As I sit at the desk in my dimly lit home office surrounded by at least a dozen houseplants, it’s hard to say which are “the best.” The term means something different to everyone. An experienced planter may think of the best plants as those that consume the most attention, whereas others only think of plants that get as big as possible to constitute as superior.
For this post, we’re talking to all the beginners out there. The folks who are green with envy of their friends with green thumbs. Contrary to what many articles online express, most plants are pretty easy to care for... that is, as long as you don’t forget about them. Just like pets and people, they need water, varying amounts of light, and just a little bit of your attention. (Plants also need to be repotted occasionally, but that doesn’t really fit the people and pets comparison that I was going for there. 😜)
On to the list! For our Five Best Indoor Plants for Beginners, we’ll be focusing on those plants that are adaptable to different light situations, can handle some neglect, and don’t require too much thought (though they certainly won’t mind a bit of fawning... they're so pretty, afterall).
Let’s count down from five to give it some build up, shall we?
5. Polka Dot Plant
The Polka Dot Plant is such a great choice for any plant newbie. It’s pink spotted leaves add fun color to your room, while not requiring too much of your attention. Keep your plant in bright, indirect sunlight while making sure to avoid direct sunlight. You’ll need to water the Polka Dot Plant whenever the soil is slightly dry, but you’ll feel like a real plant parent caring for this little fella. The best part of the Polka Dot Plant?... The price! You can snag a healthy Polka Dot Plant at your local gardening center for less than a couple dollars!
4. Lucky Bamboo
I feel like it might be bad to be running a plant blog while also admitting to purchasing plants at Wal Mart, but that’s exactly what’s about to happen. I bought a Lucky Bamboo at least six years ago at the local store-that-shall-not-be-mentioned and it’s been thriving ever since. They really only seem to need water every couple weeks or so, and even then just the smallest amount. Lucky Bamboos are typically sold in pebble-filled containers and don’t require any dirt. They’ll grow better in bright light, but will also do just fine in rooms with less lighting (they just won’t grow nearly as much).
3. Snake Plant
I had avoided getting a Snake Plant for years as it reminded me too much of the movie Beetlejuice. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, nor can I remember if there was even a Snake Plant in that movie. The point is Beetlejuice came out when I was four and that was apparently the perfect age to ruin me on many things that seemingly don’t even relate to the movie. What movie, you ask? I CAN’T SAY THE NAME A THIRD TIME!
Anyhow, Snake Plants! I got over my fear (like a brave grown up!) and brought a Snake Plant home a few months back. And that was about the end of our relationship. They really don’t need much attention. They do great in low light to bright light, and only require water every few weeks. It’s actually better to ere on the side of under-watering than over-watering! They look super cool in your room and are sure to grab the attention of visitors.
2. Peace Lily
Peace Lilies came onto my radar years ago when Ellen had them on her talk show’s coffee table for a while. They can be found for sale nearly everywhere: from nurseries, garden centers of hardware stores, grocery stores’ floral departments, and right here at The Plant Dads! Their popularity I would imagine comes from how easy they are to care for and how pretty they are in your room. They’re super dramatic when they don’t get enough water and will let you know by shriveling up like they’ve been dead for a week. Give your Peace Lily a good watering and it’ll perk right back up in a few hours! Plus, once or twice a year, you’ll be presented with a wonderful white flower.. a little thank you gift from your plant friend to you for a job well done!
1. ZZ Plant
This list has gotten awfully long-winded, which is terrible timing as the ZZ Plant is the one I can never stop talking about. I’ll try to be succinct: it’s the best! ZZ Plant’s are wildly adaptable to whatever light conditions you’re working with, only need the occasional watering, and have growth spurts that will sometimes shock you! They’re also incredibly unique looking. ZZ Plants have become my go-to gift for people when I’m not sure what to get them, as I know they’ll be well-received and won’t require too much attention from the recipient. You can read even more about them on our ZZ Plant post right here!
Happy Planting! 💚