20 Best Low-Maintenance Plants

Mix of houseplants in the white light room


Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images

Do you love plants but don't have much time or patience to take care of them? Whether you're away from home for long periods or you simply don't have the time to check on them, you need some hardy, low-maintenance plants that will do their own thing without too much focus on regular watering or feeding.

Read on to discover 20 perfect low-maintenance plants and how to care for them (minimally as that may be).  

Warning

Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database.

1
of 20

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

string of pearls succulent plant hanging in a greenhouse

 Jessica Ruscello / Getty Images

Succulents are generally quite hardy, which makes them great low-maintenance plants. This one is just what its name indicates, with adorable round green "pearls" on a string. It looks especially pretty cascading over the edge of a pot and can grow to be between 2 and 3 feet long. It even has little white flowers in the spring.

The string of pearls needs full sun and more regular watering than succulents with thicker leaves, but once a week is still plenty.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, direct light.
  • Water: Water well, but allow to dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Sandy, dry soil that drains well.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
2
of 20

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe Vera plant in white flowerpot
Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

A common desert dweller, the aloe plant does need a fair amount of light and prefers soil on the dryer side — once-a-week watering is enough. Aloes tend to grow fairly fast, so taking regular cuttings from them to access the aloe gel within leaves won't harm the plant.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, direct light for at least four hours a day.
  • Water: Let dry out well between waterings.
  • Soil: Sandy and well-drained.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
3
of 20

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy sitting in a pot on a chalk paint blue desk.

Image Source / Getty Images

English ivy is incredibly hardy — so much so that outdoors, even in tough climates, it thrives enough to be an invasive plant species in many countries. But those traits make this a great indoor plant, with pretty leaves that fall gracefully over the edge of a hanging basket or will reach across a doorway. It likes lower-light conditions, which can be helpful if you live in a home without a lot of sunny windows. While it needs to be watered regularly, it can take some dry spells and rarely needs to be fertilized.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Indirect light to shade.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but don't let roots sit in water.
  • Soil: Regular, well-draining potting mix.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
4
of 20

Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense)

Ghost Echeveria

zoroasto / Getty Images

The ghost plant is a singularly pretty addition to a small succulent garden or collection. This plant has silvery-lavender leaves instead of the traditional green leaves of other succulents — while being just as easy to keep alive.

It needs full sun, but if it gets less sunlight it will just get leggy and less compact. Water requirements are minimal, but be sure not to let any liquid collect in its leaves.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, direct light.
  • Water: Let dry out well between waterings.
  • Soil: Sandy and well-drained.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
5
of 20

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Devils ivy golden pothos indoor plant vine in a hanging pot near doorway

Brendan Maher / Getty Images 

This one is often used in public atriums, offices, and doctor's offices for a reason: It's nearly impossible to kill. While it prefers regular indirect light, golden pothos can take low light and even fluorescent lighting, and it can adapt to warm or cool temperatures. Over time, it will trail out of a hanging pot or flow over the edges of one sitting on the floor.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light to mostly shade.
  • Water: Water well, but allow to dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting soil.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
6
of 20

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Vivid green colored zamioculcas potted plant on wooden background. Evergreen plant as decor for office or home. Concept of cozy home.
Leisan Rakhimova / Getty Images

If you are looking for a plant that doesn't need to be watered often, the ZZ Plant is ideal. It's able to store water, and it also can survive in light conditions ranging from low light to medium-bright light, though hours of direct sun aren't ideal. The ZZ Plant can be grown or purchased as a large plant, so if you are interested in a big low-care companion, this one is a great choice.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regularly, but err on the side of underwatering and let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
7
of 20

Pink Moonstone (Pachyphytum oviferum)

Pachyveria Powder Puff. Pachyphytum oviferum and Echeveria cante succulent plant

Jnemchinova / Getty Images

This pretty succulent has pinky-peach colored foliage and is coated with a slight silver film, called farina, which protects the plant in its natural environment. It has a small rosette that will grow lengthwise rather than horizontally. Lots of sun and regular but not heavy watering is all this one needs.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, direct light.
  • Water: Let dry out well between waterings.
  • Soil: Sandy and well-drained.
  • Pet Safety: Toxicity to pets unconfirmed, so exercise caution.
8
of 20

