Easy & Beginner-Friendly Houseplants


Introduction

Whether you're a beginner or want a non-eventful plant for the home, ukhouseplants have rustled up the fifteen easiest specimens that are currently on the UK market. Even if you're from overseas, just knowing a few on this list can help you decide which to purchase at a shop. Most are pretty well-known plants; however, there are a few that aren't necessarily associated with easy-care.


N. B. - Those which DON'T state that they're pet-friendly are unfortunately toxic if eaten. The 'Life-Expectancy' section is just a projection of the average age for the specimen - most plants can easily surpass this when correctly cultivated.




1. Spider Plants

Chlorophytum comosum


• Pet-Friendly & Air Purifying

• Easy to Propagate & Cheap

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years, 0.7m in both height & width

If you're looking for a good investment, Spider Plants are the one for you. Not only can they tolerate a whole host of neglect, but they'll also produce stolons (runners) that'll harbour small offsets for you to separate. Water once the top third of the soil becomes dry, feeling the pot's weight for confirmation. Situate in a bright, indirect setting with a good level of humidity, and you'll be good to go!




2. Sansevieria

Sansevieria trifisciata - Mother-in-Law's Tongue
• Hard to Kill & Air Purifying

• Easily Propagated Via Leaf Cuttings

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 15 years, up to 1m in height & 5m in width.

Second on this list is the genus, Sansevieria, which includes the Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Snake or Rocket Plant & African Spears. If you're a forgetful gardener, fear not - these plants are well-equipped for long periods of drought and regular neglect. Their versatility towards differing light levels is second to none too, as most light levels will be accepted - avoid temperatures below 12°C (54°F) and excessive sunlight in the summer.




3. Oxalis triangularis - False Shamrock

Oxalis triangularis


• Exceptional Foliage

• Leaves & Flowers Fold at Night (Nyctinastic Movements)

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 10 years, up to 0.5m in height & width.

Not only is there a resemblance to majestic butterflies in mid-flight, but the plant is also nyctinastic whereby the leaves and flowers fold up during the night. This unusual trait won't come at the cost of difficult care either - keep the soil evenly moist with a bright, indirect location to keep it happy.



Read More - Which Houseplants are Suitable in Different Light Levels & Rooms?



4. ZZ Plants

Zamioculcas zamiifolia

• Great for a Shady Statement Plant

• Slow Growing & Can Withstand Droughts

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 15 years, up to 1m in height & 1.5m in width.

Zamioculcas thrive off neglect and dry soil, just like the Sansevieria. Along with their exceptional tolerance to persistent droughts, they'll also act as a fab statement plant for a small shady corner in the house due to their turgidity and slow-growing nature. Follow the ukhouseplants rule of 'drenches between droughts', and you'll be rocking!




5. Devil's Ivy (Pothos, Scindapsus or Epipremnum)

Epipremnum pictus 'Silver Satin'

• The ukhouseplants' go-to for Trailing / Vine Plants

• Exceptionally Easy to Maintain & Propagate

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 10 years & up to 8m in vine length.

Despite its handful of names, Devil's Ivy is the easiest trailing plant to have in the home. Not only will they tolerate a wide range of different light levels, but they can also grow insanely fast - up to 40cm per year! A dark location won't be a problem too, as their ability to adapt to shaded spots is second to none. If you're looking for a specimen to practice your propagation skills, look no further; stem cuttings can be taken all year round with at least two nodes, with roots appearing after a month. Click on this link to find out more about its propagation tips!




6. Peace Lilies

Spathiphyllum 'Chopin'
• The ukhouseplants' go-to for Shady Statement Plants

• Perennial With Long-Lasting Flowers & Also Air Purifying

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 10 years, up to 1.2m in height & 0.6m in width.

Peace Lilies have been popular houseplants for over 150 years - and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, they can thrive in almost dungeon-like conditions, producing new leaves even in the darkest of locations. Their flowers will last up to five weeks, and they'll physically notify you when it's time for water. Although you don't want to test their ability to endure droughts, it's an excellent visual notification for when a drink is needed.




7. Cacti

A selection of Mammillaria, Pilosocereus, Opuntia & Echinocereus (front to back). 

• Cheap, Readily Available & Great for Sunny Windowsills

• Some Desert & Most Tropical Cacti Tend to Be Pet-Friendly, But Always Check Before Purchasing

• Life Expectancy - 20 years

Desert Cacti & Succulents are by far the easiest to cultivate - unless you're an over-waterer! Follow the ukhouseplants' golden rule of 'drenches between droughts', and you'll be onto a winner. Provide a bright location with some morning or evening sun to get the most out of your specimen. Better still, for those seeking a Cactus bloom in the spring, reduce the temperature to around 12℃ (54℉) over the winter months to reinforce a much-needed dormancy. Click on this link and scroll down to 'Dormancy Care & Annual Blooms' for more info!

Tropical Cacti are mostly pet-friendly and a delight to have in a plant collection. They'll come in all shapes and sizes, with some reaching heights of 1.5 metres (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), and others that remain pretty small (Rhipsalis baccifera) for their entire life. Unlike their desert counterparts, moist soil and a sheltered spot away from direct sunlight are vital for quality growth. Providing this, and a slightly cool location over the autumn and winter months will reward you with annual blooms and a healthy splash of colour.



