by Team Henné <3 / 3.25.22

11 of the Easiest Plants To Keep Alive

Spring (aka one of our favorite seasons) has just begun, and it’s the perfect reminder to get some new plants for the interior and/or exterior of your home. So what plants should you get? Some people seem to be born with a green thumb and plants, flowers and herbs love to thrive and stay alive around them. For the rest of us out there, our thumbs are closer to black, and despite our best efforts, plants just love to wilt and die when we’re around (e.g. our founder Laura who has a tendency to overwater plants).

Fear not, our non-green thumbed friends! We’ve done our research and have selected 11 plants that are super easy to keep alive and will truly require some legit effort to attempt to kill. We’ve also added botanical names below each plant so you can find them more easily in certain stores as well as toxicity notes (whether it’s cat/dog safe or not).

1. Snake Plant

Botanical name: Dracaena trifasciata
Common name: Mother-in-law's tongue
Cat/dog safe: No

snake plant

Snake plants sound like they might be tricky to grow, but the reality is that they almost thrive the most when they’re simply being ignored. These evergreen perennials have thick, waxy, green banded leaves that commonly feature a yellow border. Snake plants can reach a height range of anywhere from 8 inches to 12 feet tall, depending on the species.

These lovely low-maintenance plants do an excellent job of purifying the air by removing toxins, such as formaldehyde and benzene, from your home. According to feng shui, snake plants can also help bring positive and healing energy into your home.

Snake plants are your plant BFF if you travel often because they can be neglected for weeks at a time and can even go for a whole month without water, so don’t overdo it with the watering (we’re looking at you, Laura). Another great feature of the snake plant is that even after being neglected, their beautiful leaves will still hold their architectural shape, keeping them fresh looking.

If you already have a snake plant and need to repot it, it’s best to do this in the spring and place it in a spot around the house that has partial shade.

2. Jade Plant

Botanical name: Crassula ovata
Cat/dog safe: No

jade plant

This cute succulent is native to South Africa and has the ability to live a very long time, sometimes for generations. The jade plant has luscious oval-shaped leaves and thick woody stems that resemble tiny tree trunks. Jade plants were once thought to bring good luck to their owners, so they were often given as housewarming gifts.

It’s best to position jade plants in a sunny window because they need full sun exposure. Water them only when the soil feels dry, as they can store water in the leaves and can actually survive up to a month without watering.

3. Philodendron

Botanical name: Philodendron bipinnatifidum
Cat/dog safe: No


We tried to find a common name for this plant that’s easier to pronounce, but it seems like it is indeed called philodendron (pronounced fi-luh-den-druhn), so let’s just go with it! Native to Central and South America, philodendrons are popular indoor hanging plants that do well all year round. These fast growing plants can grow up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide, depending on the species, but most indoor plants are smaller. They need partial sun exposure and very little watering - no more than once per week - and prefer to be on the dry side, which means they can survive the weeks that you forget to water them (which happens more often than we’d like to admit).

4. Spider Plant

Botanical name: Chlorophytum comosum
Common names: Ribbon plant, spider ivy
Cat/dog safe: Yes

spider plant

While we’re not a fan of spiders, we are huge fans of spider plants! Native to Africa, these plants can grow between 1-2 feet tall and wide. Their slender, gently arching green leaves are usually striped with white or ivory. If you purchased one spider plant and want to grow more, you’re in luck. The spider plant’s fast-growing shoots produce flowers, which can then be rooted in potting soil for more snake plants.

Stick to well-lit spots when placing them in your home and water weekly for perfectly content spider plants. Check the soil before you water each week though; if it’s still moist, then you can skip watering and wait a few more days. Overwatering is still worse than the occasional drier soil.

5. Rubber Plant

Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
Cat/dog safe: No

rubber plant

Rubber trees can measure over 100 feet tall in their native Asia, but the house plant versions are thankfully smaller and more manageable. These adorable plants have become increasingly popular for the home because of their fast growing abilities and simple care plan. Rubber plants have thick oval-shaped leaves that are usually a rich emerald hue. While rubber plants do tolerate direct light, they’re much happier when placed in a more shaded spot. Only water the rubber plant when the soil has dried out, which should be about every week or so.

