Indoor plants are great. They can brighten up your home, make it feel fresh and add a certain leafy liveliness to your décor. However, that all comes at a cost: keeping the darn things alive.
As living organisms, plants tend to need a lot of TLC when we remove them from their natural habitats and bring them indoors. However, not all houseplants require the same level of care you’d give a small pet; you can find plenty of plants that don’t need much more than a bit of sunlight and the occasional watering.
If you’re a lazy gardener who’s just looking to add a bit of green to your home without a big commitment, here are some low-maintenance plants you should consider adding to your indoor garden.
If you’re looking for an indoor plant that’s low-maintenance and useful, you can’t do much better than this easygoing succulent.
Not only does it look cool and add interesting texture as a décor element, the aloe vera plant is known for the soothing properties of the gel it produces within its leaves, which can help with minor burns and abrasions. However, the gel from aloe vera should only be used topically.
Aloe vera is incredibly easy to care for. You’ll only need to water about once every three weeks, watering deeply when you do.
If you’re unsure of whether to water or not, test the soil using your finger down to the second knuckle. If any wet soil clings to your finger, you should probably let it dry a little longer before watering again. You want to allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Aloe vera likes bright but indirect sunlight. This means keeping it a few feet away from a sunny window, or filtering some of the light that gets through with blinds or a light curtain.
When getting started with your new aloe vera plant, be sure to set it up in a container that offers good drainage, with some draining holes at the bottom and a potting mix suitable for succulents.
Peace lilies, with their deep green leaves and pop of crisp white flowers, are great if you want an elegant, flowering plant that’s easy to care for.
Peace lilies are tropical plants, so they like warmth and humidity. You should only water enough to keep the soil moist – be careful to avoid overwatering, and let the soil dry up before watering again. With a peace lily, too little water is preferable to too much. Just watch for wilting.
In between watering, mist the leaves to increase humidity for the plant.
Peace lilies can be sensitive to tap water, so if you’re able, water and mist using filtered water or tap water that’s been left to sit out for 24 hours. This allows the chlorine in the water to evaporate.
These plants like shade, so place them in a warm area where they won’t get a lot of direct sunlight.
Peace lilies are poisonous, so be mindful to keep them up and out of reach of small children and pets.
Spider plants are easy to grow and can thrive in a wide range of environments. Their abundant foliage will lend a fresh, “green” feel to your home while requiring minimal work on your part.
Spider plants are super easygoing. As long as you provide them with well-draining soil and bright, indirect light, they’re happy. In fact, direct sunlight can burn their leaves.
For watering, keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
Spider plants grow quickly and can become pot bound, meaning the roots have expanded so much they no longer have room to grow. If you start to see roots coming through the drainage holes or near the surface of the soil, replant in a larger pot.
Even those who have the worst luck with plant husbandry will love the resilient snake plant, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. They thrive in nearly any light, need little water and are very forgiving to occasional neglect. Plus, they’re quite fashionable – their wide, green and yellow leaves add the perfect touch of naturey chicness to any modern home.
Plant them in a potting mix suited for succulents, as you’ll want something that drains well. While the plant prefers bright light, it grows in shade as well. Water occasionally, being careful not to overwater, which will cause the plant to rot. Let the soil completely dry between waterings.
Be sure to wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth every once in a while to remove any dust. You may also need to divide your snake plant and repot the sections once a year or so.
Be aware that the snake plant is toxic to pets, so keep the plant out of reach or opt for something more pet-friendly.
English ivy is a pretty, leafy plant that is hardy and easy to grow.
English ivy plants love shady areas, so providing it with a low or filtered light is important. As with any ivy, these plants love climbing, so for indoor planting, keep them in a pot with a vertical structure they can grow around or in a hanging basket they can cascade from.
Pot in well-draining soil in a container that has at least one draining hole. To care for English ivy, simply keep the soil moist and let it dry a bit between waterings. Some gardeners recommend fertilizing the plant once a month. It may also need occasional pruning.
The philodendron, a tropical plant, likes humidity and sunlight. They’re great houseplants and are adaptable and low maintenance, so if you’re searching for something easy to add to your indoor garden, look no further than this leafy giant.
Locate your philodendron in bright, indirect sunlight. If you notice its leaves yellowing, it’s likely getting too much light. Keep soil consistently moist, only watering when the top inch of the soil is dry. You may also regularly fertilize for larger, healthier leaves.
Because this plant has larger leaves that will accumulate debris more easily, be sure to wipe them down every so often to avoid dust build-up, which can inhibit photosynthesis.
Keep philodendrons out of reach of children and pets, as they contain toxins that can be harmful when ingested.