How To Stop Killing Houseplants: Easy Plants To Keep Alive

An aloe plant is an easier plant to keep alive.
An aloe plant is an easier plant to keep alive.
  • The practice of growing houseplants began in ancient Egypt, China, and India with potted plants in courtyards.
  • Indoor plants remove air pollutants and allergens.
  • Most common houseplants came from the tropics.

There are many benefits to keeping indoor plants in the home or office. They're known to help clean the air, boost productivity and humidity, and improve the aesthetics of any space. But they're not always the easiest to keep alive, particularly some fragile species that require next-level vigilance and near-perfect optimum temperatures like Boston ferns and azaleas.

However, there are a few species of houseplant easier to maintain to give your indoor space a health and decor boost - even if your thumb leans more toward black than green.

10. Dieffenbachia

This plant is also called a "dumb cane". Editorial credit: Bogden Kurylo

The large, foot-long distinctive leaves of the dieffenbachia boast a typical tropical-plant appeal, marbled with white or cream hues. Beware of this six-foot beauty, though - the dieffenbachia is also known as "dumb cane" because its sap is toxic and causes numbness and swelling in the tongue if chewed by people or pets.

9. Pothos Ivy

These plants have beautiful heart-shaped leaves. Editorial credit:

These plants come in a variety of colors and thrive anywhere from bright to medium or lower levels of light, making them prime for any indoor space. The heart-shaped leaves, often speckled with gold, cream, silver, or white, grow like a vine and can be trained to take on any shape or direction. Another bonus: the pothos ivy is well-known for its air-purifying traits.

8. Peace Lily

The peace lily comes in a variety of colors. Editorial credit:

These easy-to-care-for lilies come in white, pink, or purple and can handle low light and moderate temperatures. It's slowers typically bloom in summer, but some will open throughout the year for a mid-winter treat.

7. Ficus

Ficus plants will add shine to any room. Editorial credit:

These woody plants are only a little temperamental - once they're in one location, don't try to move them through the winter because the ficus won't adapt well to change. Its shiny leaves add a nice touch to home decor, so long as its in a bright, sunny room.

6. Spider Plant

Spider plants are low maintenance and easy to keep alive. Editorial credit:

You've probably seen these hanging plants in homes and businesses, as they grow quickly and look great in baskets with their notable white strip down the centre of their leaves. They do require distilled water to avoid getting brown leaf tips, but can be hung anywhere as they don't require full sunlight.

5. Snake Plant

The snake plant can grow quite tall. Editorial credit: Mokkie /

This succulent is hardy and can grow pretty well anywhere, even if it's neglected. The leaves have a leathery feel and stand upright, between six and 48 inches tall, though its greatest heights only come from growing in bright light (but not direct sunlight). It doesn't get easier to care for than a plant that requires letting its soil dry completely between waterings.

4. Cast-Iron Plant

If you're looking to brighten up a dark room, the cast-iron plant is a great option. Editorial credit:

As indicated by the name, this hardy plant is nearly indestructible. The cast-iron also grows fairly slowly, so it can be a long-lasting touch of green in the home. The plants can get up to one or two feet high and prefer low light and humidity, making them ideal for darker rooms or corners.

3. Aloe

Aloe plants can also be used to treat sunburns.

Another succulent that doesn't require a lot of care is the aloe plant. Smaller varieties like aloe vera work well in windows but larger varieties can get up to three feet tall. The plants don't require a lot of water but love a lot of light, so any sunny spot in the home will do. Just bear in mind the spiky leaves should be kept away from high-traffic areas.

2. Fig Tree

Fig trees are a great option if you are looking for a plant to fill up space in a room.

A small indoor tree fills up any space with its lush dark green leaves. The fig tree can adapt to any location so long as it has access to bright, indirect sunlight. Watering will have to be done more often in the summer months but less in winter, when the soil takes a little longer to dry out. This tree will talk to you - if it doesn't like the location, its leaves will pale and indicate the need for less light.

1. Philodendron

Philodendron plants are extremely durable and easy to care for.

The philodendron and its trailing heart-shaped leaves will thrive anywhere in the home, as it can handle high or low light levels and moderate room temperatures. Their four-inch long slender stems are deceiving - they're one of the most durable indoor plants available. Make sure to keep out of reach of children and pets, as the leaves are poisonous if consumed.


More in Environment