Our Top 10 Picks for Low-Maintenance Houseplants

By: Paul Knight, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Many people think that growing plants indoors requires a lot of time and attention. After all, most houseplants in our area are tropical plants that naturally thrive outdoors in warmer climates. How in the world are you supposed to take care of them inside your home?

Well, it’s easier than you think! Low-maintenance options can provide all the beauty and benefits of indoor plants without the fuss. Here are our top picks for low-maintenance houseplants, by light requirements (see our blog on understanding indoor plant light levels to get started).

Bright, Indirect Light

(Three to five hours of early morning or late afternoon sun)

Hoya

Also known as Wax Plant, this is an easy to grow vine with waxy leaves and fragrant clusters of blooms. The foliage comes in a few different colors: solid green, variegated green and white, and a tricolor of red, green and white. There is another foliage form, Hindu Rope Plant, which is green and white and very crinkly. Regardless of which variety you choose, Hoya is great for hanging baskets inside the home.

Tillandsia

This exotic “air plant” is one that you can enjoy individually or in colorful combination displays. Air plants come in many shapes and sizes with blooms that are pink, yellow or purple. They are so low maintenance, they don’t even grow in soil! They just need to be sprayed with water 2 to 3 times a week.

Moderate to Low Light Levels

(Three to five hours of indirect sun to light that is not bright enough to cast a shadow or read)

Aglaonema

Also known as Chinese evergreen, this lovely plant has varied leaf patterns and shapes. Aglaonema has an upright growth habit with bushy leaves and can produce creamy white flowers that nestle within the leaf clusters. It’s very drought tolerant and doesn’t require frequent watering, making it exceptionally low maintenance.

Dracaena

This popular plant has rosettes of leaves on graceful upright stems. You can choose from plants with all green leaves or stripes with green, pink or burgundy. It’s great for the office or any areas that need a vertical element. There is also a variety called corn mass cane, which is said to bring good luck.

Neanthe Bella

This is an excellent dwarf palm with full, graceful green foliage that can reach 4 to 5 feet tall. And unlike some houseplants, this one is cat friendly for those nibblers you might have in the house. Also called Parlor Palm, this plant is one of the best at purifying the air in your home.

Philodendron

With rich green, red, neon green, yellow or even orange leaves that grow on vigorous vining, upright, or trailing plants, philodendron is very versatile with a wide range of uses in the home or office. Depending on your needs, it can be grown as a tabletop, hanging basket or floor plant.

Pothos

These graceful vines come in green, white, gold or neon green with leaves are a pointed heart shape. Pothos grows happily without pampering, and is beautiful in hanging baskets or cascading over a tabletop pot.

Sansevieria

Also known as snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue, this enduring plant comes in shades of light to dark green. Sometimes you can find ones that are variegated with white or yellow, depending on the variety. Sansevieria thrives on neglect, making it the perfect low maintenance indoor plant. It comes with upright foliage as a floor plant, to rosette shapes for tabletops.

Spathiphyllum

This plant has dark green foliage with graceful, curving white flowers. It tolerates low light levels and will bloom just with fluorescent light, making it great for your home. It is also known as Peace Lily.

Zamioculcus zamiifolia

Since it’s botanical name, Zamiouculcus zamiifolia, is quite a mouthful, it’s easier to refer to this plant by its common name, the “ZZ” plant. It has a curiously dramatic shape, with glossy, waxy coating, dark green leaves and bulging tuberous roots. It’s very drought tolerant, making it super easy to care for.

We hope you’ll try some of these easy to grow houseplants in your home or office, and see how fun growing indoor plants can be.