"What are the easiest houseplants to grow indoors?" we hear you ask. Whether you're a beginner or want a non-temperamental plant for the home, THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™ has rustled up ten non-fussy plants that won't leave you with a headache. Note: Those that don't state they're pet-friendly are potentially toxic to pets or children.

Three Quick Tips That Beginners Should Know 

  1. If you ace its light and watering requirements, your plant will almost always survive. ALL houseplants will survive on a north, north-east or north-west facing windowsill (i.e. a window with no direct sun, just indirect). Cacti, succulents and thick-leafed species like Yucca or Sansevieria will also survive in sunnier rooms or windows. 
  2. If in doubt, don't water. Remember to read into what your plant is telling you; if the leaves or flowers begin to wilt, rehydrate the compost. Dry soil is always better than prolonged moisture that's watered too often.
  3. Don't panic about a plant dying. Even if the plant begins to look unwell from pests or over-watering (root rot), etc., there are always things we can do to stop it.

Need the answer to a specific plant query? Book a 1-to-1 consultation with Joe Bagley (THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™ & website author), to overcome and address your niggling plant problem! Available on iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & more.

Which Houseplants Are Best For Beginners & Hard To Kill?

1. Spider Plants

Chlorophytum comosum

• Pet-Friendly & Air Purifying

• Easy to Propagate & Very 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 propagate. Water once the top third of the soil becomes dry, feeling the pot's weight for confirmation. Place on a windowsill, bookshelf or in a conservatory.

2. Sansevieria (All Species)

Sansevieria trifisciata - Mother-in-Law's Tongue

• Hard to Kill & Air Purifying

• Easily Propagated Via Cuttings

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 15 years, up to 1.5m in height & the width of its pot.

Second on this list is Sansevieria, which includes the Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Snake and 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 and rooms will be accepted; avoid temperatures below 12°C (54°F) and excessive sunlight in the summer.

3. False Shamrock - Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis triangularis

• Exceptional Foliage

• Leaves & Flowers Move/Fold at Night

• 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 your Oxalis will also fold its during the night, forming a mushroom or umbrella shape. This unusual trait won't come at the cost of difficult care either; keep the soil evenly moist with a bright windowsill that offers up to three hours of sunlight per day.

Read More - Which Houseplants are Suitable in Different Light Levels & Rooms? Our DEFINITIVE List!

4. Ponytail Palms

Beaucarnea recurvata
• Perfect for Forgetful Waterers & Also Pet-Friendly

• Tolerates Full Sun & Droughts. Slow Growing Habits.

• 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 weeks or months in preparation for potential droughts, thus being an excellent specimen for people who are away from home for work/holidays. Provide a location that offers a few hours of sunlight per day for optimum growth.

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

Epipremnum pictus 'Silver Satin'

• The ukhouseplants' go-to for a Trailing/Climbing Plant on a Shelf or Wall

• Exceptionally Easy to Maintain & Propagate. Grows in Low Light

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 10 years & up to 6m in vine length.

Despite its handful of names, the 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 30cm per year! 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.

6. Jewel Orchids

Ludisia discolor

• Pet-Friendly & Great for Dark Locations

• Beautiful Intricacy of its Foliage

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years, up to 0.3m in stem length & 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.

7. Desert Cacti

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

• Cheap, Readily Available at Shops & Great for Sunny Windowsills or Terrariums

• Most Cacti Are Pet-Friendly (Check Case by Case)

• Life Expectancy - 20 years+

Desert Cacti are by far the easiest to grow as long as they're grown in a sunny windowsill with irregular watering (follow the ukhouseplants' golden rule of 'drenches between droughts'). Some Cacti (Mammillaria) can even bloom in the early spring if the previous autumn & winter is kept slightly cold with a good exposure to the sun. We recommend keeping them in a south-facing windowsill or in a conservatory that remains above 8℃ (46℉) to increase a chance of flowers.

Read More - Our List of Pet-Friendly Houseplants

8. Dracaena - Dragon Trees

Dracaena reflexa var. tricolor

• Adds Texture to a Decor & Grows Quite Large Over Time

• A Great Investment for Money & Tolerable to Droughts

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

The first positive of Dragon Trees is that they're sold in pretty much every garden centre or DIY store around the world. The most common way to kill this plant is by over-watering, so as long as you allow most of the soil to dry out between drinks, it'll be easy to grow. Dragon Trees will also live 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. Monkey Mask Plants -  Monstera adansonii

Monstera adansonii

• Excellent Value for Money & Easily Propagated

• Can be Trained Up a Wall or Across a Bookshelf

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 8 years+, over 5m in vine length.

Similarly to Dragon Trees above, the Monkey Mask Plant is 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. Water regularly & feed every three waterings with a 'Houseplant' labelled fertiliser, along with a support of some sort (moss pole or self-adhesive clips on a wall) to unlock this plant's potential. 

10. Clivia Miniata (similar to Amaryllis)

Clivia miniata 
• Similar to Amaryllis in Terms of Flowers & Leaves, but Clivia are Fully Evergreen

• Produces Orange Flowers in Spring

• Life Expectancy & Spread - 20 years+, 60cm in height & width.

While it looks similar to the Amaryllis, we prefer Clivia due to its drought tolerance and ability to grow in dark rooms of a home. Memorising the watering phrase of 'drenches between droughts' is essential with this species, as their thick fleshy roots will hold moisture for weeks before needing another drink. Dust the foliage from time to time & don't over-water!

11. (Extra) Jade/Money Plants - Crassula Ovata

• Lasts At Least Thirty Years & Great for Forgetful Waterers

• Suitable for Sunny Windowsills or Conservatories 

• 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. Allow ALL of the soil to dry out in between waters and provide a splash of morning or evening sun for best growth. The best indication into the plant needing another drink is when the leaves begin to slightly wrinkle/soften - if they're plump and hard, don't water!

12. (Extra) Tropical Cacti (Fishbone Cactus, Christmas Cactus & Rhipsalis)

Fishbone Cactus

Our 50 Year Old Christmas Cactus! (Schlumbergera buckleyii)
• Grows for up to 60 Years Old & 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 cacti are friends for life. Species like the Holiday Cactus will not only thrive for decades to come, but it'll also reward you with festive colours over festive period. Other plants like Rhipsalis (Mistletoe Cacti) are also available at garden centres throughout the year and can grow in all locations in your home. (Under skylight windows, conservatories, bookshelves, etc.)

Other honourable mentions for beginner houseplants;

* Pet-Friendly

Book a 1-to-1 Consultation with THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™

Need realtime advice for your houseplants? Book a video or message consultation with expert Joe Bagley, THE HOUSEPLANT DOCTOR™ (author or Choose between a ten or thirty-minute session & a platform of your choice (WhatsApp, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger or Zoom). Ask unlimited questions in one session, including queries on your dying/challenging plants, pests eradication, terrariums, repotting advice & everything in between! Available worldwide.

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