Forgiving Houseplants

The perfect plants for indoor gardeners with brown thumbs.

  • Jade is a low-maintenance succulent houseplant.
  • Aloe (Aloe vera) is best known for its plump leaves that can provide a soothing gel for cuts and burns. Allow the plant's soil to dry completely in between waterings; depending on the humidity of your home, that may mean watering as little as every two to three weeks.
  • The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law's tongue or ribbon plant (Sansevieria), is a succulent with thick, waxy leaves. It loves being potbound and thrives on being ignored — the perfect plant for two-week vacationers.
  • Rabbit's ear (a member of the kalanchoe family) is a moderately fast grower (about three new leaves every two months) and has hairy leaves that help prevent against water loss due to evaporation.
  • Heart-leaf philodendron is a fast-growing houseplant, with deep green heart-shaped leaves.
  • The spider plant is an extremely easy-to-grow plant that also handily produces small "pups." Each of these plantlets can be rooted in potting soil.
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica robusta) in a white container.
  • Pothos, a member of the philodendron family, is fast-growing and has striking variegated leaves.
  • A close-up of a small potted bunny ear cactus.
  • Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra) 'Milky Way' can handle low light (north-facing), high light (but not direct sun) and extreme temperature changes; it's also drought-tolerant and slow-growing. Another forgiving plant: dracena, often called corn plant.
  • Umbrella tree, or Hawaiian schefflera, is fast-growing and easy to contain in size by clipping the top leaves.
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