15 indoor plants you can’t kill (so easily)

Forget boring old cacti, these indoor plants can survive careless care-taking and will make you look like the gardener you never were!

This article was updated on 29 May 2020. 

For centuries, humans have been trying to bring the outdoors indoors, and through trial and muddy carpets, have discovered a number of easy to grow flowers and indoor plants that can survive being confined to the same living spaces as us.

Here’s a list of indoor plant ideas every green thumb can keep indoors without much fuss, from smallest to largest. Check out the different types of plants here. Transform your home in an indoor garden today!

1. Epipremnum Aureum (Money Plants)

money tree indoor plants

© Matthew Howard | 123rf

Why have it: Not to be confused with Money Tree, Pothos (the other common name for Epipremnum Aureum is Jade Plants) have an air-purifying “feature” that can absorb and strip toxins like formaldehyde from materials in the home such as carpets and fabric sofas. Plus, this plant is super easy to care and grow – just snip off a small part of the stem and chuck it into water.

How to care for it: Probably the easiest house plants to care for, the Pothos can produce stems that trail eight feet or longer, so just cut them when they get too long and your plant will continue to look full and healthy.

The plant’s versatility allows it to grow in soil or even just in a bowl of water. Just change the water once a week and use distilled water as tap water may contain harsh chemicals. For potted Pothos, just water and trim regularly.

Where to put it: Water-based Pothos are recommended for air-conditioned rooms and potted ones can be placed almost anywhere in the home. It can tolerate low light. Utilise the beauty of its long trailing stems by placing it in a hanging basket or let it creep around a pillar.

2. Hedera Helix (English Ivy)

english ivy indoor plants

© feelart | 123rf

Why have it: It adds a vintage feel to your home, mostly because it’s commonly found in old English cottages. The English Ivy plant benefits include filtering out airborne mould that causes sinus irritations and other ailments.

How to care for it: This indoor plant loves moist soil and cooler room temperatures, making it ideal for air-conditioned rooms. Just like any vine or creeper plant, simply trim off leaves and stems if the plant outgrows its intended style. It also develops poisonous berries when reproducing so be sure to remove them all.

Where to put it: The English Ivy is best placed high above to let its leaves dangle or creep down. Hanging it high also keeps it away from pets or toddlers as this plant is extremely poisonous if ingested.

3. Chlorophytum Comosum (Spider Plants)

spider plants indoor plants

© 123rf

Why have it: Also known as Spider Ivy, these otherworldly-looking house plants add visual interest to any living room. Its long stem-like leaves tend to dangle downwards, resembling spider legs.

How to care for it: Spider Plants like their soil moist so don’t overwater them. If the plant is in an air-conditioned room, then water it twice daily to prevent the soil from drying; if it’s sitting in room temperature, then once a day will suffice. Monitor the moistness of the soil for the first few days just in case. If leaves turn brown, then just trim them off.

Where to put it: Indirect sunlight works ideally but spider plant can survive under the spotlight. Hang it up or put it on top of a cupboard and let its leaves dangle down.

4. Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake Plant)

snake plant indoor plants

© 123rf

Why have it: Fondly known in Asia as ‘Mother In Law Tongue’ (we can only assume because the plant has a sharp-shaped leaf that looks like a sharp tongue), this is the easiest plant to grow. Its unique shape and colour will add character to any boring space in your home.

How to care for it: This plant can endure all types of lighting conditions and doesn’t require much water. Just snip off dried bits and you’re done for the month!

Where to put it: Everywhere! Given its survivalist nature, you can put this baby anywhere. Because its leaves grow upright, you can squeeze it into tight corners or narrow spaces between furniture.

Read more: 12 indoor plant ideas for low light

5. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

peace lily indoor plants

The peace lily is perfect for any bathroom. Picture: Getty

Why have it: Unlike the rest of the non-flowering plants, the Peace Lily is not only more uncommon than a vase of roses, they’re also sturdier! Perfect if you’re looking for indoor flowering plants.

How to care for it: Pretty simple, just trim off any dry leaves and ensure that its soil is always moist.

Where to put it: Peace lilies prefer low humidity and low light, making it great for rooms with fewer windows, in fact, it’s one of the best plants for bedroom. You can plant it in a pot in the master bedroom or in a vase full of water on the dining table; this plant is versatile.

6. Diffenbachia (Dumb Canes)

Indoor plants dumb cane

© Victoria Shibut | 123rf

Why have it: If you’re looking for green plants in house, the leaves of this pretty indoor plant can grow to a foot long, giving your home a tropical look.

How to care for it: This plant prefers room-to-warmer temperatures and medium-to-low lighting. If the plant gets too wide, just…you guessed it…trim the leaves.

Where to put it: Dumb Canes are perfect for gloomy corners of the living room. It’s big, bright green leaves will perk the corner up!

7. Ficus Benjamina (Figs)

Ficus benjamina indoor plants

© annete | 123rf

Why have it: This indoor tree has shiny leaves to add cheer to any indoor space. Plus its stems can be “braided” or entwined to create a unique look. Oh, and did we mention you have over 800 varieties of Ficus to choose from?

How to care for it: Depending on its variety, most Ficuses prefer wet leaves and dry roots so just spritz water onto the leaves and water if the soil is dry to the touch. Oh, and the occasional snip here and there of course.

Check with your local nursery on how to braid the stems.

Where to put it: This bad boy loves the sun, so putting it near a window or balcony is ideal. Plus depending on the variety, it can grow pretty tall too.

