20 Easy-to-Care-For Houseplants That Will Brighten Any Room

Strong, independent plants that don't need no water.

20 Easy-to-Care-For Houseplants That Will Brighten Any Room
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Some houseplants are notoriously difficult to keep alive. Miniature roses, for example, will bloom all year ’round so long as you only submit them to five hours of direct sunlight a day and keep them toasty warm at night. And orchids, bless them, require indirect sunlight and one ice-cube per week—or else you’ll be left with a stick in a pot.

But if you want to brighten your space with the help of a houseplant, there are plenty of options that are as hardy and easy-to-care-for as can be. And whether your space is filled with light or dark and gloomy, they’ll find a way to survive. Read on for the low-maintenance plants that grow remarkably well under suboptimal conditions, or, let’s be honest, under the supervision of a suboptimal plant parent.

house plants

1
Snake Plant

$20; buy now on amazon.com 

Looking for a houseplant that is remarkably durable and will stay green no matter how many times you forget to water it? A snake plant might be your best bet. This West Africa native is able to grow around four-feet tall and just as wide, and can thrive in a range of lighting situations (yes, your virtually windowless apartment qualifies). It also only needs water once every few months and was identified by NASA as one of the top air-purifying plants around. 

house plants

2
Hoya Plant

$64; buy now on whiteflowerfarm.com 

This slow-growing vine looks great in both hanging baskets or in its natural element—climbing up and down the walls of your home. Use it to add a vertical element to any room, or keep it around for its lovely smell. If given enough sunlight, the plant produces stunning, highly fragrant flower clusters that are an absolute delight on the senses. Even under subprime conditions, it will probably survive for years and years. Plus, you only have to water it when the soil gets dry. house plants

3
Aloe Vera

$25; buy now on amazon.com 

If you’ve ever swiped aloe onto a nasty scrape or sunburn, then you know how handy it can be to own this particular plant. But what you might not know is how easy it is to keep this thing alive. Simply place the pot in a bright, sunny spot and water it whenever the soil gets dry (about once every three weeks).

house plants

4
Jade Plant

$20; buy now on amazon.com 

As one of several plants with the nickname “money plant” or “friendship tree”, the jade plant makes a perfect hostess gift. Just make sure your host actually wants one, as this succulent could pretty much last a lifetime with or without a human’s help. Jade plants prefer sunny, cool temperatures, and only require water when their soil gets dry. If you keep them cool enough, they can produce small pink or white flowers. 

house plants

5
Rubber Tree

$30; buy now on amazon.com 

You know a plant is low-maintenance when its care instructions advise to “never allow the soil to become saturated.” Yep, we can do that. Rubber trees, which have the ability to grow up to eight-feet fall, feature glossy, dark-green and burgundy leaves, and give off an exotic vibe that is sure to liven up any room. The plant thrives in bright light, but if your room is dimmer, you’ll just notice that its leaves turn more green than burgundy.  

house plants

6
Green Philodendron Plant

$6; buy now on thesill.com 

This plant loves to climb and will latch itself onto whatever piece of furniture or windowsill it happens to be near. In order to survive, all your philodendron will need is low-medium light and some water once a week. FYI: This particular plant is poisonous to pets and humans, so it’s best to avoid if you’ve got kids or critters. 

 

house plants

7
Cactus Plant

$27; buy now on amazon.com 

You probably already guessed that a cactus would be on this list, but if you’re picturing a sad little desk plant, think again. Cactus plants can make as much of a statement as their less prickly counterparts. The variety shown above, a euphoria cactus, can grow up to one-foot tall. And like most cacti, it only requires water once every few weeks. Arrange one on an end table with a few other knick-knacks for a stylish display. 

house plants

8
Spider Plant

$20; buy now on amazon.com

Don’t let the name creep you out! The spider plant is an easy-to-care-for and incredibly funky plant that you shouldn’t dismiss merely because it reminds you of creepy crawlies. With different varieties to suit any aesthetic, you can pop your spider in a pot that you keep on the ground or hook it up to the ceiling as hanging décor. To keep it alive, display it in bright or indirect light and keep its soil moist. 

house plants

9
Ficus Tree

$33; buy now on amazon.com 

If you’re looking for something to take up some space, try a ficus tree. This two- to three-foot tall tree features sturdy stems that can be twisted or braided as they grow. Pretty cool! For a perfectly feisty ficus, place your plant in a sunny spot and allow the dirt to become fully dry before watering it again.

