Is your green thumb more on the brown side when it comes to taking care of house plants? Don’t worry, we have all been there at some point for sure! We have 27 recommendations for hard to kill house plants that grow and thrive indoors with minimal care. These plants require minimal sunlight, minimal water, and minimal space to truly thrive.
House plants are an attractive addition to any home decor. Whether you want just one plant or a home filled with greenery, having living plants in the house has science-based benefits. Having live plants inside lowers stress levels, can help improve concentration and productivity, eases depression and anxiety, can help you recover faster from illness, and improves indoor air quality.
With all those benefits, why wouldn’t you want to have at least a few easy house plants around? All plants need light, water, and feeding, and some houseplants are difficult to grow. There are many that are hard to kill houseplants and easy to take care of and will thrive without much attention that can help you achieve these benefits with little effort.
27 Hard to Kill House Plants We Recommend
Take a look at the following list of easy houseplants to grow and care for and pick one or two to develop your green thumb and start enjoying a healthier, more beautiful indoor environment.
As far as easy house plants, pothos is one of the easiest. It does well in low-light locations and is forgiving if you forget to water for a while. It will wilt if severely dried out, but springs back right away with a good soaking. Its pretty oval green leaves are shiny and attractive on sprawling vines that grow easily from cuttings, so you will always have more plants if you wish.
This is a green plant but there are variegated varieties with cream and white striped leaves. You can grow pothos in a pot or a hanging basket, or simply keep a few vine cuttings in a glass vase with water for a nice centerpiece.
Asparagus aethiopicus/Asparagus Fern
Asparagus fern is a soft feathery plant with small spiky spurs. It grows in a cascading manner from a central crown. It’s normally grown in hanging planters but is a nice potted plant as well.
This houseplant does need some attention to water and humidity, requiring watering every few days and daily misting to stay healthy. It makes great statement plant hanging in a prominent corner or in a decorative plant stand, and if kept well, will flower and produce berries that can be planted to propagate more plants.
Yucca guatemalensis/Yucca Cane Plant
Yucca is an easy to grow plant with sword-shaped leaves on woody trunks. It’s a slow growing plant, and grows into a tall tree four or five feet high, making it a dramatic accent feature in any room. It is native to hot, arid sections of the Caribbean and Americas and shouldn’t be overwatered.
Yucca needs a lot of light, but will grow in low light situations, just more slowly. It needs good drainage, so add sand and perlite to a loose soil mix, and do not let it sit in water.
Pilea peperomioides/Chinese Money Plant
The Chinese money plant is a pretty little plant with unique round leaves native to China. It does best in bright light but not direct sunlight and likes well-drained soil. It produces tiny white flowers when fertilized monthly in spring and summer.
Pilea is easy to propagate from plantlets it produces that can be snipped off and rooted in water or planted directly in wet soil.
Pilea may not be available in all home and garden centers so you may have to look around for it but it’s worth the search to have a unique looking easy to grow plant.
Chlorophytum comosum/Spider Plant
Spider plants are very easy to care for and grow, needing weekly watering and thriving in indirect to bright light environments. They are green or green and white grass-like plants with a fountain-like growth habit and thick white roots. They need loose, well-drained soil and weekly watering but not overwatering.
Replant to a larger pot with fresh soil when potbound. Spider plants are prolific reproducers, sending up long shoots from which plantlets grow, which can be snipped off and planted. These shoots will hang down around the plants creating a lovely green foliage curtain if left in place.
They are beautiful in hanging pots or on the tabletop or in a plant stand.
Peace lily is an upright growing plant with large green leaves and white hooded flowers native to tropical Americas and Asia. They are good at cleaning indoor air, and do well in low to medium light environments.
They are drought tolerant and do not do well if overwatered, and only need minimal fertilizing. Peace lilies do not do well if potbound and need to be divided and repotted when mature. This is easy enough to do by removing the plant from its pot and pulling it apart into two or three parts.
Ficus elastic/Rubber Tree
The rubber tree plant is a broadleaf evergreen plant native to Malaysia, Sumatra, the Himalayas and surrounding areas. It has large oval green or variegated leaves, which are thick and shiny, and woody stems and trunks. When broken or injured, the leaves and stems emit a thick white sap.
It grows in light shade to bright light and needs loose rich soil. Rubber trees are easily propagated from branch cuttings, and the plant will grow into tall trees over time, up to ten feet. They make a dramatic statement plant.
Aloe barbadensis/Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is native to Africa and neighboring areas, and comes in many colors although the most common is light green. It is a succulent, with thick smooth spears filled with gel-like liquid that is used to sooth burns and rashes, and also made into a health drink. It has an upright growth habit, sprouting from a central crown and root.
Aloe likes bright light and can tolerate semi-arid environments, so over-watering should be avoided. It is easy to grow more aloe plants from the pups that the mother plant sends up all around the base.