One cool feature of rubber plants is that the leaves will darken to a deep burgundy with more light exposure and then reverts back to green in low-light conditions, so it basically lets you know when it’s happy or sad based on its leaves!

6. Cast-Iron Plant

Botanical name: Aspidistra elatior
Common names: Iron plant, bar room plant
Cat/dog safe: Yes

cast-iron plant

This plant is tough just like its name. Native to Asia, cast-iron plants are named for their sturdiness and ability to withstand a wide range of conditions, such as low light or lack of water. Their lance-shaped glossy deep green leaves can reach around 2 feet long and 4 inches wide. When repotting, it's best to do it in the springtime, as cast-iron plants grow slowly. While cast-iron plants are quite resistant to droughts, they grow the best when the soil is lightly moist. Ideally the best time to water a cast-iron plant is when the soil has just become dry.

7. Chinese evergreen

Botanical name: Aglaonema commutatum
Cat/dog safe: No

chinese evergreen

The Chinese evergreen is a robust, leafy plant that is an exceptional air purifier. It’s native to the tropical forest floors of Asia, and some common characteristics are short stems and large glossy oval leaves that come in a spectrum of colors, including green, pink, red and white. Direct sunlight can scorch these beautiful leaves, so the Chinese evergreen appreciates a spot with indirect sunlight. Interestingly enough, the lighter the variegation is on its leaves (aka different color zones on leaves), the more sunlight it needs. Chinese evergreens have a high tolerance for both moist and dry conditions so they can survive over-waterers (whew!). A good general rule of thumb with watering is to do so when the top part of the soil is dry.

8. Air Plant

Botanical name: Tillandsia
Cat/dog safe: Yes

air plant

You can keep the potting soil in the shed for this one. Air plants are a popular plant for unintentional plant murderers because they grow without dirt altogether. Their wavy leaves are covered with specialized cells (trichomes) capable of rapidly absorbing water that gathers on them.

The only care needed for these guys is bright, indirect sunlight and a good misting about 2-4 times a week. The more silver-colored the leaves are, the more drought-resistant they are (compared to greener leaves), so if you want extra resilient air plants, choose ones with silvery leaves.

Because air plants don’t need to be potted, there are so many possibilities when it comes to styling them around the house. One of our favorite options is in a glass terrarium.

9. Chinese Money Plant

Botanical name: Pilea peperomioides
Common names: Coin plant, pancake plant, UFO plant
Cat/dog safe: Yes

chinese money plant

The Chinese money plant may not grow actual money. but it does grow up to 12 inches of beautifully green, coin-shaped foliage. As stated in its name, this plant is native to China and naturally grows along the base of the Himalayan mountains. Chinese money plants grow best with weekly watering in a shady spot, making them the perfect winter windowsill decorations.

10. English Ivy

Botanical name: Hedera helix
Common names: Ivy, European ivy
Cat/dog safe: No

english ivy

English ivy is a fast-spreading vine that can grow both horizontally and vertically. Native to Europe and western Asia, this evergreen perennial is considered an invasive species in some regions, as it grows very quickly and aggressively. Despite this reputation, we personally think English ivy is stunning and would love to have it as a part of our home, such as in a hanging basket. The best time to plant English ivy is in the spring. English ivy thrives in partial or full shade and in soil that is somewhat dry. A common theme with most of these plants: don’t water them to death!

11. Lucky Bamboo

Botanical name: Dracaena sanderiana
Common names: Chinese water bamboo, friendship bamboo
Cat/dog safe: Not fully

lucky bamboo

Fun fact: Apparently lucky bamboo isn't related to bamboo at all! Although it resembles stalks of bamboo, lucky bamboo is actually more closely related to a succulent. This majestic plant originates from Africa but these days most of them are shipped in from Taiwan or China, where professional growers braid, twist and curl their stalks into different shapes. Lucky bamboo is said to bring good luck and fortune to those that own them, especially if they’re given as gifts,

With some water and partial shade, lucky bamboo can grow up to 1–3 feet tall and 1–2 feet wide. They can survive in vases of water (preferably distilled/filtered). It’s best to change the water weekly to keep lucky bamboo extra healthy.