The 11 Best Indoor Plants of 2021

Low-maintenance houseplants that thrive inside the home

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Believe it or not, you can flex your green thumb without stepping foot outside. Many plants not only thrive indoors but can also lend to a natural decorative appeal. A bit of greenery can create an organic aesthetic, liven up your home, and add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space.

There's a wide range of lovely houseplants that don't require a ton of attention, including shrubs, succulents, cacti, climbers, creepers, and even some small trees.

"My number one tip is to make sure the plant you choose is in a pot with a drainage hole." says Joyce Mast, Plant Mom at Bloomscape. "Most people tend to overwater their plants so with a drainage hole the excess can drain away. If it does not this can lead to root issues and eventual plant decline."

Whether you're interested in a specific size, type, or style—or just want something low-maintenance—we've got you covered. Find the best indoor plant below.

Our Top Picks
The low-maintenance bird of paradise plant only needs to be watered when the soil becomes dry and thrives in well-lit areas.
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This petite plant has sturdy spoon-shaped leaves, comes in a little ceramic planter, and only needs water every one to two weeks.
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This waxy, green-leafed gem is the perfect medium-sized houseplant and helps purify the air in your home.
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Delivered in an eco-friendly pot made of recycled materials, this dramatic plant arrives at about 42 to 58 inches tall.
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All this easy-going, affordable tree needs is indirect sunlight and a couple of ice cubes once a week.
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This hardy hanging plant has two-toned leaves, can thrive in low-light areas, and requires minimal care.
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These elegant snake plants don't require very much light or water, making them ideal houseplants.
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Able to thrive in low-light conditions, this sturdy plant requires little watering and is about 3 feet tall when delivered.
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This 4-foot flowering plant can grow in low-light areas and doesn't require a lot of attention.
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This small, spikey succulent has bluish-green leaves, requires very little water, and thrives in sunny indoor areas.
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Best Low-Maintenance: Costa Farms 10 in. White Bird of Paradise Planter

White Bird of Paradise

Native to South Africa, bird of paradise is a low-maintenance perennial plant with a tropical vibe. It thrives in well-lit indoor areas—near a window is best—and needs to be watered once a week (or when the soil gets dry). 

This pre-potted option from Costa Farms comes in a lightweight planter with drainage holes. You can transfer it into another pot or leave it as is.

Cyber Monday Steal

Best Small: The Sill Peperomia Obtusifolia

Peperomia Obtusifolia

Peperomia obtusifolia (AKA baby rubber plant) is known for its sturdy spoon-shaped leaves. Native to Florida, this houseplant has succulent-like qualities, meaning it stores water in its roots, stems, and leaves. This desk-sized option from The Sill comes in a five-inch round ceramic pot and only needs to be watered every week or two.

Cyber Monday Steal

Best Medium: The Sill ZZ Plant

ZZ Plant

The waxy, green-leafed Zanzibar gem (ZZ plant for short) is the perfect mid-sized houseplant. It helps purify the air, doesn't mind low-light conditions, and only needs water once every few weeks. The Sill's medium ZZ comes in a 7-inch round ceramic planter in black, blush, cream, mint, or classic terracotta.

Best Large: Bloomscape Fiddle Leaf Fig Column

Fiddle Leaf Fig Column

Want something a bit larger? You might consider a fiddle leaf fig column, like this one from Bloomscape. This sizable indoor plant comes in an eco-friendly pot made of recycled materials and will be between 42 and 58 inches tall when it arrives on your doorstep.

Native to West Africa, fiddle leaf figs need a little more attention than other plants. They prefer warmer temps, do best in rooms with bright natural light, and require frequent watering to keep the soil moist at all times.

Best Tree: Just Add Ice JAI266 Money Tree

Money Tree

Easy-going money trees make excellent indoor plants. This affordable pick from Just Add Ice comes in a 5-inch ceramic pot and will be about 15 inches tall when it reaches your doorstep. As the brand's name implies, all you need to do is add two ice cubes to the soil once a week and set it in a brightly lit room.

Best Hanging: The Home Depot Philodendron Brasil Plant in 6 in. Hanging Basket

Philodendron Brasil in Hanging Basket

The philodendron brasil can grow in low-light areas and needs to be watered about once a week. This hardy plant from The Home Depot comes in a hanging basket with a removable hook. Hang it from your wall, above a window, or an indoor trellis, and marvel as the two-toned leaves slowly climb down toward the floor.

Best Air-Purifying: Pure Beauty Farms 1.9 Gal. Sansevieria Laurentii Snake Plant in Grower's Pot

Snake Plant in Grower's Pot

Snake plants are natural air-purifiers, helping to filter the air you breathe while oxygenating your space. Plus, they don't need very much water or light, which is ideal for houseplants. This elegant pre-potted pick from Pure Beauty Farms comes in a 9-inch round pot and will be about 3 feet tall when it arrives at your home.

