9 Beautiful & Easy Indoor Plants That Are Hard To Kill

Someone alert the authorities. I’m about to buy some plants. I’ve served my time for plant homicide and I think I have reformed my ways and it’s safe again to let me near houseplants.

Or let houseplants near me.

I’m going to do it the right way. I’m going to figure out what plants will do best for a plant beginner and what exactly those plants will need from me.

Sound like a good plan? Let’s do it.

What Do Indoor Plants Need?

Before I go run to Home Depot and grab my plants, I want to make sure the conditions the plants are coming home to are optimal. So let’s think about what houseplants need.

Light

All plants need some kind of light. They might need a ton of light, they might need indirect light or just a little light, but you can’t let them fall behind your dorm room refrigerator and stay there for a semester with no light.

(ask me how I know that).

I have lots of big windows, but I also have pine trees all around my home that block a lot of sunlight, so I need to take that into consideration when I choose my plants.

If you’re thinking about getting a plant for your super sunny kitchen window, you’ll need to make sure you get one that LOVES a lot of sunlight.

Water

We all know plants need water (this guide to caring for houseplants explains in detail why they need it), but it can be tricky to understand how much they need and how to deliver it.

Succulents and cactus just need water when they dry out while other plants will be thirsty much more often.

Some plants want to have the water poured directly on the soil and delivered to the routes while others like to be misted on the leaves.

It’s important to know what the plant you take home likes as far as how much water and how to deliver it.

I’d also not recommend thinking about how many days a week you should water your plant. Instead, you should think about whether or not it needs a drink on a particular day. In the humid summer, a plant that likes to dry out might not need to be watered every other day like it did in the winter when the air in the house was dry.

Soil

I’m not about to start messing around hydroponics or air plants until I’ve mastered good old fashioned plants grown in soil, so for the sake of this article, you’re going to need soil for your plants.

Guess what? It probably already came in a pot with soil, right? Until you have to repot the plant you can just keep it right in the pot it came in with the soil it came with.

When you do need to buy soil for the plant (when it needs to be repotted, or maybe when the cat knocks it off of it’s shelf and the soil spills everywhere) you just need to make sure you’re getting the right soil for your plant.

Fertilizer/Food

Plant food or fertilizer is probably good to have on hand, but you don’t need to use it very often, so don’t buy your plant and then think, “I’ll get the fertilizer when I need it” because you will forget to buy it.

I mean, I would forget to buy it. Maybe you are a more organized person than I am, but for me, “Buy plant fertilizer is probably never making it on my To Do list.

A Pot/A Hanger/A Stand

When I bring my plants home, I’m keeping them in the pot that they came with. At least until they grow so big they need to be repotted.

It’s less of a shock to the plant to do this anyway. You’re already removing it from it’s environment (the shelf at Home Depot), no need to give it a second shock of tearing it out of it’s container and putting it in the cute one you bought at Urban Outfitters.

I know that in addition to pots, I need to consider what to place my plants on. A shelf? A macrame plant hanger so that it’s right in a window with lots of light? A plant stand?

I had a snake plant once and I didn’t take into consideration what I was going to put the plant on, so it ended up just sitting in it’s pot on the floor. I don’t think it liked that very much.

Ikea has some really cute options for plant stands and Macrame plant hanger is a pretty simple DIY.

How Do You Know How Much Light Your Home Gets?

This is can be kind of a difficult thing to figure out. The first thing you want to do is figure out what direction your windows are facing.

For instance, from my office, I can see the sun set at night, so I know my window faces West. The windows opposite those will be facing East. Maybe slightly Northeast and Southwest, but they aren’t directly North or South.

North facing windows do not get direct light, but South facing windows do get some good direct light, so keep that in mind when planning where you are going to place your plants.

One easy way to tell the intensity of the light near your windows is by looking at the shadow your hand creates when you hold it up to the window. If it’s kind of a blurry shadow, the light is not very intense.

Likewise if it’s a really clear shadow, where you can see the edges, then that is more intense light.

What Types of Easy Indoor Plants are Good for Beginners?

