Any indoor grower knows you can never have too many houseplants. So why not add a new specimen to your collection? After all, you can always find room for one more cute succulent or lush tropical—and the rewarding feeling you get caring for these beauties is worth it. These are some of our favorite houseplants, prized for their verdant leaves, bright colors, hardy growth habits, elegant shapes, and ease care.
Looking for the perfect plant to sit serenely by your bathroom window? Pick up a maranta. With elegant, colorful leaves marked with stained glass-like patterns, it's one of the prettiest plants you can buy. This plant loves warm, high-humidity spaces and gentle, indirect light—making it ideal for a north-facing or east-facing windowsill in your steamy bathroom. Along with the calathea, its cousin, the maranta is one of the houseplants known as prayer plants for the way their leaves turn upward, not unlike praying hands, at night.
Colorful, hardy succulents are amazing plants—but only one, aloe vera, has the power to soothe your skin while adding charming desert vibes to your space. While there are several kinds of aloe that make beautiful houseplants—Tiger Tooth, Sunset, and Spiral are just a few varieties—only aloe vera possesses the power to soothe burns and skin irritation, thanks to its enzymes, antioxiants, vitamins A and C, and other anti-inflammatory properties. With proper care—lots of full sun, warm temperatures, and only occasional water—your aloe vera will thrive, and it will eventually grow its own pups, or baby plants for you to propagate and repot.
Avocados are amazing, whether you're serving them on toast or mashing them into guacamole. But did you know they also make beautiful houseplants? These tropical evergreen trees can be grown in containers indoors—and although they won't fruit that way, they're an excellent candidate to display in a warm, sunny window. Best of all, you can propagate your own super easily. Just save the pit from your next store-bought avocado and follow our guide to growing a new plant from seed.
Want to add color to your plant collection without having to wait for flowering plants to bloom? Pick up a croton, a compact tropical plant with broad, glossy leaves emblazoned with red, orange, yellow, cream, green, pink, and even black. There are a ton of interesting varieties with uniquely shaped or wavy leaves, and many include multiple color combinations growing on the same plant. Make sure your croton gets enough bright, indirect light or its vivid colors will fade—and keep it away from hot or cold drafts, which may cause leaf drop.
These tropicals in the Dieffenbachia family are known by their common name because of the way a toxin in their stem can cause burning, swelling, and pain in the mouth if chewed. While they're not ideal for homes with pets or children, dumb canes can add a jungle-like charm to any space. They do well in places with bright, indirect light and prefer moderate water and humidity. If you notice your dumb cane developing crispy edges on its leaves, place a humidifying tray under the plant or run a humidifier nearby to add moisture to the air.
Another member of the colorful plant club along with crotons and marantas, the triostar stromanthe is known for its long, lance-shaped leaves streaked in green, cream, and pink. It's also a compact tropical, suitable for smaller spaces, and won't grow more than two or three feet high indoors. Triostar stromanthe plants do best with filtered, indirect light. Choose a warm place that's not too dry or drafty (you can add moisture to the air in your space with a humifidying tray, a humidifier, or by grouping several humidity-loving plants together). Keep the soil evenly moist but not too soggy, and don't let it dry out. For a plant this eye-poppingly colorful, keeping it happy is pretty simple.
Also known as pancake plant, Chinese money plant, coin plant, or missionary plant, pilea pepermioides blew up in the houseplant world a few years ago, and it's been an on-trend plant ever since. No wonder, as it's cute, compact, and very easy to grow. The traditional way to get your hands on a pilea was to receive an offset, or baby plant, from a friend who grew it. Luckily, the pilea craze brought this adorable specimen into commercial greenhouses, and now you can buy them everywhere from garden centers to Trader Joe's. Treat pilea peperomioides almost the way you would a succulent—planting in a terra cotta pot, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings—but give it bright, indirect light rather than full sun. With proper care, your plant will be happy and popping off new plants for you to give to friends in no time.
Air plants look a bit like flowers, or tropical sea creatures—but they're actually in the same family as bromeliads. Plants in the Tillandsia genus are epiphytes, which means that in the wild, they grow in the branches of trees rather than in the soil, absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air via their exposed roots. Because of this, your air plants only need a dunk in filtered water once every couple of weeks, along with an occasional spritz with air plant fertilizer. They do best near a windowsill with bright, indirect light, and they look great displayed on a piece of driftwood or suspended in elegant wire hangers. When it's happy, your air plant will bloom with a colorful flower. Enjoy it while you can, because each air plant will only bloom once in its lifespan.
While it's not necessarily the best plant for beginners, few houseplants bring as much satisfaction to grow as the monstera. In addition to the fact that they're in vogue right now, these large jungle specimens make a beautiful statement in any room, whether on a side table or displayed as a floor plant. Its iconic leaves—which grow their signature cutouts when given sufficient light—give it the nickname Swiss cheese plant. Choose a warm, humid environment in which to display your monstera, ideally with bright, indirect light. Because they're epiphytes, these plants need support, such as a moss pole or a piece of wood, in their pot to give them something to climb on.
We prize some plants for their foliage, others for their colorful blooms, and some for their heady fragrance. Lavender has all three. Bring your plant indoors for the winter and keep it in the brightest, sunniest spot you can find. Use a potting soil formulated for vegetables, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings—since lavender is so hardy, overwatering is more dangerous than letting the plant get too dry. After danger of frost has passed in springtime, you can move it out to your porch, patio, or fire escape to catch full sun. With the right conditions, the plant will produce beautiful purple buds for you to harvest, dry, and use in recipes and body products.
Want a foolproof plant that can survive just about anywhere, in just about any conditions? Look no further than the ZZ plant, also known as Zamioculcas zamiifolia or aroid palm. This tropical perennial thrives on neglect, whether it's sitting on a desk in a low-light office or displayed near a brightly lit window. It can go weeks or months without water—in fact, overwatering is your biggest potential pitfall with this plant—and rewards growers with tall, elegant leaves studded with shiny, deep-green leaflets. Be sure to let it dry out between waterings, and repot it into a container one size larger if you see roots growing out of the hole in the bottom of its pot.