light, humidity, water, and care, and it will still thrive. This is the kind of plant that will live for years and become more and more impressive looking over time.
There’s over 170 different varieties of Juniper, and all are very durable, needing only a moderate to direct light. They grow to look like little trees and give off the most fragrant scents.
Aloe plants are awesome to have around. You can use the aloe’s gel to sooth skin irritations and sun burns, and you can use aloe in smoothies and juices. Aloe plants need only two to three hours of sunlight a day and only need to be watered when their soil becomes completely dried out. When you break off a leaf, a new one will grow, making them totally indestructible. Trust me, I’ve had one for almost five years. It. Won’t. Die.
These tropical beauties live their best lives in low light and with infrequent watering! They grow to be pretty full and give off the happiest tropical vibes.
If you’re very new to growing houseplants, give the first try to these 6 Easy Low Care Indoor Plants in your home!
Those who have got this plant know how easy it is to maintain it. Keep the lucky bamboo on your office desk, coffee table or kitchen countertop. It looks cool everywhere.
How to Grow
Place the lucky bamboo plant stems in pretty vessels in a well-ventilated spot, where it can see some bright light. Avoid direct sun and change the water time to time. Some people do it in every one or two weeks, while many don’t change it for months.
Pothos for sure is the best low maintenance trailing houseplant that thrives without sunlight. It is also one of the best air purifying houseplants, tested in NASA experiment.
Also Read: Best Heart Shaped Leaf Houseplants
Keep the plant away from the full sun. It doesn’t mind part sun, full shade. The best location is where it can take bright indirect sunlight. Water moderately but don’t worry it can tolerate occasional overwatering and drought.
Not just aloe vera, there are many other aloe varieties you can grow easily as houseplants. Very simple to very cheeky, aloe plants are adorable. Check out our guide on best aloe species here.
Aloe plants love to grow in the sun. However, they can survive in low light conditions. The best place to keep them is full sun to part sun spot like a windowsill. When growing any of the aloe species, you can forget about watering, water sparingly when the soil is dry.
4. Snake Plant
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is one of those stubborn low care indoor plants that fight hard to survive against the odds put by those who don’t know how to grow plants. Moreover, it has many health benefits, find a few here.
This drought-resistant succulent will not mind if you’ll put it in shade or full sun. The best position to grow is where it can receive bright indirect sunlight and some morning sun as well.
Also Read: Common Gardening Mistakes
5. Spider Plant
Known for its long sword-shaped wiry stems and spider-like plantlets or offshoots that form after the flowers. Spider plant looks best swinging down from hanging baskets. Also, it is not poisonous to cats or dogs.
Growing spider plant is super easy, keep it in a slightly root bound state in a spot that receives bright indirect sunlight. Water it moderately, and it’ll greet you every morning in its pristine state.
6. Peace Lily
The glossy green foliage of peace lily are attractive enough and on top of that those big white bracts surrounding the tiny flowers! It’s an exceptional low care indoor plant that cleanses the air as well.
Peace lily doesn’t mind the low light conditions, although, if possible keep it in bright indirect light otherwise it may not bloom. It prefers slightly moist soil, but avoid overwatering to save it from root rot.
Also Read: WHY YOUR INDOOR PLANTS ARE DYING
Less water, less light, and less care. If you’re like most people, you have little time to fuss with plants yet you love the character and style that houseplants bring to indoor settings. Perhaps you don’t have that perfect sunny window? Not a worry. Plants with foliage color or those that flower in low light are the most carefree way to get a lush effect.
Numerous common houseplants are easy to care for and can be exotically colorful; in fact, some foliage can often be dazzling. Take dieffenbachia, which produces abundant leaves in variegated patterns of cream, yellow, or white. Its upright habit makes it ideal for any setting, from kitchen to bath to corner office or office corner.
Whitespeckled leaf, whitestemmed ‘Star White’ dieffenbachia is one of numerous cultivars, each equally attractive, not to mention deceptive: Did you know that this eye-catcher is related to skunk cabbage, goes by the common name dumbcane, and has a defense system that can cause stinging and burning? Handle with care: Avoid touching eyes after touching the plant and keep pets and small children away.
Dieffenbachia. Photo by Robert Cicchetti/Getty Images.
Ferns are another favorite for low-light settings, and none so much perhaps as the Boston fern. Its discovery was a happy accident: The plant came to the attention of Fred C. Becker, a florist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when, in 1894, a nurseryman in Philadelphia shipped 200 fern plants to Becker. (Victorians loved ferns!) He noticed that one fern was distinctly different from the rest. He began to propagate it, and soon thereafter, botanists identified it and proposed the name.
Light needs aside, the Boston fern can be fussy in winter. In northern climes, it survives best in a room that’s kept cool (50° to 55°F) and has a south-facing window. Water only occasionally until you see new fronds appear (sometime in February), then increase water.
Boston fern. Photo by sdbower/Getty Images.
Flowering Houseplants for Low Light
Love plants that bloom? Flowering plants such as spathiphyllum and anthurium have been bred to produce flowers nearly all year long.
Spathiphyllum, aka peace plant or peace lily, is native to rain forests. Is it any wonder, then, that it thrives in warmth, humidity, and low light? Filtered light and fluorescents are fine; direct sun should be avoided. (Yellow leaves are a sign of tooharsh light.) Keep soil moist, not wet, and the environment between 68° and 85°F. You will be doubly rewarded for your care: NASA found peace lily to be one of the top 10 natural air cleaners.
Peace plant. Photo by Georgina198/Getty Images.
Look for anthuriums with flower colors beyond the usual red. Purple, lavender, pink, and hot-orange blooms cover plants 10 months out of the year. Because of their multiheading characteristic, there can be dozens of flowers on the plant at a time.
