There are so many different types of house plants out there – it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide will walk you through the top 25 best and most common house plants that are low maintenance, what they require and how to help them thrive indoors
This type of succulent, originally found in Madagascar, does well as an indoor plant as well as in succulent or rock gardens. There are many different varieties of Kalanchoe plant, but the most common is the Blossfeldiana type – which produces large blooms and flowers throughout the year, not just in the spring. The Kalanchoe can have red, white, pink or yellow flowers. This houseplant does well in sunny areas and prefers a warmer climate.
Water this plant like you would any succulent – moderately in the summer months and sparsely throughout the winter. Remember – you can check the leaves on most succulents to see if they are in need of water. The care for this plant is very low maintenance – making it quite a common houseplant. On top of its pretty blooms and easy care, the Kalanchoe plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat infection and inflammation.
When the Kalanchoe plant in full bloom you can see their beautiful spiralized flowers
Also known as the Umbrella Tree plant, this tropical plant is native to Taiwan and prefers full, indirect light. Schefflera will bloom flowers of red white or pink – but only if cared for in the most perfect of conditions. These conditions require leaving your potted Schefflera indoors throughout the colder months and then allowing it to sit outdoors, in indirect sunlight throughout the summer months.
Full direct sunlight can burn the beautiful, glossy umbrella tree leaves so make sure to find a place underneath a patio or some other covering. These plants enjoy loads of water! Wait until the soil has dried out on the top of the pot and then water thoroughly – soaking the soil all the way through. The Umbrella Tree plant can grow quite large, sometimes up to 6 feet tall – so make sure to make it a common recurrence to re-pot your plant annually.
Schefflera grows large, glossy leaves
These plants are great as indoor or outdoor potted plants, depending on your climate. They do well outside in warmer climates, above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and thrive best indoors in climates colder than 50 degrees. If they are potted outdoors, they will grow most efficiently in scattered, indirect sunlight.
If they are exposed to too much sun, or too cold a climate, the leaves will begin to brown and fall off – It’s common to notice brown leaves on your Croton, and fixing this can be done by simply snipping them off. Pruning the dead areas off of this houseplant will halt the dried area from spreading and allow more growth to occur in the healthy leaves. Make sure to pot these colorful house plants in a container with drainage – and remember not to over water.
The leaves on a croton are very vibrant and colorful
This houseplant is easily one of the most common and easy to grow plants out there. Originally from the Solomon Islands, this vine can grow in pretty much any condition. Although they prefer indirect sunlight, they can thrive indoors, outdoors, with very little light and with artificial light.
They don’t require much care, but if properly tended to can grow very long and lush. Pothos do prefer warmer climates and spread out waterings. There are a few different varieties, which can alter the color of the veining in the leaves. If you’re new to house plants, the pothos should be at the top of your list!
Pothos can grow up to 30 feet or longer!
5. Lucky Bamboo
This plant is grown in parts of Asia and is considered a fundamental part of Feng Shui. Receiving this plant as a gift is considered good luck! Those who grow this common houseplant learn to twist and braid the stems to create intricate and decorative patterns. Lucky bamboo is extremely difficult to kill or damage, making it quite a resilient plant. It can grow very simply in a vase with a few inches of water!
If you’d prefer to pot this plant – they enjoy soil on the moist side and thrive in indirect, filtered sunlight – similar to what they would experience naturally in the rainforest.
Lucky bamboo’s resilient nature makes it a top houseplant for beginners
If you’d like to learn how to twist your own Lucky Bamboo plant, follow along with this video!
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6. Dracaena Marginata
Also known as the Dragon Tree plant, is considered a very easy plant to grow indoors. This plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and grows an intense set of roots which prevent it from dying easily. The bright green leaves with red edges will be more vibrant in locations with more indirect sunlight, but can still flourish in areas with less light.
Brown leaves can be a common sign of overwatering, make sure to water sparsely and make sure the soil is dry on top before giving it a drink. The dragon tree prefers warmer, more humid climates – so if you live somewhere on the drier side, keep a mist bottle nearby to spritz your Dragon Tree plant.
Dragon Plants are great for brightening up an office or dark room in your home
7. Snake Plant
The Snake Plant is a very strong and reliable houseplant, making it quite common! This plant is made up of vivid green leaves that stick straight up, and are dotted with lines of bright yellow. On top of the striking visuals, the Snake Plant is known for its air purifying abilities. Snake Plants have been shown to be able to remove certain pollutants from the environment, making the air you breathe cleaner!
The Snake Plant is also quite adaptable, and can survive in dim light as well as direct sunlight, although they prefer indirect bright sunlight, the most. This plant can be damaged if overwatered, so go for fewer waterings. This common houseplant has strong roots, so choose a sturdy container!
Snake plants are able to survive in almost any climate
8. Peace Lily
These plants LOVE the warmth. They are tropical plants and can be grown in the ground in places with a similar climate, like Hawaii, or my home state – Florida. If they are being grown outdoors, they require a humid atmosphere and shady conditions that mimic that of a rainforest.
