15 Easiest Houseplants Anyone Can Keep Alive

You might not have what is known as a "green thumb," but that does not mean you are doomed when it comes to growing houseplants — especially if you love bringing a little bit of nature into your home. According to NBC News, plants in the home do more than just look good — they also offer benefits that include reducing stress and lifting your mood. They can even help improve concentration and productivity, so they're good to have around. 

If you struggle with keeping plants alive but like the idea of keeping them inside, you'll be relieved to know that there are plenty of hardy plants that can endure a lack of attention. From small plants that do not take up much space to larger plants that can fill up a corner in a room, you can find a houseplant that fits not only your living area, but your tastes as well. And, you might be surprised at the many options available.

1. Pothos ivy

Pothos plants (Epipremnum aureum) rank high on the list of the easiest plants to grow because they can survive serious negligence. These stout plants are not picky when it comes to light, and they can survive dry soil — up to a point. However, be careful not to overwater them, as that can cause the roots to rot. The Spruce recommends letting the plant tell you when it is thirsty. When leaves look wilted, give it a little water. As far a fertilizing, give pothos plants houseplant fertilizer every couple of months to keep them thriving. As an ivy, this plant likes to spread out along surfaces. In fact, if left on their own, pothos plants can grow anywhere from 12 to 18 inches a month!   

Sunlight needs: bright, indirect light

Water needs: allow soil to dry out between waterings

2. English ivy

Another ivy plant that is known to be easy to care for is English ivy (Hedera helix). While they are easy to grow, English ivy plants need lots of light. However, don't put them in direct sunlight as that will burn their leaves. Ivy plants prefer humid conditions and do well in all-purpose potting soil. To keep these plants looking their best, Apartment Therapy recommends fertilizing them once a month, except during cold months. Keep your ivy plant in a pot that drains water well. English ivy vines will attach themselves to walls and other objects with tiny roots on their stems, so keep an eye on them.

Sunlight needs: bright, indirect light

Water needs: allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings.

3. Sage plant

Another plant that is easy to maintain is sage (salvia officinalis). Sage plants have small, fuzzy, pale green leaves. Sage does well indoors or outdoors, but wherever you keep your plant, it needs to be in well-drained or sandy soil. Sage can tolerate periods without water, and like most plants, when the leaves appear wilted, you know it is time to water it. Be careful not to overwater sage as it can fall victim to mildew. As far as fertilizer goes, if you plant on using the leaves for spice, don't fertilize too much because the plant will not have as much flavor from growing quickly, per Kitchn.

Sunlight needs: place near a window where it will receive plenty of light

Water needs: water when the soil is dry

4. Aloe vera

Aloe vera plants (Liliaceae) can handle it when you ignore them — for a little while, anyway. These hardy plants have thick, pale leaves with tiny teeth along the edges. Aloe plants are succulents, and do not do well in direct sunlight because it can dry them out. The Old Farmer's Almanac recommends keeping aloe plants in terra cotta pots because they help the soil dry out between waterings. In addition, always keep your aloe in a pot that has drainage holes because too much water will cause it to develop root rot. When it comes to soil, the Farmer's Almanac does not recommend using regular gardening soil, but instead a soil that drains well. Only fertilize about once a month during the spring and summer months.  

Sunlight needs: plenty of indirect light

Water needs: water thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

5. Spider plant

Like aloe vera plants, spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) can do well inside or outside. In addition, they can be pretty forgiving if you forget to tend to them for a couple of weeks. These plants feature long, slender leaves with white or cream-colored stripes. They also grow thin stems which feature small spiderettes, which make the plant ideal for hanging, says Gardening Know How. While some houseplants might suffer when they are root bound, spider plants actually seem to thrive that way. As a result, you should only repot them when the roots are visible or when the roots make it too difficult to water the plants. Spider plants like soil that drains well, and they do not seem to mind when the soil dries out between waterings. 

Sunlight needs: bright, indirect sunlight

Water needs: water well, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

6. Radiator plant

If you are looking for small plant that is relatively easy to care for, then a radiator plant (Peperomia) might be what just you need. They get their name from the fact that they like it warm. The leaves of this plant can be heart-shaped, oval, or pointed. Some are a solid shade of green while others are striped, marbled, or spotted. Some varieties also produce small berries and blooms. What makes radiator plants so great is that they can survive a few missed waterings and don't generally need fertilizer, as noted by Southern Living.

Sunlight needs: medium to large amounts of sunlight 

Water needs:  water occasionally, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

7. Monstera plant

If you want to add a tropical atmosphere to your home, then you cannot go wrong with a Monstera plant (Monstera deliciosa). This plant features large, dark green leaves with long splits and holes in them. Like most of the plants in this list, Monstera plants need to be planted in well-draining soil in a pot that allows water to drain out. For the best results House Beautiful recommends adding a bit of peat moss to the soil. Monstera plants also do better in humid environments. You do not need to fertilize Monsteras often, but you might need to prune them as they grow quickly. You only need to repot every couple of years and less than that if you don't want the plant to grow any bigger.

