Most of us like the idea of having a house full of plants, but few of us have green enough thumbs to make that vision a reality. If your inability to keep plants alive is preventing you from sprucing up your living space with greenery, try one of these low-maintenance options that thrive on neglect.
Snake Plant (dracaena trifasciata)
Some plants need to be watered every day, others only once a week. Snake plants, meanwhile, only need it when their soil has gone dry. They also don’t need much light, meaning you can feel free to put them in the darkest corner of your darkest room. When you do water yours, just make sure the water drains fully so the roots don’t soak.
Bird of Paradise (strelitzia reginae)
If you'd like something a bit more ostentatious with an appropriately fun name to boot, try a bird of paradise — they can reach eight feet tall and give your home a jungle vibe. Just keep the soil moist, allow the top two or three inches to dry out between waterings, and put it somewhere that gets bright, indirect light in order for it to proudly grow its iconic flowers.
Jade (crassula ovata)
Ahh, succulents — the easiest of the easy. Feel free to keep yours outside if it isn't literally freezing, don't bother watering it until the soil completely dries out (jade is susceptible to rot, so keep those roots dry), and watch as it grows for years and years. Bonus: Jade is considered good luck throughout much of Asia, where it’s thought to bring financial fortune.
Spider Plant (chlorophytum comosum)
Elsewhere in low-maintenance plants with names that might trigger common phobias, the humble spider plant only needs to be watered once a week in spring and summer and even less often in the colder months. They do well with a good amount of light, and their only real weakness is too much direct sunlight — maybe they should have been called vampire plants?
ZZ Plant (zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Though it bears no relation to a certain rock band known for its members’ beards, the ZZ plant does have a memorable look of its own. Just keep it in indirect light, water it when the soil is dry (are you sensing a trend among neglect-proof plants yet?), and enjoy the tropical vibe it adds to your home.
Air Plant (tillandsia)
If even putting a plant in soil sounds like too much work to you, meet the air plant. It doesn't need to be kept in soil or water, and looks great in a pot or hanging vase. How to keep it alive, then? Put it somewhere that gets indirect light and soak it in water once a week for half an hour and let it dry on a towel for a few hours.
Ponytail Palm (beaucarnea recurvata)
Another succulent (not, as its name suggests, a member of the palm family), the ponytail palm does indeed resemble long, flowing hair. It’s also about as low-maintenance as that go-to hairstyle, requiring (you guessed it) water only when its soil has completely dried out and a cozy spot where it gets bright, indirect light; some direct sun is okay in this case.
Chinese Money Plant (pilea peperomioides)
Arguably the cutest item on this list, the money plant also has the funnest name(s): Pilea peperomioides is also known as the UFO plant and pancake plant, with both monikers owed to its round leaves. You can surely guess by now how often it needs to be watered, and it only needs to be repotted every couple of years. Give it lots of bright, indirect light, and keep living your life.
Feature Image Credit: New Africa/ Shutterstock