The Best Easy Houseplants to Grow in Any Home

Low-Maintenance Indoor Plants With No Green Thumb Required

closeup of aglaonema

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida 

Easy houseplants can take care of themselves. Your biggest problem might be what to do with all the baby plants they'll produce. Spider plants, snake plants, and rubber plants are among the best indoor plants that are low-maintenance and easy to keep alive; they are great for beginners. Read on for more plants that fit the same bill.

houseplants that are hard to kill

The Spruce

  • 01 of 19

    Aloe (Aloe vera)

    potted aloe

    The Spruce / Michael Marquand

    The sap from aloe vera plants is used as a skin moisturizer and to heal minor cuts and ease sunburn. While it is a very useful plant, it's also attractive. Because it is a succulent, it needs very little water and prefers bright, but indirect sunlight, especially in cooler temperatures. An aloe plant will grow for years in the same container. If you decide to use some leaves, don't remove more than a third of the plant at one time. (USDA zones 8-11)

  • 02 of 19

    Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

    Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra relation)
    Matthew Ward / Getty Images

    The cast iron plant earned its name by surviving under the worst of conditions, even outdoors in the deep shade. It prefers low light. The leaves are sword-like, pointed, and about four inches wide and two feet long. The cast iron plant grows in a clump and will occasionally flower indoors. A variegated version is available with white stripes and 'Milky Way' is studded with white dots. (USDA zones 7-9)

  • 03 of 19

    Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)

    Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema commutated)
    Jerry Pavia / Getty Images

    The Chinese evergreen plant is extremely forgiving and can adapt to most indoor conditions although it does not like drafts or prolonged temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers low or indirect sunlight. Allow the soil to remain dry for a few days before re-watering. Most varieties have some type of variegated leaf making them all the more attractive. (USDA zones 6-9)

  • 04 of 19

    Holiday Cactus (Zygocactus or Schlumbergera)

    Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus or Schlumbergera)
    Michael Pieracci / Getty Images

    The Holiday cactus is a trailing member of the cactus family that produces deep pink or red flowers in early winter. This is the type of plant that seems to do its best when ignored. It can handle low light but will produce more flowers in bright light. Pruning the houseplant after blooming will keep it bushy and full.

    You can force your Holiday cactus to bloom in December by keeping it in complete darkness for 12 hours per night, beginning in about mid-October. Leave it in the dark until buds appear. An even easier method is to subject it to cool temperatures (50-55 degrees) starting in November. Leave the plant on a windowsill at home when the heat is off and you are at work. You should see flower buds forming in weeks. (USDA zones 9-11).

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  • 05 of 19

    Dieffenbachia

    closeup of a dumb cane

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    The variegated leaves of dieffenbachia can be extremely attractive and it is not a particularly difficult plant to grow. It does like the temperature to be on the warm side, so avoid placing it near windows and drafts. Use caution when growing this plant around pets and children. The plant is toxic to animals and people if they eat the leaves, stalks, or roots. Blistering and swelling in the mouth can be severe and inhibit normal speaking and swallowing. To avoid a potential problem, grow plants that are safe for pets like cats and dogs as well as kids. (USDA zones 11+)

  • 06 of 19

    Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

    a jade plant (crassula ovata)

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida 

    With its thick, glossy leaves, the jade plant is one of the most popular indoor plants. To grow lush and healthy, jade plants need plenty of sunlight, so place it in the brightest room in your home. The tricky part about growing jade plants is providing the right amount of water. Too much water will cause their roots to rot. Too little water will result in them dropping their leaves. Allow the soil to completely dry out before giving them more water, but don't let them sit thirsty for too long. (USDA zones 10-11)

  • 07 of 19

    Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

    closeup of a lucky bamboo

    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    Dracaena has long been the centerpiece of container plantings. Urban container gardens planted in towns across America feature one spiky dracaena stuck in the center of red blooming geraniums in a half whiskey barrel. But there is a good amount of variety in the genre of dracaena and most make excellent easy-care houseplants. 

    Two great choices are dragon tree (Dracaena marginal), which resembles a small palm tree and can reach heights of 10 feet, and lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), which isn't bamboo at all. Both have stems that can be trained to bend or spiral. The stems are topped by clusters of slender arching leaves with narrow purple margins. They grow best in bright light and if allowed to dry out between waterings.

    Lucky bamboo is often grown in water, but once substantial roots have formed, it is much happier planted in soil. Even if allowed to wilt, dracaena will spring back after watering, although the leaf tips might turn brown. Dracaena will tolerate low light. (USDA zones 10-11)

  • 08 of 19

    Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

    a snake plant

    The Spruce / Alonda Baird

    These are long-lived, easy-care houseplants. Snake plant is tolerant of low light. Water sparingly or it will rot. Only one or two waterings are necessary indoors during the winter, depending on the level of humidity. Variegated forms need more light and can be more difficult to grow. Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii,' also known as the birds nest snake plant, is a low-growing, compact variety. (USDA zones 10+)

    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19

    Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

    a peace lily in an apartment

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    The flowers of the peace lily are its most striking feature. The white flowers are the long, thin white pannicle that is surrounded by a white leaf-like structure called a spathe. The spathe starts bright white, but fades to yellow or green, as it ages. While the peace lily prefers warm, humid conditions, it can be made comfortable in your home, if you do not place it near drafts or in rooms that remain unheated for long periods. (USDA zones 11+)

