We’ve gathered the best houseplants for beginners for you. They’re all easy to care for, and can withstand neglect, bad light, and wild temperature swings.
Your friend has houseplants in every crook and cranny in her house. You love the look and want some, but don’t know anything about plants.
Don’t worry if you’re a beginner plant owner! We’re here to help.
But before we get to the best houseplants for beginners, let’s go over a few basics you should know before bringing your new houseplants home. They include light, temperature, humidity, watering, and potting soil.
Plants need light to thrive.
You’ll hear terms like “bright light,” “moderate light,” “part shade,” “low light,” and “indirect light.”
What do these mean anyway?
- Bright Light means a place that receives direct light all day long. A minimum of 5 or 6 hours each day. This will be a sunny southern-facing or west-facing window.
- Indirect Light is found in a spot with an east-facing window or in an interior of a room with a west-facing or south-facing window.
- Low Light is found in an area with a north-facing or partially shaded window.
The best houseplants for beginners will all be happy in moderate lighting.
Most of today’s houseplants are tropical plants. They’ll need a temperature that is nice and warm for them.
Houseplants love constant temperatures. Your house probably has constant temperatures year-round.
- Daytime temps between 65°F and 75°F will work for your houseplants. It’s usually warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
- Nighttime temps should get no lower than 55°F. If they do, your plants will start to suffer from cold.
Keep plants away from fireplaces or heating vents. Protect them from drafts.
Plants respond well to humid conditions.
Winter air in the house can get dry. Your plants will appreciate more humidity around them now.
If you need to increase humidity levels, you can try these methods:
- Humidifiers will increase humidity.
- Grouping the plants together will increase humidity.
- Put them in pebble trays filled with water.
- Mist them gently with water as needed.
- Move them into the bathroom. It’s always more humid in there.
Here are more ideas for using plants in the bathroom.
Water requirements depend on the type of plant and can vary from plant to plant. The list of best houseplants for beginners include plants that are easy to water.
In general, safe and simple pointers for watering your houseplants will make your life easier.
- Check the soil weekly, pushing your finger down into the top one inch of soil. If it’s dry, go ahead and water. If it’s moist, you can wait to water the plant.
- Water the soil, not the foliage.
- Water slowly, stop when the water runs out the bottom of the pot.
- During winter, the plants go into dormancy and need less water. Water every 2-3 weeks.
Don’t overwater your plants! This could cause the roots to rot and the plant will die.
The plants will tell you if they need water. If they start to droop, they want some water.
This is kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The pot has to be just right for the plant.
Make sure the size of the pot fits your plant.
- If it’s too big, the roots can rot.
- If it’s too small, the roots can become crowded and the plant can starve.
Repot once a year and increase the new pot size by one inch.
Garden soil will not work for your houseplants! It is too dense and will solidify in the pot.
All of the best houseplants for beginners can thrive in standard potting soil.
Choose an all-purpose potting soil mix that is well-draining and packed with nutrients. All-purpose potting soils are good for most houseplants.
If you have orchids or succulents, however, look for potting soils that are specific to these plants.
Your potted houseplants will need some fertilizer during the growing season.
- Use standard plant food. These come in powder, liquid, or slow-release form. This is the fertilizer I use.
- Don’t over-feed your houseplants! This can kill them. Use less rather than more fertilizer.
Best Houseplants For Beginners
Now that we’ve covered the care and feeding of your houseplants, let’s talk about a few of my favorite houseplants.
Don’t worry! These are all easy-care indoor plants and the best houseplants for beginner gardeners.
They’re in alphabetical order so you can easily find what you want. I’ve also included the Amazon links so you can go shopping!
Aloe Vera is also called an immortality plant because it lives so long. It might even be around when your kids have kids!
Aloe Vera is a very versatile houseplant. It can serve as an air purifier, removing benzene from the air and adding oxygen. It’s a medicinal burn relief and moisturizer. It can even make delicious additions to smoothie and dinner recipes!
Caring for your Aloe Vera plant:
- Light: Bright sunlight.
- Temperature: 70°F – 75°F.
- Water: Sparingly. It is a succulent and doesn’t need a lot of water.
You can purchase Aloe Vera at Amazon.
Cast Iron Plant
A member of the lily family, it’s also known as iron plant, bar room plant, and ballroom plant.
The cast iron plant is one of the toughest plants you can grow indoors. They get their “cast iron” name because they can thrive almost anywhere regardless of being neglected, and in low light, low humidity, and a wide range of temperatures.
Caring for your Cast Iron Plant:
- Light: Shade to partial shade.
- Water: Water regularly when the soil is dry.
- Temperature: Will tolerate 45°F – 85°F. Optimal is 60°F – 70°F.
- Soil: Well-draining potting soil.
Here’s a link to Cast Iron Plant on Amazon.
This dracaena is also known as the Madagascar Dragon tree. It looks a bit like a palm, but it isn’t!
It’s really easy to care for, and perfect for the beginner gardener. Requiring little light or water, it is very hardy in most temperatures.
Caring for your Dracaena Margarita:
- Light: Low light to partial shade.
- Water: Keep the soil evenly moist. Likes humidity, mist regularly.
- Temperature: 65°F – 80°F.
- Soil: Well-drained potting soil.
- Fertilizer: Feed in summer once a month with standard fertilizer at ½ strength.
- Propagation: Stem cuttings. Place in potting soil and they’ll grow rots in 1 – 2 weeks.
You can purchase Dragon Trees at Amazon.
This is an old-fashioned plant that is aggressive in the garden but does well inside the house and controlled in pots. The ivy has pretty white and green variegations on the leaves.
It can grow up walls if allowed! Ivy looks beautiful in hanging pots or draped over a bookcase. It has earned its place on the list of best plants for beginners.
