Have you fallen in love with houseplants yet? You should! They’re gorgeous, they clean the air, and they’re a lot of fun to have around.
Not all plants are created equal though. Some plants are much trickier to grow because they have very specific requirements for light, temperature, water, and fertilizer, and it takes a lot of time and attention to get it right. They might also need pruning, special soil, etc. That’s a lot of work!
For a lot of us, we just want plants that give us all the benefits of houseplants without the work.
Maybe you have a busy schedule and forget to water, or maybe your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, or maybe you’re just nervous about getting started and want some easy plants to experiment with.
Look no further! Here are some of our favorite houseplants for beginners.
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The Easiest Houseplants to Grow
Also known as ribbon plant or airplane plant, spider plants are some of the best plants for beginners because they don’t require a lot of water or direct sunlight. They’re also non-toxic, which is great if you have kids or pets!
When you get your spider plant, plant it in organic potting soil that drains well in a pot with drainage.
Water you plant about every 10-14 days, or a bit more if your home is hot and bright. Make sure the soil is almost dry when you water, and discard the extra water that drains out of the pot.
Place your plant in indirect sunlight or near a grow light, but don’t put it right in a south facing window. It could burn!
If you really want to baby your plant, use a liquid fertilizer twice per week in the spring and fall as well.
Spider plants grow pretty quickly, but they do well in pots. You don’t need to worry about repotting until the roots are very visible, which happens about every other year.
Read our article on selecting and caring for spider plants here!
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, pothos isn’t finicky about soil or temperature and likes to be a little on the dry side, which is great if you forget to water.
Pothos grows well in a variety of light conditions, and it’s a champ at improving indoor air quality!
The more green in the leaves, the less light the plant needs, so keep that in mind as you shop. Pothos will all grow in different light conditions, but it might change color and become more green (and less) in lower light. Make sure to read the instructions on the plant if it has them.
Pothos plants tolerate a variety of light levels, which is one reason why they’re an ideal indoor plant. Most pothos plants do best in medium light, but they can also thrive in low light or even rooms with no windows at all like bathrooms.
Rotate your plant every once in a while so it can get light from all sides. Some varieties do better in high or low light, so make sure to check which variety you’re purchasing. Of course, they’ll live in any light that’s not too bright, but they might grow slower or change color.
They can handle a wide range of temperatures, but avoid putting them right by a heating or air-conditioning vent. A good rule is that if you’re comfortable with the temperature, your plant is too.
If your plant gets too long, just give it a trim. Then you can give the cuttings away or start more plants of your own.
Read our article about caring for Pothos here!
Snake plants are characterized by their long, beautiful green leaves that stick straight up. And they’re amazing for improving indoor air quality!
Even if your space is dark and dry, a snake plant will do just fine.
Snake plants are technically a succulent and like drier conditions. Their leaves hold a lot of moisture, so they can go a while in between waterings.
The biggest challenge is not over watering your plant. Allow soil to dry out completely between waterings. This might be only every two or three weeks, maybe a little more if your home is warm or if your plant lives near a sunny window.
If your snake plant starts to droop, you’re probably watering too much.
If you do overwater and your plant starts to show signs of root rot, let it dry out and repot in fresh, sandy soil.
Read more about caring for snake plants here.
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Lucky bamboo doesn’t even need soil!
While this plant looks like bamboo, it’s actually a species of dracaena. They’re beautiful, easy to arrange, and can even grow in fun spirals when they get really long.
While the name may be misleading, there’s no luck involved with maintaining lucky bamboo. To grow them, just put the stalks in a vase of purified or distilled water and place in bright, indirect sunlight. Freshen up the water every once in a while, and make sure the roots are always covered.
While they look similar to pothos, this is actually a completely different plant. But they’re still very easy to grow.
To care for a philodendron, place the plant in bright, indirect sunlight and allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. To check, stick your finger in the soil. If it feels dry up to your first knuckle, you can add some water.
This plant is great at telling you what it needs. If it starts drooping, it might be getting too much or not enough water. If a lot of leaves start turning yellow, it’s getting too much light. Just adjust accordingly, and the plant will recover.
Peace lilies actually aren’t lilies at all, but members of the Araceae family. They grow beautiful, cup-like white flowers and can grow up to 3 feet tall!
To care for them, place the plant in partial shade. They work well far away from windows, or even in windowless rooms. If the leaves discolor, it’s getting too much light!
Keep the soil fairly moist and water about once a week. Peace lilies are also great at telling you what they need, and they’ll start to droop a little when they’re thirsty.
Cast iron plant
These plants earned their name because they’re tough! And unlike the peace lily, this plant actually IS a member of the lily family, though the small, purple flowers only bloom near the base where it’s hard to see them.
But they have large, beautiful leaves and are almost impossible to kill.
This plant doesn’t like direct light, so place in indirect sunlight or even deeper in a room away from a window. Let the soil dry out between waterings so the roots don’t rot.
The Monstera deliciosa is also known as the swiss cheese plant or hurricane plant. Some people still call them split-leaf philodendrons as well, although they’re no longer classified as a philodendron.
Plant your monstera in well-draining indoor potting soil with a little extra peat moss mixed in. Use a pot with drainage holes and enough depth to add a stake, trellis, or moss-covered stick that the plant can climb.
They can also grow outdoors in the shade in moderate to warm environments, but they’ll need something to climb like a fence or trellis.
Monsteras can survive in low light, but they’ll grow much better and develop large, robust leaves in bright, indirect sunlight. Place a few feet away from south-, west-, or east-facing windows.
For more on caring for a monstera plant, be sure to read our monstera care guide here.
Dracaena, commonly known as dragon tree, is another winner in the beginner-friendly houseplant department. They’re actually small trees or shrubs and lots of fun with their long, ribbon-like leaves.
