9 indoor plants that are easy to care for

Refresh your home with one (or all) of these easy-care indoor plants. – by Lauren Williamson, Tahni Mesann

If you’ve ever looked around a room and thought it just needed something extra, the missing ingredient could very well be an indoor plant. Indoor plants really are the best – and not just when it comes to making a house feel like a home. Studies have shown time and time again that plants can boost wellbeing, purify the air and even prevent snoring! 

Uncertain about which indoor plant is best for your home? First, take inspiration from the spot in your home you’d like to fill. Does it receive plenty of natural light? Or is it humid, like a bathroom? Perhaps you’re styling a shelf and want a plant that will trail down elegantly. 

Next, consider your lifestyle. Do you need a plant that you can ‘set and forget’? Or would you prefer the challenge of a pernickety plant that likes every condition just so? 

Now it’s time to peruse these 9 easy care indoor plants and find the one that is best suited to your home. 

1. Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)

There’s no doubt you’ve seen the “swiss cheese plant” all over Pinterest as they’re one of the most popular indoor plants. Monstera plants prefer a warm climate away from direct sunlight and they benefit from regular cleaning with a soft, damp cloth.

It’s important to let the top 4cm of soil dry out between waterings as over-watering may lead to root rot. Signs of root rot include yellowing or wilting leaves.

Monsteras should enjoy conditions that are fairly humid, so avoid placing them near air vents or any area with artificial heating or cooling. To keep potted monsteras in tip-top condition, ensure you feed them a good quality indoor plant fertiliser in spring and summer.

Monsteras also like to climb, so provide them with some kind of stake or trellis for support.

Monstera deliciosa indoor plant on bar table
Photography: Mindi Cooke

2. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Devil’s ivy, also known as golden pothos or pothos, is a fast-growing vine that is very forgiving to grow. It is suited to almost any position in the house, whether potted in a hanging basket or placed in glass vase.

The leaves are waxy, heart shaped and colouring depends on cultivar – Wilcoxii are a mottled white and green, Marble Queen have more of a cream and grayish-green colouring, Neon is a shade of bright, light greeny-yellow and Tricolor have green leaves with yellow, light green and cream dappling.

They’re highly drought tolerant and don’t require regular fertilisation. Water Devil’s Ivy deeply once a week and cut back to every other week in winter. Spring and summer is the best time to prune and propagate devil’s ivy, placing the cuttings in glass jars of water to encourage rooting.

Devil's ivy indoor plant trailing down a shelf in a Scandi-style living room
Photography: John Downs | Styling : Kylie Jackes

3. Imperial bromeliad (Alcantarea imperialis ‘rubra’)

Don’t be intimidated by the Bromeliad. Although once regarded as a plant for the advanced gardener, these beautifully coloured rosette-forming perennials make for easy, low maintenance houseplants.

When indoors, they need medium to bright light (but not direct sunlight) and do well in shallow pots with fast drainage. You can water the plant by filling the central cup (otherwise known as the tank) of the plant once a week during the warmer months and less during winter.

Make sure you flush it on a regular basis to prevent water stagnation. As they are not heavy feeders, you can drop a slow-release fertiliser into the cup of the plant or mix it into the soil, once a season.

4. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

Spathiphyllum, commonly known as the Peace Lily, has long been a popular house and office plant. It was even included in NASA’s list of the best air purifying plants.

It has glossy, dark green foliage and stunning white flowers, usually growing between 45 to 65 centimetres tall. These tropical plants thrive in bright, indirect light, they can handle low light but that may cause them to bloom poorly. 

A peace lily will usually only need to be watered and misted once a week in warmer months, less often in winter. They hate soggy or wet soil and they’re prone to root rot so let the plants dry outbetween waterings.

Be sure to wipe down the foliage to prevent dust from building up. Make sure it is kept away from pets or children who may be tempted to chew it. Peace lily is a poisonous plant that may cause severe discomfort if ingested.

