33 Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

Horizontally aligned indoor plants

For all the joy they can bring, indoor plants can be a hassle. While it may seem like all you have to do is water your botanical friends, the reality can often be far more complicated. On top of hydration, indoor plants need the appropriate environmental conditions and sunlight. Even some of the most commonly marketed plants for beginners can be quite finicky.

Fortunately, there are a a few plants that are truly low-maintenance plants for beginners.


1. Peperomia

Green pot of Peperomia plant

Peperomia, sometimes called radiator plants, are most commonly found in South and Central America. No more than a foot high, peperomia feature large, rounded, waxy leaves that are sturdy and super-smooth. A mostly hardy house plant, peperomia aren’t super picky about their environment. 

  • Water: Roughly 1× per week
  • Soil: Chunky, loamy, and well-draining
  • Lighting: Indirect bright light

2. Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum Comosum, or the Spider Plant, was originally discovered in Africa by Carl Peter Thunberg. Sometimes able to sprout delicate white flowers, its leaves are the main attraction. Long, elegant, and ribbon-like, Spider Plants foliage makes it a great hanging plant.

The Spider Plant thrives in the relative coolness of the standard home in temperatures ranging from 65° and 90° Fahrenheit. Some Spider Plants become quite long and may need occasional trimming.

  • Water: Roughly 1× per week
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Indirect bright light

 


 

3. Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant in the forest

Aspidistra elatior, or the Cast Iron Plant, is native to East Asia and a top choice for fans of larger houseplants. Mature Cast Iron Plants can grow to around 3-feet high and more than 2-feet wide. When grown indoors, this plant will not flower, but if put outside during warming months it may produce small purple blooms. 

  • Water: 1-2× per week and less during the winter
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Low light to medium indirect light

4. Fiddle Leaf Fig

A clay pot of Fiddle Leaf Fig

The elegant, violin-shaped leaves of the Ficus Lyrata have made this little tree a popular statement piece in many homes. Native to tropical West Africa, the fiddle leaf fig begins life atop another tree. Its roots will eventually reach the ground, at which point they will smother the host tree and take over. The tropical origins of the Ficus Lyrata make it more suited for folks with a bit more time to care for their plant. 

  • Water: 1× every 7–10 days
  • Soil: Well-draining soil, such as orchid mixes
  • Lighting: Indirect bright light

5. Madagascar Dragon Tree

Madagascar Dragon Tree plant

Dracaena Marginata, also known as the Madagascar Dragon Tree, is a gorgeous, palm-tree-like plant native to the remote island of Madagascar. Featuring a maximum height of roughly six feet and long, pointed fronds that grow in bushy clumps, the Dracaena Marginata makes a whimsical addition to living and workspaces.

The Madagascar Dragon Tree is toxic to dogs and cats when ingested. It is not recommended for any homes with pets.

  • Water: 1× per week or when dry
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Indirect bright light

6. ZZ Plant

Person holding a white pot of ZZ Plant

The common name of the ZZ Plant comes from its scientific name, Zamioculcas Zamifolia. A ZZ plant features emerald green leaves that grow in an alternating pattern on long, upward-facing stems. Rarely, the plant may sprout white flowers, with some mature examples growing over two feet high. 

Due to its mild toxicity to both humans and animals, this plant is not recommended for homes with children or pets. If you handle the ZZ plant, be sure to wash your hands immediately after to avoid skin or eye irritation. 

  • Water: 1× every 1–2 weeks
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Low to bright indirect light

7. Guzmania bromeliads

Guzmania bromeliads plant

Known for their chunky, palm-like leaves and fascinating flowers, Guzmania bromeliads are native to Central and South America, Florida, and the West Indies, and some varieties of bromeliads even grow in the Andes! A member of the same family as the pineapple plant, the central flower is typically brightly colored and looks like the top of a pineapple. Their unique central blossom is thanks to their relation to pineapples.

It’s best to keep it in moist soil. Gently pour water over the central flower to water, or keep it in your bathroom where it receives constant humidity from showers and baths.

