Top 10 Low Maintenance Plants: Podcast Episode #27 ft. Lindsay
I was so happy to do a podcast about these low maintenance plants with my twin sister, Lindsay! She was the perfect person to do it with because she doesn't have a lot of experience with houseplants, giving this blog and podcast a couple different perspectives!
With a hectic and full life you don't always have time to maintain a bunch of complicated houseplants. Yet plants are proven to boost your mood, lower stress, and improve air quality, so it is a benefit to have them in your home!
The subject of low maintenance houseplants has always been a hot topic of conversation between beginners and expert houseplant lovers alike! There are definitely more than 10 houseplants that are fairly easy. Below I have given you a look into my top 10 low maintenance houseplants based on my experiences with each of them, and a different perspective from a beginner, my sister, Lindsay's experiences. Conveniently I have already recorded podcasts on each plant on my list and wrote a blog on some of them so I will link those for more detailed information!
This is a staple low maintenance houseplant that is usually what beginners have the most success with and what expert houseplant lovers thrive with! Snake plants have thick, pointy leaves that range from tall and slender, to short and rounded. You can find them with shades of green, black, yellow, and white.
Botanical Name: Dracaena (reclassified from Sansevieria)
Common Varieties: Laurentii, Bantel’s Sensation, Black Gold, Moonshine, Cylindrica, Mason Congo, Futura Robusta, Twist, Golden Hahnii
Light Requirements: Can handle low to bright indirect light, more variegation or lighter color requires a bit more light.
Water Requirements: Water minimally! It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. The leaves may shrivel or curl if it needs water desperately. Make sure it is planted in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.
My Experience: This has always been a consistent houseplant in my house! I've had many of them at one time because they are tolerant of different environments, and there are many amazing varieties. My friend, Tye, asked me to get a few easy houseplants for his desk at work. The large Snake Plant I got him is the only one that has survived, 6 months later, proving how easy this plant is! I have a killed a few of them but only by overwatering. The ones I've overwatered have all been in non-draining pots, so that was my fault. I've learned my lesson!
Lindsay's Experience: She had one a few years ago that we believe was overwatered. Sometimes her husband would water it and without knowing, Lindsay would water it again! So that one didn't survive. But about a year and half ago I got her another one. We were waiting to repot it and left it outside on the east side of her house for a day. Unfortunately we learned that was too much light because a lot of the leaf tips burned in that short amount of time. Still, to this day, some leaves are burned, but it doesn't bother Lindsay because her Snake Plant is healthy and thriving!
This ZZ Plant is on the same level of 'easy' as the Snake Plant. Lighting and water requirements are the same as well! There aren't a lot of varieties out there, but it is a trustworthy plant for any houseplant owner. They mostly come in dark green leaves but sometimes you can find them with black leaves or variegated leaves.
Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Common Varieties: Zamicro, Zenzi, Raven, Variegata
Light Requirements: Can handle low to medium, but thrives in medium to bright indirect light. If you have the variegated variety, it hold its white color best in bright, indirect light. The ZZ Plant stays fuller and grows faster in medium to bright, indirect light.
Water Requirements: Water minimally! It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. Wait to water until the soil is dry.
My Experience: I have the regular green variety and it has been doing well! I have put it in low to medium light over the last few years, and it continues to SLOWLY grow! I bought a Raven ZZ but the root system was very shallow and I didn't know that until it was too late. It should have been watered a bit more often as it was still becoming established. I also bought a variegated leaf and I am currently attempting to propagate it! So far I have been keeping this leaf in a tiny cup with the end of the leaf in water. There is definitely something forming (in a good way) but I have a lot more time before it becomes a real houseplant!
Lindsay's Experience: She had success with her regular green ZZ Plant placing it in either in an east or west window. At one point there was a lot of dust collecting on it but she cleaned the leaves and it looked brand new!
Philodendron are one of the most reliable and tolerant houseplants I've ever owned! They come in SO many different shapes including vining, mounding and upright growth habits. Sizing ranges depending on the variety. Philodendron can come in almost an color imaginable. All those different components make them a highly collectable houseplant.
