10 Low-Maintenance Indoor Houseplants
Indoor plants are gorgeous, but some are too fussy for today’s busy lifestyle. If you love plants but don’t have time to bother with a lot of watering, feeding and trimming, the following low-maintenance plants may be the perfect answer:
1. Snake plant (Sansevieria): Commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant is an interesting, upright plant with pointy, succulent leaves. This plant actually thrives on neglect and is likely to rebel if you fuss with it too much. Any level of sunlight is acceptable but bright, indirect light is best. Be sure the potting soil is almost completely dry before watering.
2. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Pothos is a lush and lovely trailing vine that grows like crazy with very little effort on your part. Also known as devil’s ivy, pothos sports heart-shaped leaves that may be solid green or mottled with pale green, yellow or white. Nearly any light level is fine. Let the surface of the soil dry slightly between waterings.
3. Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia seguine): If you’re looking for a good-sized, big-leaved plant that will take center stage, dieffenbachia is an excellent choice. Also known as dumb cane, dieffenbachia is happy with bright, indirect light. Allow the top 5 cm of potting mix to dry, then water deeply until moisture drips through the drainage hole.
4. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum): When it comes to low-maintenance plants, it doesn’t get much easier than the ever-popular spider plant. Plant this winner in a hanging basket so the long, narrow leaves can flow over the edges, then pot up the little “spiderlets” and share with friends. Let the soil dry out between waterings and never let the soil become soggy or waterlogged, which may result in root rot.
5. Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior): As the name suggests, cast-iron plant is a sturdy, slow-growing plant that thrives in low or moderate light. A mature, healthy plant may surprise you with tiny, creamy purple blooms. Keep cast-iron plant lightly moist in spring and summer, then water sparingly in fall and winter.
6. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum): Another great choice for low-light areas, peace lily, often known as “spath,” is a real stunner with graceful, deep green leaves. A tropical plant, peace lily prefers temperatures above 16 C, safely away from drafty doors or windows. If you keep the plant happy, which isn’t difficult, it will produce scads of showy, upright blooms.
7. African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha): It may appear dainty and fussy, but African Violet is super simple to grow in a special soil formulated for blooming plants. Water carefully, fertilize occasionally and provide bright, indirect light. This little charmer will produce colorful blooms several times throughout the year.
8. Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata): Native to Mexico, ponytail palm is a truly unique plant that thrives with very little attention. Simply provide as much bright sunlight as possible. Be careful not to overwater, as moisture is stored in the swollen area at the base of the trunk.
9. Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii.): A beautiful tropical cactus with succulent, segmented leaves, Christmas cactus thrives with minimal attention. Water regularly and provide an all-purpose fertilizer from spring until fall, then watch for colorful blooms around the winter holidays. Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus are related species.
10. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas): Native to East Africa, ZZ plant is a nearly indestructible plant that tolerates drought, low humidity and low light, and still manages to produce glossy green leaves. Although ZZ plant forgives neglect, it is happiest if you water when the top 7.5 cm of potting mix is dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering and intense, direct sunlight.