These Hard-to-Kill Houseplants Are Great for Beginners (2024)

These Hard-to-Kill Houseplants Are Great for Beginners (1)

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From your bedroom to the living room, houseplants are the easiest way to invigorate a space. Of course, contrary to other home decor, potted plants need the right amount of water, sunlight and humidity to thrive indoors. Rather than stress over intense care routines, try hard-to-kill houseplants — indoor trees included — that can easily be ordered online. Trust us, you don't have to be an experienced plant parent to keep the best indoor plants happy and healthy.

Aesthetics aside, houseplants are known to improve your health, provide clean air and boost your overall wellbeing. Here, we've compiled low-light plants, like the pothos and ZZ plant. Plus, there are drought-tolerant varieties, like snake plants or aloe vera, if you're known for forgetting to water your plant babies. Hoping for a bit of good luck? We've sprinkled in a few feng shui plants as well — hint: the money tree is meant to bring good fortune.

To help you choose your next houseplant, you'll notice we've noted the watering and sunlight needs of each species, as well as if the plant is toxic to cats and dogs. Get ready to find the perfect pick for your interior.

Parlor Palm

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These lush, tropical fronds makes a beautiful addition to any room, not to mention, they purify the air. Parlor palms love humidity, so you may want to mist the leaves frequently, but as for watering, every one to two weeks should suffice. With proper care, they can grow tall — think up to six feet!

Watering: Every one to two weeks
Sunlight: Medium to bright, indirect light, but can tolerate low light

Aloe Vera

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You may know aloe vera as a soothing ingredient commonly found in lotions and soaps, but it's also a resilient houseplant. The succulent is known for its lance-shaped leaves with spiky edges, plus its ability to purify the air. It loves bright, indirect light and only needs be watered once its soil is completely dry.

Watering: Once every two weeks, once soil is dry
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

RELATED: How to Care for Aloe Vera Plants and Keep Them Growing

Fiddle Leaf Fig

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Arguably one of the most popular indoor trees, the fiddle leaf fig is known for its large, broad leaves. We'll admit they're pricey, but they're sure to make a statement in a home — and will bring years and years of joy with proper care. It loves bright direct sunlight, but can also tolerate indirect light.

Watering: Every 7 to 10 days
Sunlight: Bright light, direct or indirect

RELATED: Best Indoor Trees to Spruce up Your Space

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Money Tree

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This eye-catching tree, boasting a braided trunk, can grow up to eight feet indoors. It's a popular office gift idea, since it's believed to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Aim to expose your money tree to bright, indirect sunlight six hours a day, and only water it when the soil is dry.

Watering: Every one to two weeks
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

RELATED: How to Care for a Money Tree to Garner Good Luck

Philodendron

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What's not to like about philodendrons? Their name is derived from the Greek words philo-, which means "love," and dendron — the word for "tree." Most types of Philodendron — like this heartleaf philodendron — can tolerate low light and very little watering. They like to be on the dry side, so don't fill the watering can more than once per week.

Watering: Every one to two weeks
Sunlight: Medium to bright indirect light, can tolerate low indirect light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: Best Feng Shui Plants for Positive Energy, According to Experts

Chinese Evergreen

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Also known as Aglaonema, the Chinese Evergreen is a great pick if you're looking for a trouble-free houseplant, providing you follow proper growing conditions. It only needs watering every 5 to 10 days (watch out for soggy soil) and low to bright indirect sunlight to keep it intact. You can find varieties with green leaves adorned in bold stripes ranging from silver to red.

Watering: Every five to 10 days
Sunlight: Low to bright indirect light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

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Spider Plant

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What's better than one spider plant? Multiple spider plants. The fast-growing shoots produce little "babies" that you can re-pot for added greenery elsewhere. Native to South Africa, the spider plant is an easygoing houseplant ideal for beginners. Just stick to well-lit spots, and don't forget weekly watering.

Watering: Once per week
Sunlight: Bright to moderate indirect sunlight

RELATED: 20 Best Air-Purifying Plants to Infuse Greenery Into the Home

Bring the beauty of this unusual plant into your home, and you won't be disappointed. Keep it happy with a watering schedule of two to three weeks — soil that's kept lightly moist is best. Aim for bright, indirect sunlight several hours every day, but it can also benefit from a few hours of direct sunlight during morning hours when the sun isn't as strong.

