If you’re looking to add some greenery to your home but don’t have a green thumb, don’t despair! There are plenty of easy-to-care-for plants that even the most hardcore plant killers can’t kill. We asked nursery professionals to weigh in on the 10 easiest types of plants to care for, so you can rest assured that your new plants will thrive.
Nursery Pros Weigh in on the 10 Easiest Types of Plants to Care For
We know that taking care of your houseplants can be a daunting task. To ease your worries and make sure you're successful in your green thumb efforts, we asked nursery professionals to weigh in on the 10 easiest types of plants to care for. These plants are sure to bring life (and color!) to your space without taking up too much of your time.
The first of the 10 is the pothos plant. There’s a reason this plant is one of the most popular in the world–it’s not just easy to care for, it’s also incredibly attractive. The variegated foliage makes the plant look exceptionally striking, even in low light. All you’ll need to do to look after your pothos is keep the soil lightly moist.
Next, English ivy is another favorite because of its hardiness and its ability to survive low light as well as drafty areas. Like the pothos, English ivy requires very little maintenance–just regular watering, and it’s good to go.
The snake plant (or mother-in-law’s tongue) is a unique, architectural plant that adds a modern touch to any space. It’s also one of the toughest plants and is extremely hard to kill. This small houseplant does best in bright, indirect light, and should be watered only when the soil is dry.
First on the List: The Snake Plant
The snake plant (or mother-in-law’s tongue) is one of the most popular and low-maintenance house plants out there. Not only can they survive in areas of low light and drafty spaces, but they also look exceptionally modern and architectural. The snake plant also doesn’t need much attention: just regular watering, and it’s good to go.
The snake plant is especially beneficial in areas of low light, because it helps purify the air. The long and thin leaves are a deep green and yellow, giving any space a touch of modernity and vibrance. The snake plant is also great for busy and inexperienced gardeners, as it’s easy to maintain and hard to kill. To get the best out of your snake plant, keep it in indirect light and water it when your finger signals that the soil is dry when you poke it.
Second on the List: Pothos
If you’re looking for a hanging plant that doesn’t require too much care, pothos is the one for you. Typically, green, or yellow with variegated leaves that look slightly marbled, pothos is part of the arum family and one of the most popular house plants. It’s known for its ability to grow quickly, as well as it’s trailing vines and hearts.
Pothos likes bright, indirect light and doesn’t require a lot of water, meaning it’s perfect for indoor windows or living rooms. Another plus is that it’s non-toxic to pets, so it’s safe to have children and pets in the same room as your pothos. When it comes to care, let the soil dry out between watering and don’t let it sit in soggy soil. And lastly, keep it away from cold temperatures or drafts.
Third on the List: Philodendron
The third type of plant to make the list of easiest plants to care for is the philodendron. This quick-growing tropical vine can add a touch of the jungle to any home and is a relatively low-maintenance plant. Philodendrons come in many different varieties, ranging from creeping types to larger varieties. The name “Philodendron” comes from the Greek words “philo” meaning love and “dendron” meaning tree.
The philodendron is an ideal houseplant for both beginners and experienced gardeners. It thrives in warmer temperatures and moderate to bright indirect light, and it prefers moist (not soggy!) soil. When the top one to two inches of the soil become dry, it is time to water the plant. Be sure to use well-draining soil and offer humid air. With its incredible ability to adapt, you can keep your philodendron happy almost anywhere indoors.
Fourth on the List: Dracaena
The next plant on the list of easiest plants to care for is the dracaena. This verdant, primitive-looking, air-purifying houseplant comes in an array of varieties, shapes, and sizes. Dracaenas are slow growing, making them ideal for container gardening. As most dracaena varieties can live for more than 20 years, this is the perfect plant for a forever home. Dracaenas come in a range of foliage colors and shapes, from the classic green to dark burgundy.
Dracaena plants love bright, indirect light, so they do well in rooms with sheer curtains and eastern or western exposures. You should water a dracaena once every two to three weeks, but never let the potting medium become water-logged. Allow the top one to two inches of soil to dry out before you water again. The air in the home should be slightly humid, but dracaenas are really low-maintenance and tolerate dry air.
