Snake PlantSnake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) tops our list of favorite low-maintenance houseplants because it’s so adaptable. You can grow it in bright light, medium, light, or low light. Water as frequently as it takes for the top inch or so of the potting mix to dry, or leave it be for several weeks -- and it still continues to grow and thrive. Snake plant is truly forgiving! It’s a stylish houseplant with vertical sword-like leaves. The foliage is often variegated with streaks or stripes of silver, cream, or white. Some varieties, such as ‘Black Gold’, have golden-yellow edges.
Chinese EvergreenChinese evergreen is a tried-and-true houseplant popular for decades. Botanically called Aglaonema, it is an easy-care variety perfect for living rooms, dens, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, and other indoor spaces. It doesn’t need a lot of light to thrive -- so it exists just about anywhere. Be sure there’s enough light for you to comfortably read a book, magazine, or newspaper much of the day without turning on extra light. When it comes to watering, Chinese evergreen is similarly compliant. If you don’t overwater so the potting mix stays wet, Chinese evergreen will thrive. Chinese evergreens come in many different varieties; most have rich green foliage playfully variegated in silver, making them valuable and attractive assets for home décor.
ZZ PlantGrow ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) anywhere in your home or office. Only have artificial light? No problem! Want to enjoy it in a bright window? It’ll love it there. ZZ plant is as easy going about watering as snake plant; if you don’t keep the roots wet, it’ll be happy. Take a look at the roots, and you’ll see fleshy rhizomes that store water to help it survive periods of drought. This unique houseplant has a low-maintenance nature and is attractive, too. It' bears shiny dark green leaves that have a lush, tropical look. ZZ plant fits in any decor style.
MonsteraOne of the trendiest houseplants around, Monstera deliciosa has huge, divided leaves. Its foliage practically defines the tropical look. This bold, easy-care houseplant does best in a medium or bright spot, but tolerates low light. When it comes to watering, add more moisture when the top inch of the potting mix dries. It can get by with less water, especially if you grow it in a humid spot, such as a bathroom where its dangling aerial roots can soak up the moisture in the air. Monstera is a big houseplant, and grows fast in the right spot. While we love it because it’s relatively low maintenance, monstera isn’t for everyone.
Spider PlantAs is the case with many folks, one of my first houseplants as a kid was a spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Because it’s so easy to grow, this indoor plant is ideal for sharing with children. It does best -- and grows fastest -- in a bright spot, but is tolerant of medium and low light. It doesn’t need a window, though, and is as happy if lit by fluorescent lights than by the sun. Its thick roots store water, too, so if you go on vacation or get too busy to water, it’ll survive. Spider plant has a fun grassy look and produces baby plants on long shoots that arch out from the plant. These little plants can be potted up and shared.
PothosPothos (Epipremnum aureum) is for you if you want a low-maintenance houseplant you can grow up as a vine in your home, let trail from a hanging basket, or fill its pot. When it comes to light, pothos works with its environment. In low light, it grows more slowly and typically has longer stretches of stems between the leaves. In brighter spots, it’s more vigorous and more full and lush. Water it regularly, when the top inch or so of the potting mix dries. Don’t keep it wet; that’s about the only way to make pothos sulk. Pothos shows off heart-shaped green leaves that are usually variegated with shades of gold, cream, silver, or white. If you grow it vertically on a totem, and keep it warm and bright, the leaves can grow quite large, adding to its tropical effect.
PhilodendronHeart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is a close relative of pothos and because the two easy-care plants look similar, some folks have trouble telling them apart. They also have similar care needs -- treat them the same and enjoy a pair of gorgeous, air-purifying houseplants. Philodendron grows in low, medium, or bright light and likes for the top inch or two of the potting mix to dry out between waterings. The classic type has dark green, heart-shaped leaves. You can often find other varieties such as ‘Brasil’ that feature lime green and cream variegation. These types help brighten dim corners of your home décor.
PeperomiaThere’s a whole tribe of peperomias, from small and adorable types to those with bold leaves. Two of these larger ones, Peperomia clusiifolia and Peperomia obtusifolia are wonderfully low-maintenance houseplants. Feel their leaves and you’ll see why: They hold water well to help get them through dry periods. That means if you don’t get a chance to water, your peperomias will survive. Similarly, they thrive in low, medium, or bright light. Add extra appeal with variegated varieties, such as P. clusiifolia ‘Jelly’. It features green leaves marked in cream, white, and pink. Peperomia obtusifolia ‘Golden Gate’, whose leaves edged in creamy white.
HoyaHoya carnosa, also called wax plant, is a charming easy-care houseplant. It’s perfect for hanging baskets where you can show off its trailing stems and thick, waxy leaves. Hoya tolerates low light, though it doesn’t grow very fast in these conditions (and won’t bloom). It loves a high-light spot and rewards you with clusters of star-shaped, fragrant flowers if you keep it happy. Like the other houseplants on our list, you don’t want to overwater it, but you don’t need to worry about watering it frequently. If the top inch or two of the potting mix dry before you water again, it’s all good! Hoyas come in green and variegated-leaf varieties, if you want to enjoy some extra color. And Indian rope hoya (Hoya compacta) has leaves that grow in a scrunched, curled way -- making it a showpiece plant.