A simple way to get those Springtime vibes poppin’ is by bringing a little life into your space. And nothing adds more life to your home like fresh flowers and potted house plants. But, let’s be honest: When it comes to gardening, not all of us are blessed with a green thumb . . . While I haven’t always been particularly gifted when it comes to keeping my plants alive, I love the look of potted plants handing and gathered on windowsills with gorgeous leaves spilling over the side. Plus, house plants can clean the air, brighten up your space and can even fill your home with good energy! Keeping the plants alive is key, though . . .
More often than not, we find that our green thumbs just don’t live up to our expectations. Especially when it comes to indoor plants, which can be tricky to keep alive. But fear not, friend! Today I’m going to break down which houseplants are the easiest to keep alive and some tried-and-true tips for properly caring for your indoor plants. This little gardening hack is sure to have your guests thinking your green thumb is in full force!
From succulents to cascading ferns, the gorgeous greenery options are endless. Get ready to add a little life to your space and be a plant murderer no more! Here are 15 plants that are easy to keep alive for just about anyone.
Houseplants That Are Hard To Kill | Part I
Succulents are a very “trendy” house plant right now and it’s no mystery why! They come in a rainbow of greens, purples, yellows and blues. Plus they are nearly impossible to kill. They don’t need much water, so allow the soil to dry in between watering and put them where they can get plenty of sunshine. And succulents work well in pottery, plastic, ceramic or even glass vessel containers.
A type of succulent that is said to bring good luck, jade plants require very little care, thanks to their ability to retain water for an extended period of time in their fleshy leaves. In fact, jade plants thrive best when watered lightly once every three weeks, and they grow well when kept in temperatures around 70 degrees year-round. They do quite well when left alone in bright, full light. If the plant begins to shed or brown spots appear, you should definitely water it. Just be mindful of the shallow roots, which can rot easily or fall out of the pot.
Cacti (the plural of cactus), like succulents, are also having a moment right now. They instantly give off this cool Western vibe when they’re added to modern bohemian décor. The thrive best when planted in pots that allow drainage, and when planted with Southern-facing lighting. Cacti don’t need water that often; just give them a little drink when the top 1/2 inch of the soil or moss is dry. If you end up buying a cactus or two, you can propagate cactus pads to grow more!
If you want a more elegant looking plant, peace lilies are the way to go. This beauty can grow between one to six feet tall, and they produce beautiful white flowers in the early summer that continue to bloom throughout the year. Plus, they’re basically impossible to kill. Their leaves will droop when thirsty, so you’ll known when they need water (which should be about once a week), and they don’t need too much sunlight. Bonus: These powerful yet sophisticated plants can also filter toxins from the air like ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde! They’re serene and easy to care for, but if you have pets, beware: The only downside is that the peace lily is actually poisonous, so keep them out of reach from pets.
The Zee Zee plant has been the pride of many a black thumb. You can literally stick this plant in a closet! Don’t have a lot of natural lighting in your apartment? This plant can take it. Not a fan of watering? The ZZ plant don’t care. The less you do, the more this plant will love you. It thrives in almost all conditions and few pests could bring it down. The waxy coating on their leaves makes them look so shiny and new, and they can reach anywhere between 16 to 24 inches tall. This houseplant only needs watering once every two weeks, and just be sure to keep it out of intense, direct sunlight. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping to filter out air pollutants. Buy it because it reminds you of ZZ Top; keep it because it’s so easy to care for!
Bird’s Nest Fern
Forget about your standard fern! The bird’s nest fern is a great focal point houseplant if you like coastal-vibe decor thanks to their bright island-inspired leaves. They are particularly good houseplants for bathrooms or kitchens because of their steamy atmosphere, which is important because a bird’s nest fern need some humidity to really thrive indoors. Although the occasional slip up won’t hurt, you want to try keeping their soil moist. These tropical-esque plants are cheap to purchase and readily available. Just be sure to trim lightly whenever you deem necessary.
Their hardiness and adaption for semi-shaded conditions has made the haworthia a popular container plant for indoors. The unique form and zabra pattern of this succulent makes them a top pick for modern decorating styles. Their leaf pores (stomata) open up at night, which allows the plant to conserve water and, consequently, be drought-tolerant, making this the perfect pick for a busy owner. They can get by with watering just once a month, but will quickly succumb to rotting if over-watered. These dainty succulents, often mistaken as aloe vera, are almost always small and very (very) slow growing, but tend to look brilliant in unusual containers or interesting soil mixes. Most commonly you’ll find hawothrias with a central rosette, fleshy dark green leaves and small white flowers that bloom a few weeks after the first day of Summer.
