43 Common Indoor Plants For Any Home or Apartment

Looking to add a new houseplant to your indoor garden space? Why not stick with something that's tried, and tested by many different indoor plant owners? In this article, we take a look at some of the most common houseplants that you can add to your indoor garden, along with names and pictures of each!

Common Houseplants on table

If you’ve landed here, you are probably looking for a new houseplant to add to your indoor garden, but can’t quite decide which one to pick. There are plenty of houseplants that are quite common, and they are common for good reason. They are usually easy to care for, and owners really love the way they look.

So where should you start? Will you be adding a houseplant purely on looks? Maybe you have an empty space on a shelf you want to fill, or an area of your bathroom that needs a plant. From vines, to succulents, there’s plenty of different options to pick from.

We’ve curated a list of the most common houseplants you can welcome into your indoor garden. Some of these will need a little more care than others, but they are generally popular for a reason, which is ease of care in addition to looks. If you are building your first indoor garden, make sure to check out our list of beginner friendly houseplants if you’ve not owned any indoor plants. Let’s jump in!

First, A Couple Houseplant Tips

Growing houseplants isn’t quite like growing anything outdoors. Most people use pots inside, which limits the size of their plants. That’s why, realistically, many houseplants will grow to half or less of the sizes listed below. Theoretically, you can install a dirt bed indoors to grow plants, but that’s unusual.

Houseplants also have additional exposure to airflow (from doors, windows, and air vents), limited access to sunlight, and widely varying water requirements. Finally, some houseplants are toxic to pets, and that can impact which of them make sense to buy.

If you’re unsure where to begin, consider starting with a tough and easy-to-grow plant like a Guiana Chestnut tree or a Pothos vine, and expand out from there as you grow more comfortable with indoor plants.

African Mask

Alocasia
This fast grower loves humidity and indirect sunlight.
Scientific Name: Alocasia
  • Plant Type: Perennial flowering
  • Plant Size: 2’, up to 15’ for some species
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Regular bright, indirect sunlight

African masks, also known as elephant ears, grow tall stems in an upright cluster that fall down into large, broad, and somewhat uneven leaves. These leaves are darker than those of many other houseplants, providing excellent indoor contrast. African mask plants prefer moderate temperatures, high humidity, and indirect lighting.

These plants grow fast, so they’re ideal if you want to fill a lot of space. Most household varieties grow to about two feet, but some specific varieties can reach fifteen feet instead. Make sure to provide plenty of fertilizer in spring and summer. This plant is quite toxic, so keep it away from pets.

African Violet

Saintpaulia Ionantha
Be sure to keep these plants out of the direct sun, or the leaves may burn.
Scientific Name: Saintpaulia Ionantha
  • Plant Type: Annual flowering
  • Plant Size: Up to 16”, but usually smaller
  • Water Needs: Regular, moderate watering
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect sun

African violets are relatively small houseplants with dark green leaves and deep, richly-colored flowers. Most are purple (hence the name), but some varieties will bloom with red, white, or pink. They grow best if you water them from the roots, preferably with water that doesn’t have any chlorine in it.

African violets aren’t exactly difficult to take care of, but they do need specific and regular care. Otherwise, you may struggle to keep them looking good. Try to keep them in an area with plenty of bright indirect light, and consider getting dedicated fertilizer to provide them with extra nutrients.

Air Plant

Tillandsia
Although low maintenance with regard to soil and care, these unique plants do require consistent watering.
Scientific Name: Tillandsia spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial Flowering
  • Plant Size: Varies, most under 3’ and often far smaller
  • Water Needs: Moderate to high
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Air plants are one of the most unusual options you can grow in your house because they don’t need soil or a potting mix. In their native environment, these epiphytic plants grow on trees. They can actually grow quite well as long as you have any substrate you can attach them to, plus regular watering. Many people use wires, rocks, or more creative designs.

Air plants get both nutrients and water through their leaves, so the easiest way to care for them is to mist them every day or every other day if it’s cooler out. They enjoy bright but indirect light, especially in areas with high humidity. In the right environment, air plants are extremely difficult to kill, but setting up that environment takes a little practice.

