Surrounding yourself with live greenery benefits your health and your psyche. And it improves the aesthetic of your environment.
But our desire doesn’t always meet our expectations. Some plants have exceptionally complex care needs. But there are also several low-maintenance indoor plants you can’t kill, despite neglect.
As the only one who can kill a cactus, it became important for me to find easy house plants that can provide beautiful indoor greenery. But I also needed green plants that wouldn’t die if I didn’t water them or give them too much liquid.
There are several popular house plants I’m going to share that you can use in your home. And best of all, if you go on vacation or get sucked into a busy schedule and forget about caring for these houseplants, these low-maintenance plants won’t suffer.
Table of Contents
- Peace Lily
- Snake Plant
- Jade Plant
- Money Plant
- What Are Features of Plants You Can’t Kill?
- What Are Basic Houseplant Care Tips?
- What Are Some Signs Your Plant Isn’t Healthy?
Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) are popular easy-care indoor plants that can be very forgiving if you neglect them. Even if you barely water them, keep them in poor lighting and never give them fertilization, Pothos vines can still grow to be 30 feet in length.
The green, variegated white, light green, and yellow heart-shaped leaves form on sturdy climbing vines. Bright lighting can cause the variegation to become more pronounced. Indirect bright light is best, but you can also use an artificial source.
And although fertilization isn’t necessary, you can boost growth with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for houseplants. Give your plants a single dose every two to three months during the active growing season.
You don’t have to worry about these plants suffering if you forget to water them. They need the top 2-inches of well-drained soil to dry out completely between waterings.
They also prefer humid and warm climates naturally recreated inside your home. They thrive in temperatures of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 32 degrees Celsius).
But beware when growing these plants in your home; they are toxic for cats and dogs, giving the name devil’s ivy. But most people grow Pothos as hanging vines that stay out of reach.
Trimming the vines can keep the growth controlled without hurting your plant. And you can use these cuttings to propagate new plant specimens.
Peace Lilies are largely chosen for their low-care maintenance needs and elegant summertime flowers: a large white hood – bract – surrounding the central spadix (small flowers that form a spike).
These plants have glossy lanced green or variegated leaves that arch from central stems that clump. They grow one to four feet tall and one to six feet wide.
Although easy to care for, Peace Lilies require well-draining soil that you keep evenly moist. Lilies also need more humid climates than you might naturally have in your home. A pebble tray or plant humidifier can create the desired humidity.
Peace plants also do well in indirect bright light when grown indoors. If your plants have issues forming flowers, it can signal that they’re not getting proper lighting.
Peace Lilies don’t like being in the cold, which is why they do so well with indoor temperatures.
They’ll also grow fine without fertilization. But you can use a slow-release fertilizer once or twice a year during the growing period. Too much fertilization can cause leaf burn, turning brown leaf tips in response to the soil having too much salt.
You can remove salt by flushing the soil with water until it runs clear. Repotting your plant with fresh soil can also repair yellowing burnt leaves. As a bonus you only need to repot your plant once a year using a pot one to two sizes larger.
Snake Plants – also called Mother-in-law’s tongue – is a hard-to-kill succulent with lanced, upright leathered leaves with white or yellow edges and a marbled green-gray color resembling a snakeskin pattern. Snake plants get about two feet tall. But there are smaller varieties that have low growth.
Their preferred temperature range between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 to 24 C) is in the range of the average household. So there’s little to no chance that your plant will suffer from incorrect temperatures – lower than 60 degrees F (16 C).
The most important factor when growing Snake plants is their watering habits. These plants are happier dry than wet, meaning forgetting a day or two won’t hurt anything. But giving the plants too much water can cause harm.
Give the top inch time to dry out between waterings in the active growing season. During the winter, only give enough water to keep the soil from drying out. And prevent water from getting onto the leaves, which can cause them to get mushy, soft, yellow, and rot.
They also prefer an average – of 40% relative – humidity. But Snake plants will tolerate dry air if you keep them away from drafts and air vents. So, if you’re not using a humidifier in your home, your Snake plants won’t care or suffer.
You rarely have to repot Snake plants, only if the plants get too crowded in the pot. You could go months or years without transplanting your Snake plants if you control the growth.
Jade is another popular choice of the most common house plants you can’t kill, chosen for its clusters of fragrant star-shaped flowers and glossy spoon leaves that can grow one to three feet tall.
As a succulent shrub, this house plant requires minimal effort. As long as you choose a growing location with plenty of sun exposure, there’s little else your plant will need. So locate a spot that can give direct, bright sunlight. And turn the pot a ¼ twist each week to ensure all areas of your plant are getting equal sun exposure.
This plant has a slow growth that won’t need pruning. And you can get by with the same pot two to three years before repotting. However, because Jade can get top-heavy, you’ll need a heavy pot with adequate drainage holes to avoid soggy soil and roots.
There is very little that will go wrong when you’re growing Jade. But they attract the fuzzy white mealybugs – if your plant is wilting, you might have an infestation (or overwatering).
If the leaves start to droop or turn shriveled and brown, it signifies dehydration. This is easy to fix. You should let the soil dry between waterings but never completely dry out. Jade retains water in its stems, leaves, and thick roots, which reduces how often you need to water your plants. They can handle dry air or average 40% humidity.
When it comes to temperature, jade plants can be flexible. Jade can tolerate the heat of summer if you bring your pots outside. Or you can keep them in the house year-round at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 Celcius). But never below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).
You can use a succulent liquid fertilizer, half diluted, once a month in the spring. But do not feed your plants during the winter when the plants have slower growth.
Dracaena – Dragon Tree – is a unique looking drought tolerant and light indifferent plant perfect for beginners and failed gardeners. They have bare slender woody stems with spiky upright leaves that can become multi-colored.
