10 Of the Best Indoor Plants for Beginners You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

It’s a common scenario: you buy a lovely houseplant from the nursery, only to see it languish a few months later, your gardening confidence dropping with each lost leaf.

However, this does not rule out the possibility of keeping houseplants.

There are many of easy-to-grow indoor plants (and can even survive with less-than-optimal light or sporadic watering).

You aren’t limited to a common spider plant. Here are some of the greatest houseplants for beginners that are fashionable, easy to care for, and under-appreciated.

These selections will add drama to a space, but not to your life.

Ficus Alii

 

Alii ficus is a high-impact yet low-maintenance tree with a bushy or lollipop form and a braided trunk.

“The towering specimens really offer a focal point to a room,” says Baylor Chapman, stylist and author of Decorating with Plants.

This ficus prefers bright, indirect light and should be watered thoroughly when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry. It will slant toward the sun, so rotate it on a regular basis to keep it upright.

Rabbit’s Foot Fern

 

Darryl Cheng, author of The New Plant Parent and publisher of the renowned Houseplant Journal, says,

“This plant is fantastic for so many reasons.”

“It’s drought resistant, so you won’t have to water it as much as other ferns. Frond turnover is smaller than in other ferns, therefore leaflets aren’t a jumble. It also thrives in low-humidity environments.”

Allow indirect light to reach your rabbit’s foot fern (it can handle an hour or two of direct sun, and a little more if you can keep up with watering).

When the soil seems dry to the touch, water it.

Satin Pothos

Satin pathos is more uncommon than golden pothos because of its variegated leaves, but it’s just as low-maintenance.

“I call pathos the ‘Instant Gratification’ plant!” explains Maryah Greene of Your Greene Piece, a plant expert and stylist.

It’s the one houseplant she usually recommends for newbies since it grows rapidly and is tolerant.

Allow soil to dry between watering (wilting, leathery leaves are definite indicators it’s thirty, according to Greene).

Pathos enjoy bright indirect sun (they will accept lesser light but will burn in direct light).

Velvet Leaf Philodendron

 

This philodendron is “one of our favorite plants,” according to Stump nursery founders Brian Kellett and Emily Brown.

“The rich velvety trailing leaves offer a touch of luxury to whatever area they grace.”

However, that luxury does not come as a cost: it can withstand both low and bright, indirect light.

The quantity of water it requires varies depending on how much light it receives, and it should be watered once or twice a week.

Plus, you may easily reproduce this plant to add to your collection or share with others.

‘Sensation’ Peace Lily

The enormous, ribbed leaves and blue-green tint of ‘Sensation’ set it apart from other peace lilies, according to Danae Horst, author of Houseplants for All and creator of Folia Collective.

‘Sensation’ is an excellent statement plant that enjoys bright, indirect light but will accept medium light (although it will seem less full and produce smaller leaves); water when the top third of the soil is dry.

Don’t worry if your peace lily appears wilted: it’s simply thirsty. It will “perk right back up” if you give it a good watering, according to Horst.

Fishbone Prayer Plant

 

“If you want to enjoy a calanthe-style pattern and color scheme without the calathea drama, acquire a Ctenanthe burle-marxii, also known as the fishbone prayer plant,”

Cheng says. “It’s a really rewarding plant to keep since it stays bushier than other calatheas.”

While the plant is quite hardy, it performs best in bright, indirect light (direct light may burn the leaves), water when the top half-inch of soil has dried, and high humidity (this is a great plant for your bathroom).

 ZZ Plant

The “easy zz” is a no-fail indoor plant for novices, according to Kellett and Brown.

Aside from its amusing moniker, plant parents adore the ZZ plant because “it’s exceptionally low maintenance, meaning it doesn’t mind being planted in regions with little light, and only requires watering once per month,” they write.

“The bright color of the new growth is one of our favorite features of this plant. When the young leaves emerge, they are lime-green, but as they age, they turn a deeper forest green.”

Hoya obovata

 

“Many Hoyas are easy to care for as long as you have good filtered light, because they thrive best if their soil can dry all the way through between watering,” adds Horst. Hoya obovate is notable for its thick, spherical leaves on trailing stalks.

“You may let them cascade down or coax them to climb a trellis or hoop,” Horst explains.

‘Emerald Ripple’ Peperomia

Plants of the peperomia family have unusual leaf forms, textures, and hues.

‘Emerald Ripple’ distinguishes out since it’s “a simple plant with a lot of intrigue,” according to Chapman. “Its thick, meaty leaves can hold moisture over extended periods of time, making it ideal for those who prefer a hands-off gardening strategy.”

It will grow in strong indirect light, but it can also tolerate a bit less.

‘Golden Madonna’ Aglaonema

“There are so many alternatives with over 100 species and kinds of Aglaonema, often known as Chinese evergreen,” adds Horst, “but one of my low-key favorites is ‘Golden Madonna.”

“It can handle medium light and recover quickly from dry times,” she says, adding that its distinctive cream-striped leaves provide color as well as an eye-catching pattern to a space.

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