20 Forgiving Houseplants

These are the perfect houseplants for indoor gardeners with brown thumbs.

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February 11, 2020

Photo By: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Photo By: Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Photo By: Logee’s Plants for Home and Garden, Logees.com

Photo By: Costa Farms

Photo By: Photo by Lynn Coulter

Photo By: Image courtesy of Costa Farms

Photo By: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing

Photo By: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing

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Photo By: Photo by Melissa Caughey

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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.

Snake Plant

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.

How to Care for a Snake Plant


Give bromeliads bright light and they'll produce colorful foliage and flowers.

Growing Bromeliads

ZZ Plant

With ZZ plant, you can take off for a year and return home to find it looking perfect. It needs that little water. The thick leaves have a natural shine, and it’s happy in any light, low to bright. The only drawback is its slow growth rate, which means it might cost a little more at the nursery (because it takes longer to grow). The double Z stands for Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

How to Care for a ZZ Plant

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Chinese Money Plant

As you select plants to serve as focal points in your décor, consider how large the plant grows and also how quickly it achieves that size. Plants like sentry palm and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) can double their size in a few years, given the right conditions. Chinese money plant, on the other hand, maintains a tidy size, growing slowly to 8 to 12 inches tall. With thick, succulent-like leaves, the plant doesn’t demand much water and thrives in low light. Unusual, round leaves make this plant a conversation piece.

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Chinese Evergreen

Sturdy but beautiful, Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) tolerates just about any growing conditions indoors. Leaves offer a variety of eye-catching patterns, and when there’s bright enough light, these tough plants send up calla lily-look-a-like blooms.

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Jade is a low-maintenance succulent houseplant.

How to Grow and Care for Jade Plants


Pothos, a member of the philodendron family, is fast-growing and has striking variegated leaves.

Rabbit's Ear

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.

Rubber Plant

Houseplants, such as this rubber tree plant, make exceptional specimens for the home.

Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane

Dramatic, large leaves in many variegated forms makes dieffenbachia a popular indoor plant. Prune it to keep it from getting leggy.


Heart-leaf philodendron is a fast-growing houseplant, with deep green heart-shaped leaves.

Philodendron Care

Spider Plant

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.

Spider Plant Indoor Care


Ideal for a centrally-heated home, cacti and succulents thrives in a warm, sunny environment.

How to Care for a Cactus

Cast-iron Plant

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.

Cast-Iron Plant: How to Grow and Use This Tough Evergreen

Umbrella Tree

Umbrella tree, or Hawaiian schefflera, is fast-growing and easy to contain in size by clipping the top leaves.


Kalanchoe is a tropical succulent that is available in various forms, from the perfect-for-hanging baskets Kalanchoe manginii to the wide-leafed and colorful 'Flapjack'. Water when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Air Plants (Tillandsia)

Air plants are epiphytes, meaning they can grow without soil and making Tillandsia one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. Simply mist your air plants with water once a week to keep them nice and healthy.

How to Grow and Care for Air Plants

African Violet

Violet Saintpaulia flowers, more commonly known as African violets are easy-care plants for indoor gardens.

How to Care for Your African Violet

Peace Lily

Place houseplants to provide a leafy contrast to the hard lines of windows and furniture. Peace lily is a natural for filling a corner. It holds its own beside a large window, where it receives the high light necessary to promote steady bloom.

How to Grow and Care for Peace Lily Plants

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