20 Low-Maintenance House Plants Perfect For Your Black Thumb

20 Low-Maintenance House Plants Perfect For Your Black Thumb

Some of us just don’t have the green thumb we ache for. Plants are nice to look at, sure, and heaven knows we’d love them in our house, but they seem to wither in our mere presence. The good news is that some plant life does well in the face of neglect and will thrive even with the blackest of thumbs.

1. Snake Plant

A snake plant is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule or a tendency for plant harm—even though they do the opposite for you by filtering out some toxins from the air. They do great in low light and don’t need a ton of watering or maintenance. Just remember to give the leaves a proper wipe if you see them covered in dust. (Remember, too, that they’re dangerous to pets.)

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2. Peace Lily

These lilies come in peace…and don’t need much light or water to do it either! They’re quite forgiving if you forget to water them and will let you know when it’s time as their leaves droop. An important note, though, is that this plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Lan-Gao-Q8 8Dc0Wiai-UnsplashPhoto by Lan Gao on Unsplash

3. Philodendron

Not to say you should, but even if you leave a philodendron in a dark corner without water for a week, they’ll still love you. They can thrive in low-light conditions and are more forgiving than others if you forget to water them. They’re also slower to grow, so you don’t need to repot them very often. Keep in mind that they’re also toxic to pets.

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4. Spider Plant

You may be scared of spiders, but give the spider plant a chance. Like the snake plant, they also have air-purifying abilities and thrive in various lighting. They can tolerate anything from bright indirect light to low light and forgive irregular watering.

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5. Orchid

If you’re interested in more of a floral look, the orchid is a safe bet for green and black thumbs alike. They typically don’t need water more than once a week and some can even survive cold conditions, making them extra durable against neglect.

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6. ZZ Plant

ZZ plants are perfect for beginners because they’re resilient! They do best in bright, indirect light (including rooms without any natural light) and don’t mind if you forget to water them. They are, however, toxic to cats and dogs.

Nicolas-Solerieu-Ulbwvqrfxwg-UnsplashPhoto by Nicolas Solerieu on Unsplash

7. Chinese Evergreen

This little guy is a low-maintenance friend that can tolerate low light and infrequent watering. In fact, they often only need to be watered once every 5-10 days. They also come in a variety of colors, which makes them a great choice for anyone who struggles with decisions. Keep in mind, though, that they’re often toxic to pets.

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8. Jade Plant

Jade plants are technically succulents, which helps them survive any neglect. They’re good options for indoor spaces as well because while they prefer bright, indirect light, they can also make lower light work. Be wary that they’re poisonous to cats and especially so to dogs.

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9. Rubber Plant

The rubber plant can grow to be quite large and needs more pruning than your average starter plant. However, that doesn’t mean it’s high-maintenance and will, in fact, survive irregular watering and can tolerate low light. It’s also toxic to pets, so be mindful of that.

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10. Lucky Bamboo

You’re in the money with this plant because it can thrive in low light and some good water. To be fair, they are a bit fussy with the kind of water you use, but filtered or distilled works best. Be mindful of the fact that they're also not great for pets.

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11. String of Pearls

A plant that truly lives up to its name, the string of pearls may have an unusual look, but it’s easy to take care of and adds a dash of vibrancy to any living space. It needs bright, indirect light and only asks for water when the soil is dry. The only thing to be careful about is that it’s toxic to pets. 

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12. Aloe Vera

Not only is aloe vera easy to take care of, but it just makes sense to have it in your home. Take care of this plant with bright, indirect light and proper watering to reap its medicinal benefits. Should this plant thrive in the home, you can take a leaf for the healing gel stored inside—that said, it’s the opposite for pets.

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13. Echeveria

The echeveria is probably what comes to mind when you think of succulents. They’re on the smaller side with a red tinge to their leaves and are fairly easy to care for. Leave them in bright, indirect sunlight and be sure to water them every 5-10 days.

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14. String of Hearts

Another classic succulent that adds a bit of flare to your living space. They require basic maintenance and only ask that you don’t keep them anywhere cold. Make sure the soil is dry before you water again, too. 

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15. Devils Ivy

Another name for this low-maintenance plant is pothos (though we like devil’s ivy much better). It does well in a variety of light conditions and doesn’t need much watering either. It needs so little water, in fact, that you should really only aim to feed it every 3-4 weeks. They can be hung higher, too, which is a good thing as they’re toxic to pets.

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16. Cast Iron Plant

If you couldn’t guess by the name, the cast iron plant is practically indestructible. They don’t need a ton of light or water and are more forgiving than others in the face of neglect. Keep them out of direct sunlight and ensure the soil is moist to get the most out of them.

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17. African Violet

If orchids aren’t your kind of flowering plant, the African violet is another option. They do best with bright, indirect light and are fairly low-maintenance overall. Make sure you water when the soil is dry and be mindful not to go overboard or else the plant rots.

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18. Ponytail Palm

These guys are great first additions to a black thumb’s home because they can thrive in either bright, indirect light (or direct sun) and can go years without repotting. The soil needs to be completely dry before watering again, which is typically every two weeks or so.

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19. Easter Cactus

Not all cacti are created equal, but the Easter cactus is perfect for beginners. It doesn’t need more than bright, indirect sunlight, and you don’t have to water it until the soil is moist. This cactus is also independent and doesn’t mind a bit of neglect.

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20. Prayer Plant

This plant only prays for indirect sunlight and water every 1-2 weeks. Be careful that this guy doesn’t see direct light as full-blown sunshine will damage its beautiful leaves. They also lean towards humidity, so putting them in the bathroom is a popular choice.

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