The Best Low Maintenance Indoor Plants – Including Pet-Friendly House Plants
Plants for people who are busy – or just forgetful.
Plants are an easy way to add an aesthetic appeal to any living space and an element of nature inside the home. It can soften the look of any corner with hard furniture, and create a welcoming feel that lends an inviting energy to you and your guests.
It’s hard enough however to make time for ourselves, and with the other priorities including our families, jobs, and other obligations too many times we have unintentionally neglected house plants that in many cases, only need occasional TLC. If forgetfulness is the culprit for your history with unsuccessful houseplants, you can consider one of several apps that can help you track your plants health and remember when it’s time to give them water or fertilizer. For those who are looking to manage their house plants easily with minimal work or the help of an app, We’ve put together a list of several easy houseplants (including an expanded list for those with pets at the end of this post) that require a lower standard of maintenance and still provide a lot of love for your home.
The Snake Plant, also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue” comes from West Africa originally and is a hardy plant that prefers bright light, but can also grow well in lower lit conditions. It is drought-tolerant so therefore can go up to 2 weeks without water. One thing to note however for those with pets is that it can be toxic if ingested, so this may not be the best choice for those with fur-babies.
The Pothos Plant has a heart-shaped leaf with an origin of the French Polynesian Islands. This plant is suitable for a variety of environments including indirect, low or bright light. Because of its vine-like nature this plant can be hung in a basket, on a trellis, or be places along a tabletop or mantle to grow horizontally. A key with this plant is to make sure you allow the soil to completely dry between watering. Dogs and cats can also be sensitive to these plants, so if you do have pets it is recommended to make sure they are up high or out of reach.
Succulents, while requiring minimal water, do require a little more light than most houseplants, but there also is a fine line. In their natural environment, they are in a lot of sun, but too much sun can also overwhelm them. It’s suggested to place them by a bright South-facing window of the house. It’s best to allow water to fully be absorbed by the roots before the next follow up, and it’s also recommended to never overcrowd them, which is another common mistake that people tend to make with these plants. On the plus side, most succulents are non-toxic to animals so in most cases they can make safer houseplants for those with animals.
We know the benefits Aloe Vera provides to our skin, and the great news is, it can be just as beneficial as a house plant. While it is a form of succulent, aloe vera unlike many other succulents, seem to fare better even when placed in over-bright spaces. The plant originally came from Saudi Arabia but has also been found in tropical and subtropical environments worldwide. In addition to it’s well-known ability to repair skin, you may be surprised to learn it can also help soothe indigestion, keep produce fresh, act as a mouthwash, and lower blood sugar among many things. This plant can be ok for those with animals but only in mild doses if ingested, as any more can lead to upset stomach issues and irritation.
The Asparagus Fern is native to the Cape and Northern Provinces in South Africa and makes a great plant for hanging baskets with a full, fluffy appearance. It can sometimes spread out in a vine-like manner and also is capable of producing small flowers and/or berries. This plant works best in indirect, filtered light and not in direct sun, making it perfect under the shade of a larger plant or hanging outside of direct light. Asparagus Ferns require loose, well drained potting fertilizer particularly in the summer months and they also do well with light misting from a water bottle. This plant however is also on the list of plants not recommended for pets, so if you do have one it is recommended to be out of reach away from any possible access.
Lavender is a popular plant well-known for its fragrant purple flowers.While it’s origin goes back to Mediterranean areas, it has been known to grow in versatile climates worldwide. It performs well in raised, well-drained soil and does require an adequate amount of sun, so if you do opt for this plant it is best in a sunny window. Soil should only be slightly dry between watering and once a month fertilizing is recommended during the Summer months. There seems to be some contrast in opinion on whether or not lavender is toxic to dogs. Some sources site that in moderate levels this can be a safe plant, although other sources claim it might not be, and for cats it’s definitely not the ideal choice. Therefore with most of the other plants we’ve mentioned so far, we recommend distancing it from your pets.
Also known as “the airplane plant”, spider plants are a perennial plant that only require occasional water and indirect or moderate light. Their name is derived from tiny white flowers that are sometimes produced from long stems and look like tiny spiders. During the Summer months it is helpful to keep the soil moist and so it can be beneficial to mist them with water from time to time. It’s good to keep them fertilized up to twice a month during warmer seasons as well, but over-fertilization can also be bad. These plants do sometimes have a knack for getting brown spots, so it’s advised to avoid direct sunlight. A great quality of these plants is that they are non-toxic to dogs and cats, so they can make a great option for those with pets.
The fiddle leaf makes a very attractive house plant that can grow as high as 6ft. tall and last for several years. Their thick oval leaves have a veiny appearance that form a fiddle shape like their name suggests. These plants require only moderate light and do not need excess water. Draining them from any excess water is highly advised. This plant however is known to be toxic to dogs and cats so it would not be recommended if you do have these types of pets.
Additional recommendations for those with pets
While we included some of our personal favorite house plants that are fairly easy to maintain, the list can be even more expansive. If you’re looking for a more robust list, here are some other plants to consider, and all of these also are generally regarded as non-toxic plant solutions for those with pets. Reactions can still occur however even in moderate consumption of some designated “safe” plants so we urge anyone with animals to consider any plants to still exercise caution when mixing them in spaces where your animals can reach them.
- African Violet
- Boston Fern
- Money Tree
- Wax Plant
- Friendship Plant
- Tradescantia Zebrina
- Polka Dot Plant
- Mosaic Plant
- Cast Iron
- Christmas Cactus
- Prayer Plant
- Royal Velvet Plant
- Purple Waffle Plant