So you like the idea of growing plants indoors but life is too busy to mess with difficult plants and flowers - we're with you!
We need easy plants to grow inside! We've done some research and put together a solid list of choices below. We put the following plants in somewhat of an order based on the level of care the plant might need.
Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors For Beginners
Here's a list of plants that you should have very little difficulty keeping alive even if you've never had live plants before. These first two choices are indoor plant classics, and depending on where you read, actually may be the same plant based on how you're classifying it. They seem to be one of the first live plant purchases for many of us due to needing very little care.
If you're on the hunt for easy plants to grow inside then the Pothos plant is a hard one to beat. Pothos is a genus of plants that encompasses a large variety of different species. These plants do well in both bright indirect sunlight as well as lower lit rooms. Give it water once a week, trim it periodically and it will live for a very long time. More than 40 years in some cases! Pothos plants have crisp, "glossy" leaves with gold, yellow and white shades.
When you trim the leaves take some of those cuttings and place inside new planter pots to start new plants. Or pass them out to coworkers like this person mentioned on reddit:
...When I left that job, I cut all of the vines back to two feet so I could transport it, and gave the cuttings to coworkers."
Or "Devil's Vine". This is a particular species of vine plant that according to some sources have changed classification over the years. It was considered a Pothos at one time and can sometimes be seen mislabeled as a Philodendron (our next choice) as well. But then other sources say that the Pothos plants that we know of today are actually part of the Epipremnum category anyway. So there does seem to be some conflicting classification issues going on. Apparently the white stripes and shape of the leaves should help determine if you're looking at a Devil's Vine or a Pothos variety.
These sorts of plants thrive in aquariums too. Just keep in mind where you bought your plant from. Plants from some of the bigger box stores tend to have pesticides on them, so just be sure to give the leaves a good wash beforehand so you don't kill your fish.
Philodendrons are another tropical plant variety closely associated with our two choices above. It's leaves tend to be heart shaped. Especially when they've grown to a significant size. The argument can certainly be made that the Philodendron is actually easier to grow inside compared to the Pothos. According to this note from the University of Illinois, the Philodendron needs less light and warmth to grow indoors.
This is a fun idea: Philodendrons and Pothos plants live well together, so you can take the trimmings from one and add to the other pot for a really cool hybrid plant feature.
Also known as "mother in-law's tongue", this plant is native to Africa, and has been used for making bowstrings because of it's thick plant fiber. Water once a month and you have a choice with these: they're versatile in terms of how fast you'd like them to grow, and how tall you're willing to let it grow to.
Brighter light will help it grow faster but dimly lit rooms will keep it growing at a slower pace. Given enough room these plants will grow to 6 feet and higher. These do seem to randomly flower from time to time as well.
Cast Iron Plant
The Aspidistra Elatior, or "Cast Iron Plant", is a native plant to Taiwan and islands of Southern Japan. There's a few hundred varieties and supposedly this plant was popular in the Victorian era because it could stay alive indoors even with the poor lighting back then.
Propagation is very easy with this plant as well. Which just means that you can take a fallen leaf or trimming, pop it into a new pot with soil, and it tends to grow very easily into a new plant.
It's also a popular plant for the art of bonsai if you're interested in that at all. This is probably our favorite plant on the list but because it can be needy when it comes to light we had to move it down a few notches.
And check this video out below. Look at the height of this plant compared to the size pot that it's in!
The Zamioculcas, or "ZZ" for short, is a perennial plant from Africa. The leaves have unusually high water consistency and even have bulbs called rhizhomes that store water, as seen here in plant.heart.city's Instagram post.
So you can see why they might not need frequent water. And as with most plants on this list it will grow much larger than you might expect. It just depends on the space/pot it has to work with.
This plant grows in Southern Mexico and Guatemala and is part of a category with around 80 different species. It's interesting to read that some of the species in this genus are actually endangered in the wild.
These plants typically reach the 6 foot range when growing inside the home. This is another plant that randomly decides to bloom small flowers at times.
Bridal Veil Vine
This one is a popular hanging plant that even flowers in Spring and Summer. Keep out of direct sunlight and give it a decent amount of water and you're good to go. Too dark of a room will prevent it from blooming though.
This is a common plant most of us have seen, especially if you've spent any time in wooded areas of Florida. They make for great hanging features. Provide it bright, indirect light and some humidity with your spray bottle from time to time.
The leaves tend to get "crunchy" when it needs water. Trim them away and adjust how much you water accordingly.
Best Low Maintenance Houseplants
The following choices still fall into the "easy plants to grow inside" category but may require just a little more TLC compared to the plants above.
The Schefflera Aboricola, or "Umbrella Tree", is a plant that originates from Taiwan and is sometimes used for indoor bonsai. Overall it doesn't ask for a whole lot but it does tend to like a bit more humidity compared to some of the others on the list above. Misting it a few times a week does the job.
Kalanchoes are a blooming succulent plant that need infrequent water since they store it in their leaves. They originate from Southern Africa and Madagascar and it's another one where the trimmings can easily be grown into new plants.
These plants should get indirect sunlight and some water every once in a while, but when the time comes, water under the leaves.
The Corn Plant is yet another one on the list from Africa and is considered holy by the Chagga People of Tanzania. It does grow much slower than other plants mentioned here and if you're lucky enough you may see it bloom one day.