Dracaena trifasciata/Snake Plant or Mothers-in-Law-Tongue
Snake plant is native to Africa, with tall stiff sword-shaped leaves growing straight up from the base of the plant. It is extremely tough, growing in spite of neglect, although it will die off if overwatered or left in standing water. It needs a loose well-drained soil that is allowed to dry well between watering, especially in the winter months when the plant is not actively growing.
Snake plants are tolerant of a range of light conditions, from low to medium to bright, and only need minimal fertilizer during active growth. Propagate from leaf cuttings or dividing rhizomes.
Philodendron, or heart-leaf philodendron, is a pretty vining plant native to Mexico and Brazil, where it climbs up and through trees. It has dark green glossy heart shaped leaves on vines that will trail down a hanging basket or grow up a support like a wire or bark trellis.
Philodendron is a very low maintenance plant that looks nice anywhere inside, tabletop or hanging. It does well in bright indirect light, not full sun, with regular watering, and is easy to propagate from cuttings. Pinch the ends of vines to keep the plant bushy and keep vine trailing controlled.
Schlumbergera truncate/Christmas Cactus
Christmas cactus is native to coastal south-eastern Brazil in shady, humid forest environments. It has a fountain growth habit with stem segments that are pointed, and beautiful flowers in pink, orange, purple, white, or yellow.
Christmas cactus needs regular watering during active growth, but not overwatering, and needs humidity, so keeping it on a tray with pebbles and water will give it the right environment.
Christmas cactus likes to be potbound so no need to repot often in bigger containers. It needs bright light but not direct sunlight which will burn it. The trick to getting beautiful blooms is giving the plant 13-15 hours of uninterrupted darkness and cool temperatures.
Zamioculas zamiifolia/ZZ Plant
ZZ plant is a unique looking plant in the palm family native to Africa. It has an upright growth habit, with stems growing up and out from the rhizomes and oval dark green shiny leaves. It fits nicely into the hard to kill houseplants as they are one of the easiest to care for plants.
ZZ plant makes a nice statement plant for added drama or interest in any room, on tabletop or plant stand. It needs limited bright light, and never direct sunlight, and does best when the soil is left to dry out between watering, only every couple of weeks. ZZ plant only needs occasional fertilizer application during the year, every six months or so.
Schefflera, or umbrella plant, has leaves growing at the end of stems in an umbrella fashion. It’s a rainforest plant native to Australia and New Guinea, growing into big trees. As a houseplant, it can grow quite large in the right environment.
It needs bright light, and likes to dry out between watering. Schefflera will grow well without fertilizing, and can be pruned back if it outgrows the space it’s in. There are dwarf varieties of umbrella plant if you don’t want to keep a large plant, and variegated varieties with green and yellow leaves.
Dieffenbachia seguine/Dumb Cane
Dumb cane is a beautiful large plant with large oval leaves that are green and white or yellow. The leaves grow upright from the central base, and the plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, although there are smaller varieties. The plant will grow in low light but prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight will damage the leaves, so it’s suited to indoor environments away from south facing windows.
Dumb cane needs consistent soil moisture so don’t let it dry out, but do not water log the soil either. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. It needs high humidity so keeping it on a tray with wet pebbles or daily misting is necessary.
Aspidistra eliator/Cast Iron Plant
This plant lives up to its nickname, being very hardy and tolerant of neglect. This native of Japan and Taiwan tolerates low light, low humidity, and a range of temperatures and keeps growing and providing greenery.
It’s a large plant that grows up to three feet. It does best in bright indirect light but will grow in full shade, but direct sun will burn leaves. It’s a slow growing plant with very long leaves that grow upright from the base. Although it is drought tolerant, cast iron plant may get root rot from overwatering.
Crassula Ovata/Jade Plant
Jade plant is a shrubby succulent with woody stems and glossy fleshy green leaves native to South Africa. It’s a slow-growing plant that lives a long time, and is easily propagated by pushing the leaves stem down into soil. It needs full sun to grow well and is drought tolerant, so overwatering will cause problems. This is another one of the truly hard to kill houseplants cause it will continuously grow and grow with minimal care,
It needs a loose, loamy well-drained soil. Minimal fertilization during active growing is all the feeding it needs. Jade plant is available in attractive varieties including variegated and silver jade.
Beaucarnea recurvate/Ponytail Palm
Ponytail palm is a striking succulent plant growing from a thick trunk with a bulbous base and a fountain-like spring of long green leaves. Native to desert regions of southeastern Mexico, this plant needs sandy soil that needs to dry out between watering, with almost no watering during the winter.
Ponytail palm needs bright light and does well by windows with lots of sunlight. In its native habitat it grows up to 30 feet. As an indoor plant, it’s a slow growing plant that will reach up to six feet. It needs a small pot planted with the bulb above the surface of the soil.
Senecio rowleyanus/String of Pearls
String of pearls is so-called because of its unique appearance and growth habit of round, pea-sized succulent leaves on vining stems. It makes a beautiful hanging plant with cascading strands of leaves, but also looks very nice grown in a flat dish. It’s native to Africa and needs sandy well-drained soil.
