Caring for plants can be tough when you’re constantly on the go. Even if you have a green thumb, it’s easy to fall behind on a consistent watering schedule, and before you know it, you’re faced with a mess of unhappy, shriveled foliage.

But don’t give up! The benefits of indoor plants are numerous, from helping filter harmful airborne chemicals to increasing oxygen levels and improving concentration and memory.

These ten easy houseplants need little beyond sunlight and occasional watering, so pick your favorites, and turn your home into a year-round oasis.

1. Aloe

aloe plantSucculents are all the rage right now, but some varieties can be a little temperamental. Aloe is an easy, hardy starter plant if you’re not quite sure how to care for succulents and want to practice before venturing out to more exotic types.

You will need to water your aloe plant from time to time, but be sure to let the soil dry before you water again. The roots of succulents will rot in soil that stays damp.

2. Pothos

large pothos plantYou’ll probably recognize this plant even if the name isn’t familiar. Pothos grows trailing, elegant vines and is virtually impossible to kill.

A pothos plant will be happy in almost any indoor growing conditions—low light, lots of light, rich potting soil, or not-so-great potting soil. Pothos will even grow well in a container of water alone.

3. Philodendron

philodendron plantLooking for a plant that will quickly fill an empty corner? Plant a philodendron in a large ceramic pot. These houseplants grow quickly and are sure to impress with their large, glossy green leaves.

Place your philodendron in a spot where it will receive plenty of indirect sunlight, and make sure to water it when the soil gets dry.

4. Croton

large croton plantsIf you’re on the lookout for something with a little more color, bring home a croton. This plant grows big, sturdy leaves in brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Keep your croton indoors and away from drafty doors or windows, and water the plant deeply when the soil is dry.

5. Snake Plant

 table of snake plants at a garden storeThe narrow leaves of snake plants grow straight up, so they’re a good choice to add variety to your collection.

Snake plants are similar to pothos in their care level—they won’t require too much of your attention. Indirect sunlight is best for snake plants, and take care to only water them when the soil is dry.

6. Air Plant

air plants in hanging glass orbsAir plants only need air, occasional watering, and lots of sunlight. No dirt—or even a pot—required.

Water your air plants approximately once per week by running them under the faucet or placing them in a bowl of water for about half an hour. Give your plants a good shake to get rid of any excess water, and let them dry before displaying them again.

7. Dracaena

dracaena with variegated leavesYou’ll find many varieties of dracaena, so choose the one you like best. Most will have variegated leaves.

Like most houseplants, dracaena plants prefer indirect sunlight and judicious watering. Let the soil dry between watering sessions to avoid a waterlogged plant.

8. Rubber Plant

rubber plants in a garden centerRubber plants can grow quite large, so be sure to prune yours periodically to keep it at a manageable size.

Aim for ample indirect light to keep your rubber plant thriving, and keep the soil damp during the warm months of the year.

9. Ivy


ivy growing in a ceramic potAvailable in solid green or variegated varieties, ivy will grow beautiful vines anywhere you let it. Just be sure to keep it inside—if allowed to grow unchecked outdoors, ivy can cause structural damage to a home.

Water your potted ivy plant when the soil feels dry, and be sure to pour out any water that stands in the pot’s saucer after watering.

10. Columnea

closeup of a columnea plant in bloomAlso known as a goldfish plant, columnea requires little else beyond water and bright sunlight. This plant’s bright orange flowers will add a pop of color to your home in the spring and summer.

Place your goldfish plant in a sunny spot, and water often enough that the soil doesn’t totally dry out. Columneas can start to look a bit spindly if they aren’t lightly pruned—try not to let the stems get much longer than about 12 inches.

Ready to Add Some Plants to Your Home?

Visit a few plant nurseries in your area, and choose houseplants that look healthy in the store. Most houseplants prefer indirect sunlight, so identify a few places around your home that fit the bill. Give your new plants some water if necessary, and sit back and enjoy the character and life they bring to your home.