The Best Hard-to-Kill Indoor Plants That’ll Liven Up Your Home

The Best Hard-to-Kill Indoor Plants That’ll Liven Up Your Home

If you're feeling ready to swap your artificial plants at home for some real greens, consider starting small by cultivating a low-maintenance indoor garden. Many popular indoor plants require very little attention each day, and they’ll happily grow and thrive as long as they’re placed in a good spot and get just the right amount of water. You can even place thirstier plants in a self-watering planter to keep them hydrated. From there, the sky (or your square footage) is the limit.

Before you buy an indoor plant, you'll want to assess the amount of direct, indirect, or low lighting in your home, as you want to make sure that you're choosing plants that are compatible with the setting. While some plants are versatile and can thrive nearly anywhere, others may struggle if they aren't getting the appropriate amount of sun or shade they need. Once you have your plant and have placed it in its spot, keep an eye on how it looks from day to day: Is it looking healthy and strong, or getting pale and losing its leaves? You may need to relocate it if the lighting isn't right.

Watering your plant on a schedule that's appropriate to its type is also very important, but it's best to always feel the plant's soil before you do so — especially if the plant is in an indirect or low-light setting. Overwatering your indoor plant — even if you're only watering once a week — can cause the roots to rot, and it can be tough to salvage the plant once that starts to happen.

Once you've lived with it for a while, tasks like dusting the leaves, pruning the vines, and repotting the plant into fresh soil or a different-sized planter can all help keep it happy from year to year.

These 15 indoor plants are low- to medium-maintenance, and they're the perfect greens to get you started.

1) Tradescantia Zebrina



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Tradescantias are indoor plants that thrive in a range of different environments.

Displaying distinctive purple-and-green striped leaves, this plant is happy in both direct and low-light areas — although you may want to gently transition it from one spot to another if you decide to move it to a drastically different light setting. Also, it only needs watering about once a week, when the soil feels completely dry.

More: The Best Gardening Gifts for Green Thumbs

2) Money Tree

Costa Farms


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Money trees have distinctive twisted trunks and lots of feathery green leaves. This indoor plant is a good one to place by a bathroom window with indirect light, as it thrives in warm, humid indoor climates, and only needs a little water (not a drenching) about every 10 days.

You can even encourage growth by repotting your plant every 2 years into a larger container so that its roots have more room.

3) Pet-Friendly Favorites



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If you're the parent of both plants and pets, opt for greens that are safe for your fur babies to be around.

This duo of indoor plants from Bloomscape consists of a money tree and a ponytail palm. Both of them are nontoxic and can go a week or longer between waterings. Just opt for a low-light environment for the money tree and somewhere a little sunnier for the potted palm.

4) The Fresco



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Pothos plants are fast-growing, resilient greens that are fun to care for because they’re always changing. When placed in indirect light, they only need to be watered about once a week, and they can grow to be incredibly long and vine-y.

I’ve owned this exact pothos planter from UrbanStems for over 6 months and it’s become one of my favorite plants. It has a lush layer of moss just at the surface of the planter that acts as a sponge for excess water. No matter what the temperature or light conditions are in my apartment each season, it looks happy and healthy on my south-facing windowsill.

5) Indoor Herb Garden Kit

Click and Grow


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The Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 is a great gardening solution for anyone who loves growing edible plants and herbs, but may not have the time to monitor them closely each day.

If you've ever used a pod coffee maker, this plug-in planter is very similar. Its seeds and soil come in the form of capsules, which you can simply insert into the unit. And its included LED lighting system means that you don't have to clear your windowsills to make room for it. Keep the bottom chamber filled with water, and watch your progress via the app each day.

Oh, and basil is far from the only option: Click & Grow has a huge seed library.

6) Plant Propagation Station



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Once you've mastered regrowing your scallion scraps, try some more plant propagation on for size. This gift-worthy set from includes a wooden base with three glass bulb propagation vases.

When your vine-y plant needs a haircut, just snip it at the node and place it in one of the water-filled vases: You might start to see roots form within days.

7) Fiddle-Leaf Fig



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You may be most familiar with the fiddle-leaf fig in its towering, very trendy tree form. But even though this one is tabletop-sized, it can be trained to grow taller if repotted and pruned appropriately, so that the roots can grow.

This tropical plant likes warmth and humidity, so keep it in a sunny spot and make sure the top inch of soil stays moist. It's also a good idea to rotate it every few weeks, especially if you notice the plant leaning one way or another — or if you see that some of the leaves are changing color.

8) Bird of Paradise

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If you live in a super sunny space, your place was made for a bird of paradise plant. These indoor plants thrive in warm climates, and they can grow to be up to 5 feet tall. They only require about one watering per week to stay vibrant and happy.

9) Costa Farms ZZ Plant

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Want to hit snooze on your plant-caretaking responsibilities? Get yourself a ZZ plant. This leafy, long-stemmed indoor plant is incredibly hardy, as it's able to thrive in low light conditions without frequent watering.

However, if you have pets, you may want to consider something else. ZZ plants’ leaves contain an irritant that can be toxic if ingested.

10) Potted Succulents

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Surely you're acquainted with these little guys! Echeveria succulents are petite plants that display rose-like blooms, and they can be repotted with others in a single planter.

They only need minimal water to thrive, but that doesn't mean you should shirk caring for them completely. Just make sure they get proper drainage so that their roots don't rot.

11) Sansevieria Snake Plant

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Snake plants are known for their stunningly variegated, sword-like leaves. They like direct — but not intense — sunlight, so they're perfect for keeping by a window at home or in an office. Just water them once a week, and occasionally dust off their leaves so that they stay happy on your sill.

Studies have also shown that these indoor plants have air-purifying properties, even if the total amount of CO2 they remove is very minimal. (You're better off getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter.)

12) Lucky Bamboo Trellis

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Bamboo is as hardy as it is low-maintenance, and with proper care, it'll continue to grow and proliferate for years.

This sculptural indoor plant comes in a rock-filled planter that prevents its roots from spreading and growing too much. It also loves hydration — all you need to do is keep an inch of water in the planter at all times, and it'll be happy.

13) Assorted Tillandsia Ionantha Air Plants

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Air plants come in many different colors and sizes, and they're unique in that they aren't planted in soil. Arrange them inside of a terrarium or any decorative container to add a little low-maintenance greenery to your workspace.

About once a month, soak your air plants in water for 10 minutes to rehydrate, and then let them completely dry out in a sunny spot before returning them to their planters.

14) Aloe Vera

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Native to desert climates, aloe vera plants thrive in indirect sun and dry atmospheres, and they only need to be watered about once a week. When it's robust and green, this indoor plant is at its happiest. Any paleness usually indicates that it needs to be moved into or out of the sunlight.

It has skin-soothing properties, too. In case of a small kitchen burn, just break off the tip of the plant and rub its cooling goop onto your skin for quick relief.

15) Juniper Bonsai


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Bonsai is an ancient botanical art form that originated in China before Zen Buddhists brought the practice to Japan. It involves training a tree or shrub to grow in a miniature form of itself.

While there are different types of bonsai trees, the juniper bonsai is a great one to start with, since the shrub is resilient and fairly easy to shape with wire. While it does require direct sunlight, it only needs to be watered when its soil feels completely dry.


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These indoor plants for your home are low-maintenance and are the perfect greens to get you started. Plus, they'll boost your mood, too.