Read More - A List of Pet-Friendly Houseplants



8. Dracaena

Dracaena tricolor

• Adds Texture to a Decor & May Grow Large Over Time

• A Great Investment for Money & Air Purification

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 15 years, over 2m in height & 0.7m in width.

The first positive of Dracaena is the fact that they're sold in pretty much every IKEA store and garden centre around the world. As the most common way to kill one of these is by over-watering, ukhouseplants would recommend to allow half of the soil to dry out in between waters, while providing a bright, indirect location. Dracaena will last for years, reaching a height of over three metres in some cases! As long as you don't kill them with kindness (i.e. over-watering), they'll become a much-loved part of your family.




9. Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant) & M. adansonii / obliqua

M. deliciosa

M. adansonii


• Excellent Value for Money

• Cheese Plants Have a Rich History of Indoor Cultivation

• M. deliciosa: Life Expectancy & Spread - 12 years, over 2.5m in height & 0.7m in width.

 M. adansonii / obliqua: Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years, over 8m in vine length.

Similarly to the Dracaena, Monstera are another great investment for those who seek a reliable, fast-growing specimen. Not only will they reach heights of two metres within a few years, but they're also pretty easy to care for, too. Provide moist soil and a support to grow up, and you'll be graced by a monstrous specimen within a few years!




10. Rubber Plants

Ficus elastica / robusta variegata
• Slow Growing & Branches Out When Pruned

• Inexpensive But Highly Toxic

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 15 years, over 3m in height & 1m in width.

Despite most Ficus being a hard customer to please, Rubber Plants are the only exception. Keeping the soil slightly on the drier side to life will reward you with a fast-growing, thick-leaved specimen that'll reach several metres when matured. The most common issue is over-watering - allow the top third of the soil to dry out in between irrigations, using your finger for confirmation. Although too much sunlight will burn its foliage over time, providing a splash of winter sun will significantly aid its dormancy period and overall wellbeing.



 
11. Cast Iron Plant - Aspidistra

Aspidistra elatior
• A Superb Medium-Sized Statement Plant with a Great Victorian History.

• Air Purifying & Pet-Friendly

•  Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years, up to 0.6m in height & 1m in width.

Indoor cultivation of this species span back to the Victorian times due to the hard-to-kill ethics that come with it. When gas-powdered lighting was at its most popular, toxic fumes and thick layers of soot would cover the home's horizontal surfaces. As most plants would easily perish from this, the Aspidistra and Kentia Palms were the only two that could withstand such toxicity, thus becoming highly popular specimens in the last quarter of the 19th century. Provide moist soil and dust the leaves regularly to maintain a long-lasting Aspidistra.



12. Schlumbergera - Xmas / Easter / Thanksgiving / Holiday / Zygo Cactus

Schlumbergera buckleyii


• A Great Investment in Terms of Overall Age & Pet-Friendly

• Annual Blooms & Easy to Propagate

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 30 years, up to 0.5m in height & 0.7m in width.

All forms of Tropical or Epiphytic plants are friends for life; not only will the Holiday Cactus thrive for decades to come, but it'll also reward you with festive colours over the Christmas or Easter periods. Most specimens are available at a garden centre during their allocated flowering times and relatively cheap, too. They're pet-friendly and easy to manage - so what are you waiting for?




13. Pony Tail Palm

Beaucarnia (Nolina) recuvata
• Perfect for Forgetful Waterers  & Pet-Friendly

• Tolerates Full Sun & Droughts

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 20 years, up to 2m in height & 0.7m in width.

Ponytail Palms are similar to Cacti in the fact that their watering and light requirements are mostly parallel. Moisture can be stored in its trunk for several months in preparation for potential droughts, thus being an excellent specimen for out-and-about people. Unlike most houseplants that require a 'bright indirect' setting, Ponytail Palms love direct sunlight. They'll do much better in a south-facing room or conservatory than most plants put together!




14. Jade Plants - Crassula

Crassula ovata
• Lasts Over Thirty Years & Great for Forgetful Waterers

• Produces Annual White Flowers During the Winter Once Matured

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 30 years, up to 1m in height & 0.8m in width.

Jade Plants are another popular species with a tendency to withstand even the longest of droughts. When correctly cared for, they can live for the best part of thirty years, reaching a top height of 0.8m - pictured above is ukhouseplants' twenty-years-old specimen! Allow all of the soil to dry out in between waters and provide a splash of morning or evening sun for best results. On a further note, all species of Crassula are impressively easy to maintain - click here to learn more about cultivation tips with this genus in general.




15. Jewel Orchids - Ludisia

Ludisia discolor


• Pet-Friendly & Great for Dark Locations

• Beautiful Intricacy of its Foliage

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years, up to 0.3m in height & the width of its pot.

The Jewel Orchid rounds off our top 15 easiest plants for a good reason. Known for its long-lasting flowers that stand proudly above the foliage line, only a few realise that it forms part of the Orchid Family. Not only is it the easiest Orchid to maintain, but the foliage is truly remarkable - have a look at the image below to see for yourself! Provide a moist setting with an absence of direct sunlight for best results. When in bloom, supplement using a potassium-based feed (Tomato or Poinsettia Feed) to prolong the flowers' duration.




Other easy-care plants that weren't mentioned are;

* Pet-Friendly



If you need further advice with indoor gardening, never hesitate to send us an email or direct message via the Instagram Page. This could be about your own specific plant, transplantation into a bigger pot, pests or diseases, terrarium ideas, & more!



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