Brasil, Lemon Lime, Pink Princess, White Knight, White Wizard, Imperial Red, Imperial Green, Majesty, Moonlight, McColley's Finale, Prince of Orange,
Rojo Congo, Thai Sunrise, Black Cardinal, Golden Goddess, Brandi, Birkin, Painted Lady, Jose Buono, Micans, Burle Marx, Silver Sword, Florida Ghost, Ring of Fire
Light Requirements: Medium light is sufficient but bright, indirect light, especially for variegated varieties, is best for faster and fuller growth.
Water Requirements: Water when the soil is dry or just about dry. It is best to underwater than overwater this plant. Leaves may start to curl if they are underwatered.
My Experience: I have these in almost in every room of the house! Peter and I have planned to use these for our wedding so we have LOTS of them. I've been experimenting with lighting but everything is growing, no matter where it is sitting! I currently have many varieties including Prince of Orange, Imperial Red, McColley's Finale, Brasil, Lemon Lime, Xanadu (technically reclassified) and regular Philodendron cordatum (solid green).
Lindsay's Experience: I have always told Lindsay she needs to get more of these because these are very easy and tolerant. Currently she has a Brasil Philodendron which is doing very well. She has moved it to different room with different lighting situations and it has done well in all of them.
These are beautiful houseplants that come in extraordinary patterns and shapes. You can commonly find them with heavy variegated or unique colored thick, waxy leaves.
Hoya carnosa (Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, Exotica, Tricolor, Compacta), Hoya pubicalyx, Hoya kerrii, Hoya kentiana, Hoya obavata, Hoya retusa, Hoya linearis, Hoya curtisii, Hoya australis
Light Requirements: They do well in medium light. But Hoya with heavier variegation do best in bright, indirect light.
Water Requirements: These like to be consistently moist, not drying out completely between watering. Allow the first half of the soil to dry, then water. If you start to notice the leaves shriveling a bit, this is a sign they may need water. If you are worried about knowing when to do this, a moisture meter takes the guess work out of it!
You may see some sources recommending humidity for Hoya. This always helps them thrive in your home, but it is not necessary. I have many Hoya that are not given extra humidity that are doing great, and I also have a couple in a small greenhouse and they are doing great too! It is really up to your preference. If you are wanting 'low maintenance' you wouldn't add humidity.
My Experience: I find these highly collectable because of the MANY shapes, colors, sizes, and different varieties they come in. I've had great success with these but the only time I struggled was underwatering a Hoya. I went about a week too long and a couple leaves shriveled and browned. The plant overall is still looking great though! I also had it hiding behind another plant so I couldn't see it.
This is a houseplant you don't see very often but did you know it is one of the easiest houseplants I've ever had? I've had one for 6 years and counting!
Light Requirements: Agave do best in bright, indirect light or bright direct light. That being said, they can tolerate medium light as well.
Water Requirements: These are considered a Succulent so they do not need much water. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering
My Experience: I have three of these right now and I love them! The only downside is that they do have thorns so you have to be careful with that! I've had one for about six years and it has experienced every sunlight option possible. Currently it is in a north window and it's doing good! I have my two others in a south window and those are also doing good! They do lose their bottom leaves ones in a while, but this is normal!
This is a houseplant that makes EVERY low maintenance houseplant list since these are so easy. Some varieties of Philodendron are confused with Pothos because they look very similar! You will almost always see bright green foliage on a Pothos with sometimes yellow or white variegation.
Light Requirements: These can tolerate low to bright, indirect light. If you have more variegation, you want it in medium to bright, indirect light.
Water Requirements: Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. The leaves may droop if they are thirsty.
My Experience: I have had MANY of these over the years and they are just a classic houseplant now! There aren't a ton a different varieties so it is pretty easy to collect the common ones. I currently have a three Golden Pothos, one Pothos 'N Joy, Pearls, Jade Pothos, one Marble Queen Pothos, and a few Jade Pothos. Currently I have them in all different windows and they are all doing great!
Lindsay's Experience: She has had a couple Pothos but currently she is very hopeful for her Marble Queen Pothos. She was worried about it because it was losing some leaves, which is natural, but she noticed it needed water once a week. I told Lindsay to reduce the frequency of watering to every 2-3 weeks. I think she wasn't watering deep enough so now when she waters every 2-3 weeks she makes sure water drains from the bottom of the pot. This way the whole root system is getting a drink of water, not just the top layer of soil. So far, this seems to be doing the trick!
