It’s no secret that the Covid pandemic and its many lockdowns brought with it an obsession with indoor plants – especially for those of us in apartments with little to no outdoor space. And yes, many of us have started referring to ourselves as ‘plant parents’, as a result (sorry, not sorry). So, if you’re hoping to turn your home into a leafy oasis, we’ve found an expert to dish the dirt on how to help you achieve that dream.
Elle Prince from Plants in a Box spoke with us and shared some of the best indoor plants, including a breakdown of which varieties are great for those of us who struggle to keep plants alive, which options are low maintenance, and which plants thrive in darker conditions.
Indoor plants you can’t kill
“Inside the house, many plants can tolerate infrequent watering, don’t need any special care or fancy attention, and are just generally downright hard to kill,” Elle told us.
However, she added that if you’re after a plant that basically “thrives on neglect”, you should consider the below:
“Once a month kind of watering is fine for this dude,” Elle explained.
“This will be enough for a snake plant because he can store water in his leaves. He will grow in any light level, low to high, but he will grow more quickly in brighter light.”
Zamioculcas Zamifolia (ZZ Plants)
“Possibly the toughest houseplant of all. Simply avoid burning bright light or overwatering,” Elle said, adding even if you forget to water it, the ZZ plant will continue looking fabulous.
Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
“He possibly got Devil’s Ivy as a name because he is so darn hard to kill. Golden Pothos copes with low light and only needs occasional watering. He’s like the go-to-plant for all first-timers.”
Low maintenance plants
Maybe you can handle a few plants, but you’re not looking to be a very hands-on kind of parent. Here are some plants you can take care of with your eyes closed.
“Oh man I love this plant,” Elle shared.
“Hoya vines are stunning indoor plants and require very little attention. They are lovers of bright indirect light of course, air, and frequent watering just so the soil is moist. Your bathroom is a good spot if there is good light, air, and humidity. But generally, they’re not fussy. There is no need to prune a hoya because the tendrils at the ends are where the new foliage and flowers grow.”
“Another plant with excellent visual and textual appeal. Pixie is a low maintenance evergreen and looks smashing in a pot or a hanging basket. Syngonium enjoys bright indirect or filtered light. However, she can survive in low light conditions too. A semi-shaded spot on the balcony or near a window will do just fine.
“Keep her away from harsh direct light and discard her older leaves to encourage newbies (sisters). Water the arrowhead (Syngonium Pixie) 2-3 times a week, and allowing her to dry out between waterings is a good rule of thumb.”
“I love indoor flowering plants,” Elle shared.
“Keep her out of drafty areas and find a location with plenty of indirect light; otherwise, she will not bloom. Anthurium loves a premium free-draining soil that can still hold some water. Water her regularly, but don’t overwater, just when her soil is dry to touch.”
The best plant options for low light settings
Just like you wouldn’t want to be in a dark space all the time, plants don’t enjoy it either. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have plants if your house isn’t constantly bathed in sunlight!
“The most popular boy in the potting shed is Monstera Tauerii (the dwarf version of the deliciosa), exciting people with his large glossy green leaves,” Elle explained.
“Happy in lower light areas, but if the light level is too low, Tauerii can get a bit leggy, so the occasional rotation will help ensure he has even growth on all sides.”
Aglaonema Lady Valentine
“Lady Valentine offers plenty of colour pop. Her foliage offers a mix of greens and warm pinks surrounded by a dark green tinge. Lady Valentine will tolerate low light (a position with indirect light is OK) and let her soil dry out in between generous waterings. Too little light, though, and she will lose her blush colourings.”
“Commonly called the Mini Monstera, Minima will do well in an area with indirect light where the sunlight never directly hits his foliage. A plant stake will encourage him to climb away for you and encourage stylish splitting in his leaves. Give him a good soak once his soil is dry to touch and go easy on the watering can.”
Plants not suited to living indoors
Don’t forget, not every plant will be suited to the indoors for a variety of reasons. For example, Elle recommends staying away from olive trees and succulents and cacti varieties – all of which are great for outside!
“Also, consider your pets when you choose your plants. Lots of cats and dogs like to nibble on plant foliage. Although you can try to keep your plants out of reach of pets, it’s even safer if you choose pet-friendly plants which are non-toxic to curious animals.”
If you need any more reason to invest in some indoor plants, they’re also really good for you!
“Having some greenery around your home does much more than just enhance the visual appeal of your living space,” Elle shared.
“The hands-on nature of caring for plants has been shown to have a direct link with a feeling of well-being and improved self-esteem. It might sound simplistic, but having plants at home really can help you feel better.”
“The best tip you’ll ever get with houseplants is light, air, water and a pot with a hole,” she added. “Get these four things right, and you will nail plant parenthood.”
So, time to get potting!
This article on the best hard to kill indoor plants for low light settings has been updated since its original publish date.