Looking for the plants that will be beautiful and hard to kill? I’ve got you covered! Here is the list of my top 5 favorite beginner-friendly plants.
For this article’s purpose, I chose to only include plants that I’ve actually owned (all the pictures are also of my plants). It didn’t make sense to call a plant beginner-friendly if I’ve never taken care of one myself! So obviously, the list of easy-care plants is actually much longer.
I’d love to get some more plants that I think will be low-maintenance, but I’m currently limited by my apartment’s space. When I move, I’ll definitely be getting more plants, and I’ll probably be able to add to this list.
With that being said, let’s get into how I defined beginner-friendly, and then I’ll share my top 5 favorites!
My Definition of Beginner-Friendly Plants
Here are the criteria that I used to choose which plants to include in this list.
Water Once a Week (or less)
Some plants can require even daily watering, which is too much for me! Some plants, like aloe, cactus, and some succulents, will be happy with water every two weeks or even less.
The easiest watering strategy for me is once per week. That’s what fits in the best with my schedule, and it’s simple to keep track of it that way.
You will inevitably kill some plants, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve taken care of plants for years. It just happens sometimes.
As a beginner, it’s good to stick to inexpensive plants while you’re still learning. I think that under $30 per plant is a good range to look for, but you can go even lower than that! Save the expensive wishlist plants for when you’ve gotten into the groove of caring for the ones you have.
Common/Easy to Find
Like I said, there’s a chance you’ll kill some of these plants, and you might want to get another one to try again.
Beginner-friendly plants are common and easy to find in places like the garden centers of hardware stores or even in some grocery stores. You may want to save the uncommon or rare plants in nurseries and online shops for when you’re more experienced.
What’s common to you also depends on where you live. Tropical plants can be sold for landscaping in some parts of the world, but they’re definitely indoor-only for me!
Simple Care Needs
Any plants with extreme requirements like specific humidity ranges, special soil mixtures, or very particular light needs were out.
As a beginner, you probably want a plant that you can put anywhere in your house with a decent amount of light and have it be okay. This is especially true if you have houseplants for more aesthetic reasons and want them to be as low-maintenance as possible.
Something You Like!
Maybe there’s a plant that you have your eye on that isn’t exactly beginner-friendly. Then you might want to just go for it anyway!
Don’t let my suggestions or fear of a particular plant stop you from getting a plant that you really want. If you think it’s beautiful, then you should buy one. Just know that you’ll probably need to do more research to understand its care.
If you’ve ever looked up some information about your plant, and then forgotten it immediately, this care sheet is for you. Plants all have different needs. Keep track of the various requirements for lighting, water, and other things; as well as any other notes you want to take.
Print out copies for each plant you have, and create your own plant care binder! All of your information will be easily accessible in one place.
My Top 5 Beginner-Friendly Plants
#1: Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
Pothos really is the tried and true staple houseplant. A pothos is forgiving with watering, it grows quickly, and it is tolerant of lower light conditions. It’s a great first plant to get because it’s very hardy. I always recommend learning basic care with a plant like a pothos before moving onto more difficult or high-maintenance plants.
I know that some people feel that the typical golden pothos or jade pothos are too plain-looking. I disagree, but there are plenty of other varieties to choose from, all with similar care needs! You’ll love the splashy pearls and jade pothos, the bright lime green neon pothos, or the silvery blue-green Cebu Blue pothos.
To learn more, check out my in-depth pothos care guide.
Pothos Pros: Very rewarding to grow. There is frequent new growth, and it is fast and easy to propagate!
Pothos Cons: Requires semi-regular trimming unless you’re okay with the vines growing very long.
#2: Heartleaf Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum)
Heartleaf philodendrons are similar to pothos in terms of care requirements and growth patterns. Their leaf shapes and textures are slightly different.
The standard leaves are solid dark green, but there’s also the Philodendron Brasil with yellow striped variegation and Philodendron Rio with white striped leaves.
Heartleaf Philodendron Pros: The signature heart-shaped leaves are stunning.
Heartleaf Philodendron Cons: Not as easy to find in stores as some of the other beginner-friendly plants.
#3: Snake Plant (Sansevieria) – Most Varieties
Even hardier than the others, snake plants can tolerate low or artificial light. Don’t expect them to grow very quickly in a darker corner, but they should survive there.
There are many subspecies of sansevieria in an array of colors, variegation markings, and shapes. The one shown here is the Laurentii, one of the most common types that I’ve seen. I also love the whale fin sansevieria. It’s often found as a single, huge leaf!
To learn more, here is my in-depth snake plant care guide.
Snake Plant Pros: Probably the least-demanding plant ever. Doesn’t need water often, so it’s great for people who travel frequently.
Snake Plant Cons: Slow growers. I consider this a con because I really enjoy seeing my plants grow and get bigger. However, this might be a good thing if you’re looking for a plant that won’t outgrow a certain area, like on a desk or a shelf.
#4: Most Succulents
I can’t speak for all succulents, and I won’t try to. I’ve only owned a few types: zebra haworthia, burro’s tail (sedum morganianum), moonstone succulent (pachyphytum oviferum), and a jelly bean succulent (sedum rubrotinctum).
The ones that you can find in hardware stores are often cute and small, so it’s easy to find space for them in your house.
They’re also attractive because of the wide variety of shapes and colors. This is more of a range than you’ll see with most other houseplants, and it’s tempting to add some succulents around the rest of your plants for a pop of color and texture.
The best thing you can do for succulents is to not overwater them. They probably need even less water than you think they do.
Succulent Pros: Usually very cheap to replace. If they do die, you might not be able to find the exact kind you had before.
Succulent Cons: At least for me, they tend to die for no reason. I’ll have a consistent care routine for months, and it will suddenly wilt out of nowhere. Maybe it’s just that the lifespan of succulents is shorter than that of most foliage houseplants? (One way around this is to propagate leaves from the main plant, but I haven’t had much luck with this yet!)
#5: Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)
Maybe I’m biased because this is my favorite plant ever, but the ever-popular monstera deliciosa is surprisingly beginner-friendly. Unlike some other tropical plants, it doesn’t require super high humidity, and it’s not very picky about water or light. (But obviously, any plant living in low light won’t grow very much.)
It’s worth noting that juvenile monsteras have smaller, plain leaves without the signature splits. Also called fenestrations, leaves with splits and holes will start to grow as the plant matures.
I got my first monstera deliciosa about 1.5 years ago, and it’s made me so happy since. Knock on wood, I’ve never had any problems, and it has kept up a steady stream of new leaves.
Monstera Deliciosa Pros: The quickest way to make your home feel like a tropical jungle.
Monstera Deliciosa Cons: It can take up to a few years for a juvenile plant to develop split leaves. This plant can also grow to be several feet tall and wide, so you’ll need some space to accommodate its growth.
#6: Your Favorite Plant (Bonus!)
You probably already have a plant in mind here. The one that makes you so happy whenever you see it online. The one that’s the prettiest or coolest to you, even if you can’t explain why.
For me, this plant is rhaphidophora tetrasperma (pictured above). Often called the mini monstera, I’m obsessed with how gorgeous this plant is. So I bought the first one I found! I figured I could learn the care along the way. Over a year later, it’s still thriving.
The point is, don’t stop yourself from getting your dream plant just because it might be a little needier. You’ll be more motivated to do your research and care for it as well as you can because it’s special to you.
So there are my top 5 favorite beginner-friendly plants! If you’ve wanted to get into plants, I hope this has given you some inspiration for where to start.
What’s your favorite beginner-friendly plant? Which plant of yours is the easiest to care for? Let me know by leaving a comment!
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