Eye-Catching Houseplants for Low Light
Another desirable trait—thicker leaves— allows plants to better endure the low humidity in most homes. Alocasias, with their big-veined, heart- or arrow-shape leaves, and crotons, with their eye-catching, firehued foliage, thrive in environments that maintain a temperature between 60° and 65°F and a humidity of 25 to 50 percent. Crotons like more light, which brings out their rich colors, but do not put them in direct sun. (However, if the leaves become dull—or worse, fall off—move it to a brighter spot.) Water sparingly; these plants also can go without water for long periods.
‘Red Gold’ aglaonemas are tough plants, with thick, leathery leaves tolerant of low humidity and vividly splattered with hundreds of red, yellow, and gold spots. ‘Red Gold’ requires little light and will thrive in a north window.
Calatheas do well in east or west windows with about 50 percent humidity. Spray them daily or place pots on a tray of pebbles and water. Look for ‘Dottie’ calathea. Its round, shiny leaves are a blend of purple and black, but it’s the vibrant burgundy zigzag lines on each leaf that set this plant apart from all others.
‘Brasil’ philodendron, aka heart leaf, sports lemon and lime–color stripes on every green, heart-shape leaf. The vining plants make excellent hanging baskets. ‘Autumn’ and ‘Prince of Orange’ have burnt- and brightorange leaves. These philodendrons are self-heading, meaning that there are multiple growth leaders, and their leaves are thick and broad to tolerate low humidity. Other colorful philodendrons in the same class include ‘Moonlight’, a brilliant yellow, and ‘Black Cardinal’, which has deep-burgundy leaves that are almost black.
The spider plant, a mainstay of low-light situations, has a colorful cousin, the ‘Flash Fire’ mandarin plant. Discovered in Indonesia, it’s not what you might think: This variety does not produce offsets or runners like spider plants do. Instead, the plant grows upright in a whorl of oblong leaves. The main stem and leaf ribs are brilliant orange. ‘Flash Fire’ is happy in an east or west window.
Finally, give a cheer for rex begonias: They beautify indoor windows with their stunning mixes of colored leaves. Some are bred to tolerate lower humidity and are even more spectacular in color. Favorite rex begonia varieties to look for are ‘Fireworks’, a plum and silver combination, and ‘River Nile’, noteworthy for wavy, spiral leaves that are 6 inches across and colored chartreuse with ruby markings. In winter, it produces pink flowers to help you make it to spring.
What are your favorite houseplants for low-light areas? Let us know in the comments!
Filling your home with a touch of green can do wonders for the mind, body, soul… and it’s easy on the eyes too! If your green thumb is still ripening, we’ve found 10 brilliant indoor plants that thrive on neglect. They’re not impossible to kill, but we think even the laziest of gardener could manage to keep them alive!
1. Mother-in-law’s tongue
Image: UE4Arch, Chocofur
Weird name, but hey… who are we to complain! This little beauty actually thrives on neglect, and can go for about a month without water. It’s perfect if you’re the busy or forgetful type of gardener who still enjoys seeing pretty things in the home. Part of the sansevierias family, this plant has stiff, tall leaves and comes in a range of shapes and sizes. They love a bit of sun, and only need watering when the soil is dry to the touch. A good tip is to water around the edges of your pot, instead of directly into the middle of the plant.
2. ZZ plant
Image: The Outdoor Collective
More tolerant than a mother of four, these plants can handle low light, dry air, drought, bugs and a bit of good ol’ fashioned neglect. If you’re looking for something that’s basically indestructible, look no further. It’s also lovely to look at, with shiny dark green foliage. The bulb is a succulent, and the stems grows from this – hence why it only needs to be watered around once a month.
3. Peace lily
Image: Dorling Kindersley Limited
You won’t need a reminder about when to water your peace lily, she’ll tell you! Just wait for the leaves to start drooping and you’ll know she’s in need of a drink. To avoid the dreaded droop, grab yourself a cheap spray bottle and spritz it with water every couple of weeks. They’re a fantastic air purifier and can actually filter nasty toxins from the air. Peace lilies love a bit of sunshine, and they can grow up to 6 feet tall (so check which variety you’re buying before bringing it home to your low-ceilinged apartment!). N
4. Air plant
These clever little plants don’t need soil to grow. Instead, they’ll attach themselves to things like trees or rocks. They are perfect for people with minimal space, as you can pop them in a hanging terrarium or sit them in a dish or on an ornament and let ’em grow! As the name suggests, these plants need lots of air to thrive so don’t overcrowd them. Protect them from full sun and mist once or twice a week with a spray bottle. Soak them in water every few weeks then pop them back in their happy place.
Image: Design Lovin
Bring the tropical feel indoors with these popular plants. There’s loads of shapes and sizes to choose from, so you can afford to be picky. Once you’ve found a place for your philodendron to live, you can pretty much forget about it! They’re one of the most durable houseplants around, and don’t mind a bit of neglect. Don’t water them more than once a week, and keep them out of the direct sunlight to really let them thrive.
Image: Ten Thousand Villages
Who doesn’t love a plant that looks good, is hard to kill and can actually be useful! Keep one at your desk, or in the house and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. Snap off a leaf and use the gel to help with minor burns – you can even pop the leaf into a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to five days. Don’t leave your aloe plant in direct sunlight, and give it a good soak every couple of weeks.
7. Boston Fern
Image: We Are Found
This pretty little fern has frilly leaves and dangly fronds that will jazz up any home or study. It loves a bit of humidity, but doesn’t cope well with direct sunlight. You could even pop it somewhere like the verandah or deck in summer, then move it inside when the temperatures drop. If they start to look a bit droppy when winter hits, don’t panic. It just takes them a little while to adjust. Find a nice stream of sunlight and let it live there a while, and you’ll soon have your pretty fern back!
