Have you killed off almost every plant you’ve ever owned? If so, you’re not the only one. New plant owners often start off with greens that are exotic and hard to care for, instead of sturdy, low-maintenance plants. Fortunately, gardeners have picked out strong houseplants that even people with black thumbs can manage.
Whether you want an indoor tree, some flowers, a vine, or an exotic gem, you can find a plant survivor that won’t descend into a leafy grave. Here are the best houseplants that are almost impossible to kill. Bring one home to convince others that you can care for plants.
The Asparagus Fern Technically Isn’t A Fern
Despite its name, the asparagus fern isn’t a fern but a member of the Liliaceae family. This makes it easier to grow than normal decorative ferns. This plant enjoys being inside, but you can also keep it outside in a partly sunny location.
Asparagus ferns grow so rapidly that it’s intrusive in certain areas. But as a house plant, it’s easy to grow by keeping the soil damp. Provide bright, indirect sunlight for the plant, and slightly acidic soil. On the downside, asparagus fern is spiky (despite its feathery look) and toxic to animals.
Pachira Aquatica, The Easiest Indoor Tree
Pachira aquatica, also called giana chestnut, is a tropical tree that grows in swamps and wetlands. Despite the “tropical” label, this tree requires less watering and maintenance than most indoor trees. It also has a fancy twisted trunk for added aesthetic.
Like most trees, pachira aquaticas like indirect sunlight. As a swamp tree, it likes water and can handle some over-watering. You only need to moisten the soil 1-2 times a week depending on humidity. For even leaf growth, turn the pot every time you water it.
Bromeliads Seem To Thrive Off Neglect
Bromeliads are so sturdy that they seem to thrive off neglect. These colorful, pointy plants are related to pineapples but don’t grow as trees. They make a great houseplant for those who want more color in their room.
Bromeliads don’t require any special tools or fertilizers. They enjoy shallow pots, bright light, and little water. However, bromeliads can grow in any lighting condition. If you water them often, empty out any standing water. And remember they bromeliads love warm, humid temperatures.
Choose A Colorful Calathea
Calathea, also called “prayer plants,” have broad, beautiful leaves with accents of red, purple, and pink, depending on the breed. Unlike other house plants, calatheas grow in low light, or at most, indirect bright light. As a general rule: the darker the foliage, the less light calatheas require.
Calatheas flourish in moist soil, so they need a little more watering than other plants on this list. If your house gets humid, a calathea will love it. If not, misting the leaves will provide ideal humidity. If you want a calathea, know that white fusion calatheas have a reputation for being harder to grow.
African Violets Are Popular For A Reason
African violets are popular houseplants for green-thumbs and black-thumbs alike. Unlike other flowering plants, African violets don’t have a resting period, so they bloom all year-round. To water, moisten the soil whenever it dries out. Even better, you can include a water reservoir at the bottom of the container to keep the violets moist.
African violets prefer indirect sunlight, effective drainage, and room-temperature water. Cold water can cause their leaves to form brown spots. Although they’re durable flowers, African violets have a reputation for dying unexpectedly.
Heartleaf Philodendrons Climb In Any Environment
Like vines, heartleaf philodendrons are trailing plants that love to coil down bookshelves or counters. If you don’t pinch this plant, it will climb eagerly, so be aware of that before buying. Otherwise, heartleafs are easy to grow and care for.
Heartleafs enjoy moderate to bright indirect light. Let the soil dry before watering it again. Yellow leaves mean that the heartleaf is overwatered. If you live in a dry area, a heartleaf will thrive, even though it prefers humidity. As long as you don’t overwater a heartleaf philodendron, it’ll survive.
Chinese Evergreen Doesn’t Need A Watering Schedule
If you’re too busy to tend to high-maintenance plants, consider a Chinese evergreen. It’s sturdy and tolerates both bright light and low light. It even enjoys fluorescent lights.
If you struggle to keep a watering schedule, a Chinese evergreen will help you. You can water it every day or every couple of weeks, and the plant will still thrive. Although a Chinese evergreen doesn’t need fertilizer, it flourishes when fertilized once or twice a year, usually around spring or summer.
Tillandsias Don’t Even Need Soil
Tillandsias, also called air plants, need no soil and minimal care. Their roots don’t soak in water like most plants but cling to surfaces instead. Air plants enjoy warmer locations, so keep them indoors and away from fans or air conditioners. They also appreciate a few hours of indirect light every day.
How you water a tillandsia depends on its texture. Fuzzy, silvery leaves (often a Xeric air plant) signal that the plant needs little watering. Tillandsias with smooth leaves (Mesic air plants) need more. To water, you can spray them with a mist or dunk them in water.
Peace Lilies Revive Remarkably Fast
Peace lilies come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That’s because they aren’t true lilies, but rather a member of the Araceae family. Not only do they look pretty, but they’re also one of the top air-cleaning plants according to NASA. They bloom in partial shade and with very little water.
To care for a peace lily, place it six to eight feet away from a sunny window. When the leaves begin to droop, water it. Peace lilies revive remarkably fast. Be aware that these plants are poisonous to dogs and cats.
Shamrock Plants Are A Unique Pop Of Color
If you want a sweet little flowering plant, consider a shamrock plant. Its leaves unfold in a shamrock shape, and it sprouts small white flowers. Purple shamrock plants add another pop of color to a room.