  • 10 of 19

    Pothos (Epipremnum)

    hanging pothos

    The Spruce

    Pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and almost impossible to kill. Pothos are trailing plants that just keep on growing, up to 10 feet or more. Pruning the plants will keep them fuller at the base and each cutting can be rooted in water to create more plants. Pothos plants like to dry out between waterings, but if left dry too long, leaves with wilt and eventually dry and fall. They are very tolerant of all types of light conditions, even artificial office lights. You can let them trail down or secure them to a support or trellis. There are many variegated and golden varieties available. (USDA zones 11+)

  • 11 of 19

    Prayer Plant (Maranta)

    potted prayer plant

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    The Maranta species contains plants with some of the most colorful leaves you could ask for. Although not particular about growing conditions, you will have the best luck if you locate it in a sunny spot with consistently warm temperatures. Prayer plants can also attract indoor pests, so keep a close watch on yours and catch any problems before they have a chance to explode. Periodically cleaning the leaves will help keep them hydrated as well as washing off pests. (USDA zones 11+)

  • 12 of 19

    Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

    a spider plant on a mantel

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    Spider plants just keep on giving. You rarely see a spider plant that doesn't have babies attached. Often grown in hanging baskets, spider plants will grow two to two and a half feet wide and two to three feet long. Their roots tend to fill a pot, so repotting the houseplant might be necessary every couple of years. When dangling babies start to form roots, carefully remove them from the mother plant to propagate more spider plants. (USDA zones 9-11)

    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19

    ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

    ZZ plant

    The Spruce / Anastasia Tretiak

    ZZ plants are easy-to-care-for houseplants, only requiring minimum care. These plants need bright, indirect light and water every couple of weeks. ZZ plants grow from rhizomes, which help them to store water under the soil, making them drought-tolerant plants. (USDA zones 9-11)

  • 14 of 19

    Tillandsia (Tillandsia stricta)

    air plant

    The Spruce / Kori Livingston

    Tillandsia stricta is an air plant that's hardy and low maintenance. It doesn't require soil but needs watering, proper airflow, and bright, indirect sunlight. Maintaining its care requirements well may reward you with beautiful, vibrant blooms—although only once during the plant's lifespan. Soak this unique plant in a bowl of clean water for 10 to 30 minutes. (USDA zones 9-11)

  • 15 of 19

    Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)

    monstera plant
    The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

    Monstera deliciosa plant is also called the "split-leaf philodendron" since its glossy large heart-shaped leaves have a characteristic split. This easy-to-grow climbing evergreen grows about 1 to 2 feet a year. It thrives in warm, humid weather with partial shade and requires a deep pot with well-draining soil when kept as an indoor plant. (USDA zones 10-12)

  • 16 of 19

    Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)

    Philodendron

    The Spruce / Alexandra Shytsman

    Philodendrons are fast-growing houseplants that need warmth and moisture near a sunny window. Do not put them in direct sun; their leaves are sensitive to burning easily. Indoors, set them up by a window that gets bright, indirect light. Boost humidity around your philodendron if you live in a dry climate using a humidifier or fine mist spray bottle. Philodendrons come in two types: vining and non-climbing. The vining varieties require a trellis, while non-climbers grow upright. (USDA zones 9-11)

    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19

    Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

    ponytail palm

    The Spruce / Lisa Ruschioni

    When ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) is planted outdoors, it can grow over 30 feet tall. Indoors, this plant stays about 6 feet tall. Ponytail palm not a true palm; rather, it's in the asparagus family. This slow-growing plant is easy to maintain, requiring little care; it only needs ample light and water once a week or every two weeks. During its dormant months, ponytail palm only needs water once monthly. (USDA zones 10-11)

  • 18 of 19

    Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)

    top down view of a peperomia plant

    The Spruce / Anastasia Tretiak 

    Peperomia is another plant that's suitable for beginners. This low-maintenance plant can tolerate neglect, only requiring water when the soil is dry. Slow-growing peperomia thrives in an orchid potting mix with ample drainage holes. Place the plant in bright, indirect light. Plant food or fertilizer is rarely necessary. (USDA zones 10-12)

  • 19 of 19

    Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

    rubber tree

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Ficus elastica is a relatively easy houseplant. In its native habitat, it can grow up to 100 feet tall, but indoors, it will stay smaller at about 10 feet tall. Its care needs to remain healthy indoors include adequate light, moisture, and warmth. Put it several feet away from a window with a southern or eastern exposure. This plant likes moist (but not soggy) soil and fertilizer to keep it healthy. (USDA zones 10-12)

As with any plant, there is always the threat of houseplant pests like aphids, scale, spider mites, and whiteflies. But disease-wise, an issue you're likely to incur is root rot from too much watering. Thus, the indoor plants described here are also perfect for someone who forgets to water their plants.

If you want to get creative with choosing your houseplant, you can pick a plant based on your zodiac sign.

FAQ
  • What is a high-maintenance plant?

    On the other end of the spectrum from hard-to-kill houseplants, some common examples of high-maintenance plants include fiddle leaf figs and orchids. They can be quite sensitive to their light and moisture conditions.

  • Are monsteras hardy?

    Monstera species can be a fairly hardy houseplant, as they thrive at room temperature between roughly 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. But they do like a rather humid environment and can struggle if the air is too dry or they're exposed to drafts and drying air from vents.

  • Are ferns high-maintenance?

    Fern species are popular houseplants for their lush foliage. But they can be temperamental when it comes to their moisture and humidity levels. They also must be protected from temperature extremes. 

Article Sources
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  1. Dieffenbachia poisoning. Mt Sinai.