14 Cheap Houseplants That Won't Break Your Budget

cheap plants dracaena

JC Designs

Creating your indoor garden oasis can bring you and your space so much joy, but it can also be a serious downer for your wallet. Some houseplants are incredibly affordable, while others...not so much.

So, let's take a look at 14 of the cheapest houseplants out there with the help of a few experts. Bonus: for plants, low cost often also means low maintenance.

Meet the Expert

  • Desiree Thomson is a horticulturist at Gardening Services London, a garden maintenance provider.
  • Jen Biswas is the founder of Paisley Plants, which she describes as "a place for people who love their plants but don't take them too seriously."
01 of 14

Snake Plant

cheap plants snake plant

Black and Bloom

  • Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Sandy and fast-draining
  • Soil pH: 5.5-7.5

Snake plants, AKA mother-in-law's-tongue, are an easy and affordable houseplant pick. "If you’re someone who often forgets to water your plants, this one is for you. It does great even when neglected," Biswas says.

But don't set out to neglect it—for the best outcome, water your snake plant only when the soil is totally dry (every few months in the winter and every three to four weeks in the summer) and keep it out of direct sunlight.

02 of 14

Philodendron

cheap plants philodendron

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Philodendron
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Loamy and fast-draining
  • Soil pH: 5.6-7.5

Big and beautiful green leaves characterize philodendrons. Known for their air-purifying qualities, these fast-growing plants come in vining and climbing varieties. To take care of your philodendron, keep it moist and somewhere sunny but out of direct sunlight.

Consider placing your philodendron outside for a few hours during the warmer part of the year to boost its growth.

03 of 14

Peace Lily

peace lily cheap plants

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Spathiphyllum
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight
  • Soil Type: Peat-based potting mix
  • Soil pH: 5.8-7.5

The dramatic blooms of the peace lily make it the ideal houseplant, and it's widely available at many nurseries, ensuring that you're not paying a pretty penny for it being hard to find. Peace lilies like moist but not soggy soil and bright, filtered light.

"It can thrive well even in a windowless room or fluorescent light, which makes them the perfect bathroom or home office plant," Thomson says. Be careful not to place a peace lily in a cold and drafty spot, as its health will start to decline in cooler spaces.

04 of 14

Pothos

cheap plants pothos

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full sun
  • Soil Type: Moist and well-drained
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.5

Pothos is a low-cost trailing plant that will add the perfect pop of green anywhere it goes. It does well in nearly any environment, and requires little maintenance. Additionally, one affordable pothos can create plenty of other smaller pothos down the road, as "they are incredibly easy to propagate," Biswas says.

05 of 14

Bamboo Palm

cheap plants bamboo palm

Cottage and Sea

  • Botanical Name: Chamaedorea seifrizii
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist and well-drained
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5

While not actually bamboo of any sort, the bamboo palm is nonetheless a wonderful houseplant. It can grow big and bushy, making it an ideal statement plant for a tropical feel. It's also listed as one of NASA's clean air plant varieties. "Because of its big size, they capable of purifying a lot of air and eliminating toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene," Thomson says.

To take care of your bamboo palm, keep it somewhere out of direct sunlight and water it once the top layer of soil is dry. Also, the bamboo palm is dog and cat-friendly.

06 of 14

Bulbous Air Plant

cheap plants bulbous air plant

Turquoise and Tobacco

  • Botanical Name: Tillandsia bulbosa
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight to partial shade
  • Soil Type: N/A
  • Soil pH: N/A

Air plants have become the newest 'it plant,' and for good reason. This unique-looking flora only requires a few easy waterings a week, and there is no soil to stress over or maintain. Bulbous air plants are some of the most common and affordable air plants, and they're especially easy to grow.

To take care of your air plant, Biswas recommends giving your air plants a bath once a week or spraying them down a few times a week to keep them happy and healthy.

