The top 10 hard-to-kill houseplants

The top 10 hard-to-kill houseplants

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If you’ve had the experience of coming home one day to find your favourite houseplant has given up the ghost and simply refuses to be revived, you’ll be thrilled to know there are some houseplants out there even the least attentive plant parent can keep alive! And some of these, due to their soothing properties, can help you to have a better night's sleep!

To help you improve your indoor gardening skills, we’ll take you through the top 10 easy-to-maintain houseplants you can have in your home, as well as some easy minimal steps you can take to maintain your current houseplants’ health and happiness – and make your home more vibrant and brimming with life.

Why are some houseplants impossible to kill?

There are some kinds of plants that evolved to survive some of the toughest conditions on the planet, like barren plains and scorching deserts, snowy mountains or tropical rainforests. These plants have special features to help them to retain their key life sources – water and light. Whether it’s especially large leaves to catch all the light possible in a dense canopy, or trailing vines that can pick up water from the forest floor, there are plenty of houseplants that look interesting and won’t struggle too much if you forget to water them from time to time.

Finding houseplants you can’t kill

Sourcing houseplants that won’t die after being left for a week might seem like a tricky task, but there are plenty of resources you can use to find a plant you can keep alive. Here’s our list of the top 10 houseplants we recommend for aspiring green-fingered and part-time plant parents:

Top 10 easy-to-maintain houseplants

In no certain order, here are some of the best houseplants you could get that are easy to look after and won’t wither away if you take your eyes off them for more than a minute! These hardy plants each have their own pros and cons, but something they all share is their ability to survive pretty much any indoor conditions.

  1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Pothos is often referred to as devil’s ivy or devil’s vine because of their trailing tendrils and heart-shaped leaves. These leaves can sometimes be streaked with yellow, white and green, and this plant is up there as one of the easiest houseplants to care for. Even artificial light can be sufficient to grow Pothos since it thrives in indirect light. Normal potting soil works well for these plants. You don't need to water your plants again until the soil has dried out completely – excellent news for those who don't remember to water!
  2. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis): Aloe plants are renowned for both the gel in their leaves which has plenty of health and beauty benefits, and their spiky appearance. This succulent is easy to grow, but can be a little fussy about overwatering (great for those who forget to water their plants regularly). They’re best left to their own devices after a long drink until the soil is completely dry again. A sunny window is the best place for aloe vera plants.
  3. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.): Great for purifying the air, these low-maintenance beauties are so easy to grow that they’re sometimes called ‘closet plants’ in the US because they do so well in low to medium light. Beware overwatering, and it’s also best to make sure your children and pets can’t get anywhere near it, as the pollen can be irritating.
  4. Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura): The night-time tricks of the leaves of this plant are what earned it the nickname ‘prayer plant’, as they fold together like hands praying – and you won’t need too many appeals of your own to keep this plant alive thanks to its high tolerance of many different conditions. It’s a great choice for bathrooms as it appreciates humidity and can handle low light, and will make a lovely accent for some of our stylish vinyl bathroom flooring.
  5. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema sp.): This plant is beautiful and sturdy, making it great for contemporary and traditional homes alike – they can come in many different sizes, so you can keep young Chinese evergreens on your desk, or a larger one can make a great feature in the corner of your room. Like the other plants on our list, they can handle low light and can last a couple of weeks between watering.
  1. Christmas cactus
    Making for a pretty festive present, this plant can hold its own all year round with its long-lasting flowers. Getting them to rebloom can take some additional effort, but day-to-day caretaking only requires an area of bright light and a slightly warmer spot in your home, like your kitchen. And with pretty pink, red, orange, golden and cream flowers, this easy going plant is a perfect complement to warm-toned kitchen laminate flooring. There’s also a variety with rounder leaves called an Easter cactus which blooms, you’ve guessed it, in the Spring.
  2. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
    A rubber plant is a classic pick for new plant parents who’re not sure where to begin on their plant caretaking journey – these easy-to-maintain houseplants actually have the capability of growing up to eighty feet tall in the wild! In your home, they can also grow to quite a height and can come in lots of different varieties.
  3. Spider plant – Chlorophytum comosum
    One of the most popular plants on our list, the spider plant is a classic sight in many homes, either as a hanging plant or decorating the top of a bookcase or shelf. Avoid direct sunlight and make sure to water when it looks like it’s beginning to wilt – and that’s about it for care instructions for this plant!
  4. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
    Representing money and good luck, the jade plant is another houseplant you can't kill, and looks very pretty with its smooth round leaves. Its leaves will begin to shrink when it really needs a drink, and it’s best to let the water drain out of the plant completely and let the top dry out before watering again.
  5. Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
    So hardy it has this nickname, the aspidistra has pretty, speckled leaves that are best kept out of direct sunlight. Other than that, this plant, an indoor favourite since Victorian times, will thrive with very minimal care, and can even produce cream flowers in early summer with a little maintenance.

How to care for your houseplants

Before you jump straight into picking up the first potted plant you see in the supermarket, you need to check for the signs of disease and insects: yellow leaves, brown leaf margins, wilted leaves, spots or blotches, and spindly growth. You can only maintain healthy plants if they are healthy to begin with – it’s much harder to look after a sick plant than a happy one.

Here are some basic tips to bear in mind if you want to be responsible for a little green life:

  • Plants love light, so even if you live in a small, dark room, try to place your plants near a light source like a window.
  • Not all plants like to be watered daily, or even weekly. It’s best to do some research on the best way to care for your specific plant before you accidentally over- or underwater it.
  • If you want your plants to grow, you will need to repot them every so often to a larger pot – after all, how can they grow if they don’t have enough room?
  • A plant mister can be a great way to keep your plant’s leaves clean and free from dirt and dust – dirty leaves can’t take in as much light, meaning they won’t last as long.
  • King Charles’s theory about talking to plants has been proved right – they genuinely benefit from you talking to them. The carbon dioxide our bodies produce is another food source for plants, so you can keep them sustained with your worries and stories!

Having houseplants in your home can improve your mood, enhance your living space, and give you a break from your daily routine. Our top 10 are just a suggestion, but if you know you tend to neglect plants often, these will be your best bet!

If you find yourself neglecting other household chores, like cleaning your floors, you can read through our care guides to find the best ways to keep your flooring just as happy as your potted babies. We’ve also got plenty of lifestyle inspiration and helpful guides in our Ideas Hub you can check out, including how to create a reading nook, tips for styling your coffee table, and so much more.


Published: 18-01-2023