Hindu Rope Plant (Hoya carnosa compacta)

Close-up detail photo of flower wax plant or Hoya Carnosa

Elena Gureva / Getty Images

This plant's ropy vines and shiny leaves give it a distinctive look. But just wait until it flowers with pink, star-shaped blooms; it's just lovely. The Hindu rope does need to be kept out of direct sun — a few hours of indirect light a day is plenty. It will need to be fertilized to get it to bloom. Beware of overwatering and opt for less water than you think it needs (those leaves are good at water retention).

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Medium indirect light.
  • Water: Be sure to let the top of soil dry completely between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting soil that can easily drain.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
9
of 20

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

Sunlit living room with blooming house plants
Lana2011 / Getty Images

Christmas cactus doesn't just bloom at Christmas (though some do) and isn't really a cactus (they're native to the rainforests in Brazil). They tend to bloom in the late autumn months and sometimes will bloom in the spring, too. They are very hardy, easy-care plants that can live for decades and only need transplanting a few times, since they will tolerate squished roots. Some light and regular watering (but not too much) and this plant will keep going for years.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light to mostly shade.
  • Water: Water well, but allow to dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Lightweight potting soil that's well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
10
of 20

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Two houseplants in white ceramic flower pots. Ficus elastica on a light background

Elena Grishina / Getty Images

Rubber plants, in their native habitat, grow to be 100 feet tall, but you can trim yours to the size you like — or let it get big and take over a corner of the room. It needs medium light, but can even do well in a darker spot. They don't require much attention beyond regular watering (weekly is fine) and an occasional wipe of their leaves.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Medium, indirect light.
  • Water: Water well, but allow to dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Lightweight potting soil that's well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Toxicity to pets unconfirmed, so exercise caution.
11
of 20

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

A ponytail palm in a black pot.

Renata Tyburczy / Getty Images

This plant is a relative of the agave plant and is also originally from Mexico, where they can live to be hundreds of years old. It's very drought-tolerant, so this is another one on this list that can go weeks without water. It prefers a fair amount of light; it can deal with lower light conditions but won't grow as quickly or as well.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Full, direct sun, but less won't kill it.
  • Water: Twice a month or less; allow soil to dry between waterings
  • Soil: Anything well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
12
of 20

Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

dracena marginata
marylooo / Getty Images

This Dracaena needs regular watering and filtered sun, but it's considered low-care because if it dries, it can easily bounce back with a little TLC.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Lower to medium indirect light, filtered sun.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy.
  • Soil: Rich, well-draining.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
13
of 20

Umbrella Plant (Schefflera)

angled shot of green umbrella plant in wicker pot with laptop behind it

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The umbrella plant just needs some bright, indirect light (a few hours a day is plenty) and regular watering, and it can grow up to 10 feet tall. You know this plant is hardy because it's a favorite in office buildings, where plants get neglected over holidays and just keep going.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but be sure to let dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting mix with good drainage.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
14
of 20

Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Aspidistra elatior or cast-iron-plant or bar room plant green spotted leaves
skymoon13 / Getty Images

Often described as a nearly indestructible plant, the cast iron is the perfect choice for anyone looking for an easy plant. It is quite tolerant of low-light conditions and can even handle dryer home environments. Overwatering is the only problem you might encounter with this plant.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Diffused light or partial shade.
  • Water: Water twice a month, allowing top of soil to dry before re-watering.
  • Soil: Rich, well-draining potting mix.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
15
of 20

Zebra Plant (Haworthiopsis fasciata)

Haworthiopsis fasciata flower on wooden table, isolated background, natural garden
mertkantekin / Getty Images

This dramatic-looking plant has a lot going on — upward spiking limbs, variegation, and deep color. As a succulent, it will need bright light, but don't put it in full sun or it will lose its darker, more interesting colors and turn pastel.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Water regularly but let it dry out between watering.
  • Soil: Succulent or cactus mix with sand.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
16
of 20

Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)

Room plant oxalis with purple leaves and delicate small pink flowers

Olga Gubstaya / Getty Images

The purple variety of the Oxalis plant makes quite a dramatic impression and contrasts beautifully with other plants. It's actually edible, but most people grow it for its lovely color and tiny pink flowers. As a perennial, it is fairly adaptable to different conditions. And if it gets too dry and dies, its bulbs will regrow plants as soon as it's watered regularly again.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Water regularly but let it dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Potting mix.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
17
of 20

Flamingo Flower (Anthurium)

 House plant Anthurium in white flowerpot isolated on white table and gray background Anthurium is heart - shaped flower Flamingo flowers

Marina Bogachyova / Getty Images

The flamingo flower plant is well-known for its thick, glossy leaves and bright red flower (which is actually a modified leaf). Although it's quite hardy, the plant needs to be kept out of direct sunlight because it will burn. It also needs moisture, but you can just set it on a pebble-filled tray with water to keep the air around the plant moist. If the leaves lose their glossy look, that means they are too dry.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright, indirect light.
  • Water: Water regularly but let it dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Light potting mix with perlite.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
18
of 20

Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)

Close-Up Of Green Jade Plant In Pot

Massimo Russo / Getty Images

Part of the succulent family, jade plants require very little care if they are placed in a relatively bright spot in your home. They're very unique because they can grow into small tree-like forms. They also grow very fast, so you'll want to cut them back every year or so to keep them from getting too wide. Other than that, they just need a bit of water — monthly during winter and more frequently during the warmer months — and they'll be perfectly content.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright light.
  • Water: Regular watering, but let top of soil dry completely between waterings.
  • Soil: Regular potting soil mixed with some sand.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
19
of 20

Spineless Yucca (Yucca elephantipes)

Yucca indoor plant next to a watering can in the windowsill in a beautifully designed home interior.

Grumpy Cow Studios / Getty

The spineless yucca has been a popular outdoor plant for some time now, but has more recently been brought indoors. It's a drought-tolerant plant and needs lots of bright sun, which makes it ideal for the low-maintenance plant parent with a sunny window.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Full sun.
  • Water: Let at least the top 50% of the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Soil: Sand mixed with potting soil.
  • Pet Safety: Toxic to cats and dogs.
20
of 20

Creeping Charlie (Pilea nummulariifolia)

A wide shot of a creeping charlie sitting on a window sill with the sunlight casting interesting shadows through the blinds.

sharambrosia / Getty Images

A ground cover plant native to the Caribbean, creeping Charlie can be invasive outdoors, so be careful if you need to dispose of it. Though it likes regular watering (once or twice a week), it shouldn't sit in damp soil for too long and should be planted in a well-drained soil/pot combination. As it grows, it will flow over the sides of your pot and bloom with broom-like tiny white flowers.

Plant Care Tips

  • Light: Bright indirect light, not full sun.
  • Water: Regular watering, but let top of soil dry completely between waterings.
  • Soil: Rich potting soil mix.
  • Pet Safety: Nontoxic to cats and dogs.
View Article Sources
  1. "Are Succulents Safe to Have Around Pets?" ASPCA.

  2. "Aloe." ASPCA.

  3. "English Ivy." ASPCA.

  4. "Ghost Plant." ASPCA.

  5. "Golden Pothos." ASPCA.

  6. "The ZZ Plant." Iowa State University.

  7. "Hindu Rope Plant." ASPCA.

  8. "Christmas Cactus." ASPCA.

  9. "Pony Tail." ASPCA.

  10. "Dracaena." ASPCA.

  11. "Schefflera." ASPCA.

  12. "Cast Iron Plant." ASPCA.

  13. "Zebra Haworthia." ASPCA.

  14. "Keep Pets Safe on St. Patrick's Day." ASPCA.

  15. "Flamingo Flower." ASPCA.

  16. "Jade Plant." ASPCA.

  17. "Yucca." ASPCA.

  18. "Creeping Charlie." ASPCA.