07 of 14

Aloe Vera

cheap plants aloe vera

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis miller
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight
  • Soil Type: Sandy
  • Soil pH: 7.0-8.5

Though aloe vera is more of a succulent than a houseplant, it's an especially fast-growing one, so it's houseplant-esque enough for us. You can often find aloe vera at nurseries and specialty grocery stores, and its thick green stalks produce the aloe our sunburnt skins knows and loves so well.

A well-drained growing environment is crucial for aloe vera, and it only needs water in the warmer months when its soil has dried out completely.

08 of 14

Chinese Money Plant

chinese money plant cheap plants

Plant Roost

  • Botanical Name: Pilea peperomioides 
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight
  • Soil Type: Well-draining
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Deriving its name from its coin-shaped leaves and Chinese origins, the Chinese money plant is often grown for its unique foliage. It propagates easily, meaning that when you buy one plant, you're really buying countless (future) money plants.

To care for your Chinese money plant, keep it out of direct sunlight and water when the leaves look droopy.

09 of 14

Dracaena

cheap plants dracaena

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  • Botanical Name: Dracaena
  • Sun Exposure: Bright filtered light
  • Soil Type: Peat-based potting soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0-6.5

This tall, woody tropical beauty can reach heights of up to 6 feet indoors depending on growing conditions. Speaking of growing conditions, the dracaena loves indirect sunlight and moist soil, and according to Thomson, it doesn't mind being switched up a little bit.

"You can always experiment and change [the dracaena's] location because of its high adaptability to condition changes," she says.

10 of 14

ZZ Plants

cheap plants zz plant

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  • Botanical Name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight
  • Soil Type: Well-draining
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

The ZZ plant: fun to say, easy to maintain. These forgiving and affordable houseplants are drought-tolerant, meaning they store water in rhizomes under the soil. ZZ plants also have naturally shiny leaves that provide a unique look to any space.

To maintain ZZ plants, Biswas recommends placing them in a spot with moderate to low sunlight and good watering every couple of weeks.

11 of 14

Spider Plant

cheap plants spider plant

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  • Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum 
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight to partial shade
  • Soil Type: Loamy and well-drained
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.2

The spider plant is one of the most popular houseplants around—you can often find it for less than $10 at your local nursery and it's incredibly low-maintenance. The bright and grassy plant is air-purifying and likes lightly moist soil and a little bit of sunshine.

Says Thomson of its care: "It is one of the best low-maintenance plants one can have. Spider plants prefer bright light but will also flourish in partial shade. Don’t forget to keep its soil moist and it will thrive successfully."

12 of 14

Rubber Plants

cheap plants rubber plant

Black and Blooms

  • Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist and well-draining
  • Soil pH: 5.5-7.0

Rubber plants are so affordable that you can find them at IKEA. Originally hailing from southeast Asia, the rubber plant can grow up to 100 ft tall in its native environment. Inside, however, rubber plants can reach a much less daunting height (but no less impressive) of 6-10 ft.

And if you're not looking for a houseplant that's as tall as you, don't worry: "Keeping rubber plants in smaller pots will contain their size," Biswas says.

Rubber plants, like dracaena, grow up, not out, so you may need to provide some vertical support (like a dowel) as they grow.

13 of 14

Bird's Nest Fern

birds nest fern cheap plants

Turquoise and Tobacco

  • Botanical Name: Asplenium nidus
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full shade
  • Soil Type: Moist and well-drained
  • Soil pH: 5.0-5.5

The bird's nest fern is a smaller fern that loves shady and humid environments. "These leafy plants love the extra moisture, that's why many people place them in their bathroom," Thomson says. As long as your bathroom has some natural light, they'll do well there or in a similarly humid environment.

14 of 14

English Ivy

english ivy cheap plants

Getty Images/Isabela Velea + EyeEm

  • Botanical Name: Hedera helix 
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect to full sunlight
  • Soil Type: Moist and well-draining
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5

Though considered invasive in much of the US, when grown indoors, English ivy can be a beautiful vining plant that adds a touch of cozy cottage charm. English ivy prefers moist environments and will need to be misted regularly during the cooler and dryer months. Don't let the soil dry out between waterings and provide it with something to climb.

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