  • Water: 1× per month
  • Soil: Moisture-retaining but drainable
  • Lighting: Bright, filtered direct sunlight

8. Moth Orchid

Moth Orchid

The Moth Orchid, or Phalaenopsis orchid, features stunning butterfly-shaped flowers that can last up to four months on the stem. These fascinating and long-lived orchids are native to Southeastern Asia, can live more than ten years, and produce their white flowers twice a year. 

When caring for your Moth Orchid, be sure to avoid overwatering it, and allow it to dry fully between waterings. Avoid placing it in any area that receives heavy sunlight, and opt for somewhere that gets a good deal of softer, diffused afternoon sun.

  • Water: Infrequently, only when soil is entirely dry
  • Soil: Sphagnum moss or tree bark
  • Lighting: Bright, diffused indirect sunlight

9. Chinese Money Plant

Chinese Money Plant on white countertop

Originally from China, Pilea Peperomiodes is a relatively small plant best known for its bright green foliage. The round, almost lily-pad-like leaves make this plant especially charming, but they aren’t easy to find in the U.S. If you do manage to get your hands on one, they are easy to care for; These expressive plants will even tell you when to water them. When the leaves are drooping and the soil is dry, it’s time to give them a drink!

  • Water: Infrequently, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Lighting: Bright indirect light

10. Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo

Despite its association with China and Japan, Dracaena sanderiana, or Lucky Bamboo, hails from Central Africa and is thought to bring wealth and prosperity to its home. With its hardy roots, Lucky Bamboo can grow in both soil and a cup of plain water, and can even be trained and shaped. If you opt to grow your lucky bamboo in water, change it at least once every week. The roots will be a lovely red when healthy. Pro tip: always water your Lucky Bamboo with distilled or dechlorinated water.

  • Water: 1-2× per week, keeping soil moist
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil or a cup with at least an inch of water
  • Lighting: Bright, filtered indirect light

11. Money Tree Plant

Person holding a white pot of Money Tree Plant

Pachira Aquatica, the Money Tree plant, features yellow-green almond-shaped leaves and is believed to attract wealth and prosperity. Young Money Trees are often bendy and tender, so sellers may braid them together to create a single tree. 

Money plants prefer humid environments and make a fun botanical accent in your bathroom, where it is exposed to regular shower steam. At its tallest, a money tree will usually be roughly six feet. In its native home of South America, Money Trees may grow to over 60 feet; however, the indoor varieties rarely pass 6. 

  • Water: 1x per week or when the top 2-inches of soil are dry
  • Soil: Well-draining peat-based soil
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

12. Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

Two pots of Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

Known for their relatively large, eye-shaped leaves, the Epipremnum aureum is one of the hardiest houseplants around! Devil’s Ivy’s ability to take a beating, endure periods of drought, and withstand occasional overwatering has endeared it to many plant parents, where the trailing plant brightens the lives of many amphibians and reptiles. Though it was originally found in French Polynesia, the charming pothos has since spread to households across the globe.

  • Water: 1× every 1–2 weeks
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Low light to bright indirect sunlight

13. Zebra Plant

Three rose golden pots of Zebra Plant

The little Zebra Plant, originally found in Brazil, is perfect for plant lovers with limited space. Formally known as Haworthiopsis Fasciata, these spiky green plants rarely grow taller than one foot. The upward-growing leaves have white bands, which provide it with its name and unique look. 

  • Water: 1× every 2–3 weeks, when soil is mostly dry
  • Soil: Fast-draining medium, such as a cactus potting mix
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight

14. Epiphytes

A hanging bowl of Epiphytes

Often known as “air plant”, Epiphytes are an entire class of plants that do not require soil! Over 600 varieties of air plants are known to exist, most from South America and Mexico. Keeping these plants is as simple as ensuring they have enough air. Epiphytes with silver leaves are drought resistant, while varieties with green leaves require more moisture to survive.

  • Water: Minimal to none
  • Soil: None
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright shade

15. Boston Fern

Green Boston Fern plants

Nephrolepis Exaltata is a vibrant yellow-green plant with fern-like leaves. This tropical plant is common in many areas of the world and may sometimes be called a Sword Fern. When growing a Boston Fern, the key thing to remember is that it must remain moist. If the soil is beginning to dry out, it’s time to add more water!

