A lot is said about the ability of plants to improve our lives — from better concentration and memory at work to cheering us up when we’re depressed to promoting mindfulness and, we’re sure, much, much more.

And while becoming a plant parent is no replacement for actual therapy, it’s hard to deny plants bring life to, well, life.

“Plants in general improve our mental outlook by providing the ‘gezelligheid’ (a Dutch word that means feeling convivial, or cozy, indicating belonging) and gives us a sense of well-being,” said Joyce Mast who has over 40 years of experience in horticulture and floriculture and who now works as an official Plant Mom for her family’s houseplant business Bloomscape.

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According to Joyce, the key to not killing your plants is to know their light and water needs. Here’s her suggestions.

Joyce’s tips for light:

  • Place them in spots with eastern or western facing windows.
  • Keep plants that don’t need much light farther away from the window so they’re not receiving direct light that will burn its foliage.
  • Bleached, dull-looking leaves are an indication of sunburn.
  • If the foliage is looking long and spindly, or that it’s reaching in a direction, it’s not getting enough light.

Joyce’s tips for watering:

  • Push your finger into the soil a couple of inches to see if the soil is dry. If it’s still damp, hold off on watering. (Or try using a soil hydrometer that tells you how damp your soil is.)
  • If it’s dry, take your plant to the sink and water until it starts dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot then stop watering and allow the excess water to drain out.
  • Never leave standing water in the saucer.
  • Always use pots with drainage holes.

So without further ado, here is a list of low maintenance houseplants that are Plant Mom certified, along with some expert tips on how to care for and propagate.

Propagation methods:

Division: Take the plant and soil out of the pot and gently pull it apart into two or more sections. Then, plant each into their own pot.

Trimming method: Cut along the stem 1 to 2 inches up from a node, aka a small raised bump on the stem opposite the leaf. Place the stem into a glass of water so that the node is submerged. Change out the water every 1 to 2 weeks. Plant the cutting in soil after 1 inch of roots have sprouted (takes about a month).

Disclaimer: If you have young children or pets, check toxicity before bringing new plants into your home.

Price key

  • $ = under $15
  • $$ = $16–$30
  • $$$ = over $30

1. ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

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The ZZ plant is the first of the list because it’s virtually indestructible. Ok, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic but honestly as long as you don’t overwater, you won’t have to worry about these troopers.

They’ll be happy as clams in indirect light, and they’ll even survive in extremely low light. Perfect for that windowless bathroom!

Purchase here.

Water: Every 3 to 4 weeks. Similar to succulents, ZZ plants don’t need much watering because they store water in their rhizome (root system).

Propagation: Division. *Only do this with mature ZZ plants.

2. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

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Pothos are arguably the Instagram plant. These beautiful, lush bbs grow in long leafy vines, so you’ll often see them as hanging plants.

There are quite a few varieties — Golden, Marble Queen, Jade, Pearls and Jade, Neon, Cebu Blue, Hawaiian, Manjula — each with their own unique leaf patterns. Pothos can survive in low light, but grows faster in bright indirect light.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Pothos like their soil to be kept on the drier side.

Propagation: Trimming method.

3. Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)

$$$

If you’re going for that jungle vibe, the Monstera is your plant. You’ll know this leafy, vivacious tropical plant by the big holes in its leaves. It’ll do well anywhere in your home, just not in direct sunlight.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Let dry between waterings.

Propagation: Trimming method.

4. Snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

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Lover of dark corners, these hearty dudes are the classic office plant. And according to the now infamous NASA study, snake plants can suck up toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. Like you’re chillest pal, they’re easygoing and can handle virtually any amount of light.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 3 to 4 weeks, (every 8 weeks in winter). Allow to fully dry between waterings.

Propagate: There are a few ways to propagate snake plants, watch this video to learn how.

5. Parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

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The Parlor Palm wants to party with you — just look at those jolly shoots! Unlike other light-hungry palms, parlor palms prefer lower light environments. They do best in indirect light, but can tolerate low light well.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Palms are sensitive to overwatering, err on the side of under watering. Tip: brown tipped leaves indicate you’ve overwatered, if the fronds have yellowed, it needs a drink.

Propagation: Division.

6. English ivy (Hedera helix)

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English ivy’s are typically an outdoor plant, known for scaling the sides of Ivy League university buildings, but they make for a perfect drapy, hanging indoor plant as well. English ivy prefers low lit environments, so keep away from the window.

Purchase here.

Water: Once a week.

Propagation: Trimming.

7. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

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The spider plant is a beautiful, easy, super adaptable, air-purifying plant that can tolerate being neglected. What’s not to like?

Purchase here.

Water: Once a week. Make sure the soil is never soggy.

Propagation: Mature spider plants will produce “spiderettes” (baby spider plants) at their end of long, stiff stems. Cut off the small plant, stick it in a small pot of moist soil and water gently.

8. Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)

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Like the name suggests, this plant is nearly indestructible. Like the ZZ plant, the cast iron plant also grows from a rhizome that stores water, so it can withstand being neglected. It hardly needs any sunlight either, a perfect choice for forgetful plant parents.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Allow soil to fully dry between waterings.

Propagate: Division.

9. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata)

$$$

The Dragon tree looks like something straight out of a Dr. Suess story, with its long sturdy canes (stems) and a quirky poof of leaves springing out the top. They can be a little pricy if you get them full grown, but this large, no fuss plant makes a great dim-lit living room tree.

Purchase here (small). Or here (large).

Water: As needed. Only water when the top half of the soil is completely dry. Test with your finger.

10. Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides)

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The Chinese money plant (aka the pancake plant) gets its name from its coin-shaped leaves. This cute little guy multiplies like crazy and is very easy to propagate and is a great gift idea for a gift that keeps on giving.

Purchase here.

Water: Let soil dry out between waterings, pileas don’t like soggy soil.

Propagation: Pilea reproduce using offsets (called pups) and pop up from the soil next to the main plant. They can be pulled or cut out of the pot, just be sure to use clean, sharp scissors. Stick the pups in a small pot of moist soil and water gently.

11. Philodendron heartleaf (Philodendron cordatum)

$

Bright indirect light will make this plant grow super fast! It’s pretty heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines make this a picture perfect hanging plant.

Purchase here.

Water: One a week. This one is reactive — yellow leaves indicate it has been overwatered, and brown leaves indicate it’s thirsty.

Propagation: Trimming method.

12. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)

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These cuties are perfect if you want to add a splash of color to your room. All the varieties of the Aglaonema plant are are known for their dramatic and colorful leaves — some are two-toned leaves, some speckled pink. They prefer bright indirect light, but also do well in low light environments.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Keep soil moist (not soggy) during spring and summer months with a spritzer and let dry between waterings.

Propagation: Division.

13. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

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Rubber plants are hardy and tropical. They come in all sorts of colors including deep green and white variegated leaves, dark and dramatic burgundy, and strawberry pink. To intensify their color, let these beauties sunbathe in bright, indirect light.

Purchase here.

Water: Water 1 to 2 times a month. Make sure to let it drain and remove excess water from the saucer.

Propagate: These guys are tricky, read here to learn how.

14. Baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)

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Though they bear the same name, the baby rubber plant and the rubber plant are not in the same family. The baby rubber plant is a succulent plant that holds water in its thick stems and spoon-shaped leaves.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks. Allow soil to dry between waterings.

Propagate: Trimming method.

15. Swiss cheese vine (Monstera adansonii)

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The swiss cheese vine, is like the baby, vining version of the monstera plant. It’s long vines make this a perfect choice for hanging planters near a window, but make sure not to leave it in direct sunlight for too long or its leaves can get sunburned.

Purchase here.

Water: Once a week. Monstera adansonii are prone to root rot so make sure not to overwater and let the soil dry out a bit before watering again.

Propagate: Trimming method.

16. Red prayer plant (Chamaedorea elegans)

$

With leaves that look like green peacock feathers with bright pink veins, this plant will have you bowing to its beauty. This makes a great windowsill plant, as it loves bright indirect light. Make sure not to leave it in direct sunlight for too long, its leaves will burn.

Purchase here.

Water: This plant likes humidity and to be sitting in moist soil. Water with warm water weekly in the summer, and less frequently in the winter.

Propagate: Trimming method.

17. Red anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum)

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This vibrant, leafy plant shoots up bright pretty “flowers” which are actually waxy, red leaves. If you want to add flowers to your space that won’t need a lot of fussing, the red anthurium is a great choice. It likes bright indirect sun and humidity.

Purchase here.

Water: Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry between waterings. Water weekly, it likes frequent mistings, too.

Propagation: Follow this guide.

18. Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

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This little palm is actually a succulent and holds water in its thick trunk. An incredibly easygoing plant that loves light and doesn’t need much water, but can tolerate it if you close your blinds and skip town.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 2 to 3 weeks.

Propagate: Follow these instructions.

19. Heart hoya (Hoya kerrii)

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Named for its heart-shaped leaves, when it’s a baby this odd little plant more resembles a cactus, sans spikes, with no stems and just a singular leaf sticking out from the soil. This makes a great windowsill plant or window-facing desk pal.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 2 to 3 weeks.

Propagate: Once your plant has sprouted a few leaves, propagate by cutting below a node and sticking in water.

20. Fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata)

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Though FLF aren’t the most easy going (they’re a little fiddly), they are the Beyoncé of the plant world right now and can’t go unmentioned. These guys will take all the light you give them, making them a happy window plant.

Purchase here.

Water: Once a weekly, thoroughly, using Plant Mom’s technique above. Keep soil moist, but not soggy.

Propagate: Follow this guide.

21. Hedgehog aloe (Aloe humilis)

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Got a papercut? Snap off a spear and use the gel from your friendly desk pal the hedgehog aloe — multi-functional! This succulent doesn’t need much water, but it needs a well-lit spot.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 2 to 3 weeks.

Propagation: Aloe grows little pups, like the chinese money plant. Follow the chinese money plant propagation technique.

$$$

This tropical plant allows you to take a mental escape to an island rainforest far, far away.

Unfortunately, it likely won’t bloom those beautiful orange and purple flowers you’re picturing, unless you have a plant that’s 4 to 5 years old and in a proper tropical climate. But its glossy, banana leaves are stunning on their own.

Purchase here.

Water: Once a week. Keep soil moist, but it doesn’t do well sitting in water.

Propagation: It can be tricky, if you’re up for the challenge read here to learn more.

23. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)

$

There are so, so many different kinds of succulents that you can (almost) set and forget. The Jade plant is a particularly lovely variety that has flower shaped clusters of fleshy leaves.

Purchase here.

Water: Every 2 to 3 weeks. Keep soil moist, but not wet.

Propagation: Cut anywhere on a stem, including at least a few leaves. Plant the cut end directly into a fresh pot of soil, water lightly, and place in an area with lots of bright light. It will begin to grow roots in a few weeks and will eventually grow into its own plant.