Plot Twist: These Low-Maintenance Plants Thrive When Neglected

Updated 07/02/18
Low-Maintenance Plants
Courtesy of Amber Interiors

Plants make any room look better—just look at shelter magazine features for proof. But keeping your greenery alive is easier said than done. As a self-professed "black thumb" who has killed more than one succulents in her day, I'm saying this from first-hand experience. So which plants are resilient enough to survive days (maybe weeks) of neglect? I turned to a plant expert to find out.

"When shopping for low-maintenance plants, stick to the classics," suggests Madeline Sachs, in-house plant care expert at Greenery NYC. "There is a good reason your local garden store, online plant shop, or garden center carry many of the same plant varieties. The plants you see often—the most common ones—are species that have been cultivated to thrive in indoor environments. Going with tried-and-trusted varieties like Pothos, Sanseveria, or Aglaonema and personalizing it with a unique potting vessel or plant stand is a great way to ensure long-term lushness that matches your space."

Ahead Sachs lists all the low-maintenance plants your home needs—along with handy care tips. 

Zamioculcas Zamiifolia

Greenery NYC Desktop ZZ $61
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"Less is more when it comes to this plant. Water only when the soil is dry all the way through—every two weeks, give or take. It can tolerate pretty much any level of indirect light."

Schefflera Amate

Greenery NYC Schefflera Amate $390
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"This tropical beauty can grow up to eight feet tall indoors! It prefers medium to bright indirect light. Allow the soil to dry between waterings."

Neanthe Bella Palm

Greenery NYC Neanthe Bella Palm $57
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"Don't be fooled by the frilly leaves of this little palm. It’s more durable than most frilly plants. It prefers medium indirect light and to be watered once every seven to 10 days."

Pothos

Greenery NYC Pothos Jade $48
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"This plant is fast growing, durable, and its trailing leaves add a pop of green to any space. Place it in low to medium indirect light, and water when the soil begins to dry—approximately once a week."

Sansevieria Zeylanica

Greenery NYC Sansevieria Zeylanica $197
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"Also known as mother in law's tongue, this variety has slightly darker leaves than the typical snake plant. It likes to dry completely between waterings and prefers low to medium light."

Monstera Deliciosa

Greenery NYC Monstera Deliciosa $260
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"This is also called the 'split leaf' or 'Swiss cheese' plant. Water it when the top few inches of the soil are dry and keep it in medium to bright indirect light."

Bird of Paradise Plant

Greenery NYC Bird Of Paradise Plant $240
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"Known for its fan-like display of large tropical leaves, the bird of paradise can be found anywhere between three to eight feet tall. It prefers a high light environment and a good amount of water. Allow the top few inches of the soil to dry between waterings."

Rattlesnake Plant

Greenery NYC Rattlesnake Plant $55
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"Calathea Lancifolia is also known as a rattlesnake plant for the unique pattern of green and purple on the elongated leaves. Keep the soil slightly moist by watering once to twice a week, and place it in a spot where it will receive bright indirect light."

Bird's Nest Fern

Greenery NYC Bird's Nest Fern $49
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"Easier than most ferns, this bright green beauty likes medium to bright indirect light and watering once to twice a week. The soil should always be slightly moist."

Sansevieria Cylindrica

Greenery NYC Sansevieria Cylindrica $167
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"Here is another variety of snake plant. Its plump spear-like leaves resemble bamboo. Keep it in medium to bright indirect light, and let the soil get fully dry between waterings."

Aglaonema Silver Bay

Greenery NYC Aglaonema Silver Bay $190

"The Chinese evergreen comes in many shapes, sizes, and a plethora of patterns on its leaves. All the varieties are easy to maintain. It requires low to high indirect light. Let the soil dry almost completely between waterings."

Dracaena Lisa Cane

Greenery NYC Dracaena Lisa Cane $895
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"The leaves of the Dracaena Lisa Cane are
sleek, slender, and dark green. This is a great low to medium light tree option for your home or office. Water it once every seven to 10 days."

Next up: Rooting plants in water is the easiest way to bring greenery indoors.

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