Green Thumb 101: These Easy Houseplants Are the Hardest to Accidentally Kill

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
In an ideal world, my apartment would be filled with lush, thriving, beautiful plants. In the real world, it's more like a botanical graveyard. I'll admit it. Despite my best intentions, I'm a serial succulent killer. But I'm not ready to give up on my plant lady aspirations, which is why, every time I go to buy a new plant, I now always ask which one's the hardest to kill. (That phrasing makes it sound like I'm embarking on some sort of plant-based The Most Dangerous Game stuff, but really I just need something resilient.)

Miraculously, by doing this, I've managed to not kill several plants. Is it due to the newfound sense of responsibility I've gained from living on my own for the first time? Or because I lucked out and ended up with some really hearty plants? Definitely the latter, but who cares, because my apartment is now looking more like the botanical oasis I had planned, not the plant version of Sid's bedroom in Toy Story.

There are four easy houseplants in particular that pros consider to be the hardest to accidentally kill. Keep reading to find out what they are and get a few tips from a green thumb on caring for each.

easy houseplants
Photo: Getty Images/Anika Salsera

Asparagus fern

This was the very first plant I brought into my apartment, and miraculously it's still alive. I can't take full credit for this, though—according to Greg Salmeri, the owner of Rolling Greens, these plants thrive best when they have lots of light. But luckily, he also says they can adjust to the indoors. As long as you keep them watered in addition to light, they're pretty laid back—though he does note that they should be repotted once a year.

easy houseplants
Photo: Getty Images/Tony Moow

Spider plant

Salmeri says these plants are happiest when they're hanging. "They want to hang because they put their offspring on those long stems. Cut them off and they'll sprout for you to create a new plant," he explains. Also, these plants need a medium to high amount of water—meaning, check the soil with your fingers once a week. If it's dry, your spider plant is thirsty, he says. (That's true for most houseplants as well.)

easy houseplants
Photo: Getty Images/My Keyruna

Heart leaf philodendron

Salmeri tells me that these plants are tough, and I had a fleeting thought that, wow, maybe I do actually have a green thumb because I had managed to keep one of them alive. That dream was shattered when he explained that what he meant was that they were resilient and hard to kill. His exact words: "They can take a lot of abuse." They like-a medium-low to medium-high light and can survive if you forget to water them on occasion. But really, you should check the soil every week, and water them when it feels dry. In fact, most plants in the philodendron species are hearty houseplants, Salmeri says.

easy houseplants
Photo: Getty Images/Elena Leonova


This is another plant type that can survive a few forgotten watering session, according to Salmeri says. He adds that you can get them in any size, and they'll stay with you for years. (If you have pets, this is probably not the plant for you, however—it's poisonous to cats and dogs.)

Now that we're all super knowledgeable about plants, it's time to take this plant party to the bathroom. (That sounded way better in my head.) These are the best bathroom plants. Also, here are the plants to buy if you have a natural light deficiency in your home.

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