Read more: Best 7 plant nurseries in KL for all your houseplant needs

8. Dypsis Lutescens (Areca Palm)

Areca palm indoor plants

© serezniy | 123rf

Why have it: Fancy living in a lush tropical setting? Then the Areca Palm, or Bamboo Palm in Asia, is your plant. It can grow up to seven feet high so you can make this beauty a centrepiece.

How to care for it: It likes indirect sunlight and is drought tolerant so water it on alternate weeks. If you want it to grow to its maximum potential, then plant it in a bigger pot. If not, just leave it in a smaller.

Where to put it: The hall, dining area, kitchen, foyer, bedrooms, and anywhere you can imagine, really! Put it in the corner of your living room and let it grow tall – you’ll enjoy its bright greens during the day and the moody shadows it casts at night. Or, better yet, place it in the kitchen as your kitchen plants.

9. Ficus Elastica (Rubber Tree)

rubber tree indoor plants

© Uladzislau Salikhau | 123rf

Why have it: Want to create a huge visual impact in your living room? This easy-to-nurture house plant grow into an eight-foot-tall tree! It’s also one of the toughest indoor plants with high transpiration rate (that means it frequently releases moisture into the air).

How to care for it: If you prefer a smaller plant, just trim your Rubber Tree into a shrub shape by pruning any long stems.

Where to put it: Somewhere with ample room for the tree to grow, like the hall or even the balcony. It’s great for filling awkward corners in the home.

10. Aloe Vera

© 123rf

Why have it: If you’re looking for indoor plants for health benefits, look no further than here. Aloe vera is one of the most loved plants by everyone. Not only is it the perfect plant for home, but it also boasts a whole host of benefits like heals burns and improves skin conditions. NASA also recently did a study and they found out that aloe vera helps remove air pollutants. It’s also one of the best indoor plants for oxygen production. You can also put it in the office as your office plants. It’s low maintenance and doesn’t need much attention.

How to care for it: Aloe vera is a type of succulent and like all succulents, they do best in dry conditions. Don’t water it on a daily basis or you’ll risk killing it. Just water it once every 3 weeks for a healthy aloe vera.

Where to put it: If you want your aloe vera plant to thrive, you should place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light.

11. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

Zamioculcas zamiifolia

© oksix | 123rf

Why have it: If you’re living in a house without much natural light, then you should consider getting the zz plant. Though it’s a slow grower, it’s definitely one of the easier ones to care for. You can literally put it in a dim corner and it will still survive.

How to care for it: The zz plant isn’t fussy about where it’s displayed but a little bit of light is always welcomed of course.

Where to put it: The zz plant can grow up to 2 metres tall so make sure to put it somewhere more spacious.

12. Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

aglaonema chinese evergreen in flower pot.

© Kunchit Jantana | 123rf

Why have it: Tired of seeing green? Add colours to your indoor garden with Chinese Evergreen. Its colourful patterned leaves are not only easy on the eyes, but they’re also extremely easy to care for.

How to care for it: For Chinese evergreens to thrive, you need to place it in a place with high humidity. Dry air is a big no-no. Make sure the soil’s moderately moist and only water it when the soil is dry.

Where to put it: Putting it directly under direct sunlight will kill the plant. Instead, you should place it in a shady area with partial shade or filtered light.

13. Yucca

yucca plant

© Luca Rossatti | 123rf

Why have it: Want to bring the outside in? Grow a pot of yucca plant indoor. This indoor tree is drought-tolerant and pest-resistance, making it one of the easiest plants to grow. Aside from that, it also adds aesthetic value to your home.

How to care for it: You don’t need to do much to keep a yucca plant happy and thriving. Just water sparingly.

Where to put it: Like most house plants, yucca grows better in a partly shaded area that receives bright, indirect sunlight.

14. Peperomia obtusifolia (Baby Rubber Plant)

Why have it: Don’t confuse this with rubber tree, they’re actually unrelated to each other. The only reason why Peperomia obtusifolia is nicknamed the baby rubber tree is because they both have waxy leaves. This plant is great for those who don’t want to commit to having big trees at home as it’s smaller and daintier and can be placed anywhere at home.

How to care for it: Water once or twice a week to keep it hydrated.

Where to put it: Baby rubber plants prefer to live in a medium to bright light condition. You can place it on the window sill or near the balcony, but never ever under direct sunlight.

15. Tillandsia (Air Plant)

Tillandsia

© Thanayu Jongwattanasilkul | 123rf

Why have it: Tillandsia, or commonly known as air plant, is having a moment. They’re low-maintenance, doesn’t require any soil to live and they come in all shapes and sizes, making it incredibly enchanting.

How to care for it: As mentioned above, air plants do not need soil to grow. Just put them in a bowl of water and let them bloom.

Where to put it: While it’s true that air plants can live in any setting, they do have one requirement and that is good lighting. They need to be planted in a place with bright, indirect sunlight.

If you’re going to get your green on, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Measure the allocated area before heading to the nursery.
  2. Most of these plants listed below come in many varieties, be sure to ask your local nursery for advice.
  3. The amount of water needed varies from each plant, and it also depends on the humidity and temperature of the allocated spot in your home.
  4. If in doubt, save this article and show it to the nursery.
  5. Real indoor plants are better than artificial ones. It’s tedious, but the payoff is huge.

This article was originally published as 9 indoor plants you can’t kill (so easily) by atap.co and is written by Matt Ho, additional content by Stephanie Yap. 

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