Hard to Kill Plants

40+ Hard to Kill Plants- Comprehensive List of Low Maintenance Plants

We have all been there. Trying to keep an indoor plant happily thriving, thought we did it right, but we eventually failed. Maybe the growing conditions weren’t adequate or our care routine, maybe the plant was too hard to grow for our current gardening skills.

But hey, don’t get discouraged. There are plants that promise a greater success, the plants that I like to call “the indestructibles”. 

Of course, don’t take it in the literal sense. Water any plant thoroughly every day and you will eventually kill it. What I am referring to by “the indesctructibles” are those plants that are more forgiving and tolerant of certain kind of neglect. Those that are easily adaptable to most growing conditions. 

Hold on tight, it is time to meet the indestructibles and grow them with success even if you don’t have a green thumb.

African Violet

African violet

African Violet is a miniature flowering species famous for its adorable, colorful blooms. 

Don’t splash the leaves when watering or they will develop leaf spot if exposed to bright light. Provide east or west exposure and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. 

Related: Are African Violets Poisonous to Cats?

Agave

Agave

Agave is also known as Century Plant and is perfect choice for beginners. It is a succulent variety with green, blue-green or sometimes variegated leaves that form rosettes and impressive blossom spikes. 

It is a slow grower that can tolerate dry soil. Provide east or west exposure, temperature of at least 12 degrees C and sandy potting soil. 

Aglaonema

Aglaonema

Many species of the genus are wowzers. Also called Chinese evergreen, aglaonema plants have long, thin leaves with silver markings. It can take medium to low light levels, rich humusy soil.

Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe Vera plant

Aloe vera plant or Burn Plant is a very robust, hard-to-kill succulent with typically pale green leaves that make rosettes and produce blossoms from pups. 

South, east or west exposure would work for aloe vera plants and cactus or succulent growing mix. 

Related: Aloe Vera Indoor Plant Benefits

Cast Iron Plant

Cast Iron Plant is famously indomitable with its tall, straight, lance-like dark green leaves. 

Keep the soil lightly moist, expose it to eastern sun and use compost in the soil. Pair it with a Rubber Plant or Chinese Money Tree, both of which are hardy plants. 

Jade Plant

Jade plant

Crassula ovata is also popularly known as Chinese Money Tree due to its association with prosperity. It can withstand extended periods of neglect. Mature plants have fleshy, oval-shaped and bright green leaves, sometimes even red-edged. It is very robust and hard to kill. 

Jade plants as indoor plants prefer filtered sun, low humidity and temperatures of above 15 degrees C. The sap they produce is toxic, so keep them away from pets and children. Combine it with Devil’s Ivy or Prayer Plants.

Begonia

Begonia

Begonia species are immensely diverse with various leaf shapes and textures. All of them are quite robust and hardy. 

Provide east or west exposure, 15 degrees C, rich and humusy soil with compost. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. 

Air plants

Air plants

Air or Urn plants are very easy to care for and very hard to kill. Their foliage varies in configuration, but it is usually long, think, green with all kinds of markings. 

Air plants as indoor plants need no soil to grow. Provide indirect sunlight of an eastern window for these indoor plants, high humidity and your plant will thrive. 

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus is a very well known hard-to-kill plant with its incredibly large, vivid flowers in profusion that look like dragonheads.  Provide west exposure, cactus mix, and fertilize occasionally

Related: How to Make Christmas Cactus Bloom?

Croton

Croton

Another very well known tropical plant species, crotons have curly pencil-thin leaves speckled with gold. Croton plants appreciate east exposure, a temperature above 14 degrees C. The plant thrives in humusy potting mix. Keep the soil moist. 

Dracaena

Dracaena plant

Wonderful as they are, dracaena plants vary in leaf patterns and shades of green. They make great contrast with other hard-to-kill plants like African violets, aglaonemas, begonias and crotons due to similar care requirements. 

Provide east or west exposure, normal room temperature and humusy well-draining potting mix. Indoor gardening with dracaena plants is easy and fun. 

Related: 35+ East-Facing Window Plants

Sticks On Fire

Sticks on fire aka euphorbia

Euphorbia are easy-care plants whose leaves look succulent, as if someone pressed pencils into the soil. They are light, apple-green, yellow and orange. 

