Keeping a plant around is an effortless way to bring color into your life and a bit of inspiration as well. The problem is having enough time to care for another living being when you’re already too busy taking care of yourself and your family. There are some labor-intensive plants out there amid the more easy-to-care-for flora, but if you can’t tell your croton from your anthurium, don’t fret. Here’s a list of the top ten carefree houseplants for your home or anywhere else.
This little plant owes its namesake to its appearance, as the fuzzy leaves resemble the ears of a rabbit. The “fur” protects it from water loss via evaporation and it grows decently fast, with a few new leaves every two months or so. It’s not that colorful, though, so if you’re looking for some bright hues, keep reading.
The snake plant is well-known for its hardy nature and ability to grow almost anywhere. It’s a good first plant for beginners, but veteran houseplant owners may find its upright yellow-rimmed leaves appealing as well. For a desktop version, the dwarf rosette variety is compact and equally durable.
A succulent hailing from South Africa, the jade plant won’t die off if it doesn’t get enough water. Instead, it goes dormant and will be rehydrated and begin growing again once watered in this state. The small leaves are dainty and inviting, but the similarly small roots can be a hazard, so be aware.
As the name implies, this type of cacti tends to bloom in mid-to-late December. The flowers vary in color, from lilac and salmon to deep red and white. There is some care beyond watering involved, as pruning after blooming is encouraged for fuller blooms the following year. Nevertheless, it’s a colorful option and popular for those looking to care for cacti.
Crown of Thorns
This succulent blooms year-round with little red flowers to add a pop of color. It’s easily maintained as well, only requiring a bit of water. Originally from Madagascar, the plant does earn its name: the thorns and sap can cause swelling or even blisters if not handled properly.
Speaking of blisters, this plant pulls double duty of not only being a source of greenery but also medically helpful. If you are ever unlucky enough to get burned, the sap from aloe leaves can be used to speed up the healing process. Just cut off a bit of a leaf and apply. (Don’t worry- it all grows back.)
Finally, a plant that won’t wither under fluorescent lights. This species can thrive with nearly any light source, making it the perfect option for cubicles or even bathrooms. The waxy peperomia is also much better suited for humid environments, unlike more popular succulents.
Simple and classic, the African Violet has remained a popular houseplant for decades. Between relatively easy care (although additional work, like bi-weekly fertilizer, can help) and vibrant purple flowers that bloom multiple times a year, it’s hard to deny the appeal. Keep it in bright but indirect sunlight for best results.
Don’t have the time to worry about soil? The air plant is for you. Tovah Martin, the author of The Indestructible Houseplant, says to “Dunk them in water for about two to three hours every ten days or so.” Be careful, though, as the plant is spiky.
For the most variety and color from your easy houseplant, there’s only one choice: the begonia. Requiring only a bit of water regularly and next to none in the winter, the begonia comes in a wide array of hues and patterns. It is this freedom that makes it the Ultimate Easy-To-Care-For Houseplant.*
*Title not official.