If it does bloom be prepared for a flower with a very strong smell, described as something similar to a Gardenia or Lilac. And given enough time this plant can eventually reach your ceiling. It tends to like misting and keep it out of direct sunlight.
Another great choice when it comes to plants that require very little light. It actually prefers the shade, and there's plenty of references around the web to peace lilies growing for well over 10 years. The name is deceiving though as it's actually not a part of the true Lily family. It belongs to the Spathiphyllum genus.
We originally had the Peace Lily higher on the list but have seen discussion around how these do need a good amount of water. One person went as far as calling them "thirsty". So keep that mind but they will tell you when it's time:
"I find it funny how communicative they can be! Our peace lily will all of sudden go limp overnight. Give it some water then it perks right back up later in the day."
Monstera Plants include about 50 or so species, with the Monstera Deliciosa being the best known type which produces edible fruit.
Most stores and nurseries seem to be short on supply right now, especially the Variegated Monstera type. This variety has leaves that are partially white that cannot absorb light.
No matter the type they're beautiful plants so we can see why they're so in-demand. We're even talking tattoos!
Best of luck finding one:
"I have been looking for one locally for over 2 years now to avoid buying online unnecessarily. I'll probably scream and/or faint when I see one in person."
It does need some sun and likes high humidity so have a spray bottle handy.
The Bromeliad differs from most other plants on this list because it has a much shorter lifespan. Around 2 to 3 years but typically this plant will produce new "pups" towards the end of it's lifecycle. These can be found on the bottom of the plant and they can be placed into a new pot to start all over again.
Bromeliads need infrequent water (probably once a week) but like to be watered from the top as their roots are used more for support than for getting nutrients from the soil.
And depending on the variety (there are over 3,000 types), and your luck, you may end up with a Pineapple!
Rubber plants can grow very tall and don't need a ton of water (although some varieties thrive in humidity), but do need a good amount of light. As is the case with many other plants here, this one too would like to have some porch or balcony time during moderate Summer days.
These plants are native to humid, shady areas of Asia so keep this one out of bright light, use your spray bottle regularly, and try not to place near air vents.
Yucca plants are a category of perennial shrubs and trees (that include the Joshua Tree) native mostly to Mexico, Baja and parts of the Southwestern US. As you can imagine, being from these areas, they have thick skins and roots for storing water.
The leaves of some Yucca trees are traditionally included in Spanish meals.
These can be indoor plants but usually only recommended if you have a nice sunlit room. Perfect for a Florida sun room for example.
Calathea Plants have beautiful leaves that are used in a variety of ways across different societies, like for wrapping and transporting fish in Brazil for example. It's a top choice for many avid plant owners, but can be finicky so we had to place it lower on the list.
Something fun about these is that they tend to roll their leaves up during the night and gradually expand back out again during the day. They move all around with the sun too:
The finicky part about it is the humidity levels. Many recommendations seem to lean towards using a humidifier or pebble tray (see Care section below) to keep them happy.
Zebra Plants are native to Brazil and feature smooth, beautiful leaves. This one is last on the list for a reason. They can do well as an indoor plant but you need to provide enough indirect sunlight, get watering just right, and provide optimum humidity.
This is one where water bottle misting is probably not enough. You'll need to at-least go with the Pebble Tray method seen in the Care section down below.
We recommend starting with a plant higher up on the list and gradually working your way to this one.
How to Take Care of Indoor Plants
The whole point of this article was to help you find easy plants to grow inside, so most of these choices should keep things relatively easy for you. But here's a few helpful plant care tips we found.
If you read through each of the choices above you'll have seen numerous mentions of some plants liking higher humidity levels. The easiest way to provide a sense of humidity for your plants is through a basic water bottle, but that just isn't enough for some plants.
Your next option is through something called a pebble tray. It's a way to get the plant near enough to water without it actually sitting in the water itself. This video below does a great job of explaining it:
Depending on the plant, and if it requires significant light or not, placing the plant in your bathroom may provide it with enough humidity.
We can't say how well this would work but saw a comment about someone placing their plant near the coffee maker because of the steam. It's worth a try!
If none of those work then it may be time for an actual humidifier. If you begin with a plant towards the top of our list here, you really shouldn't be needing this. But if you decide to go with a plant that needs more humidity (like the Zebra Plant, for example) then you might need to go this route. We saw some comments like, "I went from 2 plants to an actual plant room with humidifier before I knew it." So you never know, haha!
It's important to remember that even "low light plants" still want light from a window. But how much light is always the question, right?
Here's a very helpful comment from Reddit:
"If you hold out your hand and it casts a shadow, you've got good light for most low to medium light plants. The sharper the shadow, the better the light. If there's enough light to comfortably read by, it's closer to medium light."
Make sure your pot has a drainage hole and water enough so that it runs out the bottom. When trying to determine when it's time to water, many plants will tell you, but touch the soil, stick your finger far enough in to tell if the soil is damp. If it's still moist an inch down it's not time to water yet. You actually don't want a watering schedule for your plants since dampness/humidity levels will vary throughout the year. If you try to water at the same day and time each week no matter what you run the risk of overwatering.
Whether you're brand new to plants or looking for your next purchase we hope this is helps you find the perfect plant for you.
Now go forth and plant, my friends!
Heads Up: You may be interested in reading Succulents for Beginners next. :)