Here at STYLE CURATOR HQ we love indoor plants… trouble is, we’re not that great at keeping them alive!
Some of our recent victims include that pretty lace fern, a chili plant and a CACTUS! Yes, seems we can even kill a cactus, ha!
We have tried and tested most of the plants on our top 20 hard to kill indoor plants list so we’re pretty confident even someone with a black thumb could keep them alive.
Top 20 hard to kill indoor plants
1. String of pearls
This oh-so-pretty succulent gets its name from its pearl-like strands that can become large and round like marbles. The trick to keeping this beauty alive is to pot it in soil that drains well, such as cactus soil that has a sandy consistency, and to keep it out of direct sunlight. String of pearls likes to dry out completely in between waters so be sure not to overwater it!
2. Peace lily
Gina’s peace lily has been going strong for over 6 years and the best thing about this plant is it shows you when it needs water (all the arms of it just flop down) and once you give it water, it’s back to being A-OK.
Don’t worry if it looks like it has well and truly died with every single leaf turning brown, this plant has a way of rising from the ashes. Simply remove all the dead leaves (you may be looking at nothing but dirt) and just water well once a week — there’s a good chance you’ll see new leaves coming up in just a couple of weeks.
3. Golden pothos
This attractive, durable and easy-to-grow vine plant loves bright, indirect sunlight and can withstand high temperatures. They’re also said to be among the best indoor plants for air purification.
4. Spider plant
Possibly the hardiest indoor plant on the list, you’ll love how forgiving the spider plant is. It can grow in a wide range of conditions and suffers from few problem, making it ideal for beginner gardeners. The only things to look out for with a spider plant is not to overwater — too much water can lead to root rot and it likes to dry out completely in between watering — and to place in well-drained soil.
5. Mother-in-law’s tongue
This beautiful, sculptural plant requires minimal maintenance. Simply water when soil is dry and transplant every year or two, when it has outgrown its pot. Like most of the plants on this list, you also need to watch out for overwatering which can drown the plant. When the plant is large enough, you can also propagate it by pulling away a clump and placing it in a new pot.
Aloe is one of our fave hard to kill indoor plants and has too many health benefits to name, such as helping with insomnia and air purification. It’s hardy and beautiful and should be treated it in the same way as any cactus plant — keep watering to a minimum and ensure there are plenty of drainage holes in the pot.
Echeverias is the succulent on our desk below and not only is it still going strong, we’ve been able to take cuttings and propagate it many times.
8. Ponytail palm
Over recent years, this plant has gained popularity as an indoor plant. With sleek curly leaves and bulb-like trunk, it grows happily in most conditions. Keep watering to a minimum during winter and fertilise once or twice a year to keep it happy and healthy.
9. Ox tongue
This aloe-like succulent has been crossed many times over the years so there is a wide range of unusual varieties now available. This plant prefers dryer conditions and can form a fungal infection in high humidity but otherwise it’s a robust plant that can tolerate more shade than most succulents, making it ideal for indoors.
10. Zebra haworthia
A small but striking plant that requires minimal care. It can store water in its leaves so will survive with even less frequent watering than most succulent plants. It can also withstand full, direct sunlight.
11. Jade plant
The other week we used a jade plant in our DIY mini moss ball tutorial (shown below) and it is one super hardy plant!
It can tolerate a lot, including infrequent watering and strong sun, and is said to be a lucky tree or money tree 🙂
For a mega dose of botanical vibes, you can’t look past this stunning plant with large, glossy leaves. It’s easy to care for this plant if you look for the signs — if the leaves turn yellow, it’s a sign it’s getting too much sunlight. Also, test the soil before watering as the top 2-5cms should be dry before watering again.
13. Prayer plant
You also need to keep a bit of an eye on the Prayer plant as it doesn’t cope in direct sunlight and benefits from an all-purpose fertiliser feed every month. This minimal upkeep is worth it for those striking leaves #hearteyes.
14. String of hearts
Another of our favourite plants is this dainty vine succulent. String of hearts can grow long, fine strands up to several metres long with delicate heart-shaped leaves. This plant will enjoy the sunniest room of your home.
15. Fiddle leaf fig
It wasn’t so long ago that this was the hottest trending indoor plant and while others have now rivalled its position, it’s still a beautiful and low-maintenance plant — provided you know a few simple tips to care for it. Keep your fig in a bright room but out of direct sunlight or the leaves will turn brown and shrivel. Also, avoid over watering (it can go almost all winter without any water) as it cannot tolerate overwatering.
If your fig looks like it’s dead, you may be able to resuscitate it by giving it a home in your bathroom for a few months. The lighting and humidity of a bathroom works wonders and brought our fiddle back to life.
16. Umbrella plant
A bit of an under-appreciated house plant is the umbrella plant and we think it’s due for its time in the limelight soon! This plant can grow to several metres tall but there is also a dwarf variety available. Like most of the plants on this list, it prefers dry soil to wet so go easy on watering. It doesn’t require fertilising but you can give it some to promote growth.
17. Burro tail
Also known as ‘Donkey tail’ this is one cool looking succulent that grows happily in a pot but looks especially great and thrives in a hanging planter. Caring for this plant is easy peasy, simply keep it out of harsh sunlight (some direct morning or afternoon sun is ok), make sure the pot and soil offer good drainage, and give it a good dose of plant food at least once a year. A healthy and happy Burro tail can flower with a spectacular cluster of small reddish flowers.
One of the most common indoor plants and for good reason – it’s easy to care for, has impressive spiky tropical foliage, and helps to purify air. This plant thrives in warmer conditions and prefers lower light conditions.
19. Rubber plant
Also known as a Ficus elastica, this large indoor plant has beautiful deep green glossy leaves and is easy to keep alive when you know how.
Position the plant in a room where it gets bright light but not direct sunlight. When it comes to watering, you can water it 1-2 times a week during summer months and only 1-2 times a month during winter months. It’s also a good idea to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to avoid dust build up — your plant will love it and it will look more beautiful too.
20. English ivy
Although considered a pest in some regions (as it can grow wild in nature and threaten other species), it cannot do any harm in a pot in your home. In fact, it actually does a great job at improving air quality in your home. This evergreen vine requires part shade and well-drained soil.
If you love these plant suggestions, you might like to also check out the Top 10 trending indoor plants right NOW here.
Many diseases that kill plants can also be reduced by growing plants in water, here’s how!
Be sure to ‘Pin’ the graphic at the start of this article to your Pinterest account so you can easily find this list of hard to kill indoor plants 😉
What’s your go-to indoor plant? Have you discovered other hard to kill indoor plants? Tell us in the comments below!
This article was originally published in June 2015 but was updated with new information and images.