Best Low-Light: American Plant Exchange Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant

The aspidistra elatior (often called the cast-iron plant or bar-room plant) is an almost indestructible low-maintenance option. It can thrive in heavily shaded areas and requires very little watering—in other words, it's OK if you neglect it a little. This cast-iron plant comes in a 6-inch container and sits about 3 feet tall.

Best Flowering: Costa Farms Spathiphyllum Sweet Pablo in 9.25 in. Grower Pot

Spathiphyllum in Grower Pot

Tropical spathiphyllum plants (also known as peace lilies or sweet Pablos) can produce white flowers—even indoors. They tolerate low-light conditions but don't mind brightly lit areas either. And you'll know when to water it, as the leaves will begin to droop. This sweet Pablo is about 4 feet tall and ships straight to your door from Costa Farms.

Best Succulent: Bloomscape Hedgehog Aloe

Hedgehog Aloe

Native to South Africa, the hedgehog aloe (or spider aloe) is a spiky succulent with bluish-green leaves. While sunny spaces are best, it requires very little water—in fact, less is more—making it an ideal choice for forgetful pet parents. This small hedgehog aloe from Bloomscape is about a foot tall and comes in an eco-friendly planter.

Best Grow Light: Yoyomax Grow Light for Indoor Plants

Grow Light for Indoor Plants

Some indoor plants can grow in shadowy settings, but for those that need to be placed in indirect sunlight, getting the light just right can be tricky. And that's where a grow light comes in. 

This unit from Yoyomax has three heads, each with a gooseneck arm, and 60 full-spectrum LEDs. The heads can be switched on and off individually as needed and adjusted to one of the six dimmer modes.

What to Look for in an Indoor Plant


It should come as no surprise that all plants need food, water, and light to live, but what may be more surprising is that some need very little care to thrive. Succulents, air plants, and orchids, for example, need watering only a few times per month. Snake plants and ferns can live in very low-light environments, and moss terrariums or jade will do just fine in a drafty room during the winter. 


While some plants require direct sunlight, others will die if they get too much sun. Avoid putting Philodendren or Peperomia in an overexposed room—the leaves will turn yellow. Put Ficus, aloe, or even a lemon tree in these areas instead. Still other plants—like succulents and spider plants—need a happy medium when it comes to sunlight.


There are some plants that can be dangerous to kids and pets, especially if ingested. Other plants can cause rash or skin irritation simply from touching the leaves or sap. And, surprisingly, these plants don’t always come with a warning, so it’s best to do your own research before buying an indoor plant. Some varieties that parents and pet owners should avoid include Peace Lily, Oleander, Caladium, Poinsettia, and Mistletoe.

Flowering vs. Non-Flowering

You might be happy to add just a bit of greenery with a non-flowering plant . Especially during the long winter months, however, the bloom of an indoor plant can brighten up your home.


The type of pot the plant comes in can also help you make up your mind as an ecologically minded buyer. Look for a pot made of recycled material.

  • Do indoor planters need drainage holes?

    Generally, yes because otherwise the soil can become soggy, which leads to root rot and other diseases and problems. Succulents and cacti are the exception; they are watered infrequently and therefore don’t necessarily need drainage holes, provided they are not overwatered.

  • How do you hang indoor planters?

    You can hang an indoor planter from the ceiling or from a wall. Find the joist or the beam nearest to the location where you would like the planter and screw a sturdy hook screw into the joist. If you cannot find a joist, for hollow walls like drywall or plaster, you can also use a toggle bolt or a toggle anchor. Whichever support system you use, it needs to be strong enough to support the planter weight with the soil and water.

  • How do indoor planters drain without a drainage hole?

    Planters without drain holes don’t drain, therefore it’s important to water the plant sparingly and slowly and not saturate the soil. Many plants however need more water than that. Succulent and cacti work best for planters without drainage holes because they only require little and infrequent watering.

  • What do you put under plant pots indoors?

    To catch the drainage, there are drainage saucers in different sizes and materials, from plain, merely functional plastic drainage saucers to decorative ones. To prevent the saucer from overflowing when water drains out of the planter, the diameter of the saucer should be about the diameter of the pot. Hanging planters are best placed in a double pot.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland has been writing for The Spruce since 2019 and has several years of experience covering gardening products and home goods. She has a ZZ plant, money tree, and snake plant in her home (among others) and has a deep appreciation for indoor foliage. Additional reporting was done by Nadia Hassani, a master gardener with over 20+ years of gardening experience.

Updated by
Nadia Hassani
Nadia Hassani
Nadia Hassani has nearly two decades of gardening experience. She works as a freelance copywriter, editor, translator, and content strategist.
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  1. Wolterton, B. C., Johnson, Anne., Bounds, Keith. Interior Landscape Plants For Indoor Air Pollution AbatementNational Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  2. Poisonous Plants, ASPCA.

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