They’re very forgiving plants and thrive in room-temperature, moderately lit environments (AKA indoors) and they’re great for improving air quality in your home. They can grow up to ten feet, but they’re easy to control because they respond so well to pruning. I understand if you don’t want a ten-foot tree in your house!
Like many easy-to-care-for indoor plants, dracaena likes rich, but well-draining soil in a pot with good drainage. Regular indoor plant potting mix works beautifully.
Draecana likes bright, but indirect sunlight. They do best in a sunny room, but not right in the window or in direct sunlight.
You definitely don’t want to overwater this plant, so err on the light side if you aren’t sure how much water to give it.
A good rule is to let the top inch or so of soil dry out between waterings. If the leaves droop, you’re probably overwatering it.
If your plant gets too tall, you can simply cut off the top! It will start sprouting new leaves within a few weeks! You can also prune dead leaves with no problem.
These plants are fairly forgiving, but they don’t like temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it away from cold windows or cooling vents and you should be fine.
Choose a good 10-10-10 fertilizer and add it every two weeks during the growing season (spring and fall).
Read more about caring for dracaena plants here.
Chinese evergreen, is a classic indoor houseplant well-loved for its stunning variegated leaves. This member of the Araceae (aroid) family comes in lots of different colors and varieties including various shades of green, silver, pink, and red!
Choose a light, well-draining soil for aglaonema like cactus soil. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes. This plant grows slowly, so you’ll only need to repot every few years.
Chinese evergreen’s light needs vary depending on the variety. In general, lighter-colored aglaonema needs more indirect sunlight while darker varieties can tolerate lower light. Very colorful varieties will also need brighter light to keep their colors. Whatever you do, keep this plant out of direct sunlight.
Darker green varieties can even adapt to fluorescent lighting, which makes this a classic choice for offices and malls.
Water when the soil is damp about 2-3 inches down or when your soil meter reads 3-4. If your plant receives only fluorescent light, let the soil get almost dry before watering. It will need a little more water in the growing season (spring and summer) and less in the winter. Don’t let it dry out completely.
When you do water, slowly add water to the soil until it starts to drain out the bottom of the pot. Use distilled water or tap water left out overnight so chlorine and other harmful substances can partially evaporate.
This plant likes fairly warm room temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it away from drafts, AC/heating vents, and fireplaces, and don’t let the temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
During spring and summer, fertilizer with a gentle liquid fertilizer like Indoor Plant Food.
Chinese evergreen is slow-growing, so you won’t need to worry about pruning. Just remove dead leaves if you see them so the plant can redirect its energy to healthy growth. If you want your plant to grow faster, you can prune off the flowers when it blooms so the plant can channel that energy into leaf and stem growth.
For more about Chinese Evergreen care, read this.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree and Fiddle Leaf Fig Bush
Despite being labeled a finicky plant, the fiddle leaf fig plant is relatively easy to care for.
Most plants from the store come in a plastic nursery pot, which is designed to drain water right away so the plants can be watered daily in the store.
Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to give your plant enough water at home, so you’ll want to put the plant in its long-term pot quickly, if possible.
Make sure to choose a potting soil with good drainage. Your fiddle leaf fig likes relatively dry soil so its roots can stay moist but not wet.
Fiddle leaf figs love light! Find a sunny part of your home (a south-facing window is perfect!) where the tree can get lots of light, but not necessarily intense light. (West-facing windows tend to be a little too bright in the afternoon, and your plant can get sunburned!)
Make sure this area is also free from drafts or blasts of hot air from vents. You can also put your tree outside if the weather is moderate.
I find it simplest to water my plants once per week. It’s just easier to remember that way! My shorter plants (under 2 feet) get a cup of water each week and my taller ones (between 3 and 6 feet) get three cups.
To see if your tree needs water, stick your finger in the soil. When it’s damp an inch under the surface, you’re good! If it’s a little dry, it might need more water. Does it feel wet an inch under the surface? You might be over-watering. The best way to tell if your plant is thirsty is to use a moisture meter.
A month after you bring it home, start working fertilizer into your schedule. I like to use Fiddle Leaf Fig Food, which is specifically formulated for fiddle leaf figs and is so easy to use!
You’ve just entered a long-term relationship with your fiddle leaf fig, so learn everything you can to take care of it! Watch our free Fiddle Leaf Fig Care 101 Webinar to get started.
Easiest Houseplants to Care For
Try your hand at a few of these plants, and you’ll feel like an amazing houseplant parent even if you’ve always thought you have a black thumb. Pothos and Chinese Evergreen plants are the top 2 easiest houseplants to grow.
If you want your plants to REALLY look amazing, use a little Indoor Plant Food in your water each week. This plant food is gentle enough to use with each watering, so you don’t have to remember to fertilize on an annual schedule.
Keeping beautiful houseplants doesn’t have to be hard! It’s all about finding the right plant that suits your particular needs and lifestyle.
- Make sure you’re giving your plants the right nutrients! Our Indoor Plant Food works perfectly for almost all indoor plants, and it’s easy to use. Grab it here!
- Use our premium well-draining potting soil for your houseplant.
- Protect your houseplant from insects, bacteria, and fungus with our Houseplant Leaf Armor. (As an added bonus, the Leaf Armor also cleans and adds shine to your houseplant’s leaves!)
- Use a moisture meter like this one to always know how thirsty your plant is.
- Click here to shop live plants!
To learn more:
- Join us for our free Top Secrets From Fiddle Leaf Fig Growers Webinar or enroll in our free Advanced Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Course.
- Read The Fiddle Leaf Fig Expert, your complete guide to growing healthy fiddle leaf fig plants. The book is available in full-color paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon now!
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Houseplant Resource Group.