The amazing foliage of these plants will instantly appeal. Sometimes called Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant or Rattlesnake Plant the purple, green, pink and red leaves are quite the showstopper. They’re not quite as low-maintenance as some of the other plants on this list, but with a bit of care we really think they’ll become a favourite. Avoid direct sunlight (it can fade the leaf markings) and try to keep it somewhere with high humidity levels. The soil needs to be moist, but not overly wet. So try to give it small amounts of water once a week.
9. Jade Plant
Image: The Finder
You’ve definitely seen these popular succulents on your travels. Also known as “money plants”, they are easy to care for and can last for ages if treated with a bit of love. If the top of the soil feels dry to touch, give your jade plant a little drink. Just be careful not to over-water and make the soil soggy. They retain water in their leaves, so they can handle a bit of neglect. Keep an eye on the roots, which can rot really easily and fall out of the pot.
10. Fiddle leaf fig
Image: Headway Gallery
OK, so you actually need to take a bit of care with this one. It’s not exactly low-maintenance, but the effect is so striking that we reckon you’ll be glad you made the effort! These popular plants are everywhereat the moment, and will bring an instant style boost to your home or office. They love bright light, but not direct sunlight so keep it away from sunbeams. Stick your finger into the soil, and if the top inch or so feels dry then it’s time for a drink. The amount you need to water your fiddle leaf will vary on the time of year. The violin-shaped leaves tend to collect a lot of dust, which can prevent them from soaking up the sunshine. So give the leaves a dust every now and again (yes, you will look ridiculous but it’s worth it!).
Feature image: Kookaburra Horticulture
Here at STYLE CURATOR HQ we love indoor plants… trouble is, we’re not that great at keeping them alive!
Some of our recent victims include that pretty lace fern, a chili plant and a CACTUS! Yes, seems we can even kill a cactus, ha!
We have tried and tested most of the plants on our top 20 hard to kill indoor plants list so we’re pretty confident even someone with a black thumb could keep them alive.
Related article: 12 Reasons why you’re killing your indoor plants: How to keep indoor plants alive
Related article: Growing pothos: Easy tips to propagate and care for this plant like a pro
Top 20 hard to kill indoor plants
1. String of pearls
This oh-so-pretty succulent gets its name from its pearl-like strands that can become large and round like marbles. The trick to keeping this beauty alive is to pot it in soil that drains well, such as cactus soil that has a sandy consistency, and to keep it out of direct sunlight. String of pearls likes to dry out completely in between waters so be sure not to overwater it!
2. Peace lily
Gina’s peace lily has been going strong for over 6 years and the best thing about this plant is it shows you when it needs water (all the arms of it just flop down) and once you give it water, it’s back to being A-OK.
Don’t worry if it looks like it has well and truly died with every single leaf turning brown, this plant has a way of rising from the ashes. Simply remove all the dead leaves (you may be looking at nothing but dirt) and just water well once a week — there’s a good chance you’ll see new leaves coming up in just a couple of weeks.
3. Golden pothos
This attractive, durable and easy-to-grow vine plant loves bright, indirect sunlight and can withstand high temperatures. They’re also said to be among the best indoor plants for air purification.
Aloe vera plant
4. Spider plant
Possibly the hardiest indoor plant on the list, you’ll love how forgiving the spider plant is. It can grow in a wide range of conditions and suffers from few problem, making it ideal for beginner gardeners. The only things to look out for with a spider plant is not to overwater — too much water can lead to root rot and it likes to dry out completely in between watering — and to place in well-drained soil.
5. Mother-in-law’s tongue
This beautiful, sculptural plant requires minimal maintenance. Simply water when soil is dry and transplant every year or two, when it has outgrown its pot. Like most of the plants on this list, you also need to watch out for overwatering which can drown the plant. When the plant is large enough, you can also propagate it by pulling away a clump and placing it in a new pot.
Aloe is one of our fave hard to kill indoor plants and has too many health benefits to name, such as helping with insomnia and air purification. It’s hardy and beautiful and should be treated it in the same way as any cactus plant — keep watering to a minimum and ensure there are plenty of drainage holes in the pot.
Echeverias is the succulent on our desk below and not only is it still going strong, we’ve been able to take cuttings and propagate it many times.
You can find out more about propagating succulents here.
8. Ponytail palm
Over recent years, this plant has gained popularity as an indoor plant. With sleek curly leaves and bulb-like trunk, it grows happily in most conditions. Keep watering to a minimum during winter and fertilise once or twice a year to keep it happy and healthy.
9. Ox tongue
This aloe-like succulent has been crossed many times over the years so there is a wide range of unusual varieties now available. This plant prefers dryer conditions and can form a fungal infection in high humidity but otherwise it’s a robust plant that can tolerate more shade than most succulents, making it ideal for indoors.
10. Zebra haworthia
A small but striking plant that requires minimal care. It can store water in its leaves so will survive with even less frequent watering than most succulent plants. It can also withstand full, direct sunlight.
11. Jade plant
The other week we used a jade plant in our DIY mini moss ball tutorial (shown below) and it is one super hardy plant!
It can tolerate a lot, including infrequent watering and strong sun, and is said to be a lucky tree or money tree 🙂
For a mega dose of botanical vibes, you can’t look past this stunning plant with large, glossy leaves. It’s easy to care for this plant if you look for the signs — if the leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign it’s getting too much sunlight. Also, test the soil before watering as the top 2-5cms should be dry before watering again.
13. Prayer plant
You also need to keep a bit of an eye on the Prayer plant as it doesn’t cope in direct sunlight and benefits from an all-purpose fertiliser feed every month. This minimal upkeep is worth it for those striking leaves #hearteyes.
