Low maintenance houseplants are hard to kill, and thrive with little attention. These are the best types of houseplants for homes with either low sun or a lot of sun.
Houseplants add a touch of life to small apartments, and certainly help bring the outside world into a house. Plants that are easy to take care of are best for people with no green thumbs – if, indeed, there is such a thing.
Often, people who think they have bad luck with houseplants simply have to select the right plant type for their house’s amount of sunlight, and the level of care that they are able to provide.
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Easy plants, the species that are considered low maintenance or “hard to kill,” are the right houseplants for people who don’t have the time or inclination to do more than occasionally water them, or whose homes aren’t particularly well-lit by the sun.
Easy houseplants; best plants that require little care or direct sunlight
#1. Ivy plant
Ivy is ridiculously easy to take care of, with many hardy ornamental varieties. Popular ivy types are Persian ivy, Irish ivy, Algerian ivy, and English ivy.
There are many different subspecies of English ivy; they all look different, but the most common ivy houseplants have bird’s foot leaves and are probably Glacier and Irish Lace. Don’t overwater an ivy, and it will thrive in a low light apartment or house.
#2. Spider plant
Many suburban houses feature Spider plants in their front windows. A little water now and then, a little sun, and spider plants almost always stay healthy.
They’re also easy to reproduce: Baby spider plants just grow right on stems off the adult houseplant, and can be picked and potted.
#3. Wax plant
Along with the ivies and spider plants, the wax plant does well as a hanging houseplant.
Wax plants need a little more direct sunlight than do the ivy and spider plants, but otherwise are easy to care for.
#4. Snake plant
Also called the mother-in-law plant, this alternate name is a mild insult (these houseplants are hard to get rid of, get it?) and the plant is common and popular in apartments.
Snake plants can take as much or as little sun as owners give them; they are notoriously hardy and hard to kill. This houseplant has stiff, upright leaves, and can grow to as much as four feet tall.
Easy houseplants; best houseplants that require little care and are in a sunny room
A cactus brings up mental images of unfriendly thorns and spikes, but some are quite elegant and beautiful. The Prickly Pear and Column cacti are thorny, for example, but the Bishop’s Cap and Christmas Cactus are not, and they are just as easy to care for.
Aloe is not just a popular ingredient in hand lotion, it’s a common houseplant as well.
Easy to take care of, aloe is a succulent with thick, juicy leaves.
A medicinal plant, aloe can be used to treat superficial burns. Simply break off a leaf, and squeeze the aloe vera gel onto the afflicted area.
Another easy houseplant that needs a lot of sun, the bromeliad family typically grow in a rosette form with a center well. This well, a natural bowl called a tank, should be filled with water. Terrestrial bromeliads need to be in warm rooms, as they are tropical species.
Easy houseplants; best plants that can grow in water
Bamboo may be the ultimate hard to kill houseplant. Occasionally refresh the water in a glass bowl (ornamental ceramic may leech chemicals into the water), and bamboo will do well. Bamboo also makes a lovely natural outdoor border, for homes in the right USDA zone for plant hardiness.
#2. Wandering Jew
While this house plant does best in moist soil, it is an easy plant to grow in a bowl of water as well. The pleasing purple color of the Wandering Jew makes it a popular houseplant, with its color providing a nice counterpoint to common green houseplants around it.
#3. English Ivy
More proof that this is one of the best and most adaptive houseplants, English ivy thrives in nearly any low maintenance situation.
Water it a little, water it a lot, or just plunk it in a glass bowl; English ivy will grow regardless. One of the miniature English ivy subspecies is best for this. The danger with a full-size ivy variety is that it can grow too long, and knock over the bowl.