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The best low-maintenance indoor plants


Indoor plants have seen a huge renaissance over the last few years. From cafes and offices to benchtops and bedrooms, indoor greenery has become synonymous with style and design.

While houseplants will have your interior oozing charm and character, style is far from the only benefit you gain when decking out your home in greenery. The addition of indoor plants to your home can also improve air quality, reduce stress levels, grant you a better night sleep and boost your creativity.

So, if you're looking for a little plantspiration, here are 15 on-trend - not to mention low maintenance - flora accessories for your humble abode. Plus, how to keep them alive long enough to make your friends green with envy! Say no to fake plants!

Devil’s ivy — Epipremnum aureum

This fast-growing vine gets its nickname ‘devil’s ivy’ because it’s hardy, low maintenance and almost impossible to kill. It can survive in a light-filled room or near darkness, making it an excellent option for shady areas that need a pop of green. Depending on your preferred aesthetic, this carefree ivy is ideal in hanging baskets or on floating shelves that allow its lush, green leaves to tumble down the wall. As an added bonus, it is also a fantastic air purifier.

Also known as: Ceylon creeper, hunter’s robe, golden pothos, ivy arum, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen.

Light: Devil’s ivy flourishes pretty much anywhere, provided there is enough water. If kept in full shade, however, the leaves will lose their variegated look and turn a deeper shade of green.

Water: Allow the soil to dry between watering. You can tell by sticking your finger into the potting mix.

Size: The vines can grow up to 6 ft long inside, but will grow close to 40 ft long if planted outside!

Rubber plant — Ficus elastica

Whether you’re looking for a medium-height pot plant or an indoor statement tree, this impressive green grower has you covered. If you want your rubber tree to grow to great heights, start with a young tree as it will adjust to the indoor conditions better than more established plants. Being native to south-east Asia, rubber plants enjoy moisture and humidity, but can also weather less favourable conditions, such as air conditioning and winter cold snaps.

Also known as: Indian rubber tree, rubber fig, rubber bush.

Light: Rubber plants like bright, indirect light, so they’re perfect near a window that has a curtain or blind to protect it from some of the harsh sun.

Water: The most common issue when it comes to rubber plants is overwatering. In winter, it might only need watering once or twice a month. Watering can increase to weekly during the warmer seasons. If leaves are limp, this is a sign your ficus needs a drink, whereas browning or dropping leaves indicate overwatering. Also, remember to wipe over the leaves every month or so to ensure it is dust free and can breathe and absorb light properly.

Size: These plants can grow up to 10 ft tall; however, that's easy to keep under control with regular pruning.

Fiddle leaf fig— Ficus lyrata

If you had to name the ‘it’ plant of interiors over the last couple of years, it would be – hands down – the humble fiddle leaf fig. And it’s not hard to see why. With large dark green leaves, this lush indoor flora adds a beautiful, almost sculptural aesthetic to any space. It can grow to impressive heights, making it the ideal indoor plant candy.

Light: Fiddle leaf figs love living in sun-drenched spaces, but be careful not to place them in direct sun as the harsh rays can burn their delicate leaves. It turns out plants get sunburned, too.

Water: Hydration is vital when it comes to keeping your fiddle leaf healthy and happy. Instead of one cup of water at a time, we recommend taking them outside for a good drenching and allowing the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

Size: Just like it’s close relative, the rubber plant, it can grow up to 10 ft tall indoors without regular pruning.

Swiss cheese plant — Monstera deliciosa

If you like the fiddle leaf fig, you’ll probably love the equally aesthetic Swiss-cheese plant. The best thing about the Swiss-cheese plant as that you can go as striking or as subtle as you like; opting for a full-plant or, if you just want to add a bit of bling to your benchtop, only a few green leaves. Even a single frond in a vase can give a room an instant lush lift. And, for those of us who can’t quite seem to keep a plant alive, the Swiss-cheese has blossomed into the artistic realm, with myriad artworks and wall prints paying homage to its cheesy leaves. You can even find quilt covers and soft furnishings brandishing its iconic leaf.

Also known as: Fruit salad plant, ceriman, monsterio delicio, Mexican breadfruit.

