Arguably one of the biggest turn-offs to raising houseplants is the fear of killing them. Some first-time plant parents might feel they’re far from a green thumb and that all plants wither and die before them. Well, we’re here to say that’s not true! The best way to get a green thumb is to know what your plants need; some are pickier than others. Whether you’re a seasoned houseplant parent or a starter sprout, check out these five houseplants anyone can grow:
Snake plants are a type of succulent known for their incredible hardiness. These little guys sport long, wavy, green leaves and occasionally flower when the light is just right. Their preference for low light makes them especially hard to kill: they thrive in apartments without much sun and don’t mind neglect.
Snake plants need well-draining soil and should only receive water when their soil is completely dry to the touch. To ensure your Snake Plant has strong drainage, place a layer of coarse gravel at the bottom of your pot, and make sure your pot has a drainage hole too. Most varieties of Snake Plant prefer bright, indirect sunlight over low light, but the Gold Flame prefers darker corners. Snake plants don’t require fertilizer to grow but will benefit from a little slow-release fertilizer added to their soil at the beginning of the growing season.
The Spider Plant is another low-light lover who prefers medium or indirect light over lots of sun. What makes this trailing plant great for beginners is its resilience. Spider plants may not like lots of sun, but they’ll tolerate it. These plants don’t need any special kind of soil to thrive; they just don’t like to sit in soggy soil.
To keep your Spider Plant thriving, water it only when the first inch of soil is dry to the touch. For your potting mix, go for something that is loamy and still has decent drainage. Keep your Spider Plant away from direct sunlight, and fertilize it once a month during the growing season. To encourage blooming, keep your Spider Plant’s soil nice and moist throughout the growing season.
Spider plants are fast growers and will benefit from repotting once or twice a year. While these plants don’t mind being root bound, it’s best to repot them whenever you get the chance.
[ZZ Plant]Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)
The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or ZZ Plant, is a gorgeous, cane-like plant that sports thick, round emerald leaves. Along with the Snake Plant, the ZZ Plant is a NASA favorite for its air purification qualities. This plant is tough to kill because of its love for neglect. As long as you keep it somewhere bright and give it a good soak every couple of weeks, you’re good!
The ZZ Plant prefers warmer climates and works best as a year-round indoor plant. It prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate low-light growing conditions and doesn’t mind direct sun. Your ZZ plant will need well-draining soil, but it’s not too picky about potting medium aside from drainage– you’ll be fine with a regular potting mix. Water your ZZ Plant deeply once its soil is completely dry to the touch; this plant is drought-tolerant and won’t need watering as often as other houseplants.
[Rubber Plant]Ficus Elastica (the Rubber Plant)
As another NASA favorite, the Rubber Plant can grow up to sixty feet tall in the wild but make for excellent decorative trees in the home. These hardy plants are pretty difficult to kill because they don’t require lots of nutrients. The rubber plant is best for attentive waterers who may neglect other aspects of plant care.
To get the most out of your tiny tree, make sure it’s in a pot will well-draining soil and drainage holes. Water your Ficus whenever the first inch of soil is dry to the touch. Your Rubber Plant will sit proudly wherever it receives filtered sunlight, as it can tolerate medium light conditions and prefers bright, indirect sunlight. If you want your Ficus to grow exceptionally large, give it some fertilizer at the beginning of its growing season.
To finish off our five favorites, we’ve got another succulent: the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana. Known for its brightly-colored flowers, this succulent is a great transition plant for succulent lovers looking to get into houseplants. Like hardy succulents, they don’t mind a little neglect when it comes to watering and fertilizer, and just like houseplants, they don’t mind varying light conditions.
To keep your Kalanchoe happy, place it somewhere it’ll get at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight (or eight hours of medium light). Plant your Kalanchoe in well-draining succulent soil, in a pot with drainage holes, and water deeply when the soil is completely dry to the touch. For fertilizer, avoid any fertilization until the beginning of the growing season, and fertilize using a slow-release fertilizer at the start of the season.