5 Indoor Houseplants for the Brown Thumb

So we know that plants provide us with countless health benefits, both mentally and physically.

Not only do they brighten up your space, providing a fresh and healthy living environment, but their handy dandy air-purifying traits are just the icing on the cake. 

Fun Fact: Plants filter indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde,  trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene; therefore, disposing of unhealthy, toxic waste in our air. 

I know what you’re thinking:

“That’s great, but here’s the thing: I kill every plant I touch.” 

So without further ado, let’s check out the top 5 indoor houseplants even the brownest thumb couldn’t kill if they tried.

5. Snake Plant

If there’s one thing you need to know about Snake Plants, it’s this: on top of being modern and edgy, they are one of the toughest plants you will ever meet. 

While their thick, spiky leaves are not everyone’s cup of tea, they fit the bill if you’re looking for a bold but fun pop of green! 

How to Care for: The Snake Plant is kind of like an introvert in a sense, it doesn’t like a lot of attention and actually thrives on being left alone. 

Think of them as the Mr. Darcy of plants. They know their worth and value (and may come across as rude at times), but prefer to keep to themselves (for the most part). 

They enjoy long walks on the beach…kidding, they enjoy medium light, but will also do well in both low and high light.

Beware: Probably the only thing the Snake Plant doesn’t like is hot, direct sunlight. They may look tough, but will burn in the hot sun.

These fierce little plants don’t require a lot of water. Once the soil feels completely dry, give it a nice thorough watering, easy, huh? 

Their lifespan is quite impressive, and there are many different species to choose from.

You said you wanted low maintenance, right? Well, this is the plant for you! 

4. Bromeliads

And now for the pop of color you didn’t know you needed. Green leafy foliage and bright blooming flowers? The best of both worlds!  

You’d think these unique beauties would be challenging to care for…but you would be very wrong. 

They’re actually super easy!

These flowering houseplants grow quite well in low light and are pet friendly! We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely here for it. 

How to Care For: Similar to Orchids, Bromeliads grow on trees, rocks, and other plants, getting their water and nutrients from the air and rainwater. 

While they are extremely easy to care for, their care is a bit impractical. Instead of taking up nutrients through their roots, they take them up through their leaves instead. Super cool, we know! 

Pro Tip: Keep your new Bromeliad’s center cup filled with water and keep their soil dry. 

These funky houseplants also thrive in humid conditions, so consider misting them on occasion if the air in your house is usually dry. 

In terms of light, Bromeliads are pretty lax. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, but they do require some sun. 

To make your Bromeliad as happy as can be, keep it in a spot in your home that gets medium light. 

3. ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant or Zamioculcas zamiifolia, is so easy you could go on vacation for a year, come back, and it would still be thriving…well maybe not quite, but pretty close! 

Their deep green waxy leaves and overall healthy glow make the perfect accent for any bedroom, kitchen, or living room. 

How to Care for: These ZZ’s do best in bright to moderate light, but also do well in very low levels of light, making this plant extremely versatile for the beginner plant parent. 

Have a window-less bathroom or office? Plop in one of these funky little plants to bring in a little bit of life! 

When it comes to getting thirsty, well, ZZ Plants don’t ever really do, to be honest. They are at their happiest if you just leave them be! They don’t need anyone else to make them happy!

Talk about an independent plant! A true icon. 

They are a bit similar to cacti in a sense, over-water them, and you could have a tragedy on your hands. Only water your ZZ when the soil is completely dry. Keep in mind, these low maintenance little guys can realistically go months without water, but will grow faster if you water them a bit more frequently. 

2. Pothos

Ah, Pothos, definitely a favorite of ours. Pothos or ‘Devil’s Ivy’ (don’t let that scare you away, they’re harmless, we swear), are a tropical forest plant and LOVE being inside. They grow outward like a vine and have lovely heart-shaped leaves, how sweet!

Yet again, this easy little houseplant loves its alone time. Think you’re too busy for a houseplant? Think again!

How to Care for: Pothos are virtually impossible to kill. They like bright, indirect light but also can survive in quite low-light conditions: hence the nickname Devil’s Ivy. 

Pro Tip: Pale leaves generally indicate too much sun, and loss of variegation means too little.

Similar to our friends above, Pothos Plants like to have their soil dry out between waterings. If you start to see the leaves drooping, give the poor thing a good soak (but be sure to let it drain). 

Feel free to prune your new Pothos buddy if it gets a little too wild, to control its shape. 

1. Air Plants

And the easiest houseplant award goes to…drumroll please…the Air Plant, otherwise known as Tillandsia! 

Ok, but how cool are these?

These whimsical little plants may be the easiest plant of all time to care for! They don’t even need soil, how low maintenance can you get? 

How to Care for: Air Plants attach themselves to their surroundings. You can place them on a piece of driftwood, cork, or even an open terrarium. And come on, how adorable would one (or three) look on your work desk?

Air Plants love bright light, so plop them down on your windowsill and watch the magic happen! 

We know what you’re probably thinking, how do I water them if they’re not in any soil? Valid question. It’s easy! Soak your new Air Plant in a bowl of room temperature water for about 15-20 minutes every 7-10 days, place them upside down to allow excess water to drain out of the plant, and once they’re completely dry, put them back in their home on the sill! Simple as that! 

Want More?

Check out bloomandgrowradio.com, where expert plant Mom, Maria, has plenty of planty resources to fulfill every one of your planty desires (plus, an awesome Plant Parent Personality quiz)! 

Also, consider watching Maria and Lucie Fink in Refinery29’s 5 Days of Indoor Gardening, for an inside look on how to become an expert plant parent in less than a week! 

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