Seven Best Houseplants for Beginners
Updated: Aug 17
It's no secret that houseplants add life and beauty to any room - but where is a good place to start if you've never kept houseplants before? The plant lovers here at MHP have compiled this trusty list of the 7 most recommended houseplants for newbies to start off with. They are all easy to grow and can generally withstand erratic watering, uneven or "bad" light, and fluctuating temperatures. These plants will thrive in dorm rooms, offices, and so much more!
1. Golden Pothos vines:
Golden pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum "Aureum") is one of the most popular hanging plants around - and for good reason! In its native habitat, this plant grows to have huge yellow and green leaves and can be found swirling its way up and around large tree trunks.
As a houseplant, the plant can grow quickly and beautifully in most pots and hanging baskets while requiring very little attention. Pothos plants will easily root in a simple glass of water and produces a decent amount of growth hormone which can further along the growth of any plant cutting that shares the same vase. With better care, large, variegated, mature leaves may develop.
To learn more about how to care for a Golden Pothos vine plant, click HERE.
2. Spider Plants:
Any spider plant (Chlorophytum) can add beauty to just about any room despite any conditions that other plants might struggle with. This fun plant grows quite easily in baskets or atop columns with its arching leaves spreading out all around. The variegated variety of the spider plant is by far the most common - often varying in shades of white or yellow stripes along this plant's green leaves.
Over time, a mature spider plant will produce plantlets or offsets (some like to call these "babies") on long stems which form an impressive hanging display. Especially happy plants will even bloom tiny little flowers from these small shoots! These plantlets can be easily repotted to create new specimens. Spider plants are not picky about water, light, or temperature which make them a great plant for just about anyone! This plant is also 100% safe around pets! This plant can also handle a fair share of neglect but continue to thrive - although it does look best when given an occasional watering - at the very least.
To find out more about caring for spider plants, follow this LINK.
3. Sansevieria species:
There are many varieties of sansevieria (S. trifasciata or S. trifasciata laurentii) which are exceptionally tough and can truly withstand conditions you might not think any plant could survive! The two most commonly purchased plants in this family are the Snake Plant and Mother-in-law's Tongue. The snake plant features green on green bands on sword-like leaves, while the mother-in-law's tongue has yellow leaf margins. Sometimes you may see both of these nicknames used interchangeably regarding a wide variety of sansevieria plants but all are quite hardy so it doesn't really matter which variety you choose!
While these plants like plenty of light, they can handle less and they are not too particular about watering—as long as you don't water them too much. For this reason, plants of this variety are great for busy individuals and will continue to beautify spaces that would otherwise only be suited for faux plants.
For more information about sansevieria plant types, check out this SITE.
4. Dracaena species:
Most varieties of Dracaena are suitable for growth as indoor plants, providing a tropical feel in any home environment. The D. draco and D. marginata are wonderfully easy plants that are known to tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions. This species of plants feature arching leaves that protrude from a woody stem.
Dracaena leaves come in a variety of colors and patterns including green, yellow and green, or even tri-colored. Also a member of the agave family, they like to be regularly watered in the summer and left almost completely dry throughout the winter. D. fragrans is often used to make the popular "ti plants" or "false palms".
To figure out which Dracaena plant is right for you and how to care for it, head over HERE.
If your biggest obstacle with keeping plants alive in the past has been that you forget to water them sometimes, then look no further! There are dozens of varieties of succulents and desert cacti flooding into garden centers and grocery stores. These water-storing plants need very few drinks throughout the year and can survive being neglected most of the year, then grow happily when watered in spring/summer!
In general, succulents are desert plants with thick, fleshy leaves; some of them have spines and some have none. Agave is an example of a popular succulent, along with aloe and popular echeveria rosettes. Cacti generally have spines and interesting leaf structures, including barrels, paddles, and columns. All cacti are also succulents.
As a class, succulents are slow-growing plants but will withstand tremendous abuse and inconsistency. They do best with bright light, loamy soil, well-drained pots, and little water.
If this sounds like the plant type for you, read more about them at this LINK.
6. Lucky Bamboo:
Technically, lucky bamboo is considered to be part of the dracaena species (Dracaena sanderiana) which is great since bamboo species are quite invasive. Most people still consider lucky bamboo to be its own type of plant and since it can be shaped in numerous fun designs, it was worth a separate mention.
This perennial can thrive in awful conditions, such as sporadically watered with bad lighting and poor air quality. Nevertheless, lucky bamboo will continue to live on. Lucky bamboo make wonderful gift plants, and many people hold the belief that they bring good luck and enhance the "chi" or energy of their surroundings. They're sure to liven up any room!
If you're feeling lucky and want to give this plant a try, you should head over to this SITE.
7. Air Plants:
You'd have to try quite hard to kill a plant that thrives when it is growing off the side of a stop sign in its natural environment! Tillandsia, often referred to as "air plants", are recently gaining in popularity due to how versatile they are in terms of their growing environment. These amazing plants can thrive indoors without using any soil at all. Set your air plants on or inside of any shallow decorative surface and simply mist every few days or give the plant a dunk for 30 minutes once per week - that's it! There is no limit to the creative "containers" your air plants can call home - if you can imagine it and the plant stays dry there - go for it!
To learn more about these incredibly fun air plant and see some types, head over to HERE.
We hope that somewhere within these 7 species, that you'll find a plant to love and add to your home for a touch of nature within your space. Not only have there been studies which suggest that having houseplants in your home can help to improve your mood, but keeping one of the plants from our list in each room is truly a breath of fresh air - just ask NASA!