This plant is very drought tolerant and likes dry feet, so overwatering will cause problems. Allow roots to dry out between watering and grow in part shade out of direct sunlight. String of pearls is easily propagated from cuttings. Tiny white flowers smell like cinnamon.
Tradescantia zebrine/Inch Plant
If you’re looking for easy house plants, tradescantia or inch plant is the way to go. Inch plant is an attractive low-maintenance trailing plant with green and silver striped purple tinged leaves and stems.
Varieties come in shades of cream, pink, and gold. Its nickname is from the stem sections, which are noded or notched about one inch apart and break off easily to start new plants when grown outside in warm climates as a ground cover. It’s a prolific grower, and easily propagated from cuttings.
Pinching back the ends of vines creates a bushier plant. Native to south and central America, it grows in shade or bright light, and likes regular watering.
Platycerium bifurcatum/Staghorn Fern
Staghorn fern is an unusual looking, dramatic addition to any interior space. The leaves are large and forked and resemble antlers like those on a stag. It is native to southeast Asia and Australia, growing in trees and taking moisture from rain, dew, and fog. Staghorn fern is a low-maintenance evergreen fern that grows in part shade with medium water needs.
It should not be overwatered, but also never allowed to dry out completely. This fern should be grown in sphagnum moss or special fern mix in a pot or with the root ball and moss mounted on a slab of bark or wood.
Despite their nickname, air plants need a little bit more than air to stay alive and grow. They are epiphytes, plants that grow on other plants, and their natural habitat is in tree branches throughout southern U.S., Mexico, and Central and South America. These are one of my favorite hard to kill houseplants as they do not grow in soil, but take their moisture and nutrients from the humidity and rainfall.
They are unique looking green or silvery green plants with long leaves that grow in a rosette from two to six inches in length. Air plants need bright indirect light, not direct sunlight and a warm environment. They should be submerged in water and soaked weekly, then turned upside down to drain before being returned to their display spot. If your indoor atmosphere is very warm and dry, misting every couple of days is recommended.
Syngoneum podophyllum/Arrowhead Plant
Arrowhead plant or arrowhead vine is a beautiful green vining plant native to Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia. Its leaves are triangular or arrowhead shaped and grow on traveling vines that can reach six feet in length.
Arrowhead vine makes a nice hanging plant or trellised plant, and grows readily from cuttings. It likes high humidity, so daily misting or placement in a water tray on stones is recommended for optimal growing.
Hoya camosa/Wax Plant
Wax plant is a pretty vining plant with glossy green, waxy oval shaped leaves. It’s native to China and surrounding Asian countries. It’s a showy trailing or climbing vine that produces fragrant white flowers.
It likes loose, loamy soil with regular moisture but dry between watering, and bright light with direct sun for flower production. Wax plant, like most vining plants, is easy to grow from cuttings either planted directly in soil or rooted in water.
Dragontree is a unique looking plant with tufts of long glossy dark green leaves atop tall gray woody stems. It’s native to Madagascar and Mauritius and grows up to twenty feet tall in the landscape.
As a houseplant, it can grow up to six feet tall. Dragontree likes bright indirect light and to avoid stress needs a sheltered location without direct sun or drafts. It’s an easy houseplant for warm bright corners that need some greenery.
Passionflower is a vining flowering plant native to Brazil and Argentina. It’s a showy vine great for trellis or hoop support, with large fragrant blooms. It needs loose sandy soil without too much organic matter, which will fuel leaf growth but inhibit flowering. Infrequent deep watering and minimal fertilizer will encourage the flowering that makes this vine so spectacular.
Passionflower does well with cool temperatures in winter months when it goes dormant. It flowers on new growth and spring pruning or pinching encourages fresh growth.
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora/Paddle Plant
Paddle plant is one variety of kalanchoe, which are evergreen plants that like full sun and well-drained sandy soil. They do not do well if overwatered, and should be left to dry out between watering.
Paddle plant is so named for its large paddle shaped leaves that grow in a rosette from the central crown. The plant takes three to four years to mature and flower, then dies, but is easily regenerated from the plantlets that sprout around the mother plant or leaf cuttings.
Aglaonema commutatum/Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreen is a very hardy plant with large showy green leaves shot through with red, pink, silver, or white. It’s a tropical plant native to Asia and New Guinea, so it needs a warm environment away from drafts and cold and direct sun.
It needs even moisture but not soggy soil or wet feet so it should dry out between watering. Chinese evergreen is a great slow growing plant to add drama to any space.
So there you have 27 of the best plants to grow indoors that are truly ultimate hard to kill houseplants! With minimal attention these plants can thrive for years and years and bring you lots of joy and happiness. While I don’t tend to enjoy ignoring my plants, its nice to know that if you have to run out of town quickly without a plant sitter or drip system in place, you will still come home to pretty green house plants!