Aloe

Aloe Vera
Be sure to use well draining soil and do not overwater.
Scientific Name: Aloe Vera
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 2’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Bright, direct sun

Aloe vera is one of the most well-known houseplants in the world. They are incredibly easy to grow, and are very low-maintenance. As a desert-type succulent, it enjoys bright light but only requires minimal watering to stay healthy. They’re excellent at filtering air, although they can be toxic to pets that are overly inquisitive.

What makes aloe stand out from other plants is the thick gel inside its leaves. The gel has numerous benefits for the skin, ranging from killing bacteria to moisturizing. There’s a reason countless healthcare products include aloe vera gel as a major ingredient. The gel also soothes burns, making it handy for anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen.

Anthurium

Anthurium
With proper care and conditions, this plant can flower through much of the year.
Scientific Name: Anthurium spp.
  • Plant Type: Tropical flowering
  • Plant Size: 18”
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Anthurium, like peace lilies, are flowering plants with a distinctively colorful spathe surrounding their flowers. Anthurium has a particularly glossy, almost plastic-like appearance that makes it look nearly artificial at first glance. The cut flowers do well in bouquets, so it’s especially popular among florists.

Anthurium prefers regular (but not daily) watering and bright, indirect light. They also prefer high humidity and, if raised well, can bloom through much of the year. Proper care of this plant requires more effort than other common houseplants, however, so it’s not an excellent choice for beginners.

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Aethiopicus
This unique bush is a great option for beginner gardeners.
Scientific Name: Asparagus Aethiopicus
  • Plant Type: Bush
  • Plant Size: 2’
  • Water Needs: Light and regular
  • Sun Needs: Regular indirect sun

Although neither related to asparagus nor technically a fern, this small South African bush is easy to grow and an outstanding choice for beginner gardeners. It doesn’t grow too large for most households, and the flattish, triangular leaves provide an interesting texture to enjoy. Gentle and frequent watering, with indirect light, will keep it regular.

Make sure to buy sturdy pots, and repot every two years or so as it grows. Asparagus ferns have unusually strong roots, and they may break weaker pots. Gentle pruning to remove older sections can help this plant keep looking fresh. However, it is toxic, so make sure neither you nor any pets consume it.

Banana Plant

Musa
Although you can’t expect any fruit, the big lush leaves add a tropical feel to any space.
Scientific Name: Musa spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Plant Size: 13’
  • Water Needs: High
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect light to Full Sun

Although popularly known as a tree, the banana plant is better understood as a herb. The trunk in the middle is actually a collection of leaves, and the more light it gets, the better. Banana plants also require heavy watering, keeping the soil moist but not outright sodden. Don’t expect any fruit if you grow it inside, though.

Begonia

Begonia
Since these beautiful flowering plants take a little more care, they are quite as beginner friendly as others on this list.
Scientific Name: Begonia spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial Flowering
  • Plant Size: 12’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright and indirect, or half-shade

Begonias are attractive houseplants capable of developing rich, complex-colored leaves and large numbers of bright flowers. They enjoy regular watering and high humidity, with decent light to ensure they can photosynthesize well enough.

Begonias require regular pruning, both to ensure a desirable shape and to get rid of old flowers. Without this, it won’t flower nearly as effectively. Ultimately, these require more frequent and direct care than many other houseplants, so they’re not a good choice for beginners despite their beautiful flowers.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Asplenium Nidus
Be sure to water regularly, as this plant thrives with moist soil.
Scientific Name: Asplenium Nidus
  • Plant Type: Fern
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Moderate to high
  • Sun Needs: Low to moderate, indirect

The bird’s nest fern is a relatively forgiving choice among its relatives, making it an excellent option for beginners. It prefers warm and humid environments that resemble rainforests, preferably with soil that’s moist but never quite soggy.

The leaves of this plant can fall moderately over the side, so you may need to leave a little space between it and other plants. Other than that, it does well, and it can even thrive near a north-facing window that other plants struggle to grow in. They don’t need much soil but be careful when repotting because the roots are easy to hurt.

Bromeliad

Aechmea
For the most vibrant color, keep your plant in bright, indirect light.
Scientific Name: Aechmea spp., others
  • Plant Type: Monocot Flowering
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Low to bright, indirect

Bromeliad is a large family with delightfully colorful foliage. What appear to be flowers from a distance are actually colored bracts that hold the flowers. These are particularly notable because they offer year-round bright colors, a rarity among most species of houseplants.