Light: Bright, indirect sunlight is best. If you’re using fresh-cut leaves instead of flowers, these generally last anywhere from one to three weeks.

Water: Weekly, or whenever the top inch or so of soil feels dry (to test, stick your index finger in and see if there is any moisture). Look out for yellowing leaves as this is a sign of overwatering.

Size: Best to prune, unless you have high ceilings as it can grow up to 10 ft tall.

Snake plant — Dracaena trifasciata

Give your home a bit of a jungle vibe with a snake plant. It’s not just their striking silhouette that makes them an indoor plant lover’s dream. These stripy, sword-grass looking plants are very hardy and act as air purifiers, which makes them great for bedrooms, too.

Also known as: Sansevieria trifasciata, Saint George's sword, mother-in-law's tongue.

Light: Indirect light, although they can manage well in a variety of light conditions.

Water: If you allow the soil to dry between feeds, your snake plant will be pretty happy. In fact, it’ll probably flourish even if you forget to feed or water it (once every two-six weeks will do the trick). Just try to avoid wetting the leaves when watering and be sure to use a pot that has good drainage as this plant can be prone to rot.

Size: Trifasciata can grow up to 120 cm high. Other plants in this genus can be much taller, so make sure you ask at the store.

Sweetheart plant — Heartleaf philodendron

With shiny, dark green, heart-shaped leaves, this house of cards looking plant is a lovely addition to your indoor plantscape. Thankfully, the sweetheart plant is a lover, not a fighter, making it near impossible to kill. It also helps to purify the air and makes an excellent hanging plant.

Light: It is most fruitful in bright, dappled light, but can survive in medium and low light conditions.

Water: Give it a good soaking then wait for the soil to dry out before watering again. You'll know it's thirsty when the leaves start to turn a little yellow.

Size: This crawler will sprawl across your desk or bookshelf, or hang low from a basket as it can grow up to 6 feet long.

Boston fern — Nephrolepis exaltata

Boston ferns - or any ferns - have long been relegated to balconies and back porches, but now it’s time to let them spice up your indoor plant life. This fern is an excellent option for hanging greenery or to pop on the shelf as their fronds add a burst of vibrant, not to mention voluminous, colour. They’re also non-toxic for cats and dogs.

Also known as: sword fern, fishbone fern, bluebell fern, tuber ladder fern.

Light: These frilly little ferns love cool environments with high humidity and indirect light.

Water: Boston ferns like their soil to remain damp, so drip feed them water every few days (this also includes spraying the fronds) and give them a good soaking every month or so.

Size: The Boston fern can have a nice round shape which can grow to 3 ft tall and 3 ft wide.

Umbrella tree — Schefflera actinophylla

This droopy-leaved plant might be one of the most underrated indoor greenery gems, but we have a sneaking suspicion it won’t be for long. The low-maintenance umbrella plant, with its long, svelte leaf limbs, is a lovely, understated addition to your indoor plant jungle. It’s also a native to Australia, found up in the tropical north.

Also known as: Octopus tree, Australia umbrella tree.

Light: While they do best in bright, dappled light, umbrella plants can usually tolerate direct indoor light, too. Just bear in mind low light may stunt their growth.

Water: Umbrella trees like regular watering, but they also like to try out between feeds. They also don’t like having wet feet, so make sure there is adequate draining.

Size: Can grow up to 6 ft tall without regular pruning.

Peace lily — Spathiphyllum

Unlike traditional lilies, Peace lilies thrive indoors and are one of the hardiest and most forgiving plants. With lush dark green foliage, Peace lilies grow white blooms that act as a ‘hood’ to protect the buds. They look fantastic in any environment and are known to be one of the best air-purifying plants for your home. Plus, these plants are tough to kill, so they’re an excellent option for beginners.

Also known as: Spath, closet plants.

Light: Peace lilies enjoy medium to low light conditions. The more natural light they receive, the more likely they are to produce their prominent white flowers – however, don’t place them in direct sunlight.

Water: Peace lilies would much rather be underwatered than overwatered. Peace lilies will sag a little when thirsty, so just wait until you notice a slump before watering next.

Size: Most peace lilies will grow to about 3 ft high if the space allows.

