When it comes to bringing some life and color into your home, nothing beats a beautiful array of houseplants, and because you can buy plants online, it’s easier than ever to pick out just the right plants. But if you struggle to keep your urban jungle thriving, or if you just want to reduce the time you spend caring for your indoor houseplants, you can choose varieties that are hardy and independent. When you’re ready to buy plants online, here are fifteen low-maintenance indoor houseplants to consider.
The round, plump leaves and thin stalks of the Chinese money plant form a lush, dome-shape. And they grow rapidly, making this an ideal plant for quickly bringing a shelf or corner to life. It requires almost no water in the winter and only occasional water in the summer. Keep the plant in indirect light and rotate periodically for even growth.
The heart-leaf develops dark green leaves on long vines that grow up to 15 feet or more, creating a real urban jungle. Let the top inch of soil dry out between watering and place it where it will be warm and get indirect light. Take note that the heart-leaf is toxic if eaten, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.
With its fine, flowing vines and leaves shaped like tiny, green and purple hearts, the string of hearts is the perfect solution for a partially shaded part of the room that could benefit from a hanging basket or high pot. The delicate stems can store water, so this plant prefers drier soil and very little watering.
The erect structure and green and yellow mottling of the snake plant’s leaves make it a good fit for corners that need vibrant color. While it prefers indirect light, it can survive in low light, and it needs very little water. Let the soil dry between watering and then water it generously. But be sure it’s in a pot that drains well: snake plants are notoriously susceptible to root rot.
For a real visual statement, it’s hard to do better than the shiny, deep green leaves and erect, bright white flower of the peace lily. The blossom of the peace lily lasts for months at a time, and the plant overall is resilient enough to recover quickly if it gets under-watered. The peace lily even has the ability to eradicate mold spores, so place it in a damp or high humidity spot in indirect or low light to freshen up the air.
This popular, spindly hanging plant requires very little attention and is super-efficient at purifying the air. The spider plant produces “baby” shoots that can be removed and re-potted. Keep this plant out of direct light and keep the soil from getting too wet for too long. As a tropical plant, the spider plant loves to be misted lightly with water from time to time.
Like other succulents, aloe vera efficiently stores moisture in its stems and so requires very little watering—typically no more than once every three weeks or so. It also prefers a dry, sunny spot with direct light. While it’s toxic to pets if they eat it, the aloe plant has long been cultivated by humans because of the curative, soothing properties of the gel inside the leaves when it’s used as a topical ointment.
The glossy, delicate leaves of this tall-growing plant hang elegantly and are very good at cleaning the air. But those leaves also scorch easily, so the ideal spot for the weeping fig is one that gets indirect light and that’s not near any heat sources. Keep the soil moist, but not overwatered, and mist the leaves gently in the summer.
Cacti are the ultimate survivors, which makes them perfect for the novice—or absent-minded—gardener. With its clusters of hairs, rather than spines, the angel wings cactus is a favorite of indoor gardeners. It can grow to between two and five feet and its pale yellow flowers develop into beautiful red fruits that can be eaten. Water infrequently and put it in a dry, bright spot that gets plenty of air.
Golden pothos is one of the queens of the vining indoor plants. The flowing, shiny leaves fill up a space and are very effective at filtering the air (but be aware that they are also toxic to pets if they eat them). Golden pothos prefer medium light, which makes them good candidates for corners away from the window in a bright room. Allow the soil to dry between waterings in order to avoid root rot.
A member of the mint family, some varieties of lavender can be used for culinary purposes. All of them, however, provide a burst of rich purple color and will fill your room with a peaceful, floral aroma. These hardy plants require little care: let the soil dry out fully between watering, place it in a bright light where it will get plenty of warmth, and it will reward you with its beauty and its fragrance.
Palm plants are some of the most effective air-purifiers on the planet, and the areca palm is no exception. So not only will the tall, graceful fronds of this indoor plant create a visual sense of the tropics, it will help make the air in your room fresh as well. Place your areca palm in a bright spot, but away from heat sources. Let the soil dry between waterings and use soft water to boost its growth.
The thick, shiny, large leaves of this ornamental fig have made it a popular choice for bold visual statements since the late nineteenth century. It can withstand a couple of hours of direct sunlight, though it prefers indirect light, and it grows quite tall, so give it plenty of upward space. Let the soil dry fully between waterings and mist or wash the leaves in summer to prevent the build-up of dust.
The sleek trunk of the ponytail palm, or elephant’s foot, forms a characteristic bulb shape and it sprouts long, curly, flowing leaves, giving the plant a distinctive shape. The ponytail palm is not a palm tree at all but, rather, a succulent, storing moisture in its plump trunk. As such, this plant is very easy to care for: place it where it will get bright light half the time and let its soil get very dry between waterings.
No soil, little water, simple light needs: it’s difficult to imagine a plant that is more resilient and less needy than air plants. These plants should be placed in a glass container or terrarium, out of direct light, and in a humid location. Mist them lightly every three or four days and allow them to dry fully before misting again.
Growing plants indoors provides a great solution for adding color, life, and vibrancy to almost any room. Many indoor plants can also help purify the air. But many people assume that tending to plants and gaining these benefits will require too much time and attention. If you don't have a green thumb, or you just don't have time, you shouldn't assume that you can't enjoy the benefits of indoor plants. Opt for hardy varieties that are carefully and intentionally chosen to fit the lighting and space requirements of your room. With a simple watering schedule and some occasional liquid fertilizer, anyone can transform a dull and dreary interior into a vibrant, living indoor jungle.