Bromeliads are easy to raise, tolerating a good range of temperatures and having minimal watering requirements. Bright, indirect light is best for bringing out their color, but you can also raise them in areas with lower light.

Bromeliads come in over three thousand species, so talk to your local gardening store about which varieties are best for your area.

Calathea

Calathea
If it is particularly warm out, your plant may need daily watering.
Scientific Name: Calathea spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 40”
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Low to moderate, indirect

Calathea is a relatively easy-to-raise plant, with distinctive light and dark sections on its many leaves. These leaves tend to fall down in layers, creating a dense appearance and blocking sight. They particularly like moist soil, often to the point of daily watering in warmer weather, and do well in both low and moderate light.

Calathea come in several hundred varieties, so there’s plenty to choose from if you’re looking for specific designs. They can tolerate cooler weather, down to about 65 degrees, but strongly prefer being closer to 75 through most of the year. A little fertilizer also helps. Calathea is not toxic to cats or dogs.

Cast-Iron Plant

Aspidistra Elatior
This plant is incredibly difficult to kill, making it a great option for both beginner and negligent gardeners alike.
Scientific Name: Aspidistra Elatior
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Partial, indirect

As the name implies, the cast-iron plant is one of the most durable choices you can make. It only requires occasional watering when its soil is dry and can otherwise power through extensive neglect and tough conditions. Almost anyone can grow this plant, regardless of skill, making it perhaps the easiest of all plants for a beginner to raise.

Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema
Keep this plant away from windows and cool air vents, as this plant enjoys a warm environment.
Scientific Name: Aglaonema
  • Plant Type: Bush
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Moderate weekly
  • Sun Needs: Low to moderate, indirect

Chinese evergreens come from rainforests in southeast Asia, where they enjoy high humidity and relatively low amounts of sunlight filtered by the trees above them. It enjoys some indirect light but requires much less than most other plants. However, they like warmer areas, so keep them away from doors and windows.

Flowers are rare, usually coming in as pale green flowers that don’t stand out too much. However, try to trim the flowers before they turn into berries, so they don’t start sucking up all the nutrients and energy. Chinese evergreen is a toxic plant, so keep it away from pets.

Chinese Money Plant

Pilea Peperomioides
The Pilea needs plenty of indirect sunlight to thrive.
Scientific Name: Pilea Peperomioides
  • Plant Type: Low bush
  • Plant Size: 16”
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: High, indirect

The Chinese money plant is an easy-to-grow plant with many different names, most referencing its impressively large, circular leaves. The leaves trend towards a faintly curved dome shape, growing densely out of their pot from thick stems. They prefer occasional but deep watering, with lots of indirect sunlight to keep the photosynthesis going.

Chinese money plants are fine with lower humidity and colder temperatures than other plants, so they can thrive in areas that are too cold for other things. They tend to grow towards the light, so consider rotating it regularly to encourage symmetrical growth.

Christmas Cactus

Schlumbergera Bridgesii
To flower, your plant needs to be placed somewhere where it is around 55 degrees.
Scientific Name: Schlumbergera Bridgesii
  • Plant Type: Cactus
  • Plant Size: 12”
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

The Christmas cactus is a moderately slow-growing plant that can produce bright flowers during the winter months when other plants rest. Various hybrids offer extended flowering times and more color, and these are a good choice for beginners.

Unlike most cacti, the Christmas cactus doesn’t tolerate drought too well. It prefers moist soil, but not to the point that things get soggy. Humidity is good for this plant, but you’ll need to put it somewhere about 55 degrees to initiate flowering. If that fails, you can keep it in the dark for several weeks, then take it back into the sun.

Croton

Codiaeum Variegatum
This small shrub will likely grow to around three feet.
Scientific Name: Codiaeum Variegatum
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Crotons are an impressively flexible shrub. Household varieties rarely exceed three feet, but some species can grow as tall as 20 feet, given sufficient space and time to grow. As tropical plants, crotons prefer reasonably warm weather and high humidity, with indirect light to help avoid burning.

Although technically a flowering plant, croton’s flowers are so small most people won’t even notice them. Their real indoor value comes from their dense, brightly colored leaves. Most of their leaves reach upward, creating a dense bit of foliage and making it easy to keep this shrub near other indoor plants.