Watering: Every two to three weeks
Sunlight: A combination of bright direct and indirect sunlight
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Orchid

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When it comes to low-maintenance flowering plants, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option than an orchid. Don't overwater them (once a week will do) and give this popular pick bright, indirect light. We especially love them for offices!

Watering: Once per week
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

RELATED: 20 Indoor Flowering Plants to Brighten up Your Home All Year Round

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Peace lilies, or Spathiphyllum, are ideal for those who tend to overwater plants. Not to mention the tropical houseplant helps toxins and purify the air. Give it sufficient light, and you'll see their spade-shaped flowers flourish over time. They can tolerate low light, but there may be less blooms.

Watering: Once per week
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light, but can tolerate low light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Also known as the Swiss Cheese plant, Monstera Deliciosa are native to Mexico and Central America. This tropical plant features leaves with holes, which lend to their exotic vibe. Depending on the variety, its leaves can grow up quite large — imagine 35 inches long and 25 inches wide. It requires moderate watering and indirect light (bright to medium is best).

Watering: Every one to two weeks
Sunlight: Bright to medium indirect sunlight
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: How to Care for a Monstera Deliciosa Plant

ZZ Plant

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Officially named Zamioculcas zamiifolia, the ZZ plant is native to East Africa. Called "the king of the indestructible plants," the species tolerates the dangerous trifecta of plant-killers: drought, low light and really low humidity. Just water it every two to three weeks, more often if its displayed in bright sunlight.

Watering: Every two to three weeks
Sunlight: Medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate low light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

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Snake Plant

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One of many sansevierias, the snake plant is tough to kill. Its stiff, sharp and spiky leaves store water, so you can water it as little as once per month. Native to tropical West Africa, this houseplant grows slowly, but can reach anywhere from eight inches to 12 feet depending on the variety. It's also known for purifying the air, making it a great choice for bedrooms.

Watering: Once per month
Sunlight: Bright to medium indirect sunlight
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: How to Grow and Care for a Snake Plant

Jade Plant

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Jade retains water in its round leaves, so it can sometimes survive more than a month without any attention whatsoever. "If they do get water, they start to rehydrate and grow," says Neil Mattson, an associate professor in the horticulture department at Cornell University. Position it in a sunny window (south- or west-facing, preferably) and water when the soil feels dry. The resilient houseplant is also a symbol of friendship, luck and prosperity!

Watering: Once every two weeks, when soil is completely dry
Sunlight: Bright sunlight for 6 hours per day
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: How to Grow and Care for a Jade Plant

Asparagus Fern

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Purchase an asparagus fern, and you'll find that it can handle much more abuse than its counterparts. That's because it's really not a fern after all — it's a part of the asparagus family. Asparagus setaceus can thrive in bright spaces as well as corners with very little light. Keep this fluffy plant's soil moist at all times.

Watering: Mist daily, or water when it doesn't feel moist
Sunlight: Bright indirect light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

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Calling all black thumbs: This trailing vine has earned the nickname "devil's ivy" for its ability to withstand nearly pitch-black conditions, as well as under- and over-watering. Ideally, you should water it once the soil is completely dry. In addition to the common green pothos, there are other varieties like the golden pothos, known for its green and yellow leaves.

Watering: Every one to two weeks
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light, but can tolerate low light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Calathea Ornata

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Often referred to as the pinstripe, prayer or zebra plant, the calthea ornata is defined by its large and beautifully veined, oval-shaped pink and white striped dark green leaves. The prayer plants tend to raise their leaves at night, then lower them during the day. To encourage it to grow tall, keep soil lightly moist and provide it with indirect light.

Watering: One to two times per week
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

String of Hearts

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If you're partial to trailing plants, you'll appreciate the beauty of the String of Hearts, which boast vines up to 12 feet long. They're native to South Africa and all of its variegations have heart-shaped leaves that add charm. The exotic houseplant loves bright, indirect sunlight, ideal for a south- or west-facing window.

Watering: Every one to two weeks, when soil is 2/3 dry
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

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You can't go wrong with this low-maintenance plant that's native to Asia. With consistent pruning and low, indirect light, you'll witness its beauty. When it comes to watering, it should only be done when the soil is on the dry side (about once a week).

