Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

plants
You don’t have to tend a garden outside to show off your green thumb. There are many beautiful plants which thrive indoors and provide cleaner air while adding a touch of natural color to your home. Find the top picks for beginners!

You don’t have to tend a garden outside to show off your green thumb. There are many beautiful plants which thrive indoors and provide cleaner air while adding a touch of natural color to your home. Whether you are an apartment dweller, a condo owner, or just want to bring a touch of the outdoors in, you’ll be able to choose from plenty of options to find the perfect pick for your personality, style, and experience level.

Some require more light and love, while others are adaptable to a variety of low light and dry conditions. Many plants also filter common contaminants from the air, while releasing extra oxygen for you to breathe. Whether you are looking for hanging foliage, tall plants, or simple succulents, here are the best indoor plants to make your space greener and more lively!


Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

Chamaedorea

chamaedorea

This plant gained a near-instant following for several good reasons. It’s adapted to relatively low light, can handle lower temperatures, and grows in attractive clumps with light-textured foliage cloaking thin trunks. These factors make the parlor palm one of the most popular indoor palms grown in most temperate countries.

Water: 7 – 14 days


Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree

Dragon tree is an attractive, stiff-leaved plant with green sword-like leaves edged with red. In the spring on the outdoor varieties, fragrant tiny white flowers bloom and are followed by circular yellow-orange berries, but on indoor plants, flowers and berries rarely appear. These plants are perfect for a beginner gardener because they’re very easy to grow indoors. Unlike many indoor trees, it tolerates a wide range of temperatures. Dragon trees are tough, drought-tolerant plants with aggressive root systems that make excellent houseplants.

Water: 5 – 7 days


Japanese Sago Palm

japanese sago palm

If the Cycas revoluta is your first introduction to the world of indoor palms, you’re in for a treat. Stiff fronds grow in an upright habit from a short, shaggy trunk that resembles a pineapple. This palm is slow-growing and shines when given a site with strong light. Water your sago palm sparingly to avoid problems with crown rot. If you’ve grown your sago palm successfully for years only to experience sudden plant loss, don’t feel bad: the plant has a natural lifespan of about 15 years.

Water: 14 – 21 days


Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Despite the creepy-crawly name, the spider plant is among the most popular (and easiest to grow) of all hanging or trailing houseplants. While these exceptionally hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, in perfect conditions they are stunning. A mature plant will form tight rosettes of arching leaves with a profusion of hanging plantlets on long stems, up to three feet, somewhat like a bushy green mane.

Water: 5 – 10 days


Weeping Fig Tree

Weeping Fig Tree

Weeping fig grows as a large broadleaf evergreen tree in tropical and subtropical climates, but it is more often grown as a houseplant in homes, offices, and is a popular feature in interior commercial landscaping. It is a rare tree that has a good tolerance for the limited light conditions of indoor environments. Weeping fig is one of the best plants for improving air quality indoors. It has one of the top removal rates for air toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

Water: 7 – 14 days


Philodendron

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

The Philodendron genus contains some of the most beautiful foliage plants in the plant kingdom. Their glossy leaves add a touch of indoor jungle to your home, reminiscent of the tropical areas of the Americas to which they are native. For indoor use, there are two basic types of philodendrons: the climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing) types. The climbing varieties are often used in hanging baskets or trained along a trellis. The non-climbing ones provide excellent upright foliage plants in pots on the floor or table. Often they are valued for their ability to clean the air in your home.

Water: 5 – 10 days


English Ivy

Devil's Ivy

English ivy is a very vigorous and aggressive woody evergreen vine. Outdoors, English ivy is used as an ornamental ground-cover or elegant green covering for stone or brick walls. This is the plant that gave Ivy League colleges their name. English ivy is also a very popular indoor houseplant for hanging baskets. English ivy is frequently used as a dense ground-cover in places where turfgrass and other ground-covers do not readily grow. It is also used as an ornamental climbing cover for fences, stone walls, and brick facades.

Water: 7 – 10 days


Chinese Evergreen

1af0f7b294a5fd6142e46f9be4ddad20

For a home that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, the selection of indoor house plants that will thrive is more limited—but there are still some great choices, mainly this Chinese Evergreen. This plant has variegated green leaves and will produce white blooms and occasionally red berries, which is relatively unique for an indoor plant with low light needs. It does require some humidity, so you may need to mist the plant with a little water if your environment is dry. Note that the plant arrives in a ‘grower pot’ that you will most likely want to replace at some point, but wait until the plant has adjusted to its new environment in your home. The Chinese Evergreen does contain calcium oxalate, so it is poisonous if ingested.

Water: 7 – 9 days


Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachias​ features pointed, broad leaves in a variety of combinations of green and white. A large, well-grown dieffenbachia can reach five feet, with leaves of a foot or more. However, the plants will rarely reach this size in typical indoor conditions. The name of dumb cane comes from the dieffenbachia’s milky sap, which is a mild irritant and should be kept from bare skin. The sap can cause temporary loss of speech. Consider avoiding dieffenbachias if you have small children or pets around the house.

Water: 7 – 9 days


Snake Plant

snake plant

Snake Plant is one of the most popular and hardy species of houseplants. An architectural species, it features stiff leaves that range from six inches to eight feet tall, depending on the variety. Sansevieria was first cultivated in China and kept as a treasured houseplant because it was believed the eight gods bestowed their virtues (long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health, and strength) upon those who grew the snake plant. Sansevieria also is among several plants chosen by NASA for a study on how plants can be used for air purification and to combat “sick building syndrome”.