Sunlight needs: bright, indirect light

Water needs: water moderately when the top inch of soil is dry

8. Peace lily

If you have the space, you can't go wrong with peace lilies (Liliaceae). These tall, hardy plants with their wide, glossy dark green leaves add brightness to any room. Not only are peace lilies pretty to look at, they are known for cleaning the air. According to HGTV, they counteract toxic gases like formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. Peace lilies can grow in partial shade and even under fluorescent lighting, which makes them ideal for office spaces. They do not tolerate chilly air or drafts well, so put them in an area where air is not blowing on them. If you use a fertilizer to help your plant bloom, it is best to go with an organic one as they tend to be sensitive to some chemicals found in certain fertilizers.

Sunlight needs: moderate to low light

Water needs: water thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings

9. Dumb cane

Another large plant that is known for being easy to care for is the dumb cane plant (Dieffenbachia). The plant has large green leaves that look as though they have been splashed with cream or white paint. According to SF Gate, the dumb cane gets its name from the fact that if the sap is ingested, it can burn the insides of the mouth and even paralyze vocal chords. So if you have children and/or pets, put it in a safe place. Like peace lilies, dumb canes are known for purifying the air. For the best result, place them near a window. Fertilize every two weeks to once a month during the growing season with a liquid fertilizer. 

Sunlight needs: plenty of indirect sunlight

Water needs: water until you see water draining from the drainage holes in the pot and repeat when top inch of soil is dry

10. Snake plant

With their tall, twisted leaves, snake plants (Sansevieria) add color and texture to any room. They are also surprisingly easy to care for. According to Mind Body Green, there are around 70 varieties of snake plant. Snake plants enjoy plenty of bright, indirect sunlight and humid conditions, so avoid placing them next to areas where they will feel a cold draft. While some plants enjoy a good misting, snake plant leaves are prone to develop fungal spots if they are misted, which will eventually kill them. Snake plants are also sensitive to overwatering. If the bottom of the stem becomes soggy, you know the plant is getting too much water. These plants do not need much fertilizer, but you will need to replace the soil about once a year to prevent root rot. 

Sunlight needs: bright, indirect sunlight

Water needs: allow the soil become completely dry between waterings

11. ZZ plant

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is another plant that is well-known for being resilient to neglect. According to Bob Vila, these tropical plants have small, shiny leaves that can grow up to 6 inches long. These plants aren't finicky when it comes to light, but they will grow quicker if they receive an adequate amount of it. They do best in soil that drains well, and they need to be planted in a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. A basic potting soil mix with ¼ compost and ¼ sand added is enough for ZZ plants. While they can even do well without fertilizer, using an all-purpose fertilizer every so often cannot hurt.

Sunlight needs: tolerates varying amounts of light as long as it is not direct

Water needs: water every two to three weeks when the top three inches of the soil is dry 

12. Rubber plant

Known for their large, thick leaves, rubber plants (Ficus elastica) are fairly easy to care for. That being said, you won't be able to neglect them for weeks at a time. If you give rubber plants the amount of water, nutrition, and light they need, they will thrive, according to Martha Stewart. The one thing you may need to be cautious with about is overwatering, which can lead to root rot. You will need to fertilize your rubber plant every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer during warm months. While rubber plants are ideal houseplants, they are toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, the sap from them can cause allergic reactions in some people, so keep them in safe areas of your home.

Sunlight needs: plenty of indirect light

Water needs: keep the soil moist

13. Prickly pear cactus

If you want a small plant that does not require too much attention, then a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) might be just what you need. Of the dozens of varieties of cacti, these might just be the easiest to keep in your home. The soil is perhaps the most important factor in the life of your cactus, according to Southern Living. Use a mixture that is more rocks and sand to ensure that the soil drains property. You should also use fertilizers for cacti and follow any instructions. If your cactus plant begins to show yellow spots, that means it is getting too much sun. Too much water causes the roots to rot, so plan on checking the soil every 10 to 14 days.

Sunlight needs: plenty of direct sunlight

Water needs: water when the top 2 to 3 inches of the solid is dry

14. Palm plant

Along with ZZ and Monstera plants, palm plants (Arecaceae) give your decor a tropical vibe. These plants like a lot of humidity, but most types can adapt to dryer environments. That being said, if you keep a palm in an area with low humidity, give the fronds a mist from time to time to keep them looking their best, explains Bloomscape. You should fertilize most them about once a month with houseplant fertilizer. Bloomscape recommends diluting fertilizer for hapis, bamboo, Chinese fan, and cat palm plants. Most palm plants thrive in temperature between 60 and 80 degrees, and most will not tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees. Most palm plants are not toxic, but the fruit of the Fishtail Palm is considered toxic.

Sunlight needs: most palms do well in areas with plenty of direct sunlight

Water needs: water when the top half of the soil is dry

15. Cast iron plant

Known for tolerating light and temperature extremes, the cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) is a fantastic option for people who have trouble keeping plants alive. These plants have thick leaves and can grow up to 2 feet tall. Part of what makes these plants ideal for indoors is that they can tolerate low lighting and soil that gets too wet or too dry on occasion. Like palm plants, the cast iron plant is a slow grower and does not need heavy fertilization. If you keep the plant in a well-lit area, fertilize with a diluted liquid fertilizer about once per month, as noted by Plant Care Today.

Sunlight needs: place these plants next to a north facing window where they will get plenty of bright light

Water needs: keep the soil moist, but not constantly wet