Sticks on Fire plants appreciate south exposure and a bit of bright direct sunlight, sandy soil and normal room temperature. They produce latex, so be careful- it is toxic. 

Ferns

Ferns

These bathroom must-haves are incredibly diverse in appearance, usually lacy and blue-green. They are great for high-humidity, low-light conditions. 

Growing plants like ferns is easy. Provide medium light of the east exposure and keep the soil moderately moist. 

Related: How to Propagate Asparagus Fern?

Ficus

Ficus plants

Ficus species are usually upright and can reach several feet in height. They are varied in form, but usually green, often used as indoor trees, most commonly Ficus elastica

Position them next to an east or west window and provide rich, well-draining soil. Prone to scale and prolonged neglectful watering. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. 

Related: 35+ Tall Indoor Plants

Haworthia Fasciata

Haworthia Fasciata

Zebra Plant is an old favorite succulent plant with its pointed, dark green stems that resemble aloe. It has distinctive white encrustation running horizontally. 

It is very hard to kill. South exposure is optimal and temperatures of above 10 degrees C. Fertilize occasionally, but even if you forget- the plant won’t mind. 

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum plants

Sempervivum plants are, as the name suggest, always living. They creep along the ground with their succulent rosettes in a variety of colors and erupt into star-like blossoms

South exposure is optimal, humusy soil, but prone to mealybugs. Use succulent potting mix. 

Hoya Wax Plant

Hoya wax plants

Wax flowers are one of the most stunning succulent species. Their leaves are usually long, thin, glossy, dark green with showy and extremely fragrant star-shaped flowers with amethyst-like centers. Display them in a hanging basket. 

Provide medium to bright indirect light of an east or west exposure and keep the well-draining soil mix moderately moist. 

Beefsteak Plant

Beefsteak plant

Irestine is a very bright and cheerful wine with magenta or lemon markings. It can reach a height of around 100 cm, so it is quite compact. 

It likes west or east exposure, humusy soil and normal room temperatures. 

Hedera Helix

Hedera Helix

Ivy is a common favorite and a staple plant in most houses. Its leaves have various shapes, but always triangular lobes. It makes a great ground cover.

To keep Hedera helix plant alive, provide east or west exposure, rich soil with compost and fertilize in spring until late autumn. 

Flaming Katy

Flaming Katy

Kalanchoe is a succulent plant with bizzare and varied forms and a broad specter of colors. It stays around 40 cm tall and is a medium grower. 

To keep it thriving, provide south exposure, sandy soil such as cactus mix. Fertilizing is unnecessary. 

Mirror Plant

Mirror plant

This plant has rather small and colorful foliage so it can be grown as a mini tree. It remains up to 60 cm high, and it is a slow-growing plant. 

Provide south exposure, rich soil and propagate by cuttings. Prone to scale.

Moss

Moss

Moss is great for low-light conditions and can be used creatively in a variety of ways, for kokedama, picture frame and more. It is a thirsty plant, so mist occasionally. 

Provide east exposure, rich soil and fertilize in spring. 

Nerve Plant

Nerve plant

Also called Mosaic Plant, nerve plant is a hard-to-kill plant that has bronze foliage with white or red veins. It makes a great ground cover or terrarium plant. 

Provide east or west exposure, rich and peaty potting soil and propagate by cuttings. Water often. 

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

This plant has dark green foliage and profuse white flowers. It can wilt if watered neglectfully for prolonged periods of time. 

Provide humusy potting soil and east exposure. Prone to diseases if stressed too much. It is one of the most toxic plants to pets. 

Radiator Plant

Radiator plant

Peperomia plants are usually succulent, extremely varied in form with diverse streaks, stripes and variegation. Most can get up to 45 cm tall. 

Keep moderately moist and provide humus-rich soil. 

Philodendron

Philodendron

Philodendron plants are known for their green heart-shaped leaves and hard-to-kill character trait. They drape down or grow upright, reaching a height of 60 cm. They make great accent plants.

Provide east or west exposure, humusy soil and prune to prevent them from looking unkempt. 

Related: 25 Enchanting Philodendron Types

Aluminium Plant

Aluminum plant

Pilea plants can be either creeping or upright versions with aluminum like markings on their foliage. They make great ground covers and some species creep over the ground. 