Crown of Thorns

Euphorbia milii
This unusual plant needs full sun in order to flower.
Scientific Name: Euphorbia milii
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 14”
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Bright to Full Sun

The crown of thorns is a relatively unusual houseplant, but one that stands out particularly well while it’s in bloom, thanks to the swirling, bright flowers. These succulents grow slowly and don’t require much maintenance, with most only requiring water once every few weeks.

If you want the beautiful flowers, put this where it can get as much sunlight as possible. It needs full sun to bloom, so you may want to use artificial light sources during winter. Warm temperatures are better, but try to keep it away from overly humid areas.

Dragon Tree

Dracaena marginata
Since these shrubs stop growing once they fit their pot, encourage growth by repotting in a larger pot.
Scientific Name: Dracaena marginata
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Plant Size: 15’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Heavy shade

Dragon trees are simple and beginner-friendly trees with tall and narrow leaves that mainly grow upright from a straight base. They prefer heavier shade than most houseplants, and with minimal watering requirements, they can stand up to various droughts with little or no trouble.

Dragon trees stop growing when pots are too small, so you can control their growth by leaving them in a pot of your preferred size. Otherwise, they can reach an impressive fifteen feet tall, making them ideal centerpieces in bigger rooms.

English Ivy

Hedera helix
This vine can grow up to ninety feet long.
Scientific Name: Hedera helix
  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Plant Size: 90’ (yes, ninety)
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Shade (juvenile) to full sun (mature)

English ivy makes a great hanging ornamental plant, serving as an excellent wall cover and growing quite tall when given the opportunity to climb. English ivy needs more active care and pruning than many other types of plants, growing to an astounding ninety feet under ideal conditions.

As long as you can tame it, English ivy is sturdy and relatively easy to care for. Some people consider it an invasive species outdoors, but inside, it holds up well to different humidities and light levels. Put it in a darker area to limit growth or provide more sunlight if you want it to get as big as possible.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Ficus Lyrata
Be sure to keep your plant away from windows, air vents, and fans, as they do not do well with drafts.
Scientific Name: Ficus Lyrata
  • Plant Type: Tree
  • Plant Size: 10’
  • Water Needs: Moderate, regular
  • Sun Needs: Bright indirect light or moderate direct light

Fiddle leaf figs are relatively thin and narrow trees, growing with a single main trunk. The leaves are rather large and bushier but don’t extend too far from the central trunk. Fiddle Leaf Figs enjoy alternating between dry and wet spells, so occasional deep watering works best. Try to give it room-temperature water, as it won’t enjoy colder tap water.

Fiddle leaf figs do best in humid areas, well away from drafts. External doors, windows, and room air vents can all stunt its growth or damage the leaves. Indirect sunlight is better, but it can tolerate some direct light if necessary. Ultimately, this plant requires more care than most other houseplants, but it also serves as an outstanding centerpiece for any room.

Frizzle Sizzle

Albuca Spiralis
The more indirect light, the curlier the leaves.
Scientific Name: Albuca Spiralis
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 8”
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Bright and indirect, tolerates partial shade

Frizzle sizzle is an unusual succulent whose leaves curl into spiral shapes. They prefer as much filtered sunlight as possible, which helps produce more curls in the leaves. The leaves may straighten when flowering, which produces an impressive vanilla scent, but you can also trim the flowers to keep your plant curly.

Guiana Chestnut

Pachira Aquatica
Rotate regularly to keep your plant growing in every direction.
Scientific Name: Pachira Aquatica
  • Plant Type: Tree
  • Plant Size: 5’
  • Water Needs: Moderate to High
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Guiana chestnuts are among the easiest trees to grow indoors. They tolerate overwatering better than almost any other tree, doing best with good watering about three times a week. As long as you care for them regularly, they’re exceptionally durable. Try to provide at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight.

For the best results, put this with several other plants to help keep the humidity levels high. You can also add water to a tray of pebbles. Keeping the air around 50% humidity is best. Also, expect to turn this plant regularly because it prefers growing toward the sun. The pots they come in are usually too small, so repot it into something larger as soon as you can.

Ultimately, this is an easy tree to grow and care for. It’s far more durable and beginner-friendly than many other common houseplants, so if you’re looking for a tree, start here.