Watering: Once per week
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light
Take note: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

RELATED: How to Keep Your Rubber Tree Plant Looking Its Best Indoors

Best Indoor Plant for Any Room

Air Plants

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You can keep the potting soil in the shed for this one. Tillandsia grows without dirt altogether. "Just dunk them in water for about two or three hours every 10 days or so," says Tovah Martin, expert gardener and author of The Indestructible Houseplant. You can also mist them a few times per week.

Watering: Every 10 to 14 days
Sunlight: Bright, indirect light

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Monique Valeris

Home Design Director

Monique Valeris is the home design director for Good Housekeeping, where she oversees the brand's home decorating coverage across print and digital. Prior to joining GH in 2020, she was the digital editor at Elle Decor. In her current role, she explores everything from design trends and home tours to lifestyle product recommendations, including writing her monthly column, "What's in My Cart."

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Alyssa Gautieri

Associate Lifestyle Editor

Alyssa Gautieri (she/her) is the associate lifestyle editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers all things home and interior design. Prior to joining GH in 2022, she wrote for publications including ELLE Decor, Chairish, BobVila.com, Unique Homes Magazine and LODGING Magazine, in addition to crafting product copy for home brands like BrylaneHome and VIGO Industries.

These Hard-to-Kill Houseplants Are Great for Beginners (2024)

FAQs

These Hard-to-Kill Houseplants Are Great for Beginners? ›

"Satin Pothos"

What is the hardest to kill houseplant? ›

10 Hard To Kill Plants
  • #1 Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
  • #2 Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  • #3 Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
  • #4 Christmas Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
  • #5 Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus)
  • #6 Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
  • #7 Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)
Jun 26, 2023

What is the best indoor plant for beginners? ›

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata), peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.), ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia), and even some varieties of monstera (Monstera deliciosa) can be easy to maintain as well.

What is the number one cause of houseplant death? ›

Watering seems like such a simple task that many are surprised to learn that improper watering is the number one cause of houseplant demise. Plants take up water through their roots. Water is used as plants photosynthesize and transpire, and it is lost through evaporation.

What is the most difficult house plant to take care of? ›

Musa (Banana Plants)

First on our list is the Musa or Banana plant, also known as our friends Baloo and Juma. Banana plants can be hard to care for because they're made of 80% water, which means they get very, very thirsty. But don't let that dissuade you from inviting them into your home.

What house plant is impossible to kill? ›

Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Snake plants are nearly impossible to kill! They don't mind low light levels at all, and they only need watered every few weeks. In fact, overwatering is the only sure way to kill this plant.

What is the deadliest houseplant? ›

COMMON POISONOUS HOUSEPLANTS
  • Nerum oleander. oleander. ...
  • Oxalis. oxalis. ...
  • Philodendron scandens. heart-leaf philodendron. ...
  • Polyscias. aralia. ...
  • Schefflera syn. Brassaia. ...
  • Solanum capiscum. Jerusalem cherry. ...
  • Spathiphyllum. peace lily. all plant parts contain calcium oxalate. ...
  • Syngonium. arrowhead vine. all plant parts contain calcium oxalate.

Does sugar water help dying plants? ›

Also, soil that is saturated with a sugar solution can attract harmful micro-organisms that can affect the plant's health. There is no scientific evidence that feeding plants sugar water is conducive to plant health. On the contrary, it can harm your plants and even kill them.

What is the biggest killer of houseplants? ›

The biggest killer of indoor plants is overwatering!

What is the lifespan of a houseplant? ›

The average age of most houseplants is between five and ten years, but it isn't uncommon for some to live up to 20 years or longer. Sometimes this is attributable to the type of plant, but more often to the care of the grower.

What is the most indestructible plant? ›

Top 5 Indestructible Indoor Plants
  • Epipremnum areum (Pothos)
  • Pachira aquatica (Money Tree)
  • Dracaena sanderiana (Lucky Bamboo)
  • Zamia zamifolia (ZZ Plant)
  • Sanseveria (Mother-in-Law's Tongue or Snake Plant)

What is the hardest pest to get rid of in houseplants? ›

Red spider mites (Tetranychus sp.)

Mites are technically not insects but they, like insects, are Arthropods. They are probably some of the most feared of the common household insect pests, largely because they are so difficult to get rid of. Spider mites are nearly naked to the eye.

What is the most unkillable indoor plant? ›

Cast Iron Plant

Cast iron by name, cast iron by nature – this plant is number one on our unkillable houseplants range for a reason. Aspidistra add lush, green foliage to any space and can withstand almost any environment you throw at it.

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