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The 9 Plants Even Beginners Can Keep Alive

Happy woman carrying a houseplant

Dipping your toes in the world of houseplants can be daunting. It’s hard to know where to start. There are so many tempting options available, and browsing through your local nursery can be incredibly exciting but entirely overwhelming—especially for beginner plant owners.

But don’t worry! If you’re a novice plant owner, there are so many plants out there that don’t take a lot of time, effort, or knowledge to care for. Here are nine low-maintenance plants that are easy to keep alive, even if you’ve struggled with plants in the past.

How to Care for Plants As a Beginner

Growing a collection of houseplants from scratch can be a bit intimidating, especially for beginners who are hesitant about the skill level of their green thumb.

Thankfully, anyone can have a successful green thumb when they understand a few basic plant care tips. The key to success with any plant is understanding its unique needs. All plants require water, light, and nutrients, but the amount and frequency vary depending on the species.

When selecting plants, it’s essential to consider the lighting conditions of your home and the amount of care you are willing to provide, then match that up with a plant that suits your needs.

Usually, beginners do best with plants that aren’t super picky and don’t require too much fuss (this means non-sensitive plants are your new friends). When you’re clear on what a plant needs and what you’re willing to provide, even the least green-thumbed beginner can have success with houseplants.

Spider Plant

Example of a Spider plant
Rooted Spider Plant

Spider plants are a great option for beginners because they’re easy to care for and can tolerate a range of conditions. Essentially, they’re not very picky.

They prefer bright, indirect light—which means they enjoy a room that gets a lot of light, but they don’t need to be in the direct sun. They can also tolerate lower light levels if necessary.

They don’t require frequent watering but can enjoy staying consistently moist (there’s that non-pickiness coming into action), so plan to water every week or so. These plants are also great at purifying the air, making them a wonderful addition to any home.

Rooted® Spider Plant 'Bonnie'

Much cuter than a spider, this easy houseplant will happily keep you company.


A pothos plant sits on a coffee table.
Costa Farms

Pothos plants are a highly popular houseplant amongst all experience levels because of their low maintenance requirements, easy propagation, and fun color variety.

Pothos are able to thrive in a range of lighting conditions, from low to bright, indirect light. They also don’t require frequent watering. If temperatures are kept consistent, pothos happily thrive. Simply water your pothos plant when the soil feels dry to the touch.

These plants are also a great trailing plant, making them perfect for hanging baskets, high shelves, or even decorating your walls as the vines grow.

Costa Farms Golden Pothos Live Plant

This is the perfect beginner plant to liven up your living room.

Snake Plant

A snake plot grows in spiky leaves.
Perfect Plants Snake Plant

Snake plants are arguably one of the easiest plants to care for. Many say they thrive on neglect. They can tolerate a range of lighting conditions, watering conditions, and temperature conditions. They are (nearly) impossible to kill.

In general, snake plants prefer bright, indirect light, but can also thrive in lower light levels. Snake plants are very drought-tolerant and can go weeks without watering. When you water, be sure to fully saturate the roots, then let them fully dry before watering again.

They have a unique, spiky appearance that can add lots of interest to your space.

Perfect Plants Snake Plant Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii 16in Tall

This plant will insist on surviving in practically every household.

ZZ Plant

A ZZ plant sits on a coffee table in a living room.
Costa Farms ZZ Plant

ZZ plants—or zamioculcas zamiifolia—are perfect for beginners. They can handle a range of lighting conditions and don’t require frequent watering.

Like many of the others on this list, they do prefer bright, indirect light but can live for a while in lower light conditions. The watering requirements often depend on the light, but ZZ plants should dry out fully between waterings. In low light conditions, a ZZ plant can go a month between waterings.

Costa Farms ZZ Plant

This is the perfect plant for low-maintenance plant-parents.


A spiky Dracaena houseplant sits in the corner of a bedroom.
Costa Farms

Dracaena is a versatile plant that comes in a range of sizes and varieties, making it a superb option for any space. This is a mildly toxic plant, so keep it out of reach of toddlers and pets.

They prefer bright, indirect light. They require moderate watering, about every week and a half to two weeks. To avoid overwatering, let the soil dry between watering sessions and then fully saturate on watering day.

Costa Farms Dracaena Marginata Magenta Madagascar Dragon Tree

If you love a spikey look, this plant is a wonderful easy option.

Peace Lily

Examples of a Peace Lily in bloom
Costa Farms Peace Lily

Peace lilies are a highly popular choice for beginners because of their attractive white flowers. Add to that their low maintenance requirements and they’re practically irresistible.

Peace lilies prefer low to medium light levels and require slightly more watering than some other plants on this list. However, they’re still relatively low maintenance and can be left to dry out slightly between watering.

A good rule of (green) thumb is to water weekly, or when the leaves begin to droop. It’s also worth noting that peace lilies can be mildly toxic, so keep your toddlers and pets away.

Costa Farms Peace Lily

If you're looking to add some more calmness to your life, this easy-going plant will help.

Chinese Evergreen

A Chinese evergreen sits in a living room.
Costa Farms

Chinese Evergreens are known for their variegated foliage and low maintenance needs. They can tolerate low to medium light levels and don’t require frequent watering. This makes them great for rooms that aren’t near a window.

Keep in mind that this plant is highly toxic to animals and humans, so if you have small people or pets around, maybe don’t opt for this plant.

Costa Farms Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema Indoor Plant

If you want to try something a little different, this adorable houseplant is up for the challenge!

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants in a garden

Aloe Vera is not only an attractive plant but it can be used to provide a range of health benefits. Aloe vera is a succulent plant species, so it loves bright, indirect light and requires infrequent watering. Plus, it’s adorable when small.

Ideally, your aloe vera should have quickly-draining soil. If the roots are kept too wet, they are prone to rotting. Allow your aloe vera soil to dry fully between waterings.

Live Aloe Vera Succulent

This plant thrives in beginner hands.


A Philodendron plant

Philodendrons are a popular choice for beginners because they’re easy to care for and can handle a range of lighting conditions. These plants grow well in medium light or bright, indirect light.

Plan to water your philodendron every week or two. Keep in mind that it’s normal for old leaves to turn yellow, but seeing many yellow leaves pop up at once may mean your plant needs a bit less light.

Heart Leaf Philodendron cordatum

Despite deceiving appearances, this is not a Pothos plant... but it also does well for beginner plant parents.

If you’re a beginner plant parent, remember that sometimes plants come and go. Don’t take it personally. Feel free to regift plants that aren’t working for you and try new plants for the sake of trying them. They’re meant to reduce stress and provide a touch of greenery and beauty to your living space.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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