Sprucing up your surroundings with some greenery not only improves your air quality, but it also brightens up your space. Here are the best indoor plants for any home that are pretty, easy to care for, and have a few health benefits too.
11 Best Indoor Plants
Any sophisticated interior designer knows that greenery in your home is a must-have. Not only does it brighten up the space, but the best indoor plants also provide health benefits like better air quality and a boost to your mood every day.
If you’re searching for the right options for your home, you’ll want to look for houseplants that are easy to care for, don’t require outdoor temperatures or sunlight, and that aren’t toxic to pets or children.
In this guide, we’ve rounded up 11 of the most popular and given you tips on how to grow them in your home.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Whether you want to bring the beauty of your outdoor garden inside, or you have a black thumb but want to give a houseplant a try, there’s an option for you on this list.
We narrowed down the hundreds of possibilities into these 11 top picks based on several factors. First, we only chose breeds that thrive in an indoor environment. You won’t have to worry about finding a way to get them direct sunlight or exposure to the elements, these plants like controlled temperatures and filtered light.
Next, we looked for options that don’t require difficult repotting or excessive care and maintenance. All of these houseplants require minimal upkeep, and many do best if you just leave them alone.
We gave special priority to species that excel at purifying the air or boosting your mood, and they are some of our top contenders.
Finally, we worked hard to note if a plant is toxic or has any dangerous elements, like thorns, to help you decide if it will work in your environment. If you have small children or pets that could be exposed, the exotic but potentially hazardous breeds might not be the best for you.
Top 11 Best Indoor Plants
Although it’s tricky to definitively rank the best indoor plants because every homeowner has a different style and preference, we crafted this list from top to bottom to reflect a little something for everyone. Here are our favorites.
Pothos or Devil’s Ivy
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Star Window Plant
Pothos or Devil’s Ivy
This beautiful home and office staple is known for its pretty heart-shaped leaves and trailing stems that look elegant in a hanging basket or growing over a trellis.
Pothos is especially popular because it does an exceptional job of purifying toxins out of the air, and if you’re concerned about the release of materials like formaldehyde from your carpet or paint, this plant can help.
It’s easy to care for and can survive in low light conditions. You won’t need to water it often, and this species prefers if the soil gets a bit dry between treatments. Pothos likes normal room temperatures and is a good choice for an air-conditioned home or office.
You’ll need to keep an eye on the stems as they will grow and attach to items nearby. Some plants will trail for eight feet or more, but the species responds well to pruning, and you can clip them back to keep it at the right size for your space.
We love a multi-purpose houseplant, and Aloe is one of the best. It’s modern aesthetic works well with a variety of office and home decor, and it has the added bonus of having medicinal properties.
It’s well-known that Aloe can reduce the sting of a burn, and the gel inside the plump leaves of this plant is easy to harvest and use to treat cuts, sunburns, and other ailments.
Aloe doesn’t require a lot of sunlight or water and does best when you let the soil dry out completely before wetting it again. If you have high humidity in your home, you likely won’t need to do any upkeep but once every three weeks.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider plant, or Chlorophytum comosum, is a tropical varietal that has not only a unique look but also flowers on occasion.
Visually, the leafy plant goes in a large clump that looks similar to thick blades of grass. When it matures, Chlorophytum develops stems that sprout and grow longer than its leaves. Each stem has a new, infant plant at the end that sprouts petite white flowers before the new plant grows. The Spider Plant looks best as a hanging plant, and this configuration also allows you to protect the offshoots and cultivate new vegetation from them. Each of the small plants that develop come with their own roots, and it’s easy to use pruning shears to separate them from the parent and plant them in a new container.
Another option that’s easy to grow, this breed prefers regular exposure to bright, reflected light and should be placed near a window or glass door for the best results. You’ll need to water this one regularly, and because it’s tropical, it thrives if you give it regular mistings to simulate a humid climate.
If you like the look of an exotic house plant but want one that doesn’t require a lot of pampering, consider a Bromeliad. Another tropical varietal, this family includes dozens of breeds that make excellent houseplants, as well as popular ones like the pineapple.
Bromeliads are known for their distinct features and beauty, and usually, feature bright colors and pointed leaves that grow in clusters. Many are perennials and flower during specific seasons.
The type of care required will depend on the species you choose. In general, these plants like to live in average to warmer homes and like shade or sunlight that’s filtered through windows or door glass.
You need to keep them wet, but you’ll water them from below in a specialized cup that the roots will use to get nutrients when they need it. For the best results, repot your Bromeliad in a specialized potting mix, and research how much fertilizer and water are recommended for the breed you select.
If you’re looking for a plant that is nearly impossible to kill, the Rubber Plant or Ficus Elastica might be your best bet.