To tend a shamrock plant, only water it about once a week, or two to three times a month. You want the soil to dry out before watering it again. Shamrocks flower in bright, but indirect light, including filtered light. On top of that, shamrocks need fertilizing about once a month. Since they are poisonous if eaten in large quantities, keep shamrock plants away from pets and children.
Snake Plants Are Sturdy And Stylish
Snake plants are stylish, low-maintenance plants that fit in small apartments due to their upward stature. They’re also one of the most tolerable plants out there since they can survive through low light problems, drought, and most pest issues.
Snake plants do best when you forget about them. They need free-draining soil, indirect light, and light watering. Before you water it again, keep the soil dry for a while. Try to avoid over-watering and getting the leaves wet. Unfortunately, snake plants are toxic to cats and dogs.
Yuccas Can Survive Weeks Without Water
Yuccas are spiny desert plants, and as such, they are quite hardy. They need a lot of sun–either full or partial direct light–but otherwise, they’re fine with anything. Yuccas are drought-tolerant, so they can survive weeks with sparse watering. In fact, most live for an average of 25 years.
You don’t need any particular type of soil for a yucca. They can thrive in anything from sand to clay to high pH soil. If you like to dust your plants, you’ll need to avoid yucca’s pointy leaves.
Christmas Cactus, A Non-Spiky Flowering Beauty
Christmas cacti are the gentler, prettier form of classic desert cacti. They often bloom in the winter, hence their name. If you want to keep the flowers stunning throughout the winter, mist the Christmas cactus to keep the area humid. Otherwise, it needs little watering.
Christmas cacti can survive in nearly any light exposure, although bright direct light will ensure its longevity. Keep the soil slightly moist and well-drained. And that’s about it! Besides the extra care in winter, Christmas cacti are low-maintenance and can surprise you with additional blooms.
Peperomias Are A Pretty Pick
Peperomias add an aesthetic touch to any room while cleaning indoor air. They will tolerate any humidity level and nearly all light. Although peperomias prefer medium light, they can survive in low light or a couple of hours of direct sunlight.
To keep the soil moist, water peperomias about once a week. You can tell when the plant is dehydrated by its drooping or curling leaves. The only thing you need to regulate with peperomias is over-watering. After you wet the plant, see if the soil is still dry one to two inches down.
Rubber Plants, A Classy Apartment Tree
Rubber plants are medium-sized trees that thrive in indoor environments, even apartments. During the colder seasons, you only need to water rubber plants once or twice a month. In warmer months, keep it moist. Watch for yellowing or wilting leaves: that will let you know when you need to water it.
Rubber plants need well-drained soil. You can use regular potting soil, but allow the dirt to dry out before watering it again. These trees love bright light, but not direct sunlight. Other than that, rubber plants don’t need a lot of pruning or care.
Spider Plants Sprout With Minimal Treatment
Whether hanging or floor-bound, spider plants make easygoing home additions. Although young spider plants require more care, older ones can thrive on minimal treatment. Water them once a week and store them in gentle, indirect sunlight.
Healthy spider plants shoot upward, and some can look like mini-trees. During summer, they may grow “pups,” whispy white flowers that look like spiders (hence the plant’s name). Spider plants can adapt to almost any environment with little problem. Like other leafy plants, if you notice the leaves drooping, water it.
Chinese Money Plants Survive On Very Little
Chinese money plants, also called pilea or pancake plants, are both adorable and durable. These plants prefer shady spots or windowsills with indirect light, because direct sunlight burns the leaves. Because these plants are slow-growing, they don’t often appear in nurseries, so you may have to buy one online.
If you forget to water your greens, Chinese money plants can handle it. The soil needs to dry out before this plant gets watered again. Keep it in a pot with a drainage hole. If you see the leaves drooping, it’s a sign that your Chinese money plant needs water.
Aloe Is Handy And Easy To Care For
Aloe makes a lovely houseplant with the added benefit of providing sunburn-assuaging gel. Like other succulents, aloe grows in cactus potting soil and bright light. The biggest mistake that plant owners make overwatering it. Only water the plant when its soil is almost entirely dry.
Aloe needs proper drainage but no fertilizer. Place them in an area with as much light as possible–at least two or three hours–and you’re good to go. If you cut off a leaf, you may rub the gel on minor rashes and burns to lower inflammation.
Jade Plant, The Perfect Desk Decoration
If you love the succulent look, but don’t want to care for one, consider a jade plant instead. It’s small, classy, and low-maintenance, making it perfect for homes and offices. Jade plants don’t need to be watered on a schedule; simply water it when the soil feels dry.
A jade plant needs full sunlight to grow properly, so consider putting it near a window. You don’t need to fertilize it more than once or twice a month. When caring for a jade plant, remember that it doesn’t like a lot of water. It’s better to underwater it than overwater.
Low-Maintenance And Tropical Areca Palms
If you want the tropical look of a palm, the areca palm is the easiest to care for. This palm can grow up to seven feet tall, but if you want to keep it short, pot it in a small, tight container. To keep an areca palm thriving, place it in bright, indirect light.
Water an areca palm every other week to keep the soil dry. In warmer months, it may need more frequent watering. Arecas also benefit from fertilizing every spring, but not in winter or autumn. That’s all you need to maintain this palm’s health.