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These 10 Houseplants Couldn't Be Easier To Care For (Really)

Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Image by Alberto Bogo / Stocksy
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.
Last updated on January 7, 2022

Want to fill your home with healthy plants but don't have much of a green thumb? You've come to the right place. These low-maintenance houseplants are easy to keep alive in most conditions and beautiful to boot.

Here's our expert-informed guide to the 10 best indoor plants for beginners, and how to help them thrive.

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What to look for in a low-maintenance plant.

When looking for a low-maintenance plant, you'll want to avoid any varieties that have super-delicate leaves. For example, many ferns, particularly the maidenhair, have foliage that will shed if it's not getting just the right amount of water or light.

Plants that are super sensitive to salt and mineral buildup in soil—like birds of paradise, calatheas, and peace lilies—are also best avoided if you're a beginner.

Instead, look for plants that have flexible care needs. The ultimate low-maintenance houseplant can thrive in any well-draining potting soil, grow in a number of lighting conditions, and stay resilient to overwatering and underwatering.

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Expert's top picks.

1. Snake Plant

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 1

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $$

Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) are a type of succulent, meaning they thrive in dry, inhospitable conditions. This makes them a great low-maintenance pick. Puneet Sabharwal, the CEO of plant subscription service Horti, says that with enough light and an occasional watering, they can thrive in your home for years. Learn how to care for them here.

Costa Farms Snake Plant ($20.90)

snake plant with yellow and green leaves on table in front of grey sofa
Costa Farms

2. Peperomia

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 2

Toxicity: Nontoxic

Price: $$

Debbie Neese, the horticulture expert at Lively Root, considers peperomias the ultimate easy-to-care-for showstopper. There are over 1,000 known species of these plants—each with its own funky leaf shape and color that's resilient to drought and some neglect. Check out the standard Peperomia obtusifolia (Baby Rubber Plant) or go for the Lemon Lime variety, with a striking yellow and green leaf pattern. Learn how to care for them here.

Lively Root Variegated Peperomia Lemon Lime ($38)

green Peperomia in wicker planter in front of purple background
Lively Root
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3. Asparagus fern

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 3

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $$

Contrary to their name, these feathery plants are not true ferns (since they don't reproduce via spores). Asparagus ferns (Asparagus setaceus) are typically easier to care for than other look-alike fern varieties, thanks in part to their tuberous roots that store water for when it's needed the most. This is one plant that should be A-OK if you forget to water it before you go on vacation (again). Learn how to care for them here.

Rooted Common Asparagus Fern ($20)

hand holding a small Asparagus fern
Rooted

4. ZZ Plant

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 1

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $$

This tropical beauty is super popular for a reason: It's unanimously considered one of the easiest plants to care for because of its lax water and sunlight needs. Joyce Mast, a longtime florist with direct-to-consumer plant company Bloomscape, says that you can get away with going three to four weeks between watering, or up to four to six weeks in the winter, your ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia). Learn how to care for them here.

The Sill ZZ Plant ($23)

zz plant and small heart succulent on a wooden living room table
The Sill

5. Chinese Evergreen

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 2

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $$

For such a striking plant, Paris Lalicata, plant education coordinator at The Sill, says that Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonema) are surprisingly low-maintenance and resilient to things like low light and sporadic watering. Touting foliage that can range from light green to hot pink, she loves the color and pop that they add to a collection.

The Home Depot Silver Bay Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema ($20.98)

chinese evergreen plant in plastic pot against light blue background
The Home Depot
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6. Cactus

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 2

Toxicity: Dangerous to cats and dogs because of their needles

Price: $

These prickly succulents are typically native to dry, hot landscapes, making them great at lasting a while between waterings. They're also slow to grow and don't require much in the fertilizing department. As long as you give them adequate sun, most cactuses (Cactaceae)—with the exception of finicky grafted varieties like the moon cactus—should be happy in your home for years.

Altman Plants 2.5 in. Cactus Plant Collection 4-Pack ($24.98)

cactus plants next to decorative vase on tabletop
Altman Plants

7. Pothos

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 1

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $

With their dramatic trailing leaf pattern, Pothos (Epipremnum) are fast-growing plants that deliver drama with relatively little care. They'll be happy in most hanging planters positioned near a window and can easily be propagated from clippings. Keep yours healthy, and you can have dozens of baby pothos on your hands to keep or give as gifts in no time. Learn how to care for them here.

United Nursery Live Golden Pothos Plant ($15)

healthy pothos plant in plastic pot against tan background
United Nursery

8. Philodendron

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 1

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $

Another fast-growing plant, philodendrons are slightly different from pothos but just as dramatic. "Because of the wide range of habitats that they can be found in, they are fairly easygoing and adaptable to most home environments," Chris Satch, a plant specialist at Horti, explains. Plus, there are over 450 known species of philodendron, each boasting its own twist on the plant's signature heart-shaped leaves. Learn how to care for them here.

Etsy Philodendron Micans ($18)

small philodendron in white container sitting on wood slats
Etsy
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9. Ficus Audrey

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 3

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $$$

A tree native to India and Pakistan, the Ficus Audrey can grow to be up to 10 feet tall indoors with a bit of care. Thanks to a unique root structure, Sabharwal of Horti says that they are super hardy and relatively low-maintenance for their size. While purchasing one fully grown can be pricey, you can also buy it as a small, more affordable tabletop plant and nurse it to life over the years. Learn how to care for them here.

Bloomscape Ficus Audrey ($249)

tall ficus audrey in front of light curtain next to small end table
Bloomscape

10. Aloe

Care difficulty (from 1-5): 1

Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs

Price: $

Plant coach and urban farmer Nick Cutsumpas names aloe vera as one of his favorite low-maintenance options. Simply set it in a bright, sunny spot, water it every two to three weeks, and you'll be rewarded with an arsenal of plant power for soothing sunburns, fading dark spots, and moisturizing the skin. Learn more about all the ways to use aloe at home here.

Garden Goods Aloe Vera Plants ($6.97)

aloe plant in white planter on light wood table
Garden Goods

The bottom line.

These 10 low-maintenance houseplants come highly recommended by green thumbs nationwide. They should be resilient enough to handle the occasional missed watering or sunlight mishap. But if not, here are a few ways to revive a struggling plant—just in case.

Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor

Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 articles on mbg, her work has appeared on Bloomberg News, Marie Claire, Bustle, and Forbes. She has covered everything from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping to a group of doctors prescribing binaural beats for anxiety. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.