Hoya

Hoya Carnosa
This vine produces fragrant blooms and requires minimal care.
Scientific Name: Hoya Carnosa
  • Plant Type: Vine or Shrub
  • Plant Size: 4’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Moderate to Bright, indirect

Also known as waxvines, hoya are unusually waxy-looking vines that can occasionally thicken and grow into shrubs. Most varieties require minimal water for upkeep, and they flower well inside. However, hoya are also among the most fragrant houseplants. Consider sniffing a few before buying to make sure you’ll enjoy having your whole house smell like that.

Jade Plant

Crassula Ovata
These slow-growers make great office plants, as there are very low-maintenance.
Scientific Name: Crassula Ovata
  • Plant Type: Succulent Shrub
  • Plant Size: 5’
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Jade plants are small, treelike shrubs that tend to have a single central stem. Their leaves are thick and somewhat oval-shaped, enabling them, as with other succulents, to store water well to weather drought. Jade plants are common gifts to businesses in some areas are they’re both easy to raise and tend to live for a very long time.

Most jade plants grow extremely slowly. Although theoretically capable of reaching up to five feet, most jade plants end up significantly shorter. Owners may limit them to about four inches tall as miniature plants for desks and other areas.

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe
Although it is easy to keep this plant happy, it takes an ideal environment to enjoy its’ beautiful blooms.
Scientific Name: Kalanchoe spp.
  • Plant Type: Perennial Succulent
  • Plant Size: 1’
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Kalanchoe are flowering succulents that do comfortably well in most pots. When they bloom, they tend to have dense clusters of small flowers in red, yellow, white, or occasionally pink. Their extra-large green leaves usually fall down to the sides a bit, ensuring the flowers get plenty of visibility.

However, making these succulents bloom can be tricky. Kalanchoe prefers a narrow temperature range, just 60 to 65 degrees, and they need a lot of indirect sunlight. It’s also easy to overwater them. As succulents, they can store water and may need to be watered as little as once a month in winter. It’s not hard to keep them alive, but kalanchoe may require experience if you want to make it bloom.

Maranta

Maranta Leuconeura
If you look at just the right time, you may see your plant moving.
Scientific Name: Maranta Leuconeura
  • Plant Type: Low, bushy
  • Plant Size: 1’
  • Water Needs: Regular, moderate watering
  • Sun Needs: Moderate, indirect

Also known as the Prayer Plant, maranta is part of a family whose leaves open to the sunlight but close up when it gets darker out. These plants move significantly more than most others, and you can even watch them change if you look at the right time.

Maranta have shallow roots and particularly prefer having soil that stays damp at all times. They can’t drink from deeper watering like most other houseplants, so frequent care is essential to their overall wellbeing. If the leaves aren’t opening, it doesn’t have enough light. Similarly, if the colors fade, it has too much light. In this sense, maranta communicates well.

Monstera

Monstera Deliciosa
This popular option does great in a room with low to moderate sunlight.
Scientific Name: Monstera Deliciosa
  • Plant Type: Climbing Vine
  • Plant Size: 10’
  • Water Needs: Moderate, regular
  • Sun Needs: Low to moderate, indirect

Sometimes known as the “swiss cheese plant,” monstera has unusual holes in its leaves that make it look thinner and weaker than it really is. It’s also one of the most popular houseplants around because it’s easy to grow, tolerates a bit of indoor drought, and grows quickly enough to remain interesting.

Monsteras prefer darker areas, so you can put it in places other plants won’t enjoy as much. Sunlight will help accelerate its growth, but if you see any brown areas on the leaves, it’s probably getting too much light. Try to add an indoor trellis or something else for it to grab onto. The rare fruits are edible when ripe, but otherwise, this plant is toxic.

Norfolk Island Pine

Araucaria Heterophylla
This shrub only needs watering once every one to two weeks.
Scientific Name: Araucaria Heterophylla
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Plant Size: 8’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Full sun, tolerates dimmer light

Norfolk Island pines can grow up to 200 feet outdoors, but inside, these trees remain smaller shrubs. They enjoy acidic soil and tolerate drought quite well, preferring the soil to dry out between each watering. On average, every one to two weeks suffices. Grown well, you can expect short, mostly-horizontal branches of small leaves.