house plants

10
Pothos

$33; buy now on amazon.com 

Pothos is another easy-to-care-for leafy vine that can either hang or climb. It also earns some points for its air-purifying abilities. Pothos can survive in pretty much any lighting conditions, although its leaves will look their best if you give it some regular sun.

house plants

11
ZZ Plant

$27; buy now on amazon.com 

The ZZ plant—or Zamioculcas zamifolia—is also known as the Zuzu plant, the Zanzibar gem, the emerald palm, and even the “eternity plant”, apparently because of its exemplary ability to evade death. ZZ plants will accept any amount of sunlight or shade and only need water when their soil gets dry. If you can do that, this ZZ plant will make an A+ addition to any room. house plants

12
Grape Ivy

$8; buy now on amazon.com 

If you’re looking for a hanging basket plant that offers a bundle of leaves as opposed to a vine, then check out grape ivy. While its leaves will still flow over any pot you put it in, its vines will form tight, pleasing tendrils. With medium-light and moist soil, grape ivy can grow up to six feet. We promise you’ll adore every inch of it. 

house plants

13
English Ivy

$15; buy now on amazon.com 

If you like the idea of ivy, you should also consider English ivy. Although this popular variety is often seen outdoors—sometimes covering the entire exterior of homes and buildings—plenty of folks decide to bring it inside. English ivy offers air-purifying benefits and can help reduce mold. And if you want to double your foliage-based fun, you can simply snip off a sprig of the stem and replant it. In just a couple of weeks, you’ll have a brand new plant. 

house plants

14
Dieffenbachia Plant

$18; buy now on amazon.com 

Dieffenbachia comes in a few different varieties, but all tend to feature wide green leaves that can grow up to a foot long and display white, yellowish, or light-green patterns. All it needs to thrive is a bright spot to soak up the sun. You may also want to prune it occasionally to keep it healthy and prevent it from getting too big. 

house plants

15
Peperomia

$13; buy now on amazon.com 

There are more than 1,000 recorded species of peperomia, including the popular red-edge and ripple varieties (the one shown here is the ginny peperomia). Each one has a slightly different look, such as the watermelon peperomia, which features green leaves with white stripes, and the peperomia columella, which has downturned leaves with spiky tops. While they all tend to be on the smaller side, they can grow to be about a one-foot wide and can thrive even in a dim room.

house plants

16
Peace Lily

$28; buy now on amazon.com 

With its luscious green leaves and stunning white flowers, the peace lily is a lovely addition to any space. While it looks like a plant that might be high-maintenance, the peace lily is actually quite easy to grow. The plant tolerates low light but thrives best in brighter spaces. Keep its soil moist and it will reward you with gorgeous curving blooms.

house plants

17
Areca Palm

$40; buy now on amazon.com 

You likely can’t fit a full-sized palm tree in your home, so why not opt for a house-friendly areca palm instead? This indoor plant has the same sort of spiky-leaf top as its larger relatives, but it can fit in a regular pot and will top out at around seven feet. To manage its size, simply keep it confined to a smaller pot. The areca palm thrives in rooms with lots of sunshine, and only requires water every other week. 

house plants

18
Umbrella Tree

$18; buy now on amazon.com 

The umbrella tree—also known as a parasol plant or an octopus tree—is another attractive yet unique houseplant that can purify the air. Keep the tree from getting too big by occasionally trimming a few of its leaves. Other than that, simply water the tree a few times a month and make sure it gets a decent amount of light.

house plants

19
Shamrock Plant

$36; buy now on amazon.com 

As the Irish saying goes, “For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.” Lucky for you, shamrock plants aren’t only for Saint Patrick’s Day. Featuring tiny white flowers that pop brightly against gorgeous green leaves, these plants are super easy to care for. All you need to do is water your shamrocks about once a week and give them indirect light to have fortuitous results with this lovely low-maintenance plant.

20
Red Bromeliad

$39; buy now on amazon.com 

While most low-maintenance indoor plants won’t reward you with many colors, the Bromeliad can add a touch of flair to any room with its striking red flower. To keep the tropical plant looking its best, place it in medium to bright light and water it enough so the soil is never dry, but also never fully saturated. And if you do forget to give it a drink every once in a while, take comfort in the fact that its care instructions call it “fairly drought resistant.” If you’re looking to update your space even more, learn the 30 Next-Level Home Design Tricks from Celebrity Designers.

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