If they are potted indoors, they thrive in indirect, filtered sunlight and can be quite sensitive to too much direct sunlight. Similar to the Snake Plant, Peace Lilies purify the air around them, creating a cleaner environment in your home.
Peace Lilies enjoy loads of filtered sunlight
9. Ponytail Palm
This is actually more of a small indoor tree than a true houseplant. If grown in its natural conditions, the Ponytail Palm can grow quite large, as any regular palm would. When potted and kept indoors, Ponytail Palms grow only as large as the pot will allow them, meaning you can keep this tree quite small – even small enough to be a desk plant!
Ponytail Palms like a lot of indirect sunlight and a sandier style soil. The root in which the green palms poke out of is a form of water storage, so make sure not to over water! This is a very slow growing plant and can take years to grow into a full size tree, so be patient and consistent with care.
It can take years for a Ponytail Palm to grow a few feet
10. Majestic Palm
This palm is a bit more tricky to master indoors – but it’s possible with the right balance of water, light and care. This palm can top almost 100 feet in its natural habitat, outdoors in Madagascar, but only reaches about 10 feet tops when grown as an indoor houseplant. This common palm requires full, indirect sunlight and consistent watering. Try not to let the soil dry out between drinks, but don’t over water in one session.
These palms also enjoy a few extra supplements, like magnesium, which you can provide by sprinkling some epsom salt into your soil mixture. This palm also has quite a slow and steady growth pattern. It may take some time to get the conditions just right for your Majestic Palm, but your efforts will not go unnoticed, and can result in a beautiful, tall, tropical houseplant.
These plants take years to grow to their full size of about 10 feet
11. Fiddle Leaf Fig
This very common indoor plant can be quite a statement maker in your home. They require a fairly large potting area, and can grow to be about 10 feet tall, like the Majesty Palm. Unlike the Majesty Palm, the Fiddle Leaf Fig has a faster growing rate and can survive in conditions that aren’t quite suitable for more fickle plants.
The leaves on a Fiddle Leaf Fig are large and thick, be sure to give them a good wipe down every few days so they can receive as much indirect sunlight as possible. Another good tip for successfully growing this houseplant, is to rotate the pot each day to even out sunlight exposure. Water this plant consistently and refrain from overwatering, as this is one of the most common ways to damage the Fiddle Leaf Fig.
The Fiddle Leaf Fig has beautiful, large, pointed leaves
12. Chinese Money Plants
This plant, also commonly known as Pilea, is known for its flat, pancake shaped leaves. The Chinese Money Plant is hard to find in stores, and will most likely require a purchase off the internet. This plant is commonly found in colder climates, like Scandinavia and thrives in low temperatures.
These plants cannot handle any amount of direct sunlight, and require indirect sunlight – it has even been said that shadier conditions can spark the growth of larger leaves! You’ll want to water a moderate – infrequent amount, letting the soil get dry on top in between drinks.
The Philea is a common house plants in colder climates
13. Spider Plants
These plants are at the top of the list if you’re new to indoor house plants. They are pretty commonly known for their low maintenance and growing capabilities. Spider Plants can thrive in a multitude of conditions, anywhere from somewhat shady, to partial direct sunlight. They like plenty of water in the hot months and more moderate amounts throughout the winter.
These plants do very well in hanging baskets and can get quite dense with very long leaves if properly cared for! Mature Spider Plants will flower small white buds. When potting, make sure to use a container that has plenty of drainage.
These sturdy house plants can survive all types of climates and conditions
14. Air Plants
Scientifically named, Tillandsia, Air Plants have quickly become a very common houseplant. In nature, they grow onto other plants or trees, and don’t require a rooting system. When we isolate Air Plants, we have to replicate their natural conditions. To do this, we have to keep them out of direct sunlight, in a bright place.
To water them effectively, take them out of their container (or terrarium, since they don’t need any soil!), and rinse them in the sink for a few seconds before letting them dry off on a towel and placing them back in their pots. There are many different varieties of air plants, and they can most commonly be bought online.
Air Plants can survive in practically any type of container
15. Aloe Vera
This plant is not only unique in its leaf consistency and structure, but also it’s abilities as a medicinal plant! Aloe Vera produces a gel substance that can be used as a salve to calm irritated or sun damaged skin.
The Aloe Vera plant can grow indoors or outdoors. Indoor grown plants require indirect sunlight and consistent waterings, and outdoor aloe vera can withstand full sun along with consistent waterings. This plant can be grown in any size pot, but generally gets up to sizes of about 2 feet tops if given adequate space.
Like most house plants, Aloe Vera will grow as big as the container will allow
16. Jade Plant
This plant, like Lucky Bamboo, is often given as a housewarming gift to represent luck. The Jade Plant is technically a succulent, and has thick dark green leaves and trunk like stems. The most common mistake made with this plant is overwatering. The soil should be kept moist in the summer and very dry in the winter, with a reduction in waterings.
Young Jade Plants should remain in soft, indirect sunlight, while mature Jade Plants can soak up almost 5 hours of sunlight each day. As with most succulents, fungus is one of the most common enemies of the Jade Plant, so be sure to check that the leaves are full and vibrant every now and again.