Peperomia have a very similar care instructions as Hoya. They also come in many shapes, sizes, and colors including shades of green, blue, and pink.
Light Requirements: Peperomia do well in medium light, but varieties with variegation do their best in bright, indirect light.
Water Requirements: Staying consistently moist is preferable and not allowing your Peperomia to dry out completely between watering is best. If you notice the leaves starting to droop a bit, this could be sign they may need water.
My Experience: These have done very well in my household! I have them just off of east, west and south windows. My favorite one is the Ginny Peperomia because I love the pink tiny leaves, and Ginny is a character in Harry Potter (and I love Harry Potter)!
I believe this is a very unrated houseplant for beginners and experts alike! Dieffenbachia have striking patterns that mostly have green leaves with white or yellow patterns and variegation.
Light Requirements: These can tolerate low to bright, indirect light. If you have more variegation, you want it in medium to bright, indirect light. Mine have always done best in medium light (off an east window).
Water Requirements: Dieffenbachia need to stay consistently moist. You will notice the leaves start to droop when they need water. If you allow the soil to completely dry out, the plant will bounce back as soon as it's watered.
My Experience: I have a larger one that is doing very well! I originally had it in a southeast window but the leaves began to burn a bit. I moved it to an east window and it's doing great!
Lindsay's Experience: Lindsay actually struggled with this plant. She had it in the right amount of sunlight but the leaves were yellowing and dropping consistently. If it was just the bottom leaves, this is normal but it was all leaves that seemed to be struggling. Ultimately she had this plant in a cooler room and Dieffenbachia are notoriously known for not tolerating cooler temperatures. She gave it to me to nurse back to health and it is doing well! I have it in a warmer room and I placed it off of a south window with medium light.
I think these are just as underated as Dieffenbachia! They are super tolerant houseplants with beautiful full foliage. Colors range from shades of green with hints of white, to yellow, or pink.
Light Requirements: These tolerate low light but do best in medium to bright, indirect.
Water Requirements: These also like to stay consistently moist. If you let them dry out completely the leaves will star to droop a bit. They will bounce back after you water it though.
My Experience: I bought a Pink Butterfly Syngonium during the summer and noticed recently it was losing some of the pink tint in the leaves. I moved it into a brighter window with my grow light nearby. Hopefully this will help the color! Lindsay and I were shopping at Watter Farms in Neenah, WI and found a Syngonium variety called 'Holly M'! Of course I bought it, because of the name, but it was also so pretty with pale green leaves. It is currently doing great sitting off of a south window getting bright, indirect light.
This usually doesn't pop up on other low maintenance lists but this definitely makes my list! Usually you find these beautiful plants with slits in the leaves, called fenestrations. Some Monsteras come with white or yellow variegation, or speckling, but even just the green Monstera deliciosas are amazing!
Light Requirements: These tolerate medium to bright, indirect. They do well in both of those! If the Monstera has variegation, it is best to place in bright, indirect light.
Water Requirements: Water these when dry! Simple as that! I have never had any leaf damage or plant damage from underwatering my Monsteras.
My Experience: I currently have two Monstera deliciosas and a Monstera adansonii. One of my Monstera deliciosas I bought a couple years ago and as it started to grow a bit more, I decided to secure it to a moss pole. Monsteras naturally grow upward and attach itself to the next closest thing. I put a moss pole in my Monstera's pot and tied the stems with twine to secure it. I did the same for my Monstera adansonii. My other Monstera deliciosa is a giant propagated cutting so currently it only has about four leaves that are each about 2 feet wide! I have all of them sitting off a south window and even through winter, they keep producing new leaves!
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If you have a space in your home that is low to medium light, all the houseplants I listed can work there! Any time I mention these houseplants need bright, indirect light this means they grow the fastest, and fullest, in this light. If you don't have a spot like this, that's okay! You would be amazed how well these plants do in medium light! If you are concerned, take a picture when you get the plant, and in 6 months, see how it looks! If your variegation isn't as bright, you may need to move it into slightly brighter light. Let me know if you have any questions about this!
Always written with extreme plant passion!