Best house plants for beginners: 10 easy but beautiful plants to grow

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Written By Martin Cole

Plantsman, gardener, plant-obsessive

Best house plants for beginners
Best house plants for beginners

Best house plants for beginners to grow

When I first began to fill my house with house plants, I had already started gardening. So I was building up some basic knowledge about what plants need to survive and thrive.

But I had a couple of plants in an apartment I lived in before that. And, at that point, I was completely new to house plants.

One of those plants was a golden cane palm, which slowly faded away as a result of intermittent periods of complete neglect and over-watering.

The second was a Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum Wallisii. And this plant was virtually indestructible.

It came all the way with me on my plant journey – despite it often being under-watered and under-fed – until I reached the point when I actually knew what I was doing.

So, I learned quite early that some plants are great plants for beginners to grow (the Peace Lily is one of them). And some aren’t.

So, here is my list of the best house plants for beginners – along with a summary of the key features of each one, and a link to a detailed profile of that plant.

I’ve grown them all and I can tell you that these plants are resilient and require minimal care. They are a great starting point for anyone looking to add a touch of green to their living space.

1. Sansevieria trifasciata

  • Scientific name: Sansevieria trifasciata, Dracaena trifasciata
  • Synonyms: Dracaena trifasciata
  • Common names: Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  • Plant family: Asparagaceae
  • Origin: West Africa
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial
  • Size: Up to 3-4 feet indoors
best house plants for beginners: Sansevieria trifasciata
Sansevieria trifasciata

Why Snake Plants are great for beginners

The Snake Plant is almost indestructible and can thrive on neglect. It’s known for its air-purifying qualities and can tolerate low light and irregular watering.

Sansevieria trifasciata is highly resilient to pests and diseases, which means it rarely encounters problems. Its water needs are minimal; it can go weeks without being watered and still maintain its vigor. This plant is also effective at converting CO2 to oxygen at night, making it an excellent bedroom plant.

2. Chlorophytum comosum

  • Scientific name: Chlorophytum comosum
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Spider Plant
  • Plant family: Asparagaceae
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Type of plant: Perennial herbaceous plant
  • Size: Up to 12-24 inches indoors
best house plants for beginners: Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant)
Chlorophytum comosum

Why Spider plants are great for beginners

Spider Plants are among the best house plants for beginners because they are incredibly forgiving and adapt well to a variety of indoor conditions. They are also known for producing baby plants that can be easily propagated.

The Spider Plant is capable of withstanding irregular watering, which is perfect for those who might forget to water occasionally. It’s non-toxic to pets, making it safe for households with animals. The plant’s ability to produce abundant offspring gives beginners plenty of practice with propagation – and lots of free plants.

Read our full Chlorophytum comosum plant profile.

3. Epipremnum aureum

  • Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Synonyms: Golden Pothos
  • Common names: Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothos
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: French Polynesia
  • Type of plant: Evergreen vine
  • Size: Trails up to 10 feet indoors; can be pruned to desired length
best house plants for beginners: Golden Pothos
Eprpremnum aureum – Golden Pothos

Why Golden Pothos is great for beginners

Pothos is highly adaptable and can grow in low light conditions and varied watering schedules. It is also an excellent plant for improving indoor air quality.

With its ability to grow in water or soil, the Pothos is versatile for different types of displays. It can trail from shelves or climb supports. It can also easily be trimmed and rooted to create new plants, offering a rewarding experience for beginners. Its hardy nature allows it to bounce back from common mistakes like over or under-watering.

Read our full Golden Pothos plant profile.

4. Spathiphyllum wallisii

  • Scientific name: Spathiphyllum wallisii
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Peace Lily
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: Central and South America
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial
  • Size: Up to 18-24 inches indoors
best house plants for beginners: Spathiphyllum Wallisii (Peace Lily)
Spathiphyllum wallisii – Peace Lily

Why Peace Lilies are great for beginners

A Peace Lily taught me that some plants are great for beginners and some are not. Peace lilies are hardy plants that bloom even in low light and survive nearly everything you put them through.

Peace Lilies will even tell you when to water them since they wilt noticeably when thirsty, then quickly perk up with hydration. They are not only easy to care for but also bloom with elegant white flowers that can add beauty to any space. The Peace Lily can even thrive under fluorescent lights, ideal for office settings.

Read our full Spathiphyllum wallissi plant profile.

5. Zamioculcas zamiifolia

  • Scientific name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Synonyms: Zamioculcas lanceolata, Caladium zamiifolium
  • Common names: ZZ Plant
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: Eastern Africa
  • Type of plant: Perennial
  • Size: Up to 2-3 feet indoors
best house plants for beginners: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Zamioculcas zamiifolia – the ZZ plant

Why the ZZ plant is great for beginners

The ZZ Plant is drought-tolerant and can survive with minimal light, making it one of the best house plants for beginners and ideal for offices and low-light homes.

