Houseplants are a little like rabbits. They have a tendency to multiply really quickly. You might bring home a little spider plant cutting to pop in some soil, and before you know it, you have a full-on windowsill garden.
No judgment. We’ve all been there.
But then you hit a snag. Your first snake plant, your cute little cactus, your squishy succulent, those plants were all easy to care for. Some light, not too much water, and they pretty much took care of themselves. When you start looking to expand your collection, that’s when things get more difficult. If you’re the kind of person who is excited about checking the PH levels of water and setting up hydroponic lamps for your rare tropical plants, that’s amazing. Continue on in good health. But for the rest of us (ahem) lazier plant owners, here are a few rare plants that will look amazing on your shelf but aren’t too fussy to care for.
Photo by Firn, Shutterstock
There are hundreds of types of philodendron plants, and the vast majority are incredibly easy to care for. They need bright, indirect light, and you can let the soil dry out almost completely between waterings. The plants are also incredibly adaptable, so you can let the plant grow and trail on its own or direct it up a trellis. Most philodendrons also grow large leaves that look stunning, letting you take all the Instagram clout without breaking your back.
Photo by Sirichai Rattanaphanakul, Shutterstock
Hoya is a tropical plant, but don’t let that throw you off. It is supremely easy to care for, and it can reward you with beautiful flowers with just a little bit of effort. Hoyas are sometimes called wax plants, because they produce dark green, waxy leaves and a lovely sweet scent. Hoyas should always have good drainage in their pots, as they’re sensitive to overwatering, but they do like to be on a schedule. Once you give them some bright light and find a watering routine, these guys will live forever.
Photo by Wade Machin, Shutterstock
Now we’re talking. Pitcher plants are eye-catching, with colorful leaves that form tubes known as pitfall traps. Traps? That’s right, pitcher plants are carnivorous. These plants won’t just look cool, they’ll also help you get rid of unwanted flies and bugs that wander into your space. Even though they look finicky, pitchers are fairly adaptable to indoor environments. Most need bright light, and the soil should be kept moist but not drenched. You can also hand-feed a dried insect into their trap every few weeks, if they haven’t caught any themselves.
Photo by luca85, Shutterstock
Talk about easy — these plants don’t even need soil. Out in nature, air plants usually grow on tree branches, and they develop thin leaves that spike out from the center of the plant. For indoor gardens, air plants do well in small glass terrariums, but they can also be placed nearly anywhere. They need indirect light and love a warm temperature. Keep them out of direct sun but near a window and they’ll be happy. As for watering, once a week or so, place the plant in a bowl or jar with enough water to submerge them. Leave them alone to soak for about 20 minutes, then let the plant drain on a towel before it goes back to its home. Voila!
Photo by DimaBerlin, Shutterstock
Also known as the Chinese money plant, pilea are originally from southwestern China. The plant is supposed to bring good luck, and it got its nickname because its leaves look like large coins. Now, they’re grown all over the world, as they’re easy to care for and look great. They sprout round, flat leaves off of a central core, and they tend to stack on top of each other. Keep these guys out of direct sunlight or their leaves could get scorched. The soil also needs to dry out in between waterings, so this is a perfect plant if you don’t want to make the rounds with a watering can every day. Their large leaves can get a little dusty, so every once in a while, give them a wipe down with a wet cloth and you’re good to go.