14. String of hearts
Another of our favourite plants is this dainty vine succulent. String of hearts can grow long, fine strands up to several metres long with delicate heart-shaped leaves. This plant will enjoy the sunniest room of your home.
String of hearts
15. Fiddle leaf fig
It wasn’t so long ago that this was the hottest trending indoor plant and while others have now rivalled its position, it’s still a beautiful and low-maintenance plant — provided you know a few simple tips to care for it. Keep your fig in a bright room but out of direct sunlight or the leaves will turn brown and shrivel. Also, avoid over watering (it can go almost all winter without any water) as it cannot tolerate overwatering.
If your fig looks like it’s dead, you may be able to resuscitate it by giving it a home in your bathroom for a few months. The lighting and humidity of a bathroom works wonders and brought our fiddle back to life.
16. Umbrella plant
A bit of an under-appreciated house plant is the umbrella plant and we think it’s due for its time in the limelight soon! This plant can grow to several metres tall but there is also a dwarf variety available. Like most of the plants on this list, it prefers dry soil to wet so go easy on watering. It doesn’t require fertilising but you can give it some to promote growth.
17. Burro tail
Also known as ‘Donkey tail’ this is one cool looking succulent that grows happily in a pot but looks especially great and thrives in a hanging planter. Caring for this plant is easy peasy, simply keep it out of harsh sunlight (some direct morning or afternoon sun is ok), make sure the pot and soil offer good drainage, and give it a good dose of plant food at least once a year. A healthy and happy Burro tail can flower with a spectacular cluster of small reddish flowers.
One of the most common indoor plants and for good reason – it’s easy to care for, has impressive spiky tropical foliage, and helps to purify air. This plant thrives in warmer conditions and prefers lower light conditions.
Aloe vera plant
19. Rubber plant
Also known as a Ficus elastica, this large indoor plant has beautiful deep green glossy leaves and is easy to keep alive when you know how.
Position the plant in a room where it gets bright light but not direct sunlight. When it comes to watering, you can water it 1-2 times a week during summer months and only 1-2 times a month during winter months. It’s also a good idea to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to avoid dust build up — your plant will love it and it will look more beautiful too.
20. English ivy
Although considered a pest in some regions (as it can grow wild in nature and threaten other species), it cannot do any harm in a pot in your home. In fact, it actually does a great job at improving air quality in your home. This evergreen vine requires part shade and well-drained soil.
If you love these plant suggestions, you might like to also check out the Top 10 trending indoor plants right NOW here.
Many diseases that kill plants can also be reduced by growing plants in water, here’s how!
Be sure to ‘Pin’ the graphic at the start of this article to your Pinterest account so you can easily find this list of hard to kill indoor plants 😉
What’s your go-to indoor plant? Have you discovered other hard to kill indoor plants? Tell us in the comments below!
Check out more plant inspo here
This article was originally published in June 2015 but was updated with new information and images.
10 Hardy House Plants That Are Impossible To Kill
Indoor plants aren’t just nice to look at. They have a lot of positive benefits! They help reduce stress, make your indoor air cleaner, and, according to one study actually increases your focus and productivity by 15%! But if you’re anything like me, you don’t exactly have the greenest thumb. So I decided to seek out a list of 10 nearly impossible to kill hardy houseplants.
Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum
Spider plants get their name from the long, spider leg-like leafs that seem to come directly from the ground. These hardy houseplants enjoy bright to moderate light, but not direct sunlight. They grow fast and will need to be repotted every year. Each year, the spider plant sends out offsets, sometimes called “pups,” that can be transplanted and grown into new plants! They produce small, white flowers during the summer. Water moderately.
Snake plant – Sansevieria trifasciata
Snake plants are incredibly easy to grow. They thrive in full sun, bright light, and darker spaces, making it a versatile indoor and outdoor plant. They can handle poor soil conditions and a hit-or-miss watering schedule. They produce greenish-white flowers on slender stalks. There are more than 50 recognized species of snake plant.
Cast iron plant – Aspidistra elatior
As I’m sure you can guess from its name, the cast iron plant is one tough customer. It’s a shade plant, making it ideal for indoor growth,and pretty agreeable to hot weather, cold, air, and humid conditions. Once established, the plant only needs to be watered from time to time. It does flower, but the flowers are pretty inconspicuous. This plant is appreciated mostly for its foliage. If given ample soil to grow in, the plant will reach about 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Devil’s ivy – Epipremnum aureum
Devil’s ivy is another easy to grow plant that can be reproduced easily. It’s a fast-growing vine that can grow 6 to 8 feet in length, making them excellent hanging houseplants. They don’t generally mind what kind of soil they’re planted in and do well in full or partial shade. It’s drought tolerant but does like a good, thorough watering periodically. Devil’s ivy can be invasive, so avoid planting it outside. New plants can be rooted via clippings.
Jade plant – Crassula ovata
What kind of hardy plant list would this be if we didn’t include the jade plant? These are sometimes called “friendship plants” as they are incredibly easy to split up and give as gifts. Even taking just one leaf and embedding it into some well-drained soil will result in a whole new plant. Never let a jade plant’s soil dry out completely, but be careful not to water too frequently. If the soil is dry to the touch, it’s time for a watering. They can handle full sun or part shade, but shaded jade plants tend to grow slower. They produce small, white flowers in the winter if kept in ideal conditions.
Peace lily – Spathiphyllum
Peace lilies are a tropical plant that produces rich, green foliage and iconic white flowers. Even though they’re tropical, they are very easy to grow. They can handle darker spaces with indirect light. The plant likes being able to dry out before being watered again. Be warned though, while the peace lily is a beautiful and easy to grow plant, they can be toxic to cats and dogs. If you have pets at home, you should consider avoiding this plant or placing it firmly out of reach of your four-legged friends.