Caring for your English Ivy:
- Light: Medium to bright sunlight.
- Water: When the top of the soil is dry. Likes humidity.
- Temperature: 65°F – 85°F.
- Soil: Rich, well-drained potting mix.
- Fertilizer: Feed only when necessary with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
- Propagation: Stem cuttings.
You can find English Ivy at Amazon.
Also known as devil’s ivy, Golden Pothos is one of the easiest and most versatile houseplants around. You can have it in a hanging basket, climbing on a post, or crawling over a tabletop or mantel.
You’ll be healthier with it around too, as it cleans toxins like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene from the air, and building materials like carpet. It also releases oxygen back into the air.
Caring for your Golden Pothos:
- Light: Medium to bright light. Will tolerate artificial light.
- Water: Moderate, keep soil evenly moist.
- Temperature: 65°F- 75°F.
- Soil: Well-draining potting mix.
- Propagation: Stem cutting or division.
You can find Golden Pothos at Amazon.
You’ve met lucky bamboo before. It seems to be everywhere: on office desks, homes, bathrooms, and available at the grocery store. It can grow in artificial light too. Truly good plants for beginners!
This symbol of good fortune is not actually bamboo. It’s a dracaena! It can grow without soil in a container with water and pebbles. Change the water every two weeks.
Caring for your Lucky Bamboo:
- Light: Indirect sunlight.
- Water: Often. Can live in water. High humidity.
- Temperature: 65°F – 80°F.
- Soil: Well-draining potting mix or water.
- Fertilizer: Feed 2 to 3 times every month.
- Propagation: Stem cuttings.
Lucky Bamboo is available at Amazon.
This is a beautiful plant with bright green leaves and interesting flowers. The white flower resembles a flag of surrender, hence its name.
Peace lilies are very resilient, so if you forget to water it, the plant will spring back quickly once you remember! Keep one around as it is forgiving and a plus: it purifies the air in your home or office.
The peace lily is a beautiful addition to your home. It has dark green leaves with white blossoms that look like calla lilies.
It also makes your home healthier! It filters out five toxins from the air: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia.
Beautiful, easy-care, air purifier. This is one of the perfect plants for beginners to start with!
Caring for your Peace Lily:
- Light: Medium to Low
- Water: Keep the soil evenly moist. Do not overwater. Mist sometimes.
- Fertilizer: use weak fertilizer every few weeks.
- Propagation: Division when repotting.
You can purchase a Peace Lily at Amazon.
Also known as mother in law’s tongue, snake plants can be grown by even those with the brownest thumbs. It’s one of the easiest plants for beginners. It tolerates neglect, low light, and drought conditions. Just don’t overwater them or you might get root rot.
Other names are mother-in-law’s tongue or St. George’s Sword, the snake plant has a blade-like appearance. It can remove nasty orders and toxic pollutants from the air. It requires minimal pot space because it doesn’t mind being cramped and rootbound.
Caring for your Snake Plant:
- Light: direct to medium sunlight.
- Water: When the top of the soil is dry. Average humidity.
- Temperature: 40°F – 85°F.
- Soil: Free-draining potting mix.
- Fertilizer: Feed in spring with 20-20-20 fertilizer mixed with water.
- Propagation: Cuttings or division.
Snake Plants are available at Amazon.
One of the most popular houseplants, spider plants are very adaptable and very prolific. They can adapt to almost any condition. They are tough, low maintenance, and easy to propagate, making them one of the easiest house plants to grow. And great houseplants for beginners.
Beautiful green with white variegated leaves add a splash of color to your surroundings. Spider plants can remove formaldehyde and carbon dioxide from the air.
They also can help eradicate foul smells. Spidie is an excellent candidate for the bathroom!
Caring for your Spider Plant:
- Light: Medium to full sun.
- Water: medium, twice a week. Moderate humidity.
- Temperature: 65°F – 75°F.
- Soil: Any good potting mix.
- Fertilizer: Feed every two weeks at ½ strength.
- Propagation: Remove baby spiderettes from the mother plant and put in moist potting soil.
You can find Spider Plants at Amazon.
Tillandsia (Air Plants)
Also known as air plants, Tillandsia is a member of the bromeliad family. There are about 500 different species of Tillandsia. For reference, Spanish moss is a Tillandsia.
These are truly one of the best houseplants for beginners! They’re epiphytic air plants. That means they grow without soil, clinging to trees. They extract excess moisture from the air. They need to be mounted on a surface rather than planted in soil.
Caring for your Tillandsia:
- Light: Bright light but not direct sunlight. They prefer south, west, or east windows but can be grown under fluorescent lighting. These are perfect for your work desk!
- Water: Use a mister daily and water until the plant is saturated. Humidity is a plus!
- Temperature: 70°F – 85°F
- Placement: Glue to cork, stone, or driftwood.
- Fertilizer: Feed monthly. Use a low-copper liquid fertilizer at ¼ strength.
- Propagation: The mother plant produces pups. Divide the pups from the base of the mother plant and mount them on their own surface.
You can purchase an assortment of Air Plants with a terrarium kit at Amazon.
Wrap-Up Best Houseplants For Beginners
Do you think you can’t even grow a plastic houseplant successfully?
We think you can! We are here to help you be successful with your indoor garden adventures even if you’re just beginning.
In this post, we’ve listed some of the best houseplants for beginners. They’re so easy, even your brown thumb will turn green! At least it will look green.
If you want more plants, here’s a link to Part One Easiest Houseplants Anyone Can Grow.
And Part Two of Easy Plants Anyone Can Grow.
The best part is that most of these plants are also excellent for purifying the air, removing toxins from the surroundings, and releasing oxygen. Here’s a post outlining 15 plants that are best for clean air.
Want more information?