Aloe vera

Famous for its medicinal uses, aloe vera is easy-to-grow and makes an impact when decorating your home. Despite looking like cacti, aloe is a succulent - characterised by thick fleshy leaves that store water. The Aloe plant can live in pretty much any room as it only needs a small pot. Due to its size, it's popular to store on mantles, desks, windowsills and other raised spaces.

Also known as: Burn aloe, first aid plant.

Light: Aloe prefer bright, indirect sunlight, so position it near a window outside of the sun’s rays.

Water: Let the soil go completely dry before watering again, and ensure the pot has good drainage as it can be prone to rot if left to soak.

Size: While it can grow up to 3 ft tall in the wild, when kept in a small pot at home it will likely stay under 1 ft.

Spider plant — Chlorophytum comosum

This fast-growing plant can add lighter shades of greens and whites to your home. The spider plant is ideal for beginner plant parents as it is an incredibly low-maintenance plant. And, despite its name, the Spider plant won’t actually bring spiders into your home – the Spider plant got its name from its spindly stems.

Also known as: St. Bernard's lily, ribbon plant, aeroplane plant, spider ivy.

Light: These plants can cope with morning or afternoon sun but should not cop the brunt of both. A few hours of sun per day is fine, likewise is a shaded spot. Darker areas may slow growth.

Water: Allow the Spider plant to dry out a little between watering, but don’t be afraid to give them a good drink. Make sure the soil drains well.

Size: Spider plants are great for smaller spaces as they only grow up to 60cm.

ZZ plant — Zamioculcas zamiifolia

A frequent feature on #houseplantsofinstagram, the ZZ plant is as tough as they come. Originating in Africa, the plant can tolerate drought, low-light conditions and neglect, so it’s another excellent choice for beginners or anyone who travels for work. It also has great air-purifying ability.

Light: Any indirect light conditions are adequate for the ZZ plant – just do not place it in direct sunlight.

Water: You only need to water when fully dry, and if you forget now and then, the ZZ plant will adapt.

Size: The ZZ plant can grow up to 4 ft tall in some areas, and around 3 ft wide.

Chinese evergreen — Aglaonema

With beautiful, patterned leaves, the Chinese evergreen is another tough, reliable houseplant. In some parts of Asia, there is a belief that these plants bring luck to the home in which they reside, so if you’ve encountered an unlucky patch in life, give your Feng Shui a boost and increase the positive energy in your home! They’re available in a variety of different colours and patterns so that you can find the right one for your style.

Also known as: Painted drop-tongue.

Light: Keep these in low to moderately lit areas, with as little direct light as possible.

Water: Water lightly and ensure that it drains well.

Size: These plants will grow up to around 3 ft tall. Their size makes them perfect for keeping on a tabletop.

Jade plant — Crassula ovata

Another symbol of good luck, Jade plants are known to help bring wealth into your home. These succulents feature glossy oblong leaves with thick wooden stems. The size of the pot in which it is planted will determine the size to which it grows. Once your succulent is established and healthy, you can make cuttings from the oval-shaped leaves.

Also known as: Money plant, money tree, lucky plant.

Light: Keep Jade plants in a well-lit space out of direct sunlight.

Water: During warmer months, keep the soil moist, but not wet. In winter, you can water on a monthly basis.

Size: Like most succulents, the Jade plant will only grow as big as the pot allows. Due to their size, they are a great plant to keep on a desk.

Air plants — Tillandsia genus

While Air plants may need a little more attention than other options on this list, we had to give them a special mention because of their unique nature. True to their name, these plants can grow out in the air – no soil needed. You can get creative when you display air plants – hang them in globes, place them in terrariums or scatter them around you home as you please! There are many variations of air plants within the tillandsia genus, and each has its own care routine. As a general guide:

Light: Like most indoor plants, keep them out of the sun, but in a location where they receive plenty of filtered light.

Water: Air plants are watered by soaking them in a bowl or sink for about 30 minutes, then resting them on a paper towel to dry.

For more interior design or style inspiration, check out our style gallery or lookbook themes, where you can save and organise all your favourite Metricon home designs.

Please note, some of the above plants are toxic to pets and small children. Before purchasing an indoor plant, speak to an expert to ensure it is safe for your environment.