There is a wide variety of low-maintenance indoor plants available for any home. Whether you live in a small apartment or large house, have lots of shade or sunny windows, there’s bound to be several plants that could beautify your space while increasing indoor air quality.
Don’t be discouraged if you feel you don’t have a green thumb. Many indoor plants thrive on inattention. Often the secret is placing your new plant where it will receive just the right amount of sunlight. Research potential choices so you know what you’re getting into. Then just go for it.
1. Chinese Evergreen
This is a popular indoor plant that thrives in low light. In fact, it’s best to avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight. Chinese evergreens like the same comfortable indoor temperature you do. They do like to be moist, so if you tend to over-water, you can try this one out.
The plants originate from tropical climates, so they like humidity. It helps to add fertilizer to your watering can in the spring to give them a boost. If the plants are doing well, you may need to replant it in a larger pot every couple of years.
Aloe plants are not only easy to grow, but they also have a variety of health and beauty uses. Aloe is a succulent related to cactus. It loves lots of light, well-drained soil, and to dry out completely between waterings. This makes it a great plant if you are forgetful or have to travel for periods of a week or so at a time.
To keep your aloe from getting overgrown, you may need to pull the new sprouts, or ‘pups’ out as they appear. These plants can be placed in a new pot as a gift, used as a natural beauty aid, or even added to your favorite smoothie.
3. Snake Plant
The Snake or Mother-in-Law plant has been popular among indoor gardeners for generations. Recent studies have also shown this unique plant to be among the best air-purifiers. It filters substances such as Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, and Toluene. This makes it an excellent choice for smokers.
Snake plants are also related to succulents, so they love lots of indirect light, well-drained soil, and dry well between waterings.
4. Spider Plants
If you’re looking for a great hanging plant, the spider plant is famous for its long offshoots, producing ‘babies,’ or seedlings. These plants are also excellent air purifiers, removing contaminants such as Formaldehyde, Xylene, and Toluene from the air.
Spider plants require a bit more mindfulness, in that they need more water during the spring and summer season, less in winter months. They don’t like much fertilizer, so use organic soils for planting. They can also be sensitive to fluoride, so tap water may cause leaves to turn brown. Overall, the plants can live through a variety of trial and error until you’ve established the best care.
5. Fiddle-leaf Fig
As a member of the Ficus family, these plants are also excellent air purifiers. They can grow to be quite large, so it’s good to consider a larger space for them in a floor pot. They’re tropical plants that like a lot of indirect light.
Coldwater can cause Fiddle-leaf figs to go into shock. So, let the water warm to room temperature before pouring it on the plant. Let the soil dry between waterings. And don’t let your pets eat these plants, or they may become sick.
6. ZZ Plant
Here’s another excellent plant for periodic travelers, as it can be ignored for a short time and bounces back quickly. Like other tropical natives, the ZZ plant likes lots of indirect light and doesn’t like to be cold. Other than that, it’s easy to care for. It grows from a potato-like rhizome and will grow into whatever sized pot you plant it in.
The one drawback is that the ZZ plant is toxic if ingested. Keep it away from pets and children. Some people may even have a skin reaction, so take care when handling this unique and beautiful plant.
Philodendrons are the classic house plant. One plant can beautify your home for decades and be multiplied by snipping and rooting. There are many leaf variations, as well as vining and non-vining varieties. Lots of indirect light is best, even lamp light helps.
Water when the soil is dry more than a couple of inches down. Fertilize in spring and summer growing season. Make sure the plants can drain easily, and repot them every couple of years for best color and growth. These plants make great gifts, too.
8. Peace Lily
Peace lilies rank high as air-purifying plants. They can filter Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, Toluene, and even Ammonia from the air. And plants that are receiving sufficient light will produce blossoms periodically throughout the year, adding to their wow factor.
Peace lilies should be repotted yearly to prevent the rhizomes from becoming too crowded. They may not like some area’s tap water. The plants like to be damp but will survive a short dry period. Keep them out of direct sunlight and cold locations.
Jade is a well-beloved succulent both indoors and out. These plants will thrive in a sunny window location and can survive cooler temperatures in winter. Succulents love well-drained, slightly acidic soil and being allowed to dry slightly between waterings to prevent fungus. Let them dry even more in winter months.
Jade plants also like to be fertilized well during peak growing months in summer. Many jades produce lovely blooms in late winter. The plants make excellent house-warming gifts and are even considered by some to bring good luck.
10. African Violets
Despite the stigma that seems to follow them, African violets can be really low-maintenance plants. The secret to growing these year-round bloomers in finding just the right amount of light. A west- or south-facing window is best, either in a deep window sill or a couple of feet away.
The best way to water African violets is to put water in the saucer and let them soak it up about once a week. Pour off excess water. Fertilize with specific African violet fertilizer. Slightly rootbound plants bloom better but repot if leaves are beginning to brown.
Houseplants add to both the aesthetics and overall health of your home environment. It is worth the effort to experiment and find plants that meet your abilities and environmental offerings. Watching healthy plants progress can be a satisfying, mood-enhancing experience.
Keeping houseplants brings a little bit of nature inside year-round. It helps generate clean oxygen for you and your family to breathe. Caring for them can also be a family learning experience. So don’t hesitate to try growing easy-care plants. It may not be so hard as you think.