Monochrome living room with potted peace lily in the corner
Photography: Helen Ward

5. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)

Another low maintenance houseplant is the Snake Plant, otherwise known as mother-in-law’s tongue. Until 2017, the plant was also known as the Sanseveiera trifasciata.

This upright, succulent plant can grow up to two metres and is extremely hardy. It takes a lot to kill it, so this is another great option for those who tend to neglect their plants. It should be placed in bright light with some direct sun for several hours a day. It will tolerate shade, however the plant will take longer to grow.

Moderate water is required, with the root ball remaining slightly damp in summer, but dryer in winter to avoid rotting. Don’t overwater, as the plant would prefer to be too dry than too damp.

6. Zanzibar Gem (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

This stunning plant not only looks great, it has been hailed as being ‘almost indestructible’ and is perfect for those who tend to neglect their plants, as it is drought resistant. Native to Africa, it has deep, green glossy leaves and is able to survive a long period without water.

The reason the Zanzibar Gem is so hardy is due to its ability to store water in its potato-like tuber. To care for your Zanzibar Gem, don’t over-water it or sit it in water. In fact it thrives on neglect and prefers you don’t water it too often. Once a month is enough.

It’s best placed in a bright to light shaded area, however it will tolerate a shady spot, but will just take longer to grow. Keep it out of direct sunlight as the plant can burn. You can add a slow-release fertiliser in spring and re-pot if you notice the root starting to bulge.

Timber and black bathroom with hanging potted zanzibar gem plants
Photograpy: Marnie Hawson

7. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum)

These popular indoor plants originally from Columbia, feature long, dark-green leathery leaves and produce beautiful, red, pink and white heart-shaped ‘flowers’ that can last for weeks. The ‘flowers’ are actually spathes, which are a leaf-like bract that surrounds a cylindrical spike.

In order for the plant to bloom, it requires bright light (but not direct sun). It can grow up to 45cm high and soil needs to be kept evenly moist from spring to autumn and slightly drier in winter.

The Anthurium benefits from being fertilised every two weeks in spring and summer with a high-phosphorus liquid fertiliser.

8. Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)

If you’re prepared to give a maidenhair fern the TLC it needs then it can make a beautiful addition to your home. They have feathery, light green leaves with soft shiny stems and they make a great hanging plant. Not only do they look fragile, maidenhair ferns truly are the goldilocks of the plant world when it comes to care instructions.

They require not too much light, but not too little, and are the kind of plant that does well in a bathroom setting. To DIY a rainforest environment, place a saucer filled with pebbles beneath the potted plant. Then, fill the saucer with water to just below the top of the pebbles and as the water evaporates, it creates a humid microclimate around the plant. 

mid century inspred living room with maidenhair fern on the coffee table
Photography: Simon Whitbread

9. Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

With shiny leaves in shades of dark green and burgundy, the rubber plant or rubber fig is très on trend when it comes to house plants. It can either stay small in a little pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree.

It’s a hardy, temperature-resilient option that likes bright, indirect light with weekly watering in warmer seasons and in colder seasons it can survive on monthly or fortnightly watering. 

Coastal living room with rubber tree in corner
Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Jessica Bellef

Try these:

Indoor plant care hamper

Plant lover hamper, $149.95, hardtofind

Set yourself up for success as a new plant parent by investing in indoor plant care accessories. This hamper from hardtofind includes all the basics you’ll need including: indoor plant food, a botanical candle, seaweed tonic and a notepad that will help you remember which plants need watering and when!

Metal indoor plant pot

‘Pidestall’ planter in grey, $119 (Small), RJ Living

Make your indoor plants the star of the show by selecting a sleek and understated planter. Made from powder-coated metal, this planter is easy to clean and available in three colours: white, grey and taupe.

Indoor plant cleaning gloves

Leaf cleaning gloves, $34.99, We The Wild

Dusting houseplants is a tedious but necessary chore that will keep your plants happy and healthy. Make the job a little bit easier by donning this special pair of microfibre gloves that will shine, clean and enhance the look of leaves. Machine washable. 

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