African violets – Saintpaulias
Most of the houseplants on this list are more admired for their leaves than their flowers, but African violets burst with colorful flowers for extended periods of time. It is a bit more difficult to grow than the other hardy houseplants on this list as well. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Allowing the soil to dry out periodically will encourage flower growth. Always water from the base of the plant. Water contacting the leaves can cause spotting and damage.
There are a number of different Dracaena plants that you can grow in your home, but Dracaena massangeana is my favorite. It slightly resembles a palm tree and can handle a substantial amount of abuse. You can water them fairly infrequently and don’t require direct sunlight. Bright light is ideal for a Dracaena plant.
Zanzibar Gem – Zamioculcas zamifolia
Zanzibar gems are appreciated for their thick, glossy green leaves and is perhaps the most unkillable plant on our list. It enjoys having its soil dry out thoroughly between waterings and can grow in full sun or total shade. The plant will continue to send new branches up from the soil and, over time, can be split off into new plants.
Leopard lily / Dumb cane – Dieffenbachia
Last on our list is the leopard lily. They need very little light and can handle negligent watering, particularly in the winter. If it’s warm out, try to give it a bit more water than usual. It does enjoy high humidity but can handle dry air. The plant is not normally deadly, as recent chain emails might suggest, but be cautioned: every part of the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which, if munched on by a pet, a child, or a curious adult, can cause a painful, swollen mouth.
The Best Houseplants That Are (Almost) Impossible to Kill
Even if you love houseplants, you probably don’t have lots of extra hours in your schedule to devote to watering, pruning, and generally keeping your plants alive. We’ve all had a few innocent plants succumb to neglect over the years. Fortunately, we’ve found some great houseplants that are difficult to kill, whether yours typically die after you over or under-water them or give them too much sunshine or too little. A few of them are even non-toxic to dogs and cats, so you don’t need to worry about toxic greenery poisoning your pets.
Ready to finally find a houseplant that you’ll be able to keep alive? Read on to check out our low-maintenance favorites.
1. African spear plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)
You’d have to work pretty hard to kill the African spear plant. | iStock.com/Irantzu_Arbaizagoitia
Gardenista recommends the African spear plant — from the same genus as the more-popular snake plant — as a houseplant that looks sculptural, but is actually quite easy to grow. These plants can handle low light conditions. And they can survive on very little water. Plus, The Spruce reports that the African spear plant can not only handle long periods of drought, but seems to thrive when you ignore it. Just think twice about planting if you have pets, since sansevierias are unsafe for dogs and cats.
2. Air plant (Tillandsia xerographica)
Air plants like the Tillandsia xerographica require little maintenance. | iStock.com/OttoBlotto
Head to a garden center and you’ll undoubtedly find numerous houseplants colloquially called air plants. As you might suspect based on the name, these plants don’t require soil, and they generally need little maintenance. (Perfect for novice gardeners!) Tillandsia xerographica is a particularly popular but easy-to-maintain variety. They’ll happily exist on a shelf or in a bowl. Houzz reports that you’ll just need to give them a weekly soak to keep them from drying out. Plus, Pistil’s Nursery recommends tillandsias as the perfect pet-safe houseplants for cat and dog owners.
3. Aloe (Aloe vera)
An aloe vera plant is one of the easiest houseplants, even for rookie gardeners. | iStock.com/Rgbspace
The Spruce recommends aloe vera as a useful and attractive plant. (You can use the liquid inside the leaves to moisturize your skin and treat minor cuts and sunburns.) Aloe is also an incredibly easy plant to keep alive. Because it’s a succulent, it needs little water. This plant prefers bright but indirect sunlight, especially in areas with cooler temperatures. They’ll stay happy in the same container for years. Just keep in mind that aloe is toxic to both dogs and cats, so pet owners should either forego it or put it someplace safely out of reach.
4. Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
You won’t find it easy to kill a cast iron plant. | iStock.com/ELyrae
As you might guess from its name, the cast iron plant has a reputation for what Gardenista characterizes as “enduring hardiness.” The Spruce reports that this houseplant can survive even under “the worst of conditions.” It actually prefers low light, unlike other houseplants that will simply tolerate a dim room. Occasionally, the cast iron plant will actually flower indoors. Zillow reports that this cold-tolerant plant will even survive long periods of time without water if you forget about it. And according to the ASPCA, the plant isn’t toxic to cats or dogs.
5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestrum)
The Chinese evergreen is easy to keep alive. | iStock.com/Lizfernandezg
Gardenista counts the Chinese evergreen as one of the most low-maintenance houseplants you can grow. This plant, also known as the “Silver Queen,” can cope easily with low-light or medium-light environments. The Spruce reports that this houseplant can adapt to just about any conditions, though it doesn’t particularly like drafts or prolonged cold temperatures. However, you can let the soil dry out for a few days between watering. According to the ASPCA, it’s toxic to cats and dogs, so pet owners will need to keep it out of reach of curious animals.
6. Fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata)
A fiddle leaf fig is simple to grow. | iStock.com/MiaZeus
Gardenista promises that the fiddle leaf fig — a darling of home interior bloggers and Instagram influencers everywhere — is difficult to kill. Like other varieties of ficus, the fiddle leaf fig offers a dramatic silhouette, but is pretty simple to grow once you understand what it wants. Apartment Therapy recommends watering when only the top inch of soil is dry, placing your tree in bright but indirect light, and fertilizing it once a month during the growing season. These trees can grow quite tall in the right conditions, and usually respond well to pruning. However, PetFinder notes that this ficus is toxic to pets, so keep an eye on animals who like to nibble.
7. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
You don’t have to work hard to keep a jade plant happy. | iStock.com/Nuarevik
The Spruce recommends the jade plant as a houseplant that’s pretty difficult to kill — though it’s more particular about conditions than some other low-maintenance plants. You’ll need to experiment to get your watering regimen right in order to keep its thick, glossy leaves from drooping and to prevent the plant’s roots from rotting. A jade plant also needs a lot of sunlight. But if you find the right spot for it, Houzz reports that jade plants can grow up to four feet tall in the right conditions. Just note that pet owners need to keep cats and dogs away from these succulents.
8. Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
A lucky bamboo will prove easy to maintain. | iStock.com/Kisa_Markiza
Houseplant lovers who have more of a black thumb than a green one have long turned to lucky bamboo to perk up their homes. Bamboo grows well even in rooms with low light. And while lucky bamboo actually isn’t true bamboo at all, it’s a great addition to your houseplant lineup. It’s often grown in water, but once it’s developed a substantial root system, it will thrive when planted in soil. Lucky bamboo grows best in bright light but will also tolerate low-light conditions. It’s mildly toxic to cats and dogs though, so you’ll need to put it somewhere out of reach.
9. Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
You’d have a hard time killing a parlor palm. | iStock.com/Kwanchai_Khammuean
If you want a tropical vibe even in a room without bright sunlight, you can’t go wrong with the parlor palm. Zillow reports that you’ll only find parlor palm seedlings at most garden centers. However, if you give a small plant enough time — and some bright, indirect light — it’ll grow into a gorgeous, resilient tree, even in a less-than-ideal environment. You’ll just need to water deeply, since this plant is sensitive to hard water buildup. It’s a great choice for pet owners, since it’s non-toxic to both dogs and cats.
10. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum Wallisii)
A peace lily requires very little maintenance. | iStock.com/Georgina198
Many people love peace lilies for their dramatic blossoms. In fact, the peace lily numbers among the few houseplants that both tolerate low-light conditions and produce flowers indoors. The Spruce reports that even though the peace lily actually prefers warm, humid conditions, it can thrive in your home as long as it’s not near a draft or in a room that remains unheated for long periods of time. Real Simple reports that the peace lily can even tolerate overzealous air conditioning, which makes it a great choice for frigid offices, too. Just be aware that it’s toxic to dogs and cats.
11. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
A pothos vine seems to do better the more you ignore it. | iStock.com/AndyKazie
Anyone looking for an easy, low-maintenance houseplant will want to consider pothos. This vine seems to thrive on neglect and will just keep growing (up to 10 feet indoors). The Spruce notes that you can prune the plants to keep them fuller at the base and place root cuttings in water to yield more plants. Pothos will tolerate a wide variety of lighting conditions, and has even been known to thrive under artificial office lights. Just keep it out of reach of pets; the ASPCA warns that it’s toxic to cats and dogs.
12. Purple shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)
The purple shamrock makes a statement — and requires little upkeep from you. | iStock.com/MartinMachnowski
If you want a houseplant with unusual looks — but without a long list of needs — Gardenista recommends the purple shamrock. Its dark purple shade and triangular leaves make a statement that even the most ardent houseplant haters could love. And according to The Spruce, these plants need relatively little care. They need water to get established, but after that they won’t wither if you forget to water for a week or two. It needs indirect light, and may “fry” in direct sun. (You’ve been warned.) Though it’s toxic to cats and dogs, its bitter taste usually keeps them from eating a large amount.
13. Red rubber tree (Ficus elastica)
The rubber tree is tough to kill. | iStock.com/ES3N
Gardenista recommends the red rubber tree as an easy, low-maintenance houseplant. Good Housekeeping reports that the plant can exceed 100 feet tall in its native habitats in Asia. (But the tree responds well to pruning, in case you’re worried about a tree outgrowing your apartment.) According to Apartment Therapy, you can put the plants outside during the summer if you want them to grow tall. But, if you want to keep yours small, keeping it in a small pot will restrict the plant’s growth. They like bright light, well-draining soil, and occasional fertilizer during the growing season. However, like many other ficus, the rubber tree is toxic to pets.
14. Snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
A snake plant is incredibly easy to keep alive. | iStock.com/Pidjoe
The snake plant is an all-time favorite thanks to its dramatic foliage — and its ability to thrive even in dark rooms. It comes from the same genus as the African spear plant and is similarly tolerant of dim corners. (And it won’t wither and die if you’re negligent with the watering can.) Nicknamed “mother-in-law’s tongue” because of its sharp, pointed leaves, it’s a low-maintenance plant that you only need to water sparingly. Just keep it away from your cat or dog. Like other sansevierias, it isn’t safe for pets to consume.
15. Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
The spider plant will thrive even if you neglect it. | iStock.com/Tasun
The spider plant grows and even self-propagates in low-light environments. (The Spruce points out that you almost never see a spider plant that doesn’t have “babies” attached.) When the small plants start to form roots, you can cut them off and plant them on their own. The plant also doesn’t mind when its roots get crowded, though you will probably need to re-pot the plant after a couple of years. Pistil’s Nursery recommends the spider plant as a pet-safe houseplant.
16. Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
You can’t kill a staghorn fern. | iStock.com/Chaiyon021
Want a low-maintenance houseplant that you can mount on the wall? You can’t go wrong with a staghorn fern. Though they look sculptural and even high-maintenance, SF Gate points out that these plants are readily available at garden centers and are actually quite easy to grow. Plus, the ASPCA reports that the staghorn fern is non-toxic to dogs and cats, which means that even if Fido or Fluffy manages to get a hold of your fern, you won’t have any toxic effects to worry about.
17. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant tolerates a lot of neglect. | iStock.com/Dugwy
The ZZ plant is a sculptural plant that can not only tolerate low light but also won’t shrivel up and die if you forget to water it frequently. Zillow says that the plant looks “like a cross between a succulent, a fern and a philodendron.” And it’s pretty difficult, even for a black-thumbed gardener, to actually kill. Gardenista reports that this houseplant is also “highly resistant” to pests. Just be aware that all parts of the plant are toxic, so you’ll need to take care if you have children or pets.