  • Water: 2× per week or whenever the top soil is dry
  • Soil: Well-draining, moisture-retaining peat-based soil
  • Light conditions: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

16. Peace Lily

Peace Lily plant

The Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum, is a hardy species native to regions of Central and South America and Asia. Peace Lilies feature large, dark green leaves and trumpet-like flowers in a variety of colors. Peace lilies originally grew in tropical regions of America and Asia, but they now bloom in many homes all over the world.

The leaves and flowers of peace lilies are mildly toxic to cats and dogs.

  • Water: 1× per week or when leaves begin drooping
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

17. Heartleaf Philodendron

A pot of Heartleaf Philodendron placed on the bookshelf

Heartleaf Philodendron, sometimes called the Sweetheart Plant, is native to the humid regions of the Caribbean and Central America. With its trailing limbs, Philodendron hederaceum looks wonderful on a table or as a hanging plant.

The Heartleaf Philodendron is slightly toxic to animals and people; it should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

  • Water: 1× per week
  • Soil: Any well-draining potting soil
  • Lighting: Low light to medium indirect light or bright shade

18. Aloe Vera

A pot of Aloe Vera beside the window

Known for its healing properties, Aloe Vera is a gorgeous and functional addition to any space. Originally from arid regions of the Arabian peninsula, it requires very little watering. This spiky plant is self-sufficient and easy to care for.

While Aloe Vera can be used topically, it should not be ingested by humans or animals.

  • Water: Infrequently, when soil is completely dry
  • Soil: Any well-draining potting soil
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

19. Jade Plant

A white pot of Jade Plant

Crassula ovata is a fun, fantastical-looking plant. With its small, tightly clustered, rounded leaves, it breathes a bit of fun into any space. Originally native to southern Africa, this plant needs very little upkeep and can grow happily without much intervention.

  • Water: 1–2× per week, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Lighting: Low light to moderate indirect sunlight or bright shade

20. Rubber Plant

Rubber Plant

The Ficus elastica hails from southern Asia. Its main attraction is its foliage; the large, deep green leaves are gorgeous. From time to time, you may need to wipe these leaves clean, though, as they are prone to gathering dust.

  • Water: 1× every 1–2 weeks, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight

21. Snake plant

A white pot of Snake plant placed on a plant stand

Dracaena trifasciata is a tall plant with sword-like fronds. Each snake plant leaf has a gorgeous gold outline. Snake plants are originally from South Africa, these beautiful plants can be anywhere from six inches to six feet tall. However, it should be noted that snake plants are poisonous to dogs and cats.

  • Water: 1× every 2 weeks
  • Soil: Sandy, well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Low light to bright indirect sunlight

22. Moon Orchid

White Moon Orchid flowers

Phalaenopsis amabilis belongs to the same family as the moth orchid. Though native to Australia and the West Indies, these gorgeous flowers have since bloomed in homes across the globe. In spite of its fragile appearance, the moon orchid is a hardy plant.

  • Water: 1× every 1–2 weeks
  • Soil: Sphagnum moss or tree bark
  • Lighting: Medium shade or low indirect sunlight

23. Silver Torch Cacti

Silver gray Silver Torch Cacti

With its gorgeous white flesh, the Cleistocactus strausii is a cactus worth talking about! Indoor varieties of silver torch cacti can be about 3 feet tall, while outdoor versions can reach heights of 10 feet. During spring or summer, this plant may sprout gorgeous flowers. Slender, red, and trumpet-like, these blooms are more common on outdoor plants.

  • Water: Infrequently, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Sand or well-draining loam
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright direct sunlight or bright indirect sunlight

24. Prayer Plant 

A pot of Prayer Plant

The South American Maranta leuconeura features round, colorful leaves. The red veins stand out against the bright green centers and mottled with yellow splotches add a bit of flavor to the already gorgeous foliage. With a maximum height of 6–12 inches, prayer plants are perfect indoor plants.

  • Water: 1–2× per week
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

25. Corn Plant 

Person holding a white pot of Corn Plant

Originally from Africa, the Maranta leuconeura is a lovely little evergreen. Its look is distinctive. Long, flat leaves grow from its central stem, which looks much like a thick stalk of bamboo. Indoor corn plants can be pruned to stay 6 feet tall, but wild, outdoor varieties can grow to a towering 10 feet!