Parlor Palm

Chamaedorea
Be sure not to overwater, as this could lead to root rot.
Scientific Name: Chamaedorea Elegans
  • Plant Type: Multi-stemmed palm
  • Plant Size: 6’
  • Water Needs: Low to moderate
  • Sun Needs: Moderate, indirect

Parlor palms are relatively tall but narrow plants, with most growing between three and six feet when healthy. They’re slow-growing, offering a gentle appearance with thin leaves coming out from thicker central stems.

Parlor palms enjoy being dry and warm. Too much water is a bigger problem than too little, as extra moisture can lead to root rot. They also prefer indirect sunlight, preferably with dappled shade that mimics their original environment. Parlor palms can be challenging to keep perfect, but they’re also hard to kill as long as they get occasional watering, so they’re beginner-friendly.

Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum
For the best flowering results, place somewhere with ample indirect sunlight.
Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Low, infrequent
  • Sun Needs: Low to medium, indirect

Peace lilies are relatively unusual plants. Most houseplants always have some shade of green, but these can grow a white leaf that surrounds the tiny flowers on a central stem. The result is quite distinctive. Peace lilies grow more flowers in more sunlight but much fewer if you put them in an area with less lighting.

Peace lilies are also highly tolerant to drought, and you only need to check them once a week or so. They also benefit from gently washing their leaves once a year or so, which helps remove dust. Ultimately, the extraordinarily low maintenance requirements make these a beginner-friendly plant suitable for almost any home or office area.

Peperomia

Peperomia
This small bush does best with regular watering.
Scientific Name: Peperomia Piperaceae
  • Plant Type: Small Bush
  • Plant Size: 18”
  • Water Needs: Low to moderate
  • Sun Needs: Moderate to bright, indirect

Peperomia is an impressively diverse species with widely varying colors that can fit almost any type of decor. However, they all prefer moderate and regular watering with plenty of indirect lighting. Soil that drains well is also important since it may start to rot if it gets too wet.

Peperomia is ideal for small spaces because they almost never grow more than a foot and a half tall. They enjoy higher humidity and occasional bits of fertilizer but otherwise thrive in most areas. Peperomia is also excellent for cleaning air, which is great in cities, and unlike many other rainforest plants, they’re generally non-toxic to both humans and pets.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis
If you notice your plants’ leaves darkening, it may mean it is not getting ample sunlight.
Scientific Name: Phalaenopsis spp.
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Plant Size: 1’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect, with some shade

Phalaenopsis orchids are beginner-friendly orchid types, with a lot of market penetration, so you can easily find these at most plant stores. They get a lot of their moisture and nutrients from the air, so keeping humidity high near them works out. Don’t expect them to do as well if you let them dry out.

These orchids typically have light green leaves in ideal conditions and darker leaves if they’re not getting enough light. You may want to add support for the long stems. Under ideal conditions, however, phalaenopsis will bloom with several brightly-colored flowers together and without taking up too much space.

Philodendron

Philodendron
This jungle plant is a good communicator, making it a great plant for beginners.
Scientific Name: Philodendron
  • Plant Type: Climbing Herb
  • Plant Size: 4’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Low to Moderate, Indirect

Philodendrons are part of a broad group of jungle plants. It grows well throughout the year, including in winter when most other houseplants are dormant. More importantly, this plant communicates well. If it doesn’t have enough sun, the leaves will be far apart. If it’s overwatered, the leaves will turn yellow.

These visual indicators make it easier to understand what a philodendron needs for best growth. In turn, that makes it a good choice for beginners. Otherwise, this is primarily a leafy plant that does well both on shelves and in areas where its tendrils can climb up.

Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea
This succulent can grow up to six feet tall.
Scientific Name: Beaucarnea recurvata
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 6’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Bright and indirect to full sun

Don’t let the brown central stalk and hanging green leaves fool you. The ponytail palm isn’t a tree or even a shrub. It’s actually a succulent, growing between four and six feet in most indoor environments. As desert plants, ponytail palms don’t require much water and prefer bright light throughout the day. This is a rare houseplant you can give full sun to.

It’s much easier to give a ponytail palm too little sun instead of too much, so if you’re uncertain, place it somewhere it will get as much as possible. Make sure you use fast-draining soil to help prevent root rot, which can kill them. Ponytail palms are non-toxic to cats and dogs, and as long as they get sun, a little water, and a decent temperature, you can expect them to thrive with minimal effort.