Fifth on the List: ZZ Plant
Coming in at seventh on the list of plants to care for is the ZZ plant, sometimes called the Zamioculcas zamiifolia. This is a stunning houseplant with attractive, glossy foliage and tall stems that reach up to one meter tall. The foliage may be slightly droopy and can be easily pruned with a pair of garden clippers or shears.
ZZ plants prefer bright, indirect light, with direct sunlight avoided and humidity of the room kept lower. A ZZ plant should be watered once or twice a month when the soil feels dry. Water the plant until some starts to drop out of the bottom of the pot and then discard any extra water that is left in the saucer. Keep the plant away from any drafts or heat sources. The dark green foliage of this plant can survive a wide range of temperatures from 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit. This low-maintenance houseplant is perfect for those just starting to explore the world of plants.
Sixth on the List: Spider Plant
Eighth on the list of plants to care for is the spider plant, sometimes known as Chlorophytum comosum. It is a popular houseplant that is easy for a beginner to grow. This plant has slender lance-shaped leaves in bright green and white variegation that are held up high in an urn-shape with sprays of delicate arching leaves.
Spider plants prefer bright, indirect light and need to be kept moist, but not soggy. Water them when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. They also appreciate being listed from time to time to increase the humidity surrounding the leaves. Spider plants are adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant is great for people in a breezy, low-humidity environment and is air purifying, making it an excellent choice for indoor and apartment gardening. Spider plants make great gifts for friends, too.
Seventh on the List: Aloe Vera
Ninth on our list of easiest types of plants to care for is the Aloe Vera plant, or Aloe barbadensis, a relative of the cactus. This plant needs bright light, though it can tolerate some direct sun, and a well-draining soil. Aloe Vera prefer their soil to be slightly dry, and you should water it thoroughly when the soil is completely dry to the touch.
It’s also important to note that Aloe Vera likes temperatures between 55- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s best to keep this plant indoors. A bonus is that Aloe is both adaptive and resilient, making it ideal for a beginner.
Aloe Vera is an excellent addition to indoor settings, with its resilience and unique beauty. This plant is also prized for its medicinal properties; most people are familiar with the gel inside the thick leaves, but Aloe’s juice extraordinarily benefits when ingested. Aloe Vera is a great houseplant to keep around – both aesthetically and nutritionally.
Eighth on the List: succulents
Next on our list are succulent plants, which are probably the most popular plant in today’s culture. Succulents are relatively easy to take care of, needing only moderate light and soil that is a bit drier than other plants. The best type of soil for succulents is a gritty, nutrient-rich soil that drains quickly and does not retain moisture.
You should water succulents deeply when the soil is completely dry. Try to keep the temperatures of the environment between 50- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Succulents come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a great option for any interior space. Also, consider that some succulents can do well outside as well, particularly during the summer months.
Succulents are an excellent starter plant for any novice gardener. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can custom build a planter with different succulents in it to create a great visual statement.
Ninth on the List: Bonsai Trees
The ninth best type of plants to care for are Bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are a form of Japanese art featuring small tree specimens that are trained in special containers. They often require little maintenance and can keep their form year-round.
Depending on the species, bonsai trees need fertilization, light pruning, and watering. It’s important to select the right tree species for your environment and to look at how well the tree will adapt to the conditions. A bonsai should get at least five hours of sunlight a day, and its soil should stay moist but not waterlogged. When caring for bonsai, it's important to attend to it often as it is highly sensitive to its environment.
Bonsai trees make an excellent addition to any home! With the right care, these trees can last much longer than traditional plants and are inherently low maintenance. Plus, the addition of a bonsai tree will add a unique touch to the atmosphere of your room.
Tenth on the List: Herbs
Tenth on the list of the easiest plants to care for are herbs. Herbs are a great beginner plant for any level of gardener and require little attention, apart from watering as necessary.
When it comes to herbs, you want to ensure you select varieties that will thrive in the available sunlight and humidity levels in your home. Also, try to re-pot herbs and give them regular nutrient inputs by top-dressing the soil with compost or other organic matter.
Herbs are fantastic in adding interesting flavors to meals or to use as natural remedies and teas. When growing herbs, you’ll also want to consider yield and season, as some herbs are only available during certain times of the year.
Overall, herbs are some of the easiest plants to care for, as they only need light, water, and occasional boosting of essential nutrients. They make a great addition to any home and require low maintenance.