If you love the idea of having your home flourish with houseplants, but are intimidated by the responsibility of keeping yet another living thing alive, you're in luck. There are several common houseplants that are so easy to care for that even novices can effortlessly keep them alive. Here are some of the best low maintenance indoor plants that are hard to kill:
Air plants are plants that can survive and thrive without soil -- instead, they attach themselves to rocks, trees, or any other surfaces. They are incredibly easy to care for, so they make great houseplants for anyone who has never had an indoor plant before. And because they don't need to be planted, you can style them in unique ways, such as in terrariums.
Instead of watering them like you would a traditional plant, air plants should be placed in a sink and lightly rinsed. Repeat this watering process every week or two and mist the plant gently every few days to prevent it from drying out. Air plants also need protection from full sun exposure, so keep it in a bright room with filtered light or on a shady porch or balcony.
The aloe plant is most famous for being a key ingredient in tequila, but it is also an easy plant to care for that can spruce up any indoor space with its thick, reaching leaves. Aloe grows in deserts, so it should be planted in well-draining potting mix made for succulents and cacti, and watered only when the soil is dry in the top two inches -- this should be about once a week. If you're not sure whether or not to water your plant, it's best to wait a few more days before doing so. Over-watering aloe will cause the roots to rot and the plant to slowly die.
Make sure your aloe plant is placed in a bright spot in your home, either in direct or indirect sunlight. You can't go wrong with placing an aloe plant on your windowsill to soak in the sun. Just make sure it's getting enough sunlight -- if your plant is in a spot that's too shady, it won't grow well.
Begonias are known for their large flowers that will add a splash of bright color to any space -- and they are easy to take care of. First thing's first: when buying begonias to grow as houseplants, make sure they are suitable for the indoors. Some begonias flourish outdoors, while others will be happy in an indoor pot. Each begonia should be labeled as either an outdoor or indoor plant at your local nursery.
For indoor begonias, place them in a windowsill so they can soak up the sunlight. Indoor begonias are susceptible to overwatering, so it's important that you wait until the plant begins showing signs of thirst. Check to see if the leaves are drooping slightly, or stick your finger into the surface of the dirt. If the dirt is dry to your first knuckle, it's time to water. Begonias also require humidity, so to achieve the healthiest plant with the most beautiful flowers, mist the plant once or twice a week.
Cactus plants are native to deserts and thrive in hot, sunny conditions. This makes them an incredibly low maintenance houseplant. When planting your cactus, you must use well-draining soil, as you would with the aloe plant. If you use soil that retains water, your cactus will rot and die.
Cacti demand several hours of direct sunlight, so they can be a bit tricky to grow if you live in a rainy climate. If your plant isn't getting enough sunlight, invest in a grow light. However, if you notice the cactus is turning yellow or bleaching, it might be getting too much light. Start by placing your plant on a south- or east-facing window, watch if it's getting the right amount of light, and move the plant if need be.
Many plants, including cacti, undergo a "growing season" between spring and into fall, where they need to be watered once a week. During the winter "resting season," you don't have to water as frequently. At this time, simply check the soil -- if it's dried out, add some water.
Cast iron plants might be one of the hardiest houseplants, so they're perfect for anyone with a black thumb. This plant grows slowly, but its large, deep green leaves can withstand conditions many other plants cannot -- including areas with a low amount of light.
Although cast iron plants will grow quicker and be healthier with regular watering, they are drought-tolerant, meaning you don't have to stick to a strict watering schedule to keep them from dying. So if you have a busy schedule and don't have time to tend to a plant regularly, a cast iron plant might be one of the best indoor plants to choose.
The lucky bamboo plant is said to bring happiness and prosperity to the house, which makes it an important element often incorporated into feng shui. Lucky bamboo is also not technically bamboo, despite its name and bamboo-like stalks that you can trim and shape as they grow.
While you can plant lucky bamboo in a pot, this houseplant doesn't need soil to be a happy, healthy plant. Many people opt to plant lucky bamboo in a clear glass container filled with small stones and pebbles to hold the stalks upright, with about an inch of water at the bottom. Make sure there is enough water at the bottom to submerge the roots, and change the water once a week. When it comes to sunlight, keep the plant in a well-lit room, but out of the harsh direct sunlight that can burn the lucky bamboo leaves.
Orchids are delicate and beautiful plants that are easier to care for than many other common houseplants. It's important to make sure your orchid isn't exposed to light that is too strong or hot. An east-facing windowsill is the most ideal home for a potted orchid, as the sunlight that comes in through south- and west-facing windows can be too strong for the plant to withstand.
There are many different types of orchids, and each type requires a different amount of watering, humidity, and potting material. The best course of action when determining how frequently to water your orchid is to stick your finger into the potting material (typically moss or bark) and test how dry it is. If the material is lacking moisture, add water. If you've never cared for an orchid before, start with the nun's orchid or lady's slipper orchids -- they are the most low maintenance.
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Peace lilies are one of the most common houseplants, partly because of their pretty white flowers and how easy they are to maintain. Place your lily near a north, south or west-facing window so it can receive its needed amount of sunlight, without being in direct light all day.
To make sure you avoid overwatering or underwatering your peace lily, pay attention to the state of your plant and soil. If you notice your lilies are drooping and if your soil is dry, it's time to water the plant. Though the frequency of watering can vary, watering peace lilies once a week is a general rule of thumb. However, peace lilies are native to humid, tropical climates such as rainforests. So while you don't have to water it daily, it's important to gently mist the plant several times a week, especially during the summer.
Philodendron is a plant that adapts effortlessly to indoor conditions, which makes it incredibly easy to care for. If you set a philodendron in a bright room, but out of the sunlight, it will thrive. Keep an eye on the plant's leaves -- if many of them are turning yellow, this indoor plant is getting too much sun.
Like many of the aforementioned low maintenance houseplants, philodendron plants should only be watered when the top inch of soil is completely dry. Stick your finger in the soil to test its moisture and then water well. Other than watering this plant about once a week, philodendron is a plant you can tuck into the corner of a room and not have to fret about.
One of the most common houseplants (and arguably the easiest to grow), pothos is easily identifiable by its long, winding, leafy vines that cascade down its pot. Pothos can grow successfully and healthily in low light, so you don't need to worry about where to place it in your home.
Do you often forget to water your plants? With pothos, you don't have to set reminders for yourself. The plant can last a long time without water, and actually grows best when the soil is allowed to completely dry out between waterings. Only give this houseplant more water when its leaves begin to droop.
Rubber plants are large potted plants that can fill a large space in any room, and, despite their size, they are incredibly simple to maintain. The tree prefers bright, indirect light, so it's a good idea to place it in a bright room with filtered light. As for water, rubber plants like to be kept moist during the summer growth season -- you should water the plant once the soil begins to dry. However, during the winter months when the tree turns dormant, you only need to water it once or twice a month.
With their long, thin leaves that reach every which way, it's not hard to see why these easy-to-care-for greens are called spider plants. They are also one of the easiest houseplants to manage, and rarely have any health issues other than browning tips. As long as they have well-draining soil and indirect light, they are tough to kill. Similarly to pothos, spider plants prefer to dry out between waterings.
Succulents are small, trendy and hard to kill plants that come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. They are perfect for novice plant parents, and their waxy, flesh-like appendages make them an eye-catching decoration for any room.
Because succulents are native to drier climates, you should plant them in well-draining soil, make sure they receive several hours of direct sunlight, and only watered about once a week. When watering, it's important to only give your succulent a little sip and not soak the soil.