Pothos

Easy Indoor Plants - Pothos

Why I like it:

Pothos is a plant that I would love to not kill. I love the color and fullness of the leaves.

I love that it sort of cascades out of it’s container and just grows and grows.

How Much Light?

Pothos likes indirect bright light, but can also deal with low light.

You know it’s getting too much light if the leaves started to get paler. If the leaves start to lose the lighter veining, then your Pothos is not getting enough light.

How Much Water?

Pothos is one of those plants that likes it’s soil to dry out before another watering. I’ve found that most of the easy to care for plants I’ve researched definitely DON’T like to have their roots just sitting in mud.

One way you can avoid the wet root problem is by making sure you have good drainage in your pot. A hole in the bottom or some rocks at the bottom for the water to trickle out.

Pothos will let you know when it needs a drink. You can tell by droopy leaves.

Any Special Considerations?

This one is poisonous to animals and people if they eat. I have a dog and a cat and I can’t say for sure that either of them wouldn’t eat it, so it sounds like this is a no for me.

I’m pretty sure my kids wouldn’t eat it. Just FYI.

Snake Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - Snake Plant

Why I like it:

The snake plant is one of those plants that is allegedly (nearly) impossible to kill. I have killed one before, so it’s not impossible, but it also was not easy to do. It takes many months of real neglect. So, I appreciate the grit of the snake plant.

How Much Light?

If the snake had it’s way, it would be in bright indirect sunlight. But, being the laid back, hard to kill plant it is, it’s totally fine in a shady corner, too. It’s a very forgiving plant.

How Much Water?

The snake plant will not, however, forgive over-watering. It’s technically a succulent and will not stand for soggy soil. I’ve read you can water the snake plant as little as once a month.

That’s dependent on the humidity in your home, so keep an eye on it, but definitely don’t over water this guy.

Any Special Considerations?

Snake plants like to be warm, so you may need to move it to a warmer room in the winter if it’s near a drafty spot.

Succulents and Cactus

Easy Indoor Plants - Succulents and Cactus

Why I like them:

I like succulents and cactus because they are usually really funky looking. They are like little living sculptures.

How Much Light?

Succulents and cactus really love light. I tried succulents once and they didn’t make it. I think it’s because my house doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.

You’ll definitely want them near to a window that gets sunlight all day.

How Much Water?

It’s not that succulents and cactus don’t like water. Every plant likes and needs water. You just have to be careful that they have an opportunity for the roots to dry out.

They still need a good watering, though. Especially while they are growing. They like a good soaking, too, til the water runs out of the drainage holes.

Any Special Considerations?

Succulents and cactus do like a particular soil that is meant for them that dries out easily, so make sure if you repot your little guys, you use this soil.

Spider Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - Spider Plants

Why I like them:

Ok, I’m going to be honest, I don’t like Spider plants. I won’t be buying any spider plants.

My mother had them when I was a kid and I believed that since they were called Spider plants, they must have spiders. It’s possible an older cousin planted that nightmarish idea in my head.

But, I can’t shake it, so no Spider plants for me, but you might love them!

Of course, now I’ve planted that thought in your head. Hopefully you’re not an impressionable 8 year old.

How Much Light?

There’s a theme to most of these easy to care for plants. They like a certain thing, in this case the Spider loves bright light, but they’ll deal with less than optimal conditions. They can handle lower light situations.

A Spider plant would probably work in my low light home if I put it in a window. I won’t because of the whole spider thing, but there you go.

How Much Water?

These guys like water, especially in the warm summer months, so keep a close eye on the soil and water it when the top inch of soil has dried out. You will not need to do this as often in the cooler months.

Spider plants also love a misting of their leaves, so give it a spritz every now and then, too.

Any Special Considerations?

Spider plants are really easy to propagate. They grow little babies that you can clip off and root in some water and then you have MORE Spider plants.

English Ivy

Easy Indoor Plants - English Ivy

Why I like it:

I basically like any plant that grows like crazy and spills out of it’s container. I like the look of that and it is something I would love to watch happen.

I like the pretty little variegated leaves on the English Ivy, too. They are a very dainty looking plant.

How Much Light?