Young Jade Plants like this one should remain in indirect sunlight
17. African Violet
This houseplant has become quite a common sight in many households due to its general easiness and ability to create giant blooms, if cultivated correctly. The African Violet may take a few cases of trial and error before stumbling upon the perfect combination of light, water and trimmings. African Violets should remain in indirect sunlight, and can even thrive in artificial light.
When watering, be sure to avoid getting the leaves wet, watering directly into the soil. The soil should stay on the side of moist, they prefer humid conditions – but refrain from letting the plant sit in water, by providing a container with proper drainage. If some of the leaves begin to rot or fall off, trim them and remove them from the soil – this will promote new healthy, top growth. Patience is key, and it pays off! These blooms can grow to be bigger than your hand if consistently and properly cared for.
The beautiful blooms of the African Violet can become quite large
There are a few different varieties of ivy plant, but they all have something in common – the care they require. Ivy plants can be beautiful and sprawling if provided with bright, indirect sunlight. They also prefer to be a bit on the dry side, so only water after the soil has dried on the top of the pot.
Although Ivy can attract a few pests, it’s easy to prevent this by placing your potted plant in the shower and running water over the leaves for a few moments. You’ll want to make sure you can allow the Ivy plant proper drainage to create that dry atmosphere it prefers.
Ivy Plants prefer dry soil and bright light
This houseplant, also known as the Dumb Cane Plant. This is a great large indoor houseplant, perfect for filling up space in a corner or next to a large piece of furniture. The Dumb Cane Plant likes indirect, full sunlight in the winter months and scattered shade during the hotter months.
Unlike a lot of other common house plants on this list, the Dumb Cane Plant loves to be watered. With that in mind, this plant should not be sitting in water, so make sure to grab a pot with good drainage.
The Dumb Cane Plant can become quite large in the right atmosphere
This tropical plant is a great place to start for house plants. It prefers light shade and a humid environment. Make sure to keep the soil moist in the hot months and slightly less moist in the winter – on top of that, make sure the soil doesn’t dry out!
These plants grow very rapidly if provided the right conditions. Try putting a Philodendron in a hanging planter and see how lengthy the leaves can really get.
Philodendrons do well in climates that mimic their natural home in the rainforest
This plant is most commonly known for its vivid patterns and colors. Although it can be a bit tricky to really nail the perfect conditions for this plant – the results may be worth the effort.
These plants are extremely sensitive to cold weather conditions and rapidly changing environments. They prefer warm and humid climates, although they don’t enjoy direct sunlight and thrive in conditions that provide partial shade or scattered sunlight. The health of these plants can be seen in the vibrancy of the leaves – if they are receiving too much sunlight, the pattern on the top of the leaf will look faded.
The Calathea plant comes in a variety of types, with different colored leaves and veining
This very common type of houseplant has been around for millions of years! It’s ability to survive is clear, but it takes some work to create a suitable environment for most ferns. Ferns really need humidity to survive well. As soon as the plant gets too dry, the leaves begin to brown, and from that point it may be quite difficult to save.
In order to avoid the browning of leaves on your fern, mist it each day along with your regular watering routine. The consistent misting of your fern will recreate the humid environment it thrives best in. These plants also like to be in bright pockets of filtered natural light.
Ferns will brown quickly if denied the humid atmosphere they thrive in naturally
The Peperomia plant comes in a ton of different varieties, but they all basically offer one common thing – low maintenance. These plants tend to stay relatively small and don’t require much effort to upkeep. These plants don’t usually exhibit many pest issues and require a surprisingly low frequency of watering. They also don’t require that much sunlight, which is part of what makes them an ideal houseplant.
Peperomia is one of those plants that you can pick a good spot for and forget about for a while without having major consequences.These plants don’t like to get too dried out, so keep them away from A/C and fans.
Many different types of Peperomia provide blooms in the spring and summer seasons
24. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
This mouthful of a plant is also known as the ZZ plant. This plant grows to be quite large without too much work, and has slick vibrant leaves that will brighten up any room. This plant is extremely easy going – and doesn’t really require too much watering – about once every two weeks or so. To top off the simplicity of this houseplant, they have pretty easy needs to meet in the lighting department, too.
The ZZ plant is commonly known for its ability to grow well in a range of different lighting situations – anywhere from artificial light, to shaded indoor lighting. If you’re looking for a statement plant that you can plant and forget about – go with the ZZ plant.
The ZZ plant looks great in any dark corner, and it can survive there as well
25. Chinese Evergreen
The Chinese Evergreen, also known as Algaonemas can be a bit tricky to master at first. The common rule for Chinese Evergreen Plants, is that the lighter the variegation (veining) of the plants, the more sunlight it requires. So, a very dark leafed plant can survive better in a shadier area than a very light leafed plant. With this in mind, you can find the perfect location for your potted Algaonemas – which will take a lot of trouble out of the growing process.
This plant likes to be in humid climates, so make sure to mist it frequently. This plant can be toxic to children or young animals, so do your research before deciding on this wonderful houseplant.
The Chinese Evergreen can be easily cared for if you pay attention to the leaves of the plant
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.