If you love having houseplants but don’t have the time or energy to care for many of them, consider these best indoor plants for low maintenance. These plants will help you have the best of both worlds. You get beautiful plants to brighten your home, but you don’t have to spend much time caring for them.
Best Indoor Plants for Low Maintenance
When it comes to plant care, there are all levels of fussiness. Some plants need a lot of care and attention, and that’s okay for the person who is committed to that and has the time for it. Many people find tending to plants very soothing and enjoyable, and if they have the time in their schedules, they may devote it to some of these plants.
However, not everyone has that kind of time to devote. Also, when you’re new to indoor plants, it can be a lot to remember to learn the care and needs of each individual plant. Choosing less fussy plants when you’re new can help you learn faster and move on to more complicated plants.
And finally, some people just know they don’t have the time or the emotional bandwidth to devote to high-maintenance plants, and that’s okay, too. Choosing houseplants that are easier to care for means you can still enjoy them.
Here are some of the best indoor plants for low maintenance:
1. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)
The snake plant is seriously one of the most low-maintenance houseplants around. It looks great, it purifies the air, and it’s not fussy at all.
Snake plants are sometimes called Mother-in-law’s Tongue and are native to tropical Africa. They prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate some direct sunlight.
They will also do well in shady spots, but it needs to be warm. Avoid drafts or placing them in front of a cold window or AC unit.
2. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos are infamous for being hard to kill and easy to care for. They do well in various environments and tolerate indirect bright and low light settings. They are forgiving if you forget to water and can be forgiving of a bit of overwatering, too, as long as they don’t get root rot or mold. The best spot for it is near a window that gets bright light but no drafts and no direct sun that can scorch the leaves.
3. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
Chinese evergreen is an excellent plant if you tend to lean toward overwatering. It comes in various colors and doesn’t need much effort to keep it alive. Most importantly, it needs warm temps (about 60 degrees F and up). Otherwise, it can be forgiving when it comes to sun and water.
4. Asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
Ferns can get a little tricky and even some seasoned houseplant owners still struggle with them. Good news, though – asparagus fern is not a fern at all! Instead, it is a fluffy plant with pretty light green fronds that can adapt to the room’s bright light and darker corners. As long as you keep the soil moist but not saturated, it will do well.
5. Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)
The yucca looks like a tall tropical tree and can bring your space a nice, beachy vibe. It needs a lot of sun. The more sun, the better where yucca is concerned. Otherwise, it’s pretty low maintenance. Just be sure it has a sturdy container that can hold the top-heavy plant. Don’t overwater it.
6. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Another great plant that makes it on all kinds of lists is the spider plant: resilient and cute, it shoots off little “pups” that can be used for new plants (like my 2 babies above), and it’s very low maintenance. Another great thing about the spider plant, sometimes called the “airplane plant,” is that it purifies indoor air.
7. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
Jade is a cute plant that’s easy to care for. They store water in their round leaves, so if you forget to water them, they can survive up to a month just on their reserves. If they do get water, they will rehydrate and continue to grow. Your jade will do well in sunny windows. Water when the soil is dry.
8. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
The peace lily is not a lily at all. It’s named that for the flower it spawns. Peace lilies are another great choice if you tend to overwater. For best results, keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater.
It can tolerate some dry spells, but its leaves will start to show they are thirsty. They can tolerate shade but produce many more flowers if given proper sunlight.
9. English ivy (Hedera helix)
Outside, this plant can become very invasive. Inside, it makes for beautiful décor while also helping improve your indoor air quality. It’s a very low-maintenance vining plant. It loves the sun, and it likes to be a little on the dry side. Check the soil before watering. If it feels damp, wait until the top layer of soil feels dry to water again.
10. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides)
The Chinese money plant is cute with round, silver dollar-like leaves. It will grow best in a shady spot and likes weekly watering. It’s a pretty low-maintenance plant, and it will grow little offshoots that you can re-pot for more plants or give away as gifts.
11. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)
Aloe does best in indirect light. Water them like you would a succulent. They like indirect light, so maybe place it on a table or stand near a window, but not in direct, bright sunlight. You can soak it every week or two in water and then allow it to dry in between. This is a very low-maintenance plant. The number one reason people kill aloe is from trying to do too much.
12. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)
Just a quick note about this low-maintenance plant: It IS toxic to dogs and cats, so it might not be a good choice if you have pets. Otherwise, this tropical-looking plant is a type of dracaena, and it’s so easy to care for; anyone can do it! It works in low light and can look lovely in any room.
If you like bigger plats, here are the best large indoor plants.
13. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant is another beautiful green plant native to Africa, often called “indestructible.” It is easy to care for, has low maintenance, and can survive low light, drought, and even low humidity. If you want a plant that looks great and is super easy to care for, the ZZ plant must be on your list.
14. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
This is another low-maintenance plant: use caution if you have pets, as it is toxic to pets. It does well in filtered light. Water when the top layer of soil is dry; watch it grow and thrive. Avoid direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves. It does best in temperatures around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should avoid overwatering.
15. Air plants (Tillandsia)
The best part about air plants is you don’t even need soil for them. They grow without dirt! You just need to put them in water for a couple of hours every ten days and then let them do their thing. There’s a good reason they have grown in popularity. They are relatively zero-maintenance, and they look amazing.
16. Cacti (Cactaceae)
Like air plants, cacti are pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it type of plant. There are many varieties and species of cacti, but one thing they have in common is that they are easy to care for. Cacti like a warm space; they can tolerate less watering because they hold water in their stems. They may need more frequent watering when they are blooming. Most species will also like humidity.
Conclusion of Best Indoor Plants for Low Maintenance
Now that you know more about the best low-maintenance indoor plants, you can begin collecting some of your own. If you’re entirely new to houseplants, starting with just one or a couple of the same type of plant is OK.
Once you grow confident in your ability to get that plant to thrive, you can switch to another. As you go, you can add more low-maintenance plants to your life and gain from the benefits of having them around. Enjoy!
Lisa Clark is a freelance writer who grew up on farmland, then moved to the city, and has now retired back to her rural roots. She's having fun teaching her kids about gardening, planting flowers, and collecting houseplants.