Aloe has become one of the trendiest and most fashionable houseplants to place on your desk or bedside table. And you can dazzle your friend’s with aloe’s healing properties! Aloe Vera not only helps soothe your skin from burns, cuts or cold sores, but this statement plant will also purify the air and emit oxygen, helping to cool indoor temperature. While they do well in full sunlight, this powerful plant can also be kept in artificial light and only needs to be watered once every two weeks. Just allow them to dry out between watering to keep the root from rotting.
Fiddle Leaf Fig
Make a statement with a super tall tree in your living space with a fiddle leaf fig. This majestic specimen is lush, sculptural and make for excellent eye candy, in a good amount photographs of some of the most beautiful interiors you see floating around the internet. This plant loves bright, indirect sunlight so place yours near a window and try to water twice a week. The leaves are poisonous to pets, but luckily the leaves really don’t drop unless the plant isn’t being taken care of properly. So just be mindful if you’re a pet owner. Check out this post on how to properly re-pot a fiddle leaf fig.
Don’t worry if you have a brown thumb, because phalaenopsis orchids are tough to kill. And unlike most hard-to-kill houseplants, this one actually produces a gorgeous flower and adds a more feminine touch. Orchids have a reputation for being finicky, but as long as they’re given what they need, the can thrive indoors! Because orchids are tropical, bathrooms offer ideal growing conditions in terms of humidity. They do better in bright, indirect light, so a windowless bathroom may result in fewer flowers. Add this beauty to your dining table, coffee table or on top of a chest of drawers as a statement pot or gift it to a friend as a house warming present.
Also known at the most Instagrammable plants ever, these little guys can grow anywhere. They absorb moisture, so the more humid the conditions, the less water they will need. These otherworldly plants feature leaves that can be stiff, straight, soft or curly, and come in a wide variety of colors from green to gray to red! Some have incredible blooms that last for weeks. And air plant care is simple: They don’t require soil and only need light watering weekly. They use airborne particulates to get their nutrients which keeps them alive and the air clean. They’re super versatile and a great choice if you want something a little unusual in your houseplant display. Click the picture above for your own DIY purifying gem stone planters!
A robust plant, this ornamental plant has a reputation for thriving in even the most neglectful of homes (so good news for plant serial killers). Rubber plants have the added benefit of being one of the best natural air-cleaners out there. They emit high levels of oxygen and remove toxins like formaldehyde and airborne mold. Their leaves are a beautiful oblong shape and they have a gorgeous texture to them. Bright, indirect sunlight is best for these plants, so place them next to a window that has blinds, shutters or sheer curtains. But take care not to over water. If the leaves start to turn yellow or droop, you’re giving them too much. Give your rubber plant bright, indirect light and make sure it doesn’t get too hot. If you like decorating with natural, earthy elements, then the rubber plant will be a great edition to your home.
In addition to excelling at removing formaldehyde from the air, the climbing pothos plant is super low-maintenance and great for those who don’t have an interest in gardening and upkeep. Few indoor plants will climb and crawl as readily as climbing pothos. This vigorous plant is well known for its long, trailing stems that can grow up to eight feet or more. Take advantage of the plant’s eagerness and let it gracefully drape from a basket, crawl its way around the expanse of a room, or simply cascade onto a table. This hardy yet playful plant digs bright, indirect light and is quite forgiving if you forget to water every once in a while. However, too much sunlight or over-watering can keep these plants from growing — but don’t let that deter you. If you do buy one and it does well, you can take cuttings from it and grow more! Just cut them back a couple times per year to keep them looking busy and full.
If you’re looking for a hint of tropical for your contemporary modern taste but don’t have the light to sustain a small palm, the Madagascar dragon tree is an excellent alternative. Dracaena has long been the centerpiece of container plantings. Plus it’s a rather hard plant to kill and bounces back from neglect quickly. Their stems can be trained to bed or spiral, and are topped by clusters of slender arching leaves with narrow purple margins. This minimalist bright plant likes low-light and needs watering once a month. It does need a bit of pruning to prevent it from getting too wild, but otherwise requires minimal attention. Just make sure to water when the soil is slightly dry, keep it out of the sun and keep it out of reach from pets.
BASIC TLC FOR HOUSEPLANTS:
- Find the right light in your home. This will take some experimentation, so start with the sunniest room and work down from there. Look daily for signs of stress such as wilted or yellowing leaves.
- Make sure plants are in proper-sized containers, with quality potting mix. A root-bound plant will not thrive in any conditions.
- If over-watering is a temptation, put a base of gravel in the pot saucer; that’s your overflow container, especially helpful when you have too many gardeners tending the plants.
- Get in the habit of observing your houseplants at least every few days. Touch the soil to determine if watering is needed. Every so often, wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them glossy. Look for signs of pests and ill health and treat immediately.
Take this quiz to see what houseplant is best for you!