Pothos

Epipremnum Aureum
This vine can thrive in nearly any lighting, but will grow best with bright indirect light.
Scientific Name: Epipremnum Aureum
  • Plant Type: Vine
  • Plant Size: 10’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Any indirect light

Pothos is an impressively durable vine with medium sized, heart-shaped leaves. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight, but it can tolerate all the way down to low light. Most types of pothos plants prefer watering once a week, too, and it does well in most soil and fertilizer.

This is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and also one of the hardest to kill. Regular pruning will help it stay at a manageable size, but since it’s easy to care for, it’s another great option for beginners. Be careful when handling it, though, as it’s mildly toxic.

Rubber Plant

Ficus Elastica
Avoid direct sunlight to maintain your plants’ healthy, green leaves.
Scientific Name: Ficus Elastica
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Plant Size: 10’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Moderate, indirect

A close relative of the fiddle leaf fig, rubber plants are comfortably durable and easy to raise. They enjoy moderate amounts of indirect light, which help them maintain the complex and interesting colors on their leaves. Direct sunlight is bad, however.

Rubber plants have unusually thick and shiny leaves, which help resist browning and discoloration from chemicals in tap water. They can grow extremely large without pruning, but regular tending will encourage healthy growth and limit their size to whatever matches your room.

Schefflera

Schefflera
This shrub grows quickly, especially with regular fertilization.
Scientific Name: Schefflera Actinophylla
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Plant Size: 6’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright and indirect, tolerates partial shade

A hardy shrub that can grow all the way into a tree outdoors, the Schefflera is a low-maintenance plant that tends to branch out into a relatively dense, bushy cluster of leaves. They grow quickly and enjoy warmer temperatures, especially with high humidity and regular application of fertilizer.

Although technically a flowering plant, most Schefflera kept indoors won’t bloom. It starts to wilt slightly when it needs more water, which makes it reasonably communicative for a common houseplant. Schefflera prefers bright light but may need a little more shade in summer.

Senecio

Senecia
As with most succulents, these thrive in a lot of light and don’t need a lot of water.
Scientific Name: Senecia Rowleyanus, others
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 5’
  • Water Needs: Low
  • Sun Needs: Full sun in cooler areas, bright but indirect light in warmer areas

Senecio is a family of succulents, with most varieties offering thick and fleshy leaves. Some of them come in unusual forms, including one that looks like a bunch of peas on a vine, and another that resembles bananas. They generally prefer a lot of light but don’t need much water. Either way, try to keep them warm and somewhat humid.

Snake Plant

Sansevieria
Be sure not to overwater to avoid the potential of root rot.
Scientific Name: Sansevieria
  • Plant Type: Succulent
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Low Light to Moderate, Direct sun

Snake plants are extraordinarily hardy plants, to the point that locals in their native African habitat use them for ropes and baskets. It grows well in almost any lighting except full, direct sunlight, though you may need to rotate it regularly to discourage growing towards the sun.

Snake plants require minimal watering, doing best if you can provide water from the bottom to encourage deep roots. Few things will kill this plant other than overwatering, so it’s a great choice for beginners and offers a generous margin of error for mistakes.

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum
These plants are incredibly low maintenance and easy to propagate.
Scientific Name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Plant Type: Grassy bush
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Bright, indirect

Spider plants are somewhat similar to asparagus, with thick stems coming up from their base. The leaves are comparatively narrow and almost grasslike, rarely growing too large in an indoor pot. The name comes from the small plantlets, which look like spiders dangling down from the tips.

Spider plants are quite easy to grow as long as you put them in the right part of their house, as they require minimal watering and care. They’re not toxic to cats or dogs, which is always a plus, but do prefer homes that have consistent temperatures and humidity throughout the year.

Staghorn Fern

Platycerium bifurcatum
Let your plant wilt slightly before watering.
Scientific Name: Platycerium bifurcatum
  • Plant Type: Fern
  • Plant Size: 3’
  • Water Needs: Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Moderate, filtered

Staghorn ferns are relatively large plants with a distinctive forked shape at the end of their main leaves. These plants usually attach to trees and grow higher up, so they’re particularly good wall plants. Ideal watering involves letting them wilt slightly, then thoroughly watering them again. They also enjoy the morning light, but not direct sunlight.