One of the largest indoor plants on our list, this tree can grow to reach the ceiling if you have it in a large enough pot. It has robust leaves that are shiny and dark green, and grow to be up to a foot long and 6-inches wide. If you want to keep the species from getting too large, simply keep it in a smaller pot to limit its growth.
Unlike other large plants, the Ficus elastica doesn’t require direct sunlight. It thrives in bright, filtered light conditions and does well if placed in front of a window or glass door. You’ll need to keep the soil moist and water regularly, but take care not to let it get too soggy. If the plant starts dropping leaves, chances are you’re overwatering.
Another colorful option, the Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema has glossy, oblong leaves that can vary in color from green to gray depending on the species.
This hearty plant likes light and humidity but is also adaptable to indoor conditions. If you select it for your space, keep it as warm and wet as possible to help it thrive.
If you want to bring a little tropical style into your home, the Parlor Palm is an excellent way to do it. Palm trees are notoriously difficult to cultivate indoors, but this species doesn’t mind when its roots get crowded or if there’s not a lot of light.
The single stem produces feathery looking leaves, and when it’s fully matured, it will sit three to four feet tall.
You’ll need to repot this species every couple of years to give it a little more room and fresh soil, but take care not to break off or harm the brittle roots in the process.
The Parlor Palm requires a little extra care during the months when it actively grows, and during spring and summer, you’ll need to keep the soil moist and water it regularly. In wintertime, you won’t need to water as often, and the plant will perform best if you let the top inch of soil dry out before giving it another dose.
Star Window Plant
The Star Window Plant or Haworthia Cuspidata is from the succulent family and is another perfect option if you need a hearty plant that’s hard to kill. People report this species surviving some serious mishaps like being knocked over the table by their dog’s wagging tail.
Not only is it resilient, but it’s also attractive. The thick, wedge-shaped leaves are usually a bright lime green color, and indirect light, they have a reflective quality that’s almost mesmerizing.
Like most succulents, the Star Window Plant requires very little care. They prefer low light levels, mostly dry soil, and will only die if they get too much water which will rot their roots.
If you love the look of calla lilies but want a species that’s easy to grow indoors, then the Peace Lily might be your best bet. The combination of deep green luscious leaves and picturesque white flowers is a beautiful compliment to any design scheme.
This breed thrives in low light and cool temperatures, making it perfect for an office environment. It requires regular watering, and if it gets too dry, you’ll notice that the leaves start to droop.
It’s also another stand out for its ability to process and remove toxins like ammonia from the air. The Peace Lily has a higher than average transpiration rate, which means it can add humidity to the air quickly. This is particularly beneficial in dry climates.
Another powerful air scrubber, the Boston Fern does an efficient job of removing formaldehyde from the air and breaking it down into a benign form.
Although this plant requires a bit more care than some of the others on our list, it can still thrive indoors. You’ll need to water it regularly and keep it in direct sunlight. It also appreciates high humidity so you’ll need to mist it daily to keep it healthy.
Selecting the right plant for your home means considering several factors. Here are some questions to help you narrow down your search.
How Much Light is Available?
Different species of houseplants have different light requirements. For example, cacti and succulents like a lot of natural sunlight and thrive on windowsills that get a lot of exposure.
Before deciding on a species, first choose the locations indoors where you want to add greenery. Observe the amount and type of light they get on a daily basis. Does the area get direct or indirect light? Is it reflected or filtered? How many hours a day does it get exposure?
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down the options that will thrive in your home or office.
How Much Time Do You Have to Devote to Care?
The best indoor plants don’t require a lot of maintenance and care to keep them happy and healthy. Some species need more attention than others, and it’s helpful to determine how much time you have to devote to their upkeep before you go shopping.
All of your options will need the following:
However, the needs of every breed of plant will vary. Decide if you want a low or high-maintenance option to help you narrow down your search.
How Much Water Does My Plant Require?
Every plant species varies in how much water they require. Surprisingly, one of the most common mistakes is overwatering which can rot the plant’s roots and cause it to yellow and eventually die.
Be sure to review the guidelines for your houseplant, and keep a close eye out for signs of dryness like wilting or browning leaves, as well as indicators of overwatering like dropping or yellow leaves.
What Could Kill My Indoor Plant?
Even the plants that require the least amount of care could die. However, many of the options on our list are hearty and will stand up to an amateur gardeners attentions.
That said, these are the most common reasons that a houseplant doesn’t thrive:
- Inappropriate watering (too much or too little)
- Adverse light levels (too much or not enough)
Make sure you understand the needs and requirements of the species ahead of time so that you grow a healthy houseplant.