Ivy is a woodland plant, so it’s totally fine with lower light situations. It needs some light, but it should do ok in a shady home like mine.

Indirect sunlight or filtered sunlight will keep this pretty ivy happy.

How Much Water?

These guys like water. If you think about their native home in the woodlands, the ground is usually sort of moist, right? So water them to keep them moist.

They also like a spritz of water, too, and it will help to help keep pests away.

Any Special Considerations?

This plant needs to be pruned to keep it healthy. If you see the plant growing, but not showing any new leaves, you can trim that off. This usually happens in winter.

Jade Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - Jade plant

Why I like it:

I love the look of the Jade plant, it’s another cute sculptural looking plant.

It’s also believed to bring luck and money and I’m definitely into that!

How Much Light?

The Jade plant is a type of succulent which means it’s going to want some good sunlight and means it probably is not going to work for me.

If you have a sunny south facing window that gets sun for 4 or more hours a day then you will have a happy Jade plant.

How Much Water?

Not too wet, as you would expect with a succulent. It will want a good soaking when it starts to dry out.

Make sure it’s draining well. You don’t want the roots in mud.

Any Special Considerations?

If you give this plant optimal conditions, it will give YOU white flowers in the winter.

Cast Iron Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - Cast Iron Plant

Why I like it:

Well, the name kind of says it all. This is a tough one to kill. I may have met my match.

I also love the look of this plant. Those deep green leaves that stand and then droop a little are lovely.

How Much Light?

This is another plant that is native to woodlands, which means it will do just fine in low light. Perfect for my shady home.

If you’re blessed with a sunny home, don’t stick this in a bright window. It won’t like it.

How Much Water?

In the warmer weather you can keep the soil moist for the Cast Iron plant. You probably won’t have to water as often in the winter when it’s cool.

You do want to make sure these are draining well, too. They like moist soil, but not soggy roots.

Any Special Considerations?

This one is kind of breeze. They do well outdoors, too in many places.

Aloe Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - Aloe Vera

Why I like it:

Aloe is great because, spoiler alert, it makes Aloe. An aloe plant is a fantastic thing to have in the house if you are someone who burns their fingers a lot while cooking.

Or if you get a sneaky sunburn. You can actually use the aloe in the plant to help with those mild burns.

How Much Light?

The Aloe Vera plant is a Succulent so, you guessed it, it needs sunlight. Bright and indirect sunlight is best.

It doesn’t love direct sunlight, so keep that in mind when you’re thinking about where to place your Aloe Vera plant.

How Much Water?

You’ll want to soak your Aloe Vera plant, but not very often. It again wants to drain well and have the soil and roots dry out.

You definitely don’t want this one sitting in water or it will rot.

Any Special Considerations?

If you do want to use the plants gel for your skin, cut a leaf off and slice it lengthwise and squeeze.

Don’t eat the gel, though. In case that wasn’t obvious. It will make you mildly sick.

ZZ Plant

Easy Indoor Plants - ZZ Plant

Why I like it:

I like the look of the ZZ plant. It’s tall, dark and handsome. If a plant can be handsome.

It’s also extremely unfussy.

How Much Light?

The ZZ plant will do well in low light. Or in bright indirect light.

It’s another one of those, easy care, whatever you do, is cool, type of plants. Just don’t put it in direct sunlight. It’s not cool with that.

How Much Water?

Don’t overwater this guy. Check the soil and if it’s dry on top, then you can water it.

It’s another plant that likes it’s water to drain properly, so, a hole in the bottom of the pot, or some rocks at the bottom to be sure the roots aren’t sitting in water.

Any Special Considerations?

This one is poisonous to pets and kids. Which means, no ZZ plants for me.

Did You Find a Plant or Two That Is Right for You?

I definitely have a lot to take into consideration with my plant choices. Low light and pets narrow down what I can actually have in my home, so I’m going to go with some English Ivy and the Cast Iron plant to start with.

I may do some hanging Pothos if I know I can put them somewhere the cat and dog can’t get to them because I really do love the look of a Pothos. They might be perfect hanging in my office window.

Picking out the plant and bringing it home is easy, though, right? Now I have to make the commitment to love and care for the plant.