As tropical plants, staghorn ferns enjoy high humidity. They particularly enjoy pulling moisture from the air, which is part of why you don’t have to water them too often. To make things easier, use a mister at least every few days.

Yucca

Yucca
This plant is toxic to pets, so keep out of reach of prying paws.
Scientific Name: Yucca Elephantipes
  • Plant Type: Tree
  • Plant Size: 5’
  • Water Needs: Low to moderate
  • Sun Needs: Full sunlight

Yucca is a type of desert tree. As their native habitat implies, they don’t need much water, so you can wait until at least the top third of their soil dries out before you water them again. They also prefer bright and full sunlight, so you can put them in areas that will scorch more light-sensitive plants. They also live longer than many other common houseplants.

Yucca is easy to grow and a good choice for beginners. Aside from the occasional watering, they don’t need special soil or care, so you can generally leave them alone. However, the tips of their leaves can be sharp, so you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful. Yucca is also quite toxic to pets, so don’t buy this if you have cats or dogs.

ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
This drought-resistant plant is a great option for beginners.
Scientific Name: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 4’
  • Water Needs: Low to Moderate
  • Sun Needs: Low to Bright, indirect

The ZZ plant, also known by names like emerald palm and arum fern, is a durable and drought-resistant plant ideal for beginners. It thrives well in low-light conditions, so it won’t crowd other plants out of the sunnier areas in your house.

The ZZ plant also helps purify the air, which is a nice quality in any household plant. Despite its low light and moisture requirements, the ZZ plant tends to have dark and glossy leaves. It can even thrive in windowless rooms if there’s enough artificial light, so this is an excellent choice for some offices.

Final Thoughts

Common houseplants come in a huge variety of shapes and styles. The best plants to get will depend on your house, including factors like ceiling height and overall humidity. However, in many ways, houseplants are easier to raise than outdoor plants. Try starting with two or three, then branching out once you have more experience with them. If your houseplants have a tough time surviving, take a look at some of the harder to kill houseplants, like the pothos, or certain types of philodendrons.

SHARE THIS POST
houseplants for bedrooms

Houseplants

31 Indoor Houseplants Perfect For Bedroom Spaces

Struggling to find a the perfect indoor houseplant for your bedroom space? There are many different options, depending on your goals, and your decor. Houseplants can liven up any bedroom, as well as help purify the air. In this article, we take a look at our favorite indoor plants for the bedroom spaces in your home!

bathroom plants

Houseplants

21 Bathroom Houseplants That Can Absorb Moisture

Thinking of adding a plant to your bathroom, but aren't sure which one to pick in order to soak up that bathroom humidity? In this article, we've laid out a comprehensive list of plants that will thrive in your bathroom, and take all the humidity you can give them!

alocasia varieties

Houseplants

Types of Alocasia: 25 Different Alocasia Varieties

Looking to add some alocasia to your indoor garden, but aren't quite sure where to start? There are many different types of alocasia, so picking the perfect plant can be a bit of a challenge! In this article, we look at the many different alocasia varieties to help you decide which one to add to your plant collection!

Repot Pothos

Houseplants

How to Repot a Pothos Plant in 5 Easy Steps

Does your pothos plant need repotting? Maybe you've just brought one home, or perhaps your favorite pothos is growing too big for it's current container. If so, you'll need to follow specific steps to make sure you don't harm your pothos plant in the process. In this article and corresponding video, gardening expert Logan Hailey teaches you how to repot your pothos plant in 5 easy steps!

african violets blooming indoors

Houseplants

11 Tips To Keep Your African Violets Blooming Indoors

Keeping your African Violet's blooms going indoors can be a challenge if you aren't setting yourself up for success. Luckliy, there are things most indoor gardeners can do to improve their blooms. In this article, gardening expert Madison Moulton examines her top tips for keeping your African Violets blooming indoors as long as possible!

grow indoor plants from leaves

Houseplants

17 Houseplants That Can Grow From Leaves

Thinking of propagating a new houseplant from just leaves, but aren't sure which one is the best fit for your indoor garden space? There are a number of houseplants that can grow from leaves alone, provided they have the right care. In this article, gardening expert Madison Moulton looks at her favorite houseplants that will grow from just leaves!