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Our Favorite Hard-to-Kill Houseplants

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Our Favorite Hard-to-Kill Houseplants

We get it. You might be new to growing houseplants, have a very busy lifestyle, or simply don’t like to fuss over anything. Whatever the case, you want houseplants that are hard to kill. There are many of them, and we’re going to introduce you to them. But first, we’re going to answer this question:

Why do houseplants die, anyway?

Not to get too philosophical, but everything dies at some point. A better question is: Why do I have a hard time keeping houseplants alive? And the answer is usually that you’re watering too much. Of course, if you don’t water at all, that will be another issue, but most houseplant gardeners err on the side of watering too much.

Another answer is that your plants might not be getting enough light. 

The answer to successful houseplants is to know what kind of growing requirements each of your plants has. And because you’re interested in low-maintenance houseplants, they will have quite a lot in common.

Our Favorite Hard-to-Kill Houseplants

The reason these plants are hard to kill is because they are well adapted to a typical household environment—low/indirect light, artificial light, standard household temperature and humidity—and don’t require loads of additional attention like specialized soils, fertilizers, or fussy pruning.

  1. Sansevieria: Sansevieria should be at the top of every hard-to-kill houseplant list; it’s that easy to grow. Give it low to medium light and a once-a-month watering (yes, you read that correctly) and you’re good. Perfect for someone on-the-go!

  2. Pothos: If you have some bright, indirect light (that living room window might be perfect) and can remember to water when the top inch of soil is dry, then pothos is the houseplant for you! And if you forget, the foliage will wilt a bit, only to spring back to life when it’s watered again.

  3. ZZ Plant: We love ZZ plant because it’s so adaptable to a wide range of light levels, and only needs watering when the soil has dried out. No fuss, no muss, this one.

  4. Cast Iron Plant: Often thought of as an outdoor-only plant, cast iron plant does surprisingly well inside with the same (low) amount of care. While we wouldn’t suggest it, you could probably throw this one into a closet and it would do just fine. Low light, low water, great growth.

  5. Cactus: This one’s no surprise, is it? While it will need bright indirect light, watering is very low (once a month is great). You may even find that cacti need less water inside because they don’t dry out as quickly as their outdoor potted friends. The main thing to remember with cacti is to give them excellent drainage—and while that’s true of all houseplants, it’s even more so with cacti.

  6. Heartleaf Philodendron: Heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines make this one a popular houseplant, and their minimal care make them houseplant superstars. Medium indirect light is best (although they can tolerate lower light) and watering every 1–2 weeks when the soil seems dry are the requirements—and while normal household humidity is just fine, moister air will help it grow bigger and more quickly. We love those options!

  7. Spider Plant: Spider plant is not only super easy to grow, but a fun one as well! Slightly arching foliage produces long drooping stalks with wee offsets that can be transplanted. Give it medium to bright light and water when the top of the soil is dry.

  8. Dieffenbachia: Dieffenbachia is a kind of “medium” plant—it’s easy to grow because all of its growing requirements are similar. Lower light as long as the light is even, and medium watering as long as it’s consistent. It does like a little humidity, so when you think of it, give it a little spray or grow it in the bathroom.

We hope this helps you on your quest for the ideal houseplant, and if you’re looking for a low-maintenance office plant and can’t decide which one is right for you, check out our interactive blog post “The No-Fail Way to Pick the Right Office Plant for You!”.

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  • Jenny Peterson