House plants are without a doubt a significant addition to making a house a home. No matter how small or large your space is, a plant (or plants) always bring it to life. However, if you’re new to being a plant-parent, it can feel quite intimidating – does the plant need watering? Is there enough light? When should I feed my plant? These and a whole host of ten million questions may well put off the beginner. But, no matter, because we bring you the essential list of ten perfect house plants for beginners.
If you’re new to plants or have always found it challenging to care for plants, choosing house plants that are hardy and low-maintenance is key. All house plants are usually not hardy to cold so it is important to keep them indoors at typical average indoor temperatures.
Here are some of the best options that are known for their resilience and laid-back needs.
1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
A bushy shock of lightly variegated leaves the spider plant is known for its ability to thrive under a variety of even sub-par conditions. They prefer bright, indirect light but can also adapt to lower light levels. They’re great for hanging containers or even small recycled jars. They are often happy enough just left on their own with minimal watering. The spider plant is also known to be effective at cleaning indoor air. When the conditions are right they send out shoots from which they propagate new young plants.
2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
The snake plant is an unusual succulent in that it is one the easiest plants to care for. Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, it is extremely hardy and can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions. Although all plants need at least some light some of the time, so low light (not no light) conditions are ok. The snake plant is not too fussy, full sun or partial shade – they aren’t fussed. They are generally ok to dry out between waterings so if you forget to water them for a week or two, they’ll survive. Important to note is that while they are effective at purifying indoor air they are also known to be poisonous to dogs and cats if ingested.
3. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
This trailing vine is almost indestructible and can grow in low light conditions. The Pothos is forgiving if you forget to water it occasionally and can also help purify the air. It is happy both planted in soil in a pot or just stuck in a bowl of water, as long as some of the roots are submerged. Even though it is very easy to care for and it is just as easy to propagate, simply cut off a shoot with a root tip and keep it in water for a few days.
4. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The ZZ plant with its deep green waxy leaves and succulent stems can grow in low light levels and only needs watering when the soil is dry. It is a slow grower, so it will not require frequent repotting. Be mindful however, if you have pets as these plants are toxic if ingested.
5. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The peace lily is one of the most versatile plants you can have as an indoor companion. It has large broad foliage and beautiful white blooms that need little care. This actually prefers shade and can be forgiving if you occasionally forget to water it. It is an undemanding plant and does well in a range of different conditions. It is also known for its air-purifying qualities.
6. Aloe Vera
The aloe vera plant is another succulent that is easy to care for. It has thin triangular, fleshy leaves which have serrated edges. The fleshy leaves are made of a clear inner gel which is often used for healing minor burns and small cuts. The plant prefers bright, indirect light and has few requirements and only needs to be kept watered well.
7. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
The rubber plant is a sturdy plant with large, waxy leaves in deep green or maroon. Occasionally they are also marked with pale yellow or cream. It is a plant that can grow quite large with proper care. It prefers bright, indirect light and needs its soil to dry out between waterings.
8. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
The Jade Plant is succulent with thick, woody stems and an abundance of small glossy green leaves. They are often associated with luck and money and grown in the receptions of Chinese take-aways. It prefers full sun and only needs watering when the soil is dry.
Philodendrons are a large and diverse group of flowering plants. They vary significantly in in size and shape and come in climbing and non-climbing varieties. Both of which are easy to care for. They prefer moderate light conditions and only need watering when the soil dries out.
10. Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
As the name suggests, the cast iron plan is virtually indestructible. Similar in appearance to wild garlic, with long, lance-shaped leaves this plant is slow-growing and admired for its green lush foliage. It tolerates low light well and puts up with irregular watering, making it ideal for beginners or those with busy schedules.
Each of these plants offers a blend of durability and aesthetic appeal, making them ideal choices for those new to indoor gardening. Remember, even easy-care plants require basic maintenance, so regular check-ups are essential to keep them healthy and thriving.