Easy care plants you should buy: 6 varieties you’ll keep alive

a stylish living room full of easy care houseplants

Easy care plants? You’re probably thinking they don’t exist, right? Well, that’s not true. I’ve managed to keep these six types of houseplant alive for years, and I’ve got whatever the opposite of green fingers is. So I thought I’d tell you all about them.

Easy care plants aren’t just a myth, though you’d be forgiven for thinking they are. Despite our best efforts, half of all houseplants meet their demise each year, because it’s difficult keeping them alive. Water them too much or too little, or put them in the wrong place, and before long, they’ve wilted. And putting a crispy plant in the garden bin is always a sad event.

a living room full of easy care plants
Don’t these plants make this room look stunning? Photography: iStock.

But it’s worth persevering with houseplants. If you look at interiors lifestyle images, around half of them feature some gorgeous greenery. That’s because plants and flowers really elevate a space, make it look more natural and turn a house into a home.

And sure, you can buy artificial houseplants – you can even get some which are indistinguishable from the real thing at a glance. But there’s something really special about having living growing plants in your house, hence the current trend for living walls. Studies show real plants make you feel happier, and they also purify the air.

I get my easy care plants from Patch and highly recommend them, because their plants are beautiful and great value. Their customer service is too, and they’re also rated 4.9 stars out of 5 on TrustPilot. In addition, they give their plants names like Cassie and Howard, so they’re legends in my book.

But in the interests of balance, other plant suppliers are available. For example, we’ve also heard good things about The Stem, Hutch Houseplants, Happy Houseplants, Sproutl, Plants4Presents and Dobbies.

So here are six easy care plants you can buy today.

6 easy care plants to make your house look lush

Aspidistra

I’ve had aspidistra plants for years (or in Latin, ‘aspidistra elatiors’. They’re extremely hardy and their foliage is lovely, but they do like being misted every few days. They’re also not keen on strong direct sunlight, so put them in a mildly shady place and they’ll be happy. Water these easy care plants every so often, but do let their soil dry out totally first.

easy care plant aspidistra
Howard the aspidistra, from £20, Patch.
Zanzibar gem

Patch call this easy care plant Cassie, which is definitely a catchier name than the Latin zamioculcas zamiifolia. It’s also called a Zanzibar gem, as that’s where it hails from. As before, let its soil dry out between waterings. You should also feed it liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer. It doesn’t need much light but it does need some.

Zanzibar gem, £40, Plants4Presents.
Easy care plant zamioculcas zamiifolia
Available from The Stem from £10. Photography: iStock.
Golden pothos

Also known as ‘devil’s ivy’ and by the Latin name ‘epipremnum aureum’, this easy care plant is native to Malaysian jungles. Its pretty tendrils grow voluminously downwards, and Patch call it ‘Rapunzel’ because of this, as it lets down its hair. So it’s the perfect hanging plant. Keep yours moist and feed it liquid fertiliser monthly in spring or summer.

devil's ivy houseplant
Golden pothos, £7.99, Happy Houseplants. Photography: iStock.
Devil’s ivy marble queen, from £6.99, Sproutl.

More greenery to brighten your space

Corn plant

Patch call this easy care plant ‘Rick’, but it’s also called many other names. For example, ‘dracaena fragrans’, ‘massangeana’, Janet Craig, ‘dragon plant’, ‘dragon tree’ – and yes, ‘corn plant’. It only likes light watering, while it’s best to keep it out of strong direct sunlight. Spray it with a mister every few days, or alternatively, place it in a bathroom.

corn plants
Rick the corn plant, from £8, Patch.
Corn plants in the wild. Photography: iStock.
Snake plant

If I had to bet on you keeping one plant alive, it would be this one. Amusingly named ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ because it’s so spiky(!), it’s also known as ‘sansevieria’, ‘viper’s bowstring hemp’, and Patch call it ‘Susie’. It’s so ridiculously hardy that you can water it every few weeks all year round and less in winter. It likes light, so put it near a window.

Sansevieria trifasciata, 19cm, £29.99, Dobbies.
English ivy

Now, this is an interesting one. On the one hand, English ivy (also known as ‘common ivy’, ‘European ivy’ and ‘hedera helix’) is beautiful and stays alive with almost no input from you. On the other hand, it can be destructive to buildings if allowed to grow untamed and unchecked. It’s also toxic if eaten, so keep it well away from babies and pets.

English ivy, from £5.99, Dobbies.

So, are you ready to fill your home with houseplants?

There are, of course, lots of other easy care plants that aren’t in this feature. However, I’ve had experience of growing all of the above so can truthfully say that they’re a doddle to keep alive. If you’re sceptical, here’s my desk at work with Zanzibar gem, snake plant and (just in shot) devil’s ivy. They’re all very much alive and well and flourishing. However, the orchid is artificial because I couldn’t get an orchid to look that beautiful. Told you I didn’t have green fingers!

Ariane's desk at work
My desk at work. The plants look lovely against the green background.

But hey, you might be better at caring for houseplants than me. So if you’ve got greener fingers than I have, check out Irina’s feature on the best house plants for your kitchen.

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