Hard to Kill Houseplants for Your Home
Most people want to take a plant home, water it occasionally and have it look beautiful always! Most plants are not like that but there are a few who come close.
Here are a few of our favorite hard to kill houseplants for your home.
This is a very versatile plant. It can be grown in glass enclosures, in water, in bark or moss and in soil. It prefers high humidity and filtered bright light. This is a great plant for terrariums.
Bromeliads are available in a variety of colors and leaf variations. The flwoers last for several months at a time. They prefer bright light and well-drained soil. When watering a bromeliad you add water to the center of the leaves (Bracts) and do not water the soil.
Cactus and Succulents
Cactus and succulents are the perfect plant for anyone who has full sunlight (south or west window) for most of the day. They require very little water. During summer months water once every week or so. In the winter, water once a month.
This plant likes low light. It will perform well in the middle of a room or a corner where there is low light. Chinese evergreens are known for their beautiful leaves. Great plant for an office.
This is the one low light foliage plant that is known for its leaves as well as its beautiful white flowers. Keep the soil moist when in bloom and let the soil dry slightly between waterings when not in bloom. This is a great plant for someone who is unsure when to water since the leaves droop when it is thirsty.
Pothos is a vining plant that is found in hanging baskets and trellised pots. They will tolerate low light but do best with moderate light. It is a great office plant because it doesn’t need direct light and if it gets too big you can easily cut it back.
This is a virtually indestructible houseplant. It is the ultimate low light plant and loves neglect! Given proper care, the snake plant looks great in any type of décor.
This plant thrives in low light and requires little water. It does not like direct sunlight. It is a very unique looking plant. ZZ needs only to be watered once a month or less. Overwatering is its greatest enemy.
Light: Make sure you know the type of light your plants require. Take into account the season (winter, spring, summer, fall) and the direction your light is coming from.
Water: Water your plants when they are dry to the touch. By touch, we mean put your finger a few inches down into the soil. If it is dry – water, if not wait another day or so and check the soil again. Plants prefer to rest between waterings. Keeping the soil too moist all the time can rot the roots. OVERWATERING is the #1 killer of houseplants.
Temperature: Houseplants are like people. They are most comfortable at room temperature and don’t like extreme changes in temperature. Beware of radiators, drafts, air conditioners & open doors.
Feeding: Houseplants need to be fed just like people. Light feedings are given in February (1/2 recommended dose) and full feedings are given in April when the days begin to get warmer and longer. Continue to fertilize until October when the days get shorter and the plants start to “hibernate”. No feedings are required from October till February when the schedule starts again.
Easy Care Houseplants: Indoor Plants That Are Hard To Kill
Some people have a magic touch when it comes to growing indoor plants, producing lush, green beauties with little effort. If you aren’t one of these people, don’t feel bad and don’t give up. Truthfully, most indoor plants are actually tropical plants that grow outdoors in warm, humid environments; getting them to adapt to the indoor environment isn’t as easy as some might think.
You can change your luck if you grow indoor plants that are hard to kill, and yes – they do exist. Growing low maintenance plants indoors isn’t impossible if you choose the right plants.
Hard to Kill Houseplants
Here are some of the more commonly grown hard to kill houseplants:
- Snake Plant – With its sturdy, sword-shaped leaves, snake plant is a toughie that thrives with neglect. In fact, too much attention will harm this hard to kill plant. The only real danger is too much moisture, which will rot the plant quickly. Water only when the soil is dry by pouring water around the inner edge of pot to keep the base of the plant dry.
- English Ivy – English ivy is nearly indestructible. In fact, this plant is so rambunctious that it is considered a highly invasive plant for its tendency to choke out native plant growth. However, growing English ivy indoors is perfectly acceptable.
- Peace Lily – This is a graceful, resilient plant with shiny, dark leaves. White blooms appear in early summer and often bloom sporadically throughout the year. Bright indirect light is best, but low light will do in a pinch. Avoid bright, direct light which is too strong.
Houseplants for Non Gardeners
Okay, so you’re not really a gardener but would like some greenery indoors. Here are some easy plants to try:
- Begonias – These spectacular plants are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, form and colors. They are grown primarily for their stunning foliage, but some are appreciated for their delicate blooms. Begonias grow fast, but if they become too long and leggy, pinch off a stem or two, pot it up and you’ll soon have a brand new plant.
- Spider Plant – If you’re looking for a hanging plant that is easy to grow, spider plant (also known as airplane plant) is a cinch. Watch for the plant to grow miniature plantlets at the end of dangling stems. These miniature “spiders” are easy to pot up to create a new plant.
- Chinese Evergreen – Easy care houseplants include Chinese evergreen, a full, distinctive plant with foliage of green, silver and gray. This forgiving plant is so adaptable that it grows in medium or low light, reaching heights of up to 3 feet.
- Grape Ivy – This sturdy vine creates a lush, mounded appearance when planted in a hanging basket. The vines extend to lengths of 6 feet, but an occasional pruning keeps it neat and tidy.
- ZZ Plant – This plant has a stunning almost a fake plant feel to it and is commonly seen in places like malls, airports and doctor’s offices. The reason for its use in these locations is because this plant can tolerate extremely little light and high levels of neglect. Even the most absent-minded owner would have a hard time killing this sturdy houseplant.
Bringing the outdoors in is huge in decor right now, and seemingly everyone I know has a lush indoor garden full of flourishing houseplants. I, on the other hand, have a trickier relationship with the green things I bring into my home. I wouldn’t call my thumb black, but it’s definitely getting there, and so, sadly, are many of my own plants.
