The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
By Lina Romero
I’ve loved plants for as long as I can remember, but growing up moving around, I wasn’t able to have a garden so I learned about houseplants from a young age. However most people aren’t experts, and with the current pandemic situation improving so slowly (who else is still waiting to get their vaccine?) plants are in high demand. They’re less work than a pet, they brighten up any living space, and they bring a touch of the outdoors indoors. So, for all my friends without green thumbs, below is my condensed list of the easiest plants to keep alive indoors. I’ve tried to include a variety of different looks and degrees of needs like sunlight for homes that get less or more of it.
If you’ve gone shopping for plants at all, you’re probably familiar with Pothos. Even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve seen them around without knowing what they’re called. There are numerous varieties of Pothos, but some more common ones are the satin, marbled, and golden Pothos. All have more or less the same care instructions, though some prefer more humidity.
Pothos is a great plant because it only requires weekly to biweekly watering. And instead of needing a strict schedule, you simply need to check the top layer of soil in its pot with your fingers every few days, and only add water if it feels dry. Pothos plants also don’t need exorbitant amounts of sunlight, so if your room doesn’t face the sun, they should be fine as long as you keep your blinds open a few hours a day.
Another benefit to this plant is that it’s easy to propagate (make more plants out of) by putting clippings in water and transplanting them into soil in a few days after roots form. In other words, you can get infinite plants for the price of one!
2. Spider plants
Similar to pothos, Spider plants are pretty hearty. I water mine biweekly. However, I’ve found that they go without it once or twice, they will perk back up when you water them again. They prefer partial sunlight and too much direct sun can harm them. There are a few different varieties but they all have similar care instructions.
Also similar to pothos, spider plants are easy to propagate. In fact, they basically do it themselves! If your spider plant is happy, it will eventually make “baby” plants called spiderettes on the edge of a vine. Simply detach a spiderette and put it in soil. You can also leave it in water for a few days first to allow it to root even faster.
3. Ruby ball cactus
You’ve seen them at every plant store. They’re small with balls on top that grow in several bright colors. The ruby ball cactus is almost as cute as it is easy to care for. It only needs water once a week for most of the year, and not at all during the winter (though you can mist it occasionally if it droops).
What’s interesting about this cactus is that the “ball” and the base plant are actually two separate organisms grafted together. The ball part is albino, and therefore doesn’t like a lot of sun, but the cactus on the bottom needs at least some. Therefore, keep this cactus somewhere with partial sunlight.
4. African violet
The African violet is easy to maintain, but it should be watered only from beneath. If too much moisture gets on the leaves, they’ll wilt. However you only need to water it every 3-4 days, and planters with trays underneath are fairly common.
This plant prefers partial sunlight, and will dry out on a sunny windowsill, so it’s best to place it somewhere with a decent amount of indirect light though I’ve had success keeping it in somewhat shady places, too.
What I like best about the African violet is that the flowers stay blooming almost all year around and they’re a lovely understated shade of reddish purple with beautiful dark leaves.
5. Lucky Bamboo
These happy-looking little guys are more durable than they look! Although they grow best in full sunlight, they can still flourish with partial light and won’t droop or anything. They also only need watering a few times a week. You can find them at almost any supermarket or place where they sell plants and they last for years. I’ve had mine since high-school.
6. Sago palm
Despite their name, these palms are not actually "palms," rather, they are named for their palm-like fronds which are what make them beautiful and ornamental. They can go long periods of time without watering, and only need it every week or two, depending on the humidity in your home. In fact, it's more dangerous to water them frequently because overwatering can lead to root rot, which is detectable by yellow leaves.
Light-wise, like most houseplants, sago palms prefer bright but indirect light, so they can survive in spaces that don't get a lot of sun. Something nice about sago palms is that they have long lifespans over 5 years and can grow up to 2-feet indoors. However, if your sago palm's leaves are turning yellow and it's not root rot, you may have to purchase a cheap fertilizer for its soil, but this shouldn't happen often.
WARNING: Sago palms are toxic to animals and people so if you have pets/ babies, I don't recommend this plant. I had to give mine away when I adopted a cat.
I'm sure you've heard how easy succulents are, and they came in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors that you're sure to find one that suits your liking. Although there is some variation in the care instructions/ light needs from succulent to succulent, most of them need partial sunlight and very little water, sometimes as few as monthly watering, which is perfect for forgetful people.
8. Air plants
If you're looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, air plants are where it's at. You can leave these fellows alone for weeks at a time without watering and they won't die. They also don't need too much sunlight, so you can hang them anywhere in your room. They're basically indestructible (but not completely—you still need to water them occasionally, usually with a mister/ spray bottle once a monthish).
Lastly, some herbs, like oregano and basil, which are less decorative but can be useful if you like to cook Italian food, are also easy to grow indoors. I'm not as experienced with these plants, but I've had success growing basil before and my mother swears by her indoor herb garden.
In general, if you're looking for an easy plant, most common houseplants aren't too hard to maintain, and you can never go wrong with a succulent or an air plant. The main takeaway is to do your research before buying. You can keep plants alive if you pay attention to their needs and follow care instructions as best you can.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.