Want a simple way to add a touch of life to your home? Bring in the houseplants! With green plants sitting pretty in your space, especially in unexpected spots like the kitchen or bathroom, your home will be full of good vibes.
And don't worry if your thumb lacks even a hint of green. Before you run to the nearest fake plant store, check out these houseplants that thrive on a minimalistic lifestyle and can easily survive without much water or sunlight.
Aloe is one of the more popular succulents to have on hand due to its hardy and generous nature: its plump leaves contain a gel that's the perfect salve for cuts, sun burn or everyday moisturizing. Water only when the soil gets dry. Related to aloe, gasteria succulents have gorgeous leaf patterns, unique flower shapes and will do best with lots of light and sparse watering.
2. Air plants
How about a plant that doesn't even need soil? Air plants (or Tillandsia) are cute little creatures to have around and can grow almost anywhere. Hang one in a glass globe planter or get creative and stick it in a funky container. Although they are low maintenance, air plants still require a weekly misting or 20-minute soak in water and prefer indirect sunlight.
3. Snake plant
Also lovingly known as mother-in-law's tongue, you can't get rid of this plant even if you try. Unless you over water it, that is. The snake plant requires very little water, so make sure the soil is completely dry before you water it (around every 10 days). And keep this plant out of direct sunlight—it actually enjoys dark corners.
4. Cast Iron plant
The name says it all. You can put it in low light, water it irregularly and the cast iron plant will keep growing—slowly but steadily. With large, leathery leaves, this hardy plant can eventually reach up to 2 feet, so it's a good one to show off in your living room.
An oldie but goodie, these sturdy guys won't mind if you just leave them in a sunny spot and forget about them for awhile. Make your cactus collection dazzle with flowering varieties, like chin cactus and pincushion cactus.
6. Chinese Evergreen
With its pretty, streaked leaves and a slender white flower that looks like a calla-lily, the Chinese Evergreen (which comes in over a dozen varieties) is a houseplant that makes a good impression. Just keep it away from cold air and water every few weeks. Bonus: This plant is renowned for its ability to purify the air from certain toxins.
7. Bird's Nest Fern
If you're going for that deep-inside-the-forest look, you definitely need a bird's nest fern or two. Treat this plant to low, indirect sunlight and, lucky you, the bird's nest fern doesn't require watering until the soil has dried out, unlike most other ferns.
8. Croton plant
With its wide, leathery leaves of pink, green, yellow and red, the croton plant is an easy way to add a splash of color to any room. Keep this short shrub in bright light for more showy foliage, and water when soil is dry.
9. Spider plant
For a walk on the wild side of houseplants, you'll love the unruly look of the spider plant's leaves. This one makes for a great hanging plant (on your porch or patio), and all you have to do is make sure it doesn't get too much water or direct sunlight. If you're up for breeding more spider plants (great gift for your other non-gardener friends!), you can transplant the baby plants or “spiderettes" that grow out of the plant's white flowers.
10. Wax plant
The wax plant (or Hoya) is one of those plants that likes to climb around, so it looks great either from a hanging basket or spilling out of a tall pot. Even if you don't water this waxy-leaved plant often, it will still offer you its lovely-smelling, pink flowers.
Display your plants in style / Grow houseplants with flair
Once you've picked out your favorite hardy plant pals, here's how you can make them really stand out:
- Put together a vertical garden on your kitchen or living room wall with materials you have lying around the house. Or, just use a ladder.
- Hang plants from the ceiling, porch or covered patio. Be sure to find hanging baskets that allow you to easily remove the pots so you don't make a mess when watering.
- Instead of the typical terracotta pot, give your plants some personality and place them in upcycled containers like burlap bags, watering cans or old coffee pots.
- Create a gorgeous terrarium. Remember that plastic soda bottle terrarium you made in school? Now you can make a more grown-up version out of a glass jar, bowl or vase. Once it's put together, your plants will be living in their own little world and won't require your attention very often. Just keep these mini greenhouses out of direct sunlight.
Now that you've got your household companions set up in style, how will you remember to water them? Don't worry—there's an app for that. You can download an app like Waterbug to remind you when it's time to check in on your patiently waiting plants and give them some TLC.
As long as you remember to check in on these sturdy plants every week or two, you'll be rewarded with cleaner air and a lush, soothing environment in your home.