Easy Care Houseplants add so much to our lives … they clean our air, improve our moods, bring a touch of nature indoors, style up living spaces, and even help us focus better at work. Who knew?
I’ve always liked indoor plants … why I can remember growing up with at least 12 different houseplants growing in our living room ranging from a petite African Violet to a behemoth Crown Of Thorns plant (if memory serves me – it was over 3 feet high and at least 2 feet wide) and the ubiquitous (for those times) Spider Plant in a macrame hanger. Those plants stoked my curiosity and love for all types of houseplants …
Fast forward to present day, a co-worker commented recently she has a “black thumb” and if she simply glances at a plant … it’s doomed. I listened patiently to her houseplant horror stories and thought to myself, she most likely has had fussy plants set in the wrong growing conditions.
That conversation inspired me to make a list of the Top 10 Easy Care Houseplants … that anyone can grow! These are not needy, drama queen plants. They are hardy, low maintenance, attractive indoor plants that don’t require a green thumb for success.
Without further ado, here are FlowerChick’s selections for the Top 10 Easy Care Houseplants …
1. Golden Pothos
The first easy care plant that comes to mind is the hardy, ever dependable Golden Pothos. I discovered two neglected pothos plants at work in offices with no windows. They were very dry and received almost no light. With a weekly watering and new placement with medium, indirect light … they are thriving. (see “George” at the top of the page)
Pothos is the perfect plant for beginners since it’s hard to kill. Give it a little love and you’ll have one for years to come. They are also a cinch to propagate if you’d like some baby pothos for yourself or to give friends.
Golden Pothos Care Tips
- Water when soil feels dry to the touch (approx. once a week – set a reminder in your phone if you find that helpful)
- Provide medium, indirect light
- Vining plant – grows downward (trim if you want a bushier shape)
- Basic household humidity is fine
- Fertilize every two weeks in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing
2. Snake Plant
Don’t worry … this plant doesn’t attract snakes! The Sansevaria Snake Plant affectionately nicknamed … Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Bowstring Hemp, is one heck of a tough plant that brings easy care charm and vertical chicness to your interior space.
Originally from South Africa, the Snake Plant rates very high by NASA as one of the top houseplants for removing xylene, toluene, formaldehyde and other contaminants from the air.
Snake Plants are attractive and very hardy with their erect, sword-shaped leaves. They can be used as interesting table plants or, when taller, stately floor plants.
Snake Plant Care Tips
- Thrives in bright or low light (very flexible)
- Allow the soil to dry out before watering
- Feed a Snake Plant monthly when it’s actively growing with a Cactus plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength
- Prefers low humidity
- Plant in a good, rich, organic soil that drains quickly
3. ZZ Plant
ZZ Plants, Zamioculcas zamiifolia (wow – that’s a mouthful), are beautiful, unique, almost impossible to kill plants in the succulent family that burst into stores several years ago. These drought-tolerant, slow-growing plants are a wonderful addition to low-light situations in homes and offices.
ZZ Plants are considered poisonous … so keep them away from children and pets, and wash your hands or wear gloves if you need to handle it. Otherwise, this tough plant tolerates neglect.
Try it in an out-of-the-way corner or spot where it can quietly shine for you. The leaves bounce light off the surface and add a serious amount of gleam. The ZZ Plant instantly elevates the tone of your room giving your decor a classy taste of the tropics.
ZZ Plant Care Tips
- Allow the soil to thoroughly dry out before watering
- This plant can go 2 – 3 weeks without water (they have thick roots called rhizomes that store water)
- Feed a ZZ plant monthly when actively producing new leaves and every other month when not in a growing phase
- ZZ plants do well in basic household humidity
- Don’t place in direct sun as it burns the leaves
4. Arrowhead Plant
Arrowhead plants, also called syngonium and nepthytis, make excellent easy care houseplants. Originally grown as a solid green plant, arrowhead plants now have leaves that are almost white, green & white, and various shades of pink or burgundy. No matter the color, the leaf of any of these plants is always shaped like an arrowhead.
The never dull Arrowhead plant actually changes leaf shape as it ages! They will grow more complex into an open fan structure with up to 11 leaflets.