That’s why I reached out to some experts to find out which types of houseplants are easiest to keep alive. We’re talking low-maintenance wonders that can stand up to your neglect while still bringing a touch of green into your life. Take a look at the list below, then see if any of these gorgeous plants could be a fit in your home.
Note: Some houseplants are toxic to pets. You can see which are safe using the ASPCA’s guide.
Also called devil’s ivy, pothos is a favorite houseplant of Justin Hancock, a horticulturalist for Costa Farms (the largest grower of houseplants in the world). It does well in “bright, medium or low light and doesn’t mind drying out now and again. Pothos offers heart-shaped green leaves often speckled in shades of gold, cream, silver or white depending on the variety. It’s a vine, so you can grow it up pole or trellis, let it trail from a basket or train it horizontally along a mantle.” It is also a great choice if you’re looking for a plant that can help purify the air in your home.
Image: Getty Images
2. Spider plant
We all had spider plants growing up, and they’re back in a big way. Hancock explains this plant “likes a bright spot best, but does just fine in low and medium light too… natural or artificial light is just fine.” You will occasionally need to snip any dead leaves and should keep to a regular watering schedule, but “because it has thick, tuberous roots that store moisture, it’s not fussy about how often you water.”
Image: Getty Images
3. Ponytail palm
Ponytail palms are used to dry weather and have a trunk that stores water, explained Hancock. “However, yours will be happiest and grow best if you give it water when the top inch or 2 of the potting mix dries to the touch,” he shared. It does best in medium to bright light and “looks ready for a Hawaiian shirt and a margarita next to it.”
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New one for the new year #ponytailpalm
More: INFOGRAPHIC: Best spots for your houseplants
4. Chinese evergreen
Chinese evergreen is a good choice if you don’t have a lot of natural light coming into your space. “It’s also pretty forgiving when it comes to watering and can go two or three weeks without moisture if it has to, though it grows best when you add water once the top inch or 2 of the potting mix dries,” Hancock told us.
5. ZZ plant
The ZZ plant is one you might not have heard of, but it’s well-suited to growing indoors. “It has thick, rubbery leaves that might remind you of a palm or fern; many people think they look like plastic. It requires about as much attention as a plastic plant too,” shared Hancock. It will grow faster in bright light, but does just fine in areas with low to medium light too. And you only need to water it once a week or so.
Image: Getty Images
6. English ivy
Leslie Fischer, founder of Sustainable Slumber, likes English ivy. “It does not require much sunlight or water, and its trailing leaves are absolutely beautiful. Their value goes beyond the aesthetic; they are actually very powerful air filters. They remove toxic agents from the air like formaldehyde and benzene, among many others,” which can make your space literally easier to breathe in.
Image: Getty Images
7. Barrel head cactus
“Cacti are great for black thumbs; they require very little water and just need some direct, bright light,” Meghan MacDonald, owner of plant care and consultation company Penny & the Plants, told us. “The only surefire way to kill a cactus is by overwatering them… my personal favorite is the barrel head cactus.”
Image: Getty Images
8. Air plants (or tillandsia)
Air plants are super-trendy right now, and it’s easy to see why. But they’re also surprisingly easy to care for. “They are not planted in soil, as each leaf on an air plant is covered in specialized scales known as trichomes. Trichomes have the ability to absorb water and nutrients just as roots on other plants would from soil,” explains MacDonald. Because of this, you can display them in all sorts of fun ways. They thrive on filtered light and need to be watered once a week by being submerged fully for a half hour, then dried.
Image: Getty Images
9. Parlor palm
If you’re interested in plants that are especially good at filtering air, parlor palms are for you. “NASA includes this plant in their top-50 list for plants that clean the air,” shared Anthony Smith, owner of Nursery Enterprises. “It can handle low light, low humidity, bad air, near-freezing temperatures and some neglect,” so it’s perfect for people who are used to accidentally killing off their beloved plants.
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10. Snake plant
Gardening expert and writer Jane Clarke of Fantastic Services Australia told us, “One of the easiest houseplants to take care of is the snake plant. It is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria. It may be easy to grow, but that doesn’t mean that it is not beautiful. As well as that, it acts as a natural air purifier.” They thrive in indirect light, and you should let the soil dry completely between waterings — meaning it’s OK if you forget about it from time to time.
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11. Prayer plant
“Another easy-to-grow houseplant is the prayer plant,” Clarke shared. “Its name does not correspond to its needs. You won’t have to pray in order for it to thrive. Exactly the opposite, actually.” Clarke recommends placing your prayer plant with other houseplants, which will help maintain the humid environment it craves. It should be watered every two weeks — if it starts to dry out, you can always spritz it with water.
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Christmas season is not over! 🎄This little fella is still hanging on to my maranta 😄💪🏼
12. Peace lily
Lester Poole, master gardener at Lowe’s, loves the peace lily. “Although the peace lily may appear high-maintenance with its stylish appearance, it’s actually very easy to grow. Great for apartments or spaces with limited windows, the peace lily does well with low light and flourishes in room temperature,” Poole shared.
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13. Aloe vera
“Aloe vera is easy to care for,” Poole said. “As part of the succulent family, soaks up sunlight but needs little water. As long as you pop your plant into a sunny corner, you’re set to head out for vacation or part ways for a few days without any worries.”
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14. Cast-iron plant
Like its namesake, the cast-iron plant is very hardy. “ can withstand low light and a wide range of temperatures. This means less worry on changes in temperature when planted outside and that it’s a perfect companion for those with a heavy hand on the thermostat when growing indoors,” shared Poole.
Bringing something alive and green into your home might seem daunting, but these easy-care plants deserve a chance. Once you realize how easy it is, you might find yourself becoming a full-fledged crazy plant person.