Water: 10 – 15 days


Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Aloe vera is commonly grown as a houseplant and gained favor because the gel from its leaves makes a soothing skin salve, although some people are actually irritated by the gel. There are over 300 species of Aloe vera, but the one most commonly grown as a houseplant is Aloe barbadensis. It has thick, succulent leaves that are plumped up with a watery gel. The leaves grow from the base of the plant, in a rosette, and have jagged edges with flexible spines. Young plants don’t generally flower and aloe grown as a houseplant can take years to produce a flower stalk.

Water: 10 – 15 days


Bamboo Palm

bamboo palm

Also known as the bamboo palm, the areca palm Dypsis lutescens is popular because of its soft fronds and tolerance of low light. The areca palm prefers a moderate amount of water, although it does tolerate occasional drought. However, they need fairly bright light and they are especially sensitive to the buildup of fertilizer salts. But if you are looking for a good short-lived palm for indoor growth, the areca palm is a popular and relatively inexpensive option.

Water: 5 – 10 days


Boston Fern

boston fern

The Boston fern is one of the most well-known ferns and admired for its desirable traits as a houseplant. Boston ferns are typically attractive, with long, graceful fronds bedecked with tiny leaves. It is a relatively tough fern, with a higher tolerance for light than other species, and as far as ferns go, they are more tolerant of dry conditions and easy to propagate. An added bonus is that Boston ferns can be displayed in any number of ways, including on pedestals, in hanging baskets, as part of a grouping, or as lush specimen plants on the right windowsill.

Water: 1 – 3 days


Echeveria Succulents

echeveria

Echeverias are one of the most popular types of succulents and are frequently featured in succulent gardens, floral arrangements, terrariums, artwork, and even wedding cakes. Their stunning rosette shape, plump leaves, and large variety of colors give them a striking resemblance to flowers which makes them easy to decorate with. Their unique appearance and low maintenance needs have made Echeverias widely popular. Watering is the most important aspect of proper Echeveria careEcheverias, like most succulents, do not require much water. It is better to under-water Echeverias than to overwater them, as they can quickly succumb to root rot if overwatered.

Water: 10 – 15 days


Lucky Bamboo

lucky bamboo

You don’t have to look very hard to find lucky bamboo nowadays. These plants pop up in offices, on desks, in businesses, and in homes pretty much everywhere. An important part of feng shui, lucky bamboo plants are said to bring good luck and fortune, especially if the plants were given as gifts. It also helps that they have a well-earned reputation as nearly indestructible; these tough stalks can survive in vases of pure water or in containers of soil, and in a wide variety of light conditions. Even a poorly kept lucky bamboo plant will live for a long time before it finally succumbs.

Water: 7 – 10 days


ZZ Plant

zz plant

Looking for a low-maintenance houseplant to spruce up your space without a big commitment? Look no further than the infamous ZZ plant, also known as the zanzibar gem! Characterized by their shiny, oval-shaped deep green leaves, ZZ plants make excellent additions to any home or office. ZZ plants are tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions which makes them well-suited to indoor growing. ZZ plants are extremely drought-tolerant and can handle infrequent watering. In general, ZZ plants should be watered once the soil dries out completely—usually once every week or two depending on their growing conditions.

Water: 7 – 14 days


Ficus Ginseng (Bonsai Tree)

ficus ginseng

A bonsai tree can create excellent feng shui energy/associations. Bonsai tree plants can be fascinating because you are basically looking at a whole tree in a miniature version. Bonsai come in all shapes and sizes, from one upright tree to a small forest of mostly horizontal shape trees. Many trees and shrubs are trained to grow in a miniature form, from California redwood to cypress and juniper. At their best, the bonsai trees are a beautiful work of art that requires patience and sensibility; at their worst, they can be an eyesore and a source of pain if neglected.

Water: 15 – 21 days


Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree)

pachira aquatica

The Money Tree is a species of tree native to Central and South America that has become an attractive houseplant thanks to its hardy nature. First popularized as a houseplant in Taiwan in the 1980s, the Money Tree is prominent among those who practice Feng Shui and is believed to create positive “Chi,” or energy in the home. This has made it a staple in offices, banks, and homes alike. Guiana Chestnut is most commonly sold as a small plant with a braided trunk made up of three, five, or seven stems. The trees are braided by nurseries when they are young and will continue to grow this way as they mature

Water: 10 – 15 days


Cactus

cactus

All cactus plants are members of the Cactaceae family, and there are thousands of species of cactus. There are two large groups of cacti grown as houseplants; both are popular and familiar, and both can thrive indoors with relatively little maintenance. The desert cacti are the more “traditional” cacti, usually covered with spines or hair and often growing in paddles, balls, or obelisks. Forest cacti grow in wooded areas, ranging from temperate forests to subtropical and tropical regions. The most well-known forest cacti may be the Christmas cactus. Both desert and forest cacti boast beautiful blooms, but they have very different growing habits.

Water: 15 – 21 days


Peace Lily

Peace lily

The peace lily is a tropical species that is a favorite flowering houseplant. The peace lily blooms in spring with long-lasting flowers that hover gracefully over the leaves on the stalks. A well-grown peace lily may bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers. Peace lilies filter more indoor pollutants than most other plants, so are great for bedrooms or other frequented rooms. Inside the tropical plant’s pores, toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are broken down and neutralized.

Water: 5 – 10 days


Check other posts about plants in the Plants section of my blog

Leave a Reply