Taking care of your first plant can feel like navigating a minefield, especially when you have a busy schedule and too many things on your mind. Luckily, there are many options for low-maintenance plants that will thrive with only the smallest bit of love and attention. Check out a few of them below!
1. Aloe Vera
In terms of low-maintenance plants, the useful and sturdy aloe vera plant is all-around amazing. It takes very little effort on your part for it to thrive: all you need to do is place it by a well-lit window and water it roughly once a week. This sturdy plant will grow for years, sprouting new leaves as old ones die. If you cut off the large leaves yourself, the gooey gel within will help ease minor scrapes, burns, and sunburns.
Aloe Vera purifies the air, pumping out oxygen all night long. This can help improve sleep quality, so keeping it in your bedroom is definitely the way to go!
2. Peace Lily
The delicate peace lily can be a sparkling addition to any home. Peace lilies are excellent at filtering toxins in the air and they are easygoing and prosperous plants.
Placing a peace lily by a window will allow it to grow lovely white flower-like spathes. The peace lily will still thrive in a low-light area of your home, but it will look more like traditional green foliage. Where you place the lily depends on your preference.
Do not overwater your lily — watering it once a week is enough. It is important to choose a pot with a drainage system so the plant can release any excess water.
The lovely peperomia, with its rich green and pale yellow leaves, requires a good amount of light — both sun and artificial. Although less light will result in a less luscious appearance, peperomia will not die. The dazzling peperomia is easy to manage and will thrive if left on its own for days at a time.
It is a good air purifier and has the ability to reduce levels of formaldehyde, a respiratory irritant common in households, by around 47%. Only water peperomia when the soil is completely dry, as it does not require too much water.
4. Golden Pothos
Commonly known as Devil’s Ivy, golden pothos actually flourishes on neglect. In fact, some say it simply refuses to die. This tropical vine, with its large waxy leaves, requires very little water and does not need direct sunlight. Water only when the soil is completely dry.
Make sure to plant pothos in a pot with a drainage hole. Also, it is mildly toxic if ingested, so be careful when keeping it around pets or small children.
5. Lucky Bamboo
Lucky bamboo is also known for its ability to survive even the most neglectful conditions, so it’s perfect for beginners! Bamboo shoots will do best in a glass vase with pebbles for stability and about an inch of water at the bottom — they will continue to grow infinitely. Change out the water for new water once a week and keep the bamboo in a place with filtered or indirect sunlight.
Lucky bamboo can also grow in soil, if preferred. Make sure to keep the shoots out of reach as the leaves are mildly toxic.
6. Mini Cacti
Mini cacti have been a trend for a while now and for good reason. They are small and chic; they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes; and they are remarkably low-maintenance plants. They add a special touch to home decor and will bring life to a college dorm! They can also purify the air.
Mini cacti and other succulents can live anywhere in your house and don’t require much water. So, pick out your favorite variation and a cute little pot and get to decorating.
There are two types of philodendron — climbing and non-climbing — and both can purify the air.
Keep philodendrons in an area with lots of windows, but out of the direct line of the sun. They need to stay somewhat moist, although they will bounce back quickly if you forget to water them once in a while.
8. Snake Plant
The bold, sleek look of the snake plant is sure to add character to whichever room you keep it in. It cleans the air better than many other indoor plants; it emits oxygen and soaks up excess carbon monoxide.
Snake plants prefer warm temperatures and sunny spaces, although it is adaptable to a variety of conditions. Water it only when the soil dries and make sure it doesn’t get too wet.
Out of all the plants on the list, this one presents the slightest of challenges, but it’s worth the effort! If you can manage to maintain a spearmint or peppermint plant indoors, you’ll have fresh cups of tea and mojitos galore.
Some tips for growing your own mint — use a wide pot or bowl rather than a deep one, make sure to place it with access to sunlight, and keep the soil moist, not wet. Read more about caring for mint here!
10. Purple Shamrock
With its uniquely dark purple leaves, this low-maintenance plant makes for an excellent accent in your home or dorm room. It’s also incredibly hardy; if left to die, the purple shamrock will wilt and retreat into bulbs in the soil. Then, when conditions are better, and it has water and proper sunlight, it will revive itself quickly!
Its leaves are a little poisonous, so keep out of reach of pets or children. Luckily, it has an unpleasant flavor, so if your dog or cat gets a small nibble (a small amount won’t harm them), they won’t be back for more.
Keep the purple shamrock plant next to a sunny window or outdoors on the patio and make sure its container has a hole to drain water.