Having indoor plants can bring life and color to a room. Plants help improve air quality and can boost productivity, focus, and attitude. But what to do if you’re horticulturally challenged? Luckily, there are many plants that are beginner-friendly and hardy enough to withstand erratic watering, low light, and changes in temperature. With practice and patience, you can turn your black thumb green! Here are 5 easy, no-hassle indoor plants for beginners.
One of the easiest plants to care for, spider plants are glorious when they grow. They come in many varieties, with different stripes, colors, and shapes. Spider plants do well in low light, though they thrive in bright indirect light. When well cared for they will shoot off thicker vines with baby plants called “spiderettes”. You can clip these spiderettes and put them in water until roots grow, thus expanding your spider plant collection. Spider plants will tell you when they’re being neglected: they droop and grow paler if they need water or sun, but almost always bounce back.
Light: Okay in low light, best in bright indirect sunlight.
Water: When the top of the soil is dry. Can stand quite a bit of neglect.
Sanseveria family plants are also called “mother-in-law’s tongue” for their sharp, pointed shape. Unlike many mother-in-laws, they are incredibly easy to please. While they prefer bright, indirect light, they can survive easily in low light conditions.
Light: Anywhere from bright light to shady corners.
Water: Infrequently. Avoid over-watering.
Also called “devil’s ivy” for their hardiness and creeping tendrils, Pothos-family plants are low maintenance and can add a decorative flair to any room. Try adding a trellis to support upward growth, or using thumb tacks alongside the vines to encourage wall-clinging. These plants are toxic to cats and dogs, so make sure you keep them out of the reach of pets. Bonus: as your pothos grows, you can clip bits of the vine and propagate them in a glass of water or pot of soil.
Light: Bright indirect sunlight
Water: Insert a finger to knuckle-depth. If the soil is dry it’s time to water.
Aloe is technically a succulent, and is as resilient and hardy as any plant you’d find in the desert. Because it’s a succulent, aloe prefers to dry out completely between waterings. Plant aloe in a terracotta pot, as terracotta absorbs excess water and over-watering can cause this plant to rot. Many of us know of aloe’s healing properties: break off a chunk and inside you’ll find a medicinal gel that can be used to treat cuts, bruises, and sunburns.
Light: Bright to medium indirect sunlight.
Water: Allow to dry thoroughly (up to three weeks, depending on your climate), then give a deep watering.
These palm-like, frilly plants are favored by offices and malls for their easy care and dramatic presence. There are nearly 40 different types of plants in the Dracaena family, and most of them resemble small trees or shrubs. They can survive low light and prefer dry conditions.
Light: Low to bright indirect sunlight.
Water: Sparingly – the soil should never be soggy. Dracaena enjoys a misting on the leaves in between waterings.
Bringing indoor plants into your home is a great introduction to gardening. Keeping something alive and watching it grow is thrilling! You can take propagations and plantlets from many of these plants to expand your collection, or share the joy with family and friends.