For those of us who work long hours and have busy schedules, maintenance of house plants seldom tops the priority list.
If you haven’t been blessed with a green thumb or are short on time, there are a wealth of gorgeous, easy-to-maintain house plants that need little more than water, soil, and a bit of TLC to thrive inside your home.
1. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants grow happily in normal potting soil found at any garden store, but are best maintained in the warmer months with a little fertilizer. For those who don’t have a ton of floor space in their homes, spider plants’ long, yellow-green limbs make them perfect for hanging window planters, where they can get plenty of sunlight but are unlikely to wither from overheating. While spider plants do dry out relatively easily, watering every other day is usually enough to help them flourish. Just make sure to switch to daily watering when the temperatures start to climb. When your spider plant starts to get a bit too long, or starts growing mini plantlets, simply clip and give them to a friend to plant.
2. Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum)
While its bright, heart-shaped leaves may make a big impact, maintenance for the heart leaf philodendron is quite minimal. This leafy plant requires peat-based soil to grow and prefers slightly humid environments, moderate water, and sunlight. To keep your philodendron healthy, mist it regularly. Note that yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering. If your plant’s leaves are growing too close together, move it further away from its light source and the problem should resolve.
3. Aloe vera (A. barbadensis)
A lovely succulent and a sunburn remedy in one. Aloe vera is about as low-maintenance as you’ll find anywhere, preferring indirect sunlight and only occasional watering. If you happen to overwater your aloe plant, rot may develop around the plant’s roots, inhibiting future growth and contributing to a musty smell. Make sure that your soil is dry on top again before you water, and give your plant less to drink when the weather gets cold.
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4. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
Despite its name, the peace lily isn’t actually a lily at all—it’s actually a form of Araceae, a flowering plant that bears both visual and olfactory similarities to lilies. To keep your peace lily thriving, plant it in a wide-based pot with adequate drainage and fill with organic soil. Indirect sunlight will help your peace lily flourish.Maintain a room temperature between 70°F and 80°F, and pay close attention to the plant’s posture. If it’s looking droopy, it needs some water (preferably the filtered kind). Make sure you’re letting the soil dry between waterings or your plant could develop growth-inhibiting rot around its roots.
5. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
These sunlight-loving succulents, with their red-tipped oval leaves, grow best when they’re given full sunlight and are kept in an environment between 65°F and 75°F. Jade plants are best watered when the soil becomes dry—watering more often can contribute to root rot. However, it’s the jade plant’s structure that most often causes its top-heaviness making it susceptible to tipping.
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6. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)
One of the easiest plants to maintain, the Christmas cactus loves sandy soil, and indirect sunlight, and needs to be watered only when it’s mostly, but not completely, dried out. Maintain a temperature between 60°F and 70°F and your cactus will be one happy succulent, with bright, popping pink blossoms sprouting every summer and fall.
7. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Minimal care is required to maintain a gorgeous snake plant in your home. This natural air purifier is happily at home in traditional potting soil and indirect sunlight. Even better, the snake plant requires minimal watering and is actually healthier when its tall, yellow-rimmed leaves are only spritzed and watered once the soil has become dry to the touch.
8. Lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantine)
Generally grown in dry climates, lamb’s ear can flourish in virtually any type of soil, but prefers adequate drainage to keep its moisture level low. Full sunlight is this plant’s preference, but partial shade won’t hurt it a bit either. Just make sure you’re only watering it when the soil is completely dry and you’ll be enjoying the charm of its long spikes and purple blossoms in no time.
9. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos is easily one of the simplest plants to care for indoors. Happiest in moderate temperatures with direct sunlight, the pothos plant needs watering only when its soil becomes dry and needs pruning only for aesthetic purposes.Pothos grows much like a vine and will drape itself across a tabletop or down a table leg.