The ZZ Plant’s tolerance for a wide range of conditions and its ability to store water in its leaves make it exceptional for sporadic care. Its thick, waxy leaves give it a striking appearance and help it retain moisture. This plant’s slow growth rate also means it doesn’t require frequent repotting or pruning.

Read our full Zamioculcas zamiifolia plant profile.

6. Aglaonema spp.

  • Scientific name: Aglaonema spp.
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Chinese Evergreen
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: Asia and New Guinea
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial
  • Size: Up to 1-3 feet indoors
Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’ – Chinese Evergreen

Why Aglaonema are great for beginners

Chinese Evergreens have lush foliage and can tolerate poor light, dry air, and drought, which makes them perfect for indoor environments.

Aglaonemas are effective at purifying indoor air and have a wide variety of leaf variegations. The ‘Silver Bay’ and ‘Cutlass’ varieties have silver patterns and are particularly attractive. Other Aglaonema varieties, have red and pink hues.

Read our full Aglaonema plant profile.

7. Dracaena marginata.

  • Scientific name: Dracaena marginata.
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Dragon Tree
  • Plant family: Asparagaceae
  • Origin: Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America
  • Type of plant: Evergreen tree
  • Size: Up to 3-10 feet indoors; can be pruned to keep size manageable
best house plants for beginners: Dracaena marginata
Dracaena marginata – Dragon Tree

Why Dracena marginata are great for beginners

Dracaena species are adaptable to varying light conditions and are effective at removing toxins from the air.

Dracaenas are known for their tolerance to neglect and can adapt to various watering routines. Dracaena marginata, especially, is one of the best house plants for beginners with its striking red-edged leaves. Dracaena are also slow growers, which reduces the need for frequent repotting.

8. Monstera deliciosa

  • Scientific name: Monstera deliciosa
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: Southern Mexico, Panama
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial climber
  • Size: Up to 10 feet (3m) indoors
best house plants for beginners: Monstera deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant

Why Monstera deliciosa is great for beginners

Monstera deliciosa is known for its large, attractive leaves and air-purifying abilities. These plants really make a statement, but are easy to look after.

They recover well if you forget to water them and buff up beautifully if you wipe the leaves over from time to time with a damp cloth. Monstera are one of the best large plants for beginners to grow because of their resilience – and their beauty.

Read our full Monstera deliciosa plant profile.

9. Haworthia spp.

  • Scientific name: Haworthiopsis spp.
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Common names: Zebra Cactus, Pearl Plant
  • Plant family: Asphodelaceae
  • Origin: Southern Africa
  • Type of plant: Succulent
  • Size: Up to 3-5 inches indoors
best house plants for beginners: Haworthia
Haworthia attentuata – the Zebra Haworthia

Why Haworthias are great for beginners

Haworthias are small and require very little space. They thrive in indirect light and infrequent watering, similar to cacti.

Haworthias, like the ‘Haworthia attenuata’ or Zebra Cactus, are small and can fit into any space, making them ideal for desktops or small shelves. They require minimal watering and are not prone to many diseases. Their slow growth and small root systems mean they seldom need repotting.

Read our full Zebra Haworthia plant profile.

10. Philodendron hederaceum

  • Scientific name: Philodendron hederaceum
  • Synonyms:Philodendron scandens
  • Common names: Heartleaf Philodendron
  • Plant family: Araceae
  • Origin: Central America, the Caribbean, and South America
  • Type of plant: Evergreen perennial vine
  • Size: Can reach up to 10 feet (3m) indoors
best house plants for beginners: Philodendron hederaceum
Philodendron hederaceum – the Heartleaf Philodendron

Why Philodendron hederaceum are great for beginners

Philodendron hederaceum are versatile plants and can grow in a range of light conditions. They have a rapid growth rate and are easy to care for.

The Heartleaf Philodendron is particularly well-suited to beginners due to their vigorous growth and forgiving nature. They can be trained to climb or allowed to trail, offering a nice variety of options for the plant parent. These plants are also known for their ability to survive in lower light levels, which is great for spaces without abundant natural light.

Read our full Philodendron hederaceum plant profile.

Summing Up

These plants are the best house plants for beginners, not only because they are easy to care for, but also because they are beautiful.

These plants all have different characteristics that mean they will undoubtedly enhance your living space.

They will bring you all the benefits of house plants (including enhancing your mood and purifying the air). And more likely than not they will encourage you to grow more and more plants.

Maybe some of those plants will require a little more care. But you’ll know for sure by then that growing house plants is well worth the effort.

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