These plants have a trailing habit conducive to hanging baskets or placing on bookshelves where they can show off their vines. Arrowhead plants do best when slightly root-bound. Do not rush to move them to the next sized container.
Arrowhead Plant Care Tips
- Provide medium to low light (bright light turn the leaves gray)
- Arrowhead plants prefer high humidity but still grow well in basic household humidity
- Fertilize every two weeks in the spring and summer (when an arrowhead plant is actively growing) with a balanced, liquid plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Feed monthly in the fall and winter
- Water well and then allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering again. An arrowhead plant droops when it needs water, but perks up quickly once watered
- Arrowhead plants like a rich organic soil that drains well. An African violet mix is a good choice
5. Polka Dot Plant
A Polka Dot Plant (hypoestes) is a small colorful plant native to Madagascar. The delicate green leaves are covered in spots and splashes of red, rose, white, or light green. These plants have a lot of personality and are frequently used by florists as a filler in container arrangements.
Polka Dot plants can be used outdoors as an annual in Zone 5 / 6 but I prefer them indoors where they will thrive as houseplants when given lots of bright, indirect light, consistent warm temperatures, and high humidity. These plants make great terrarium specimens, providing a splash of color and visual interest.
Polka Dot Plant Care Tips
- Plants prefer bright, indirect light (too much light or too little light causes the colors in the leaves of this plant to fade)
- Water well and then allow the top 25% of the soil to dry out before watering again
- High humidity is preferred – mist daily
- Prefers a rich, loose, peat-based soil that drains well
- Prune aggressively to prevent the plant from becoming leggy and thin looking
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Did You Know? If you feel tense, it might be time to invest in a houseplant. When you plant and take care of one, you’ll probably feel more relaxed than if you spent the same time on your computer or phone. Houseplants offer a calming connection that even has the power to soothe your nervous system and help lower your blood pressure.
6. Aloe Vera
Grown indoors, an Aloe Vera Plant can provide some tropical flair to your decor as an easy-going succulent. Medicine Plant is its nickname because the sap from its leaves soothes minor skin irritations and burns.
Aloe Vera has won over many home gardeners for its hardiness and tolerance of forgetful waterers. These plants have long, narrow, plump leaves with little spikes along the edges so be very careful when handling it. It can be used as a table top plant when small or a floor plant as it matures.
If you like, you can move your potted plant outdoors for the summer, but don’t put it in direct sunlight right away. Gradually place it in a brighter spot every few days to prevent overexposure.
Aloe Vera Plant Care Tips
- Place your aloe in a bright, sunny spot … otherwise it will go dormant and stop growing
- Water the plant about once every two weeks, waiting until the soil dries out fully
- Native to the deserts and need very little humidity
- Limp or brown leaves signal you’ve overdone the watering
- Grows in almost any type of soil, but a quick draining well-aerated soil with some sand in it is best. A commercial cactus potting soil works well
7. Spider Plant
One of the most popular houseplants, a happy Spider Plant (a.k.a. as a Ribbon Plant) features strappy leaves that erupt up, out, and then down from the center of the plant. Prominent narrow stripes run the length of the long, grassy leaves. These easy care plants are frequently used as indoor hanging plants or placed on a pedestal to spotlight their graceful, trailing nature.
When kept rootbound, Spider Plants develop the cutest little babies! These plantlets grow on long, modified stems and can be trimmed to create new plants. Or, if you wish … choose to leave them intact. If you do, the plant will appear wider and very lush.
The well-known Spider Plant is also a champion cleanser of indoor air. The NASA tests showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air we breathe.
Spider Plant Care Tips
- Spider Plants like medium to bright indirect light
- Fertilize monthly with a balanced plant food diluted 1/2 the recommended strength. Spider plants need food only when they are actively growing
- Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before you water
- These plants prefer high humidity
- Use a good organic houseplant soil like an an African violet mix
Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane / Leopard Lily plants, are native to the tropics of Mexico and all the way south to Argentina. They are easy to maintain houseplants with large, broad, patterned, oblong leaves.
The decorative leaves really catch your eye. You’ll love watching them grow and unfurl into their full, exuberant glory! In optimal conditions, this plant grows fast and tends to get top heavy if not trimmed back.
