8 Best Indoor Plants for Starting Your Collection Right
Let’s be real, caring for plants doesn’t seem to come easy for some of us. But what if we told you… it isn’t necessarily you! Think about it— every plant, every person, and every environment is vastly different— so that means your plant has to adapt to the unique ecosystem you’re providing it. And, you have to accommodate each individual plant based on its needs of sunlight, water, and basic attention.
Remember, plants are living things, so they certainly require some degree of care. But since not all plants are made the same, some require far less and are even more forgiving when we care (er, water) a bit too little or too much.
So if you’re just starting out or feel like you’ve tried and are at wit's end, there is still hope! For the easiest to care for, low-maintenance, hardest-to-kill house plants, try one (or all 8!) of these various options:
1. Air Plant (Tillandsia)
The air plant is aptly named for its ability to thrive almost entirely on moisture from the air. This unique plant doesn’t require soil, making it a beautifully seamless addition to your indoor decor as it can be affixed to wood, hanging planters, in terrariums, or really anywhere you so desire.
Preferring bright yet indirect sunlight, just mist your air plant with room temperature water about once week for optimal health. There are many varieties to choose from, all of which are equally as cute and simple to upkeep.
Pro tip: Depending on the season and humidity level in your home, the air plant (as well as most other plants) may need extra TLC. During winter, water less, and in drier climates, water more.
A popular choice for those thinking they don’t have a green thumb, succulents require minimal care. These self-regulating plants store water within the plants’ tissue, thus requiring little water from caretakers. Just remember to occasionally mist with water (about 1-2 times a month) and never prune.
Ornately wonderful plants, succulents rarely get pests which makes them an even more attractive option. While there are many succulents to choose from, we are especially fond of the aloe plant.
Pro tip: Succulents are native to desert regions, and such, thrive in somewhat sandy soil. Always check to see what kind of soil your plant prefers before repotting.
3. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
The perfect option for a dark apartment corner or lowly lit office, the Chinese evergreen is an easy and adaptable plant that likes low to medium, indirect light. These resilient plants come in variegated forms, with brilliant colored leaves to spruce up any space.
As long as your space is above 60 degrees, your Chinese evergreen should be happy— but do keep it away from drafty areas. In addition, only water it every few weeks and make sure it has well-draining soil so that it can properly grow.
Pro tip: Darker leaf varieties like lower light while lighter shades need higher light. (And this typically holds true for all plants.)
4. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Although not technically a member of the bamboo family, lucky bamboo closely resembles the shoots of the woody species. Extremely tolerant (and affordable!), these gorgeous plants can either be grown in soil or just placed directly in a vase with water. If planted in soil, just water these tendriled stems once the soil has dried out.
Lucky bamboo grows best in medium to high (but indirect) light and is a great addition to desks, bedside tables, or kitchen countertops.
Pro tip: If your lucky bamboo is in a vase with water, simply rinse the roots and stems in running water once a month (and replace the vase water at the same time) to prevent unwanted buildup.
5. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
Slowly but surely, the ponytail palm will grow and thrive in its preferred environment of high light. Besides that one request, it isn’t picky and can tolerate various indoor climates and quite low amounts of watering.
Potted in a quick-draining soil, allow the soil to slightly dry out (at least the top inch) before watering again. The bulb-like trunk stores water much like a succulent, so it’s able to retain more water while being super simple to care for.
Pro tip: The biggest problem for most houseplant owners is overwatering. So if your plant is getting droopy leaves or yellowing, try backing off before providing more.
6. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The trusty and popular snake plant (aka Mother-In-Laws Tongue or Viper’s Bowstring Hemp), is a gorgeous display of greenery that is uber low maintenance. It has basic needs of low water and any indirect light. Water this plant only once the soil is almost dry (usually around every 2-3 weeks).
For optimal benefits, place it in your bedroom as it is believed to clean the air at night! Snake plants are a perfect match for those who travel or are forgetful about watering (just don’t overdo it!).
Pro tip: The snake plant (and many common houseplants) contain chemicals that are toxic to cats and dogs when ingested. Although it’s typically just an irritant, we still suggest placing this one in an out of reach area if you have small children or pets.
7. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Also called Devils Ivy, pothos plants are almost impossible to kill. The heart-shaped leaves of this vining plant come in different varieties with various colors to choose from. While they like bright (again, indirect!) sunlight, they can tolerate low levels of light as well (even artificial fluorescent light).
Pothos has shown in studies to clean and purify the air, making it the perfect plant for living rooms, bathrooms, and offices. Just water this plant once the soil has completely dried out (which again, will vary depending on your unique indoor environment's conditions).
Pro Tip: An easy plant to propagate, simply cut off the base of one of the stems of this plant and stick in a tube of water to grow a whole new plant!
8. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
As indestructible as the name suggests, the cast iron plant can survive in various conditions as long as it isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. Once again, allow the soil to dry out between waterings and the cast iron will grow... slowly but surely.
If ever neglected, this resilient plant will almost always bounce back. Cast iron is an amazing option for corners, hallways, and workspaces as this long-lasting plant can handle low light and temperature changes (including drafts).
Pro tip: Trim off any brown or wilting leaves to help this plant flourish.
As you and your new plant begin to adapt to one another, watch for cues that may indicate the wellbeing of the plant. Since they can’t verbally communicate with us, houseplants will at least point to a couple of things that may be going awry and it’s imperative to listen and make an immediate change. If you see wilting or yellowing leaves, scale back watering as over-watering will indefinitely cause root rot and death.
Remember to feel the soil regularly for moisture levels— each plant varies, but get to know what that individual one needs. In addition, make sure to understand and provide each plant with proper soil and drainage. Ok, I know this all sounds like a lot... but lastly, remember that it doesn’t have to be that hard and you've got this! Relax and have fun welcoming and nurturing your new addition. Your home and you are going to love it!