great plants for beginners
Here are six hand-picked plants for the beginning collector. These are low maintenance plants that range from ones that are impossible to drown, to ones that barely require water—just leave 'em be. Read each description and see which one fits you best!
Snake plants are the perfect companion if you're not good at remembering to water your plants. They are very drought resistant and can live in dark spaces—they may not grow as fast in the dark but they don't require very much light at all in order to live. They come in different colors as well, light green, super dark green, yellow and green (variegated), and apparently light green with dark green lines(such as mine in the photo). If your space doesn't have very much natural light and you aren't the best at remembering to water your plants, the snake plant is perfect for you.
Bonus: This plant is also a great air purifier—mmmmm smells fresh!
Golden Pothos, known by many other names such as Devil's Ivy, Devil's Vine, Silver Ivy, and just plain Pothos(I prefer Golden Pothos)—is another perfect starter plant. They can live in both high light and low light conditions, but prefer to not get direct sunlight for long periods of time. While they can handle a drought here and there they do prefer more water, so these are great for someone that might overwater a plant. In nature, these plants grow in more wet climates and can survive in just water if needed (such as a swamp). Golden Pothos do great on tables and shelves that allow them to vine down from. This is by far the best starter plant if you want to get one that vines.
Bonus: These are super easy to propagate, you can cut a hanging vine right after a new leaf and put the cut part directly in a jar of water. You'll usually see new roots within two weeks!
Heart Leaf Philodendron
The Heart Leaf Philodendron, also known as the Sweetheart Plant is for those that tend to maybe water a little more than normal. They are not in the same family as Golden Pothos, but they are just as strong. While one should never let too much water sit in a plant pot, these plants do love water and sunlight—but not direct sunlight. If you have spaces to sit these up high they are perfect, and in fact, LOVE vining down. If they get the right water and light they need they can easily grow to 3 feet!
Bonus: Just like the Golden Pothos, these are super easy to propagate, you can cut a hanging vine right after a new leaf and put the cut part directly in a jar of water. You'll usually see new roots within two weeks! However for this philodendron, the more light it can get the faster it will make roots.
If you need a plant to tell you what it needs, then the Peace Lily is right for you. They are considered a dramatic plant, which basically means it shows you when it's unhappy. For instance, when it is in need of water it will droop it's leaves—give it a good drink and wait a few hours and they'll be standing right back up! Peace Lilies also require very little light, perfect for bedrooms—however, they do love bathrooms the most because of the moisture in the air. If you have the ability to give them bright indirect sunlight they will make beautiful white flowers! Getting a plant to flower is always a rewarding feeling and Peace Lilies make this a much easier task to achieve. If you want a plant that can flower, are a fluffy lush green and yell at you when it needs something, this is the plant for you!
Bonus: These are amazing at purifying the air—the bigger the plant the more air it will clean for you, and these can get big! My two Lilies stand at about 4ft tall right now.
I personally have not seen the Creeping Fig on any houseplant lists and I think it deserves some of the limelight. Creeping Figs enjoy bright indirect sunlight (perfect for hanging near a window) and love water. If you've got a bright place and can remember to water once a week and enjoy some hardy crunchy leaves this is the vine for you!
Bonus: Creeping Figs can, and will, attached their vines to walls if they are put directly beside one. This can actually be beneficial if you are trying to create a 'living wall' with lovely vines growing up it. However, if you are a renter be cautious as these guys will definitely hold strong and may damage the walls when removing them. I currently have mine growing 6ft up a wall.
Do you have a hard time remembering to water plants? If the answer was yes then the Lace Aloe is your friend. This plant is a little different than the ones you'll see in CVS and Wallgreens labeled as 'sunburn aid'—and I personally think they look a little nicer. The Lace Aloe, like any other aloe, really doesn't require much water at all and LOVE sunlight. Now, if you purchase one that was inside and want it for an outside space, gradually let it get used to sunlight. They can thrive in direct sun but going from fluorescent light to sunlight can cause the leaves to burn(kinda ironic right? and aloe with sunburn). The prickly spines and light-to-white dots give this aloe a bit more character that can liven up a space. A nice sunny bathroom window, or kitchen window, or outdoor patio is a great place for these. If you're feeling a bit lazy with your watering and dig the desert scene, the Lace Aloe is for you.
Bonus: When they are super happy they will make pups, which is a fun word for BABY ALOES that you can separate into other pots. Who doesn't love plants that make more free plants?
Did one of these plants
speak to you?
Support a local nursery for your first plant purchase!
Not a Sponsorship
A plant expert at your fingertips!
This app is FleetingAutumn approved—and even better, it's free! Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents, and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device.
- Identify 90% of all known species of plants and trees. 600,000+ plants in our searchable database.
- Get instantaneous, accurate results. PlantSnap works anywhere on Earth and is translated into 37 languages.
- Reconnect with nature, share photos and thoughts with PlantSnappers around the world, and learn about the plants and trees you encounter every day.