These plants can adapt well to indoor growing conditions. And once you get them established and accustomed to your home environment, they’re tolerant and forgiving of your neglect.
They don’t require highly humid climates or fertilization (although they love a diluted, balanced low-dose fertilizer twice a year during active growing).
And they prefer medium, indirect light, but they can also tolerate low lighting. So, you can tuck them in the corner of rooms with any size window. Or you can supplement them with a grow light set on a timer, so there’s nothing for you to do.
Pruning also isn’t necessary to keep the plants alive or healthy. However, they can reach 20 feet tall if left unchecked. You can control their growth by choosing a smaller pot to keep the roots in check. But beware of where you keep these plants indoors. They can be toxic for dogs and cats.
These plants come in two types – non-climbing or vines. They both have heart-shaped deep green leaves. You can train Philodendron plants to grow up poles, droop down over containers, or grow in a spreading habit. Upright plants grow slower but have larger leaves with compact growth.
They require indirect, bright sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow from burning. They can also tolerate low lighting, although it will make colored leaves look a dull green.
You can forget to water these plants quite often without them dying. They prefer that the top inch of dirt dries out before you water them more. Do not let the soil get soggy.
Philodendron plants enjoy a monthly dose of houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer. In the fall and winter, skip every other month.
You can get away with keeping your plants in the same pot for up to two years – or longer. The main reason to repot is a salt buildup in the soil, which can cause leaf burn. Symptoms include the leaves turning brown or yellow around the edges and tips. However, if you flush the soil by running water through it until it turns clear, you reduce salt buildup, extending how long you can keep your plants in the same pot.
This indoor tree has an impressive braided trunk reaching eight feet. As a symbol of good luck and prosperity, these plants are popular gifts for the home or office with minimal care needs.
Money plants only need six hours of indirect, bright light – sun or artificial. They’re also fine in mild indoor temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 24 C).
And you don’t have to water them until the soil dries out 50% to 75% (try this moisture meter). So you can usually get by with one watering weekly or once every two weeks.
Your money plant won’t die if you give it little to no extra attention. But you can boost the growth for a happier plant by providing a half-strength liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month through the active growing season – summer.
While pruning isn’t necessary, you can encourage better growth by removing wilted or browned foliage. And you might choose to prune the plant to meet certain size restrictions. But they grow quite beautiful when left unchecked and wild.
Repotting is necessary every two to three years in the spring. Choose a well-draining pot one to two sizes bigger than your current pot. Or you can trim the roots if you want to reuse the existing pot filled with a potting mix of sand, perlite, and pebbles (or a money tree soil).
What Are Features of Plants You Can’t Kill?
No houseplant is truly impossible to kill. But plenty of houseplants can withstand much abuse and neglect without being harmed.
Features to look for that will make your plant near impossible to kill include:
- It doesn’t require frequent watering
- Can tolerate indirect or low light
- It doesn’t need special soil, temperatures, or maintenance
- Little to no pruning
- Won’t need fertilizing
What Are Basic Houseplant Care Tips?
Most houseplants are native to tropical or subtropical conditions similar to the needs of your home, such as mild temperatures, slight humidity, and bright lighting. So you wont need to change a whole lot in your home to keep them happy.
Indoor houseplants usually thrive in temperatures in the 60s and 70s but typically suffer if it drops to the 50s. But if the air inside your home gets too dry, it can cause your plants to develop brown tips. So in the winter, houseplants require a daily misting to keep them from drying out.
You must keep houseplants from forced air currents, like fans, air vents, radiators, or heaters. Drafty windows and doorways should also be avoided. However, humid, warm outdoor air can be beneficial from an open window once the seasons change.
Indoor houseplants also do best with indirect, bright lighting. Putting them in direct sunlight can cause leaf burn. Instead, test the brightness of the light by holding your hand up and seeing if your hand casts a shadow.
Hard-to-kill houseplants should also do best with infrequent waterings – not daily waterings. You should be able to go days to weeks until the top one to two inches of soil gets dried out. Then, test the dampness by sticking your finger to your second knuckle or using a moisture meter.
What Are Some Signs Your Plant Isn’t Healthy?
While most houseplants are hard to kill, they can become vulnerable to illness if you don’t meet the right growing requirements.
One of the easiest ways to diagnose a plant’s health is by appearance. If your plant looks limp, pale, or dull, it’s experiencing health problems. Other signs of an unhealthy plant include:
- Yellowing leaves – caused by poor drainage or overwatering, which causes wet roots, too much sun exposure, or lack of nutrition (test the soil with these nutrient strips)
- Brown spots or wilting leaves – overwatered, root rot, or other diseases
- Growth failure – caused by being rootbound (pot is too small for the roots to expand)
Can I Have Some Helpful Advice?
Any of the options on this list are great choices as plants you can’t kill easily from neglect or improper care.
Maidenhair ferns are nearly impossible plants you can’t kill. If you cause death to your plant, cutting it back and adding water and fertilizer can make it come back to life. The downside of this plant and why we didn’t add it to this list is that they are temperamental plants to keep alive indoors, usually requiring high humidity and specific temperatures.
Know of Any Other Plants You Can’t Kill? Let Us Know!
Finding a houseplant that can survive your busy lifestyle and frequent abandonment doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Many specimens tolerate minimal effort and care like the seven indoor house plants on this list – Pothos, Peace Lily, Snake plant, Jade plant, Dracaena, Philodendron, and Money plant.
You should look for features in the best house plants that you can’t kill, including inconsistent watering, bright indirect or low light, average indoor temperatures between 60 and 70 F, and no need for pruning or fertilizing.
Now you know that houseplants are easier to take care of than you think, check out more how-to articles below or check out our growing collection of houseplant tips. Want to start growing right away with the best gear – check out our selection of houseplanting basics.
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