We've all killed a house plant or two at least once in our lives or, know of someone notoriously successful at not caring for house plants as you should. It's always slightly devastating, so to cut out the upset, it makes more sense to instead choose indoor plants that are easy to care for, simple to grow and most importantly, a breeze to keep alive.
- Shop our best indoor plants if you're up for a challenge.
We called in the experts at Lazy Flora to recommend some of their favorite easy house plants to keep alive, even with a little neglect or overbearing care. 'Plants such as the striking Flamingo Flower, bright Guzmania and tough Prickly Pear are known for being extremely easy to look after, are rarely thirsty and can adapt to various lighting conditions.'
Claire Ransom, the founder of Lazy Flora adds 'The best thing about tougher house plants is that their owners don’t need a natural green thumb or extensive gardening expertise. We all know someone who can kill a plant at 20 paces. Some of my friends confess to being the type of gardener who, no matter how well-intentioned, just can't seem to keep their botanical babies in good health. If that sounds familiar, then these robust plants are for you. They're the ultimate low maintenance bunch and still thrive in spite of slight neglect. Most of them feel right at home living with forgetful waterers, who also have a habit of putting their plants in corners with low light levels.'
Low-maintenance house plants
Low-maintenance plants means those that require little to zero attention, but that will still make a stunning addition to your home. Although this might seem like a lot to ask for in one small package, it is totally feasible. So if you’re really concerned about your ability to care for a high-maintenance plant, or have a long and varied history of plant neglect, these gorgeous indoor plants are renowned for both their beauty and hardiness – making them ideal if you've a busy life WFH, if you're away from home a lot or, simply don't have a green bone in your body.
1. Flamingo flowers (Anthurium)
A beautiful, flowering house plant, the Flamingo Flower likes indirect but bright light and needs watering fairly regularly but will forgive you if you forget. If you're feeling energetic, they love a good misting too. 'Also known as an Anthurium, the Flamingo Flower will make a fabulous addition to any home with its bright, striking heart-shaped spathes. The shiny leaves and flowers produced by the plant are long-lasting and add character and exotic beauty to any room. As they are toxic, it is best keeping this plant well out of reach of any furry friends.'
2. Air plants care (Tillandsia)
Native to forests, these gorgeous tiny plants get most of their nutrients from the air. So not only do air plants look amazing, anywhere, – especially when displayed in a terrarium – but they also require relatively little attention. They are easy houseplants to care for as there is no need for soil, these peculiar little plants thrive on sweet air, and will enjoy the occasional mist and weekly soak in water.
- This is how to make a terrarium.
Philodendron, part of the Araceae family, plants are full of beautiful foliage and many varieties will flower. They are virtually indestructible and have a lovely wild and bushy form. What more could you want from a house plant? Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, all it asks for is a bright spot, out of direct sunlight, and a weekly water in growing season, hold off in winter. These fuss-free house plants like humidity so misting is a great move.
- See how to start indoor gardening like an expert.
4. Sansiveria (Dracaena trifasciata)
Able to withstand up to a month without water, you’ll be hard pressed trying to kill a mother-in-law’s tongue. Not only are they a hardy species, but their thick, extending leaves make a real visual impact.
If you have the Sansevieria Zeylanica Fan variety, Lazy Flora recommends, 'The beautiful Zeylanica is a different variety of the robust snake plant, making them another top choice for beginners. The stunning dark green sword shaped leaves have distinctive, differently shaded bands running across them. Sansevieria plants are happy growing in a variety of light conditions, only require a little water and are more than capable of coping with high levels of neglect.'
- Spot in the bedroom? These are the best bedroom plants to choose.
5. Areca palm
Playful looking and one of the more easy houseplants to keep alive, Areca palms love bright (not harsh summer) light and transpire a lot of water so damp soil (not soggy) is beat. This is an ideal indoor plant for those that enjoy tending to their plants fairly regularly – it's pretty therapeutic we'll agree – as it will likely need watering every 5 days or so. Arecas also happen to be pet-friendly house plants for anyone that needs to take more care choosing non-toxic varieties.
6. ZZ plant (Zanzibar Gem)
'The ZZ plant should be everyone's first plant. Because it is one of the toughest around, you'll often find it’s glossy, polished green leaves decorating offices and low-light areas around the house. It doesn't require much water but thrives best when the soil is not completely dried out, so a little and often approach to watering comes up trumps.'
- Learn more about the benefits of houseplants.
7. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
'These plants are devilishly difficult to kill and can tolerate above average amounts of neglect, making them an ideal choice for people with busy lives. When cut, the leaves of a rubber plant will secrete sap that can be harmful to humans and pets alike, so take care when handling. Water it when the top of the compost becomes dry and place in a position somewhere with indirect light.'
- Shady garden too? These are the best shade plants for outside.
8. Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are super hardy and forgiving house plants that thrive best in bright but indirect light or shady conditions. They drink a fair amount of water but can withstand a little drought too and will forgive over-caring/neglectful plant parents. Another bonus is that you'll have so many opportunities to propagate new baby spider plants, and you'll likely enjoy flowers throughout growing season also.
'Getting its name from the arachnid-like baby plants it produces during summer months, the Spider plant is incredibly undemanding. They prefer bright, but indirect light and are best placed anywhere in the house away from a sunny windowsill.'
- Check out these easy flowers to grow outside and in.
9. Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia)
Cacti fend for the themselves anyhow, but a Prickly Pear cactus is even more undemanding and comes complete with a beautiful form and flowering potential too.
'Cacti are super low maintenance, and the Prickly Pear is extremely easy to look after because it only requires watering when almost dried out. Don’t let their spiky nature put you off, they help the plant conserve water and are safe to handle when using gloves. Accidental spikes stuck in the skin can irritate, but instead of pulling them out by hand, which can be tricky, use sticky tape as a timesaver. As with all cacti, a sunny spot on the windowsill will ensure the plant is happy and thriving.
10. Asparagus fern (Asparagus Setaceus)
Don't let its wispy foliage frighten you, Asparagus ferns put up a good fight and once you've found them the right spot, they will grow and thrive. They want low light, humid conditions if you can. Spritz with a mister every so often, or avoid this altogether and keep yours near a bathroom where it can enjoy natural humidity. Water when the soil has dried out, though if you forget, it will be okay.
11. Fishbone cactus (Disocactus anguliger)
The zigzag cactus is one of the most easy house plants around for forgetful waterers and though its soil should dry out between waterings, it will forgive you for extended drought periods. This cool looking plant is native to Mexico, likes bright but indirect sunlight and may reward you with flowers should you give it just the right amount of attention.
The number one houseplant predicted to trend hard in 2021.
12. Arrow Head plant (Anthurium Arrow)
Easy to care for and with an incredible capacity for absorbing CO2 around the house too. According to SaveonEnergy.co,uk 'A single plant is able to absorb 10.08% of CO2 so if you happen to have 42 of these plants placed around your indoor environment, then you’re covering the emissions released from charging your phone to 100%.' What's more, you're unlikely to kill any of these 42 plants as it's a great pick for beginners, needing bright but indirect light and watering only when the first couple of inches of soil are bone dry.
What is the hardest plant to kill?
A lot of it comes down to your natural care routine, but if you're not sure what that is yet, start super easy with cacti or air plants. Ransom adds 'There are the old reliable ‘unkillable’ plants like Snake plant, ZZ plant and Areca palm. However, in my experience, the plants I look after the best are the ones that I care about the most! I find it hard to get excited about snake plants, so I forget to water them. But hibiscus or orchids, I really love and tend to, so for me those are the ones that are more unkillable.'
Best of luck 🌵