  • Water: 1× per week
  • Soil: Loose, well-draining loam
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

26. Hedgehog Cactus 

Hedgehog Cactus

The dome-shaped Echinocereus engelmannii looks like a flower-topped hedgehog. Native to southern North America and Mexico, this indoor plant rarely grows to be more than one foot tall. Perfect for small spaces, hedgehog cacti are very low maintenance indoor plants.

  • Water: Infrequently, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Loose, well-draining soil or loam
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight or low sunlight

27. Norfolk Pine

Green Norfolk Pine plant

Looking more like a twiggy palm than an evergreen, the Araucaria heterophylla is native to the Norfolk islands of the Pacific. Though sometimes used and discarded as a living Christmas tree, these lovely indoor plants can be very rewarding botanical companions.

  • Water: 1× per week
  • Soil: Any loose, well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight

28. Basil Plant

A white pot of Basil Plant

Ocimum basilicum is native to central Africa and Southeast Asia and is one of the best houseplants for beginners. Best known for its aromatic leaves, basil plants make delicious additions to any garden. With their petite size, they also make great indoor plants.

  • Water: 1× per week
  • Soil: Any potting soil
  • Light: Bright direct light

29. Swiss Cheese Plant 

A white pot of Swiss Cheese Plant

The Central American Monstera deliciosa is known for its large leaves. Punctuating this foliage are holes, or fenestrations, which often remind people of Swiss cheese. While these fenestrations have practical uses, their aesthetic appeal has endeared this plant to many.

  • Water: 1× every 1–2 weeks
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Light: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

30. Dumbcane 

A white pot of Dumbcane plant

Dieffenbachia seguine is native to tropical regions of South America and the Caribbean. It may sometimes sprout white blooms, though its large, wrinkled leaves are the main visual draw. Classified as an evergreen, dumbcane’s hardy nature allows it to withstand a decent amount of neglect.

  • Water: 1–2× per week
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Light: Low light to moderate shade

31. Mini Monstera 

Person holding a white pot of Mini Monstera plant

Rhaphidophora tetrasperma boasts gorgeous, fenestrated leaves and rapid growth. Despite its name, it’s not all that small; healthy examples of this plant can be over 2 feet tall. Originally found in Thailand and Malaysia, R. tetrasperma doesn’t even scientifically classify as a Monstera.

  • Water: 1–2× per week, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Standard potting soil
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight

32. Calathea Warscewiczii

Person holding a white pot of Calathea Warscewiczii plant

Also known as jungle velvet, Calathea Warscewiczii features large leaves, some of which are a deep purple color. First found in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, this tropical beauty has since worked its way into many homes around the world.

  • Water: 1–2× per week, when soil is dry
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil mix
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright indirect sunlight

33. Dragon Scale Plant

Person holding a dark gray pot of Dragon Scale Plant

Originally from southern Asia and Australia, Alocasia Baginda is known for its deep emerald leaves. The gorgeous, rich coloration doesn’t match its scale, though! These plants rarely grow to be more than a few feet tall, making them perfect for small spaces.

The beautiful colors of this plant are indicative of its toxicity! Keep children and pets away from this plant.

  • Water: 2–3× per week
  • Soil: Any well-draining soil
  • Lighting: Bright indirect sunlight 

Best Soil for House Plants

Whether you're growing a snake plant or 10 aloe vera plants, when maintaining the health of your indoor plants, one of the most important things to get right is the soil. It’s far easier to have a healthy plant from the beginning than it is to nurse a sick plant back to good health.

Adding a bit of compost or fertilizer to your soil can help your plants thrive. In most scenarios, this should be done in spring or summer, when plants are actively growing. A small amount goes a long way. For example, organic nutrient-rich dirt made at home with Lomi should be mixed at a 1:10 compost to soil ratio.

 

Lomi by Pela

Lomi

★★★★★

Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


 

At the end of the day, raising plants in your home can be a fulfilling and worthwhile experience. In addition to the beauty that plants add to your home, healthy, well-cared-for plants can provide companionship for many years.