Plant-8

The Best Houseplants for Beginners

The Best Houseplants for Beginners

We don’t like to admit it, but we spend most of our time indoors. And if you’ve ever thought a space was missing something (barring a disappearing sofa) the answer is almost always: plants. I’m not talking about that small bamboo dish you keep behind the kitchen sink. That’s a start, sure. But I’m talking about some real, well-placed houseplants.

You might consider incorporating more green into your space simply to add a little style and break its stagnation, but there are also mentally beneficial reasons to do so. Though some of the more hype-based claims like providing clean air are nice in theory, studies have shown as much as a 15 percent increase in productivity and concentration for those who had plants in their home or office.

It’s true. Plants and nature can have an amazing calming effect on our spirits. There’s an insurmountable amount of evidence to prove it. Looking back, I don’t know how I ever worked from home without them. But don’t take my word for it. Just take a walk in the park and see how you feel.

If you’re avoiding plants because of the imminent doom you envision the moment you pick up a new tree, flip the script. Get something that’s hard to kill. After all, there are plenty of plants to choose from that those of us without a green thumb can get by with. Here are seven of the best houseplants for beginners.

Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

My personal favorite is Sansevieria, aka the snake plant. The snake plant is not only resilient, but it is an interior designer’s dream. It matches any number of home décor styles, and can literally go weeks without water and can survive in lower light spaces if needed. Its green, architectural-like leaves tend to look pristine no matter how forgetful you might be.

Epipremnum Aureum (Pothos)

If you’ve run out of room on the ground and tabletops, a hanging Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy) is a good bet for a newbie. Pothos don’t like to be watered all the time and you can allow soil to completely dry out before watering again. Low care and indirect sunlight are ideal. They also require some maintenance and detangling if you want to keep them looking full and healthy. If they’re ever looking a little sad, one quick watering and they’ll perk right back up.

Zanzibar Gem (ZZ Plant)

The ZZ is perhaps one of the best plants a beginner can buy, simply because it’s one of the toughest to kill (unless of course, you over water). They typically don’t mind being rootbound in their pots and can put up with your self-induced droughts quite well. The ZZ plant can even thrive without being fertilized and typically enjoys moderate, indirect sunlight. For those reasons, the ZZ is one of our best houseplants for beginners.

Peperomia

Peperomias need a ton of light and should be watered weekly, but they’re still ideal plants for beginners. As long as you have a bright space and don’t completely neglect them, they can thrive. There are many variations for inquiring minds, typically the kind with awesome little spoon-shaped leaves. Peperomia is another species you would take care not to over water.

Aloe

It may seem basic, but aloe make perfect plants for someone who is just earning their green thumb. They are perfect for a window with bright light and can survive with ease even in the case that they’re watered only once every few weeks. They are usually best for containers that are as deep as they are wide.

Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant)

In college, I once forgot to water my jade plant for nearly an entire semester. Yet, against all odds, it never quit. Even in full sun (its preferred amount of light) it did not dry out and die. Although the soil can be kept slightly moist, they clearly don’t like much water and you should never wet the leaves. A jade plant is an easy, small option for a newbie.

Cactus

This one may seem obvious because cacti are like spikey slices of Southwestern design heaven. But listen, they’re not as foolproof as you might think. Cacti round out this list because in winter you should take care not to water more than once a month. However, in summer, they can blow through water and require a once a week watering regimen. If you’re feeling risky (and don’t have small kids or overly curious felines), a large cactus is as good as a new sculpture. Just be sure to monitor their water intake!

Tip: No matter what plant you choose, it’s important to become familiar with the care they require, however minimal that may be. When it comes to care tips or repotting, following influencers who specialize in plant care and styling can go a long way to simplifying your green endeavors. They can also enlighten you to more of the best houseplants for beginners. Hilton Carter is a favorite of mine: @hiltoncarter