It’s common to hear people who live in a plant-free home say, “I’ll just kill them.” In some cases, this is a valid explanation since many houseplants require watering, attention, and a specific climate in order to thrive. However, a few common plants are so easy to care for that they are almost impossible to kill through neglect. It has proven that even those with a lack of attention can enjoy some chlorophyll in their home. We’ve compiled a list of 15 incredibly hardy houseplants.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
If you are looking for a hardy houseplant that can thrive without a lot of attention, you should consider the snake plant. The large leaves of this succulent can go without water for weeks at a time. It can tolerate a wide variety of conditions, from bright light to shade and from dry to humid air. Snake plants are also sometimes called mother-in-law’s tongue because of their bladelike leaves.
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
Parlor palms have been popular houseplants for a long time, and for good reason. A shade-tolerant native of Central and South America, it grows from two to three feet tall at maturity, tolerates low light, and requires only infrequent watering. All of this makes it a great choice for beginners or forgetful gardeners. The plant is sometimes called bamboo palm because of its bamboo-like stems, and it produces inedible fruits (though fruiting is rare indoors).
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Ribbon plants, also known as spider plants, are forgiving, especially when it comes to infrequent watering and artificial light. Plants can be grown in pots or hanging baskets and division is easily accomplished, allowing you to multiply your plantings for the price of one. Despite receiving less attention than it deserves, it is a showy houseplant thanks to its distinctive light green stripes on its leaves and white, star-like flowers.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Rubber plants are varieties of fig trees that are commonly found in offices and homes. Maybe because its large, dark green leaves make it look like a jungle plant, it’s often overwatered. This plant tolerates low light but is notorious for appreciating stability – being moved around often tends to stress it, which may be a blessing in disguise for owners who aren’t as attentive. Although leaves can be a serious dust magnet, it is worth regularly wiping them down.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
Christmas cactus is named after the showy flowers it produces in winter. Although it is a true cactus, this plant is native to the rainforest, not the desert, and prefers more moisture than other plants of its kind. This is a rewarding houseplant that doesn’t require much else if you are up to the watering regimen. The plant prefers partial, indirect light and thrives in a standard potting mix or cacti mix. Make sure to plant it in a container that allows the limbs to drape to encourage more growth.
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Crotons are popular houseplants that have colorful, variegated leaves that might give novice plant owners a scare when they first get them home. Be prepared for it to drop its leaves at first since it dislikes being moved. The plants will bounce back if you keep them well-watered. There are a few things I need to know about caring for this tropical, native to Southeast Asia plant.
Air Plant (Tillandsia spp.)
You can grow an air plant that requires no soil and little water if you’re looking for a truly hands-off houseplant experience. Because it is an epiphyte, it collects nutrients from the air and can live indoors in glasses, on beds of rocks, or even just sitting on a table. The air plant will still need to be periodically misted or dunked in water to mimic its natural habitat unless you keep it in a misty, humid place (like the bathroom).
Eternity Plant (Zamioculcas zamifolia)
The eternity plant truly lives up to its name. Although it thrives in less than perfect conditions, it can outlive poor plant care for what seems like an eternity. In rooms with mostly artificial lighting, it can survive happily with little water and low to medium light. Since it prefers to have its soil completely dry between waterings, you can water it as little as once a month.
Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans)
Hardy houseplants like corn can thrive in shadier spots. As its leaf tips will start to brown if it needs more water, it tolerates inattention fairly well. Since it can grow up to six feet tall at maturity, it’s also a good choice as a large floor plant. The plant grows slowly from cane-like stalks, which can be cut back to train it to the size you desire.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Vining houseplants, such as golden pothos, are a good introduction. The yellow and green leaves have a heart-shaped design. Typically growing 12 to 18 inches a month, it can be trained quickly and easily to vine. Even though pothos prefers natural light, it can grow well under fluorescent lights, making it a good choice for dorm rooms, offices, and other areas with artificial lighting.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Another vine that grows easily with little care is English ivy. It is a good choice for hard-to-reach spaces, such as hanging pots or high shelves, since it can grow for weeks without attention. The English ivy does grow quickly, but it often takes two years before it begins to produce long vines. It’s a great houseplant, but is considered an invasive species in the United States because it spreads quickly and outcompetes natives.
Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)
Jade plants grow tall enough to resemble trees once they reach a certain height. The thick, waxy leaves are excellent at retaining water, so it’s usually easier to overwater than to leave it too dry.
A five-foot tree can grow rapidly, but its growth will take time. To promote vertical growth, its heavy, fleshy leaves must be trimmed. Trimming exposes its unique trunk, which would otherwise be hidden by thick foliage.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
There is no doubt that peace lilies are one of the most beautiful houseplants because they can withstand low light levels. When given ample light, it will produce more flowers. Even in low-light conditions, it remains a hardy foliage plant.
Besides being highly drought-tolerant, peace lilies also require minimal irrigation. It’s best to water them only when the soil is dry to the touch, rather than on a schedule. Wait until the leaves have drooped before watering if you are unsure of how often to water.
Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)
Wax plants are slow-growing, vining plants that make comfortable houseplants. With its waxy leaves and ability to grow in a wide range of conditions, it is a popular plant. Star-shaped flowers appear in late spring and early summer, but they must be well-tended to bloom – a fun challenge for a budding gardener. It should be grown in a high-drainage potting mix with perlite and pumice to promote airflow.
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
The leaves of Aloe are thick, dark green and succulent. Light is preferred, though it can withstand severe droughts. It will thrive on a sunny windowsill without much attention. Despite its ability to tolerate partial light, Aloe may show long, spindly leaves rather than strong, thick leaves.
The leaves of aloe are fleshy and can be harvested for medicinal purposes. You can take a small cutting and use it to treat wounds or sunburns.