Are you looking for some low-maintenance houseplants to help brighten up your space? Maybe you want some indoor plants to help purify your air. Whatever your reason, there are many great indoor plants for beginners that require little work, no green thumb required. You might also want to check out our guide for indoor gardening for beginners to help get you started as well.
Alright, let's get started with 20 low-maintenance indoor plants that you can grow in your home.
17 best easy-to-grow indoor plants
Houseplants add so much to a space. They not only look beautiful, but they can also improve your health as well. If you are new to the world of indoor plants, you might be worried that houseplants are high maintenance or that your brown thumb will make it impossible to keep anything alive. Well here are 17 indoor plants that are easy to care for and can be grown in a variety of different environments.
1. Spider plant (Chlorophytum homo sum)
Spider plants are easy to grow and are often grown in hanging baskets with baby plants attached. You can propagate these babies when they begin to form roots.
Water: Spider plants can be thirsty plants and are forgiving when you overwater. You should water about once a week, but check the soil before watering. If the soil is moist, wait until the soil is dry.
Soil: Grow your spider plants in a soil-based, well-draining potting mix.
Lighting: Keep your spider plant in medium to bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause brown leaf tips and spots.
2. Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
This tropical plant, also known as the swiss cheese plant, is native to Mexico and Central America. Because of this, it should be kept in temperatures between 68 to 86 degrees with relatively high humidity. It is also important to note that it is toxic to cats and dogs.
Water: Water your monstera every 1-2 weeks. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Soil: Plant your monstera in a container with drainage holes and use good quality soil that contains peat moss.
Lighting: Monsteras need around 5-8 hours of bright indirect light each day to thrive.
3. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
The peace lily is one of the easiest indoor plants to care for. They not only look beautiful with their white flowers but are great for cleaning the air as well. Again, like the monstera, peace lilies are toxic to cats and dogs.
Water: Peace lilies are fairly tolerant of underwatering. Check your plant weekly and if the soil is dry, water it. If your soil is still damp, it does not need to be watered yet.
Soil: These plants prefer a soil mixture that balances moisture retention and drainage. Use potting soil that has texture, like one with perlite, peat moss, coir, or loam.
Lighting: Peace lilies enjoy medium to low light. If you place your peace lily in an area with more light, it tends to produce more flowers.
4. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
Snake plants are one of the easiest plants to maintain and they can live for a very long time (25 years or more). They are very hard to kill. This is another plant that is toxic to your pets.
Water: Water sparingly to avoid rot. This means only watering when the soil is dry. You can often get away with watering monthly during the winter months.
Soil: Snake plants prefer sandy, well-draining soil. Your mix should be low in peat content. Try an all-purpose cactus potting soil.
Lighting: Your snake plant will do best in shade to partial indirect sun. They are adaptable and can do well in full sun or dimly lit areas.
5. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides)
Even though this plant is endangered in its natural habitat, money plants are some of the most popular indoor plants today. They are easy to grow and tolerate dry conditions. Money plants are known for bringing positivity, prosperity, and good luck and are often given as gifts.
Water: Allow soil to dry between waterings. Check moisture level once a week before watering. This plant does well with routine waterings.
Soil: Prefers a loamy, well-draining potting mix. They do well in soil containing a mix of perlite and vermiculite with peat moss and coarse sand or coco coir and compost.
Lighting: Put your money plant in bright, indirect light.
6. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
This popular succulent looks like a tiny tree with its fleshy, oval leaves and woody, thick stems. It can grow up to 3-6 feet tall with proper care. They are said to bring good luck, prosperity, and wealth to their owners. For this reason, they are often given as housewarming gifts.
Water: Water your jade plant often in the spring and summer to keep the soil moist, but not wet. You can get away with monthly watering during the winter.
Soil: Choose a succulent-specific potting mix for your jade plant. If you have to use an all-purpose mix, add in some perlite to help with drainage.
Lighting: Jade plants require a lot of sunlight, but should be protected from harsh direct sunlight. Aim for a minimum of 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day.
