Don’t let those fickle fiddle leaf figs fool you. Not every houseplant requires a natural green thumb and extensive gardening expertise. These hardy indoor species can survive and even thrive despite serious neglect.
“Buy something that likes to live the way you do,” advises Gwenn Fried, manager of the horticulture therapy program at NYU Langone. When you’re working with a dark room, give low-light options like pothos, prayer plants, and dracaena a go. If too many rays has shriveled your plants in the past, opt for sun lovers like yucca, jade, and ponytail palm. Peace lilies and Chinese evergreen can handle the well-meaning over-waterer. If you’re the set-it-and-forget-it type, ZZ plant, kalanchoe, and philodendrons might be more your speed.
Get more plant inspiration and care tips below from horticultural experts, but if you’re looking for true no-maintenance foliage, check out the best artificial plants you can buy. Their plastic leaves will never go brown, no matter how hard you try.
Jade retains water in its round leaves, so it can sometimes survive more than a month without any attention whatsoever. “If they do get water, they start to rehydrate and grow,” says Neil Mattson, an associate professor in the horticulture department at Cornell University. Position it in a sunny window (south- or west-facing, preferably) and water when the soil feels dry.