They were dubbed “Dumb Cane” plants because all parts of the plant are very poisonous. Keep away from curious pets and children. Wear gloves when pruning a Dieffenbachia so you don’t get sap on your skin.
Dieffenbachia Care Tips
- Dieffenbachia plants like bright, indirect light
- Rotate your plant each week a quarter of a turn. This will help all the pretty leaves receive the same amount of light
- Water well and then allow the top 2″-3″ of soil to dry out before watering again
- Fertilize only when the plant is actively producing new leaves. Most dieffenbachia should be fed every two weeks in the summer and once a month in the spring and fall. Never feed in the winter
- High humidity is a plus, but a dieffenbachia still does well in basic household humidity
9. Corn Plant
The Corn Plant or Dracaena fragrans ‘massangeana’ is an easy care and rewarding houseplant. It’s one tough cookie tolerant of lower light, missed waterings, and general neglect. If you take good care of it … it may even bloom! See my post on “Flora” our rescue plant by clicking here. A true rags to riches story.
This type of dracaena is especially popular because of its long, graceful, green leaves that have a yellow and light green stripe running down the center. The leaves grow out of a central woody cane. They start out as a tabletop plant, but grow into stately indoor trees.
You might hear this plant nicknamed “Mass Cane”, and you can see why. Happy Corn Plants will develop multiple trunks and rosettes over time. The more, the merrier! Ours now has three going on four trunks.
Corn Plant Care Tips
- Can tolerate low light but grows faster and produces larger leaves in medium to bright indirect light
- If you don’t have high air humidity, keep a spray bottle handy to mist the plant
- Allow the top 50-75% of the soil to dry out before watering. This plant survives under-watering but quickly dies from over-watering
- Fertilize a corn plant dracaena monthly in the spring and summer with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Never feed during the winter
- Trim the leaves with a clean wet scissors; using a wet scissors prevents unsightly yellowing in the cut areas
10. Parlor Palm
The Parlor Palm (or Neanthe Bella Palm) is a compact, dark green, indoor palm with long graceful fronds. This fabulous green plant does well in almost all locations making it the perfect plant for offices, businesses, and for less than optimal growing conditions in homes. It’s an easy to grow charmer!
Please don’t give this lovely plant direct sunlight. You’ll bleach out the foliage and cause sunburn. Instead, try a spot near a north window or further away from the beams of the sun. It will survive low light situations, but would appreciate some grow light supplementation in that case.
The versatile Parlor Palm can be small enough to use in a terrarium or tall enough to sit on the floor. In a 6” pot it makes a perfect table plant. When a Parlor Palm is planted in a 10” pot, it can grow up to 4 feet tall.
Parlor Palm Care Tips
- Medium to Low Light preferred
- Parlor Palms prefer high humidity so mist several times a week
- Water a Parlor Palm well, and then allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering again. When in doubt, do not water!
- They do not need much plant food. Fertilize monthly in the spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Do not feed a Parlor Palm in the fall and winter
- Use a basic indoor potting soil that retains water but still drains quickly
You can’t go wrong with any of the above Top 10 Easy Care Houseplants … whether you are a beginner or experienced plant parent. An indoor garden can be your refuge from the outside world, and for many people it is a source of great joy. Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, by introducing certain plants into your home, you will start to notice improvements to your health, and overall happiness. Plants enhance your mood, create a living space that is soothing to be in, and positively augment your decor by bringing nature indoors. What’s not to like?
I’ll leave you with a few more general tips for houseplant success:
- Always use pots with drainage holes to prevent root rot.
- Water your plants with room temperature H2O. Best to fill up watering cans and let them sit overnight.
- In most cases, watering should be done in the morning. As you’ve probably heard, plants don’t like to go to bed with “wet feet”.
- Do not feed if the plant is dormant. Wait until they are actively growing.
- Plants tend to be happier in groupings. It’s easier for you to care for them and mist them together. Plus they seem to enjoy the camaraderie.
- Don’t just buy a plant and forget about it. Treat them like a member of your family and give them t.l.c. – why I even name our houseplants. They seem to like the attention! (Okay, call me a crazy plant lady lol ; )
For more info on houseplant care, make sure to check out my posts on Flora the Dracaena Fragrans and Prickly the Holiday Cactus.