7. Aloe (Aloe vera)
The sap from aloe vera plants is often used to ease sunburns and heal minor cuts. This tropical succulent will reach maturity in three to four years. It produces pups that can be repotted or given as gifts.
Water: Water your aloe plant regularly, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. Aloe goes dormant during the winter and won't require any watering during this time.
Soil: Aloe naturally grows in nutrient-poor soil. Use a cactus mixture or all-purpose potting soil mixed with perlite and coarse sand.
Lighting: Aloe needs bright, indirect light to thrive.
8. Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
This is a hard-to-kill houseplant with beautiful foliage. It can survive neglect and growing conditions that would kill most plants. It is a great plant for gardeners with a brown thumb.
Water: The cast-iron plant has some drought tolerance, but prefers moderate soil moisture. If you can stick your finger in the soil and it doesn’t feel damp, go ahead and water.
Soil: This hardy plant can tolerate a variety of soils, as long as they have good drainage.
Lighting: Keep out of direct light as this can bleach and burn the leaves. Place in a shady area with indirect sunlight.
9. Holiday cactus (Schlumbergera)
There are three main types of holiday cactus: Easter (S. gaertneri), Thanksgiving (S. truncata), and Christmas (S. x buckleyi). Each type usually blooms closest to the holiday it is named after. Most holiday cacti sold today are usually Thanksgiving cacti and bloom from November through February.
Water: While this is a cactus, it is a tropical plant that needs more water than your average cacti. Let the soil dry almost completely between waterings.
Soil: Holiday cacti are adaptable to different soil conditions. Your cactus can thrive in loamy, sandy, perlite, a cactus mix, or all-purpose potting soil.
Lighting: These cacti like sun or shade, but not too much of either. They prefer partial shade or diffused light. Full sunlight can be okay during the winter but avoid too much sun in the spring and summer, this can cause the plant to become pale and yellow.
10. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)
This attractive indoor plant is from Madagascar and is nearly indestructible. It is easy to care for and drought tolerant with green sword-like leaves with red edges. This plant is toxic to animals, so keep it away from pets.
Water: Avoid overwatering. Wait until the top half of the soil is dry before watering (this could take three weeks or more).
Soil: Use loose, well-draining soil. Loamy soil amended with peat moss is ideal.
Lighting: Grows best in bright light, but can tolerate partial shade. Keep it out of direct sunlight- its foliage burns easily.
11. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
While this plant is called an evergreen, it is a tropical perennial that makes an excellent houseplant. You can find this houseplant in a variety of colors ranging from red to silver and dark green leaves. This plant can bring a lot of personality to your space but is toxic to dogs and cats so keep it away from your pets.
Water: The Chinese evergreen does best in moist, but not waterlogged soil. Water thoroughly, but let dry between waterings. It requires less frequent watering in the winter.
Soil: The Chinese evergreen is not picky about the type of soil it is planted in. Well-draining, slightly acidic potting soil is great for this plant. If you notice your soil is retaining too much water, add in some sand or perlite to help with drainage.
Lighting: Darker varieties can grow in near shade, but variegated varieties require a little more bright light. No matter the variety, avoid direct sunlight as this can burn delicate leaves.
12. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos is potentially one of the easiest plants to grow indoors, even if you tend to forget about watering your plants. This trailing plant has heart-shaped leaves that are typically green but can be variegated with white, yellow, or pale green striations. They are extremely tolerant of all lighting conditions, even the artificial lights in your office. This plant is toxic to pets.
Water: Allow soil to dry out completely before watering. If left in damp soil, the roots will rot. This plant is good at letting you know when it needs watering. When you notice your pothos starting to droop, it needs water.
Soil: These plants thrive in ordinary, well-draining soil that can be rocky and even on the dry side.
Lighting: Pothos likes sun or shade, but not too much of either. It prefers bright, but indirect light.
13. Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)
This plant's common name, prayer plant, comes from the fact that its leaves stay flat during the day and fold up like praying hands at night. It has gorgeous decorative leaves, the most popular variety has deep green, velvety leaves with yellow splotches down the midrib and red veins along the leaf margins. They are not necessarily easy to keep growing for a long period of time.
Water: Prayer plants are susceptible to drought. Water frequently (when the top layer gets dry) and don't allow the soil to dry completely.
Soil: Requires well-draining soil. A traditional potting mix works well, but if you want to make your own combine two parts sphagnum peat moss to one part loamy soil and one part perlite or coarse sand.
Lighting: Place or hang your plant in a window that gets indirect sunlight. Prayer plants can tolerate low light areas.
14. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
This plant is actually poisonous, but rarely harms humans or animals. All parts of the dumb cane have loads of microscopic needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals. If you or your pet decided to chew on this plant, you'd end up with a painful and swollen mouth. Avoid touching the sap and wash any off if you do happen to touch it. Looking past this, it is a beautiful mix of green, white, and yellow leaves.
Water: Dumb cane likes regular moisture during the growing season, this could mean watering twice a week. You can cut back on watering during the winter months.
Soil: Fast-draining, well-aerated potting mix works best for this indoor plant.
Lighting: Does well in shady conditions, but enjoys bright light during the winter months. Prefers slight shade and indirect light during the growing season. It will favor the side closest to the light, so rotate frequently.
15. Asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus)
So these plants are not ferns, but members of the lily family. They have delicate foliage that looks like asparagus plants, but arches like a fern- giving it its name. This plant is mildly toxic to humans and pets, so avoid touching it too much.
Water: This plant likes to be watered deeply (pouring in enough water so that it flows out the bottom into a saucer). Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Check the top two inches of soil with your finger, water deeply if dry, and then dump the water from the saucer.
Soil: Asparagus ferns love loamy soil. A mix of 20% clay, 40% sand, and 40% silt is perfect.
Lighting: Does best in bright, indirect light, out of direct sunshine.
16. String of hearts (Ceropegia woodii)
This gorgeous trailing succulent, with its dark green with variegated silver markings or cream, pink, and green heart-shaped, patterned leaves, might be difficult to take care of for some, but once you get the hang of it, it can be quite the tolerant houseplant. It goes dormant in the fall and winter months, making it a little easier to care for.
Water: Give this plant a good soak once a week or whenever the top 2-3 inches of soil get dry.
Soil: Thrives in well-drained cacti potting mixes.
Lighting: 3-4 hours of bright, indirect light and some shade in the afternoon.
17. Philodendron (Philodendron scandens)
These low-maintenance indoor plants have large, green, and glossy leaves and come in vining and non-climbing varieties. They are great for purifying the air but are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested.
Water: Philodendrons like a moderate amount of moisture. Water whenever the top inch of soil has become dry.
Soil: These plants like loose potting soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter.
Lighting: Grows best in partial sunlight. Set them near a window that gets bright, indirect light.
5 resources to help you take care of your indoor plants
Now that you have hopefully decided on some plants for your home, you are going to want some more tips on how to take care of them. Or maybe you want to try your hand at growing some indoor herbs or veggies. We have some resources to help keep you going on your indoor gardening journey.
- Monstera care tips: Want to take the best possible care of your monstera? Here's our advice on how to have a thriving monstera plant.
- Growing vegetables indoors: Our guide on how to grow vegetables indoors and 8 of the easiest ones to get started with.
- Growing herbs indoors: A guide to the 7 best herbs to grow indoors and how to care for them.
- 9 essential tips for keeping your houseplants healthy: 9 tips on how to confidently take care of your houseplants, even as a new plant parent.
- Houseplant primer: A guide to the basic care of houseplants.
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Having indoor plants can be a great way to breathe new life into your space and even help you breathe a little better. It doesn't have to be a lot of added work for you. It's all about finding the right plant for you, so roll up your sleeves and give indoor gardening another try!
Written by: Sarah Kendal