Provide west exposure, keep soil moderately moist and fertilize from early spring to late fall. 

Mexican Mint

Mexican mint

This plant is thick with beautiful markings. It is a great plant for using in carefree window boxes in summer. 

Provide south exposure, peaty mix and propagate by cuttings. Overwatering can cause rot. Group them with jade plants.

Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plant

This plant has maroon foliage with white or red freckles and reaches only 15 cm in height. It makes a good ground cover below other plants. 

Provide south exposure and keep Polka Dot plant moderately moist. Propagate by cuttings. Prone to aphids if watered insufficiently. 

Elephant Foot Tree

Elephant foot tree/ Ponytail palm

This plant has long, thin, grass-like leaves that curve gently, forming the shape of a fountain. It reaches 90 cm in height. 

Expose to east or west window. It can endure periods without watering, but don’t overdo it. Provide humusy soil. When it become stretchy, it is a sign that it needs a good grooming. 

Related: Types of Palm Trees to Grow Indoors

Pothos

Pothos plant

Pothos plants can be absolutely swank if done right. They have round to heart-shaped leaves in all-green or with cream or white markings. 

Provide east or west exposure for pothos plants, humusy soil and groom it to maintain the shape. It is one of the most toxic plants, according to ASPCA classification

Prayer Plant

Prayer plant

Also called Never-Never Plant, this plant is very jazzy and extremely diverse with stripes and streaks of color. Most don’t have exciting flowers, but they are nevertheless a very nice addition to an indoor garden. 

It is a thirsty plant, so maintain moist soil. Grow it in a humusy mix.

Misletoe Cactus

Mistletoe Cactus

This plant looks like has such an unusual and intriguing shape that resembles suspended spiders. They can have starburst, cactus-like flowers or berries. 

South exposure is optimal and use sandy soil. Keep the soil dry until one inch, then water it. It won’t tolerate low light, so expose it to a sunny window.

Snake Plants

Snake plant

Otherwise known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Snake Plant is a hard-to-kill plant that forms a plump rosette, some are tall and lean in others, some even have wonderful markings.

They tolerate all sorts of neglectful behavior and can thrive in any light exposure, which makes them ideal as indoor plants. Group a snake plant with a jade plant for a powerful display.

Allow soil to dry out between water applications. Use humusy soil for Snake plant. There’s no need to fertilizer. Provide bright light. Repot into clay if the plant muscles out of its container. 

Related: 20+ Types of Snake Plants

Schefflera

Schefflera

Schefflera is a compact, tidy indoor plant with leaves that come in sets of fingers from the stem, while others are variegated. 

Keep the soil moderately moist and eastern exposure that offers indirect sunlight works best. Propagate by cuttings. Prune to keep into shape. It is very toxic to pets, according to ASPCA. 

String of Pearls

Senecio plant

Senecio species are very diverse, but the succulent versions are the most indestructible and easiest to grow. Some have racy flowers, but most are grown for their unusual foliage. 

South exposure is the best for Senecio, regular room temperature and water-and-dry method. 

Slipper Orchid

Slipper orchid

This orchid species is among the most hardy ones in the genus. It has dark or paler green leaves with irregular markings. Flowers are graceful and long-lasting. Another hard-to-kill orchid is Moth Orchid.

Provide east exposure, water every 5 days, maintain temperatures above 15 degrees C and add coco-chips and horticultural charcoal to enrich the soil. 

Related: How Long Does an Orchid Live?

Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island pine

This house plant is reminiscent of a small pine tree with its dark green needless. It can be a stand-in for a Christmas tree. 

Provide east exposure that offers filtered light, normal room temperatures, humusy soil. Water regularly. Protect from drought as it can cause the needles to turn brown. 

Spider Plant

Spider plants

Spider plants have long, thin, grass-like leaves with attractive streaks and a series of baby spider plants showering down, hence the vividly descriptive name. 

East window and bright indirect sunlight it offers works best for a spider plant which tends to be thirsty and fast-growing. Keep it neatly groomed. 

Related: Are Spider Plants Safe for Cats?

Oyster Plant

Oyster plant

This plant is a trailing plant with variable foliage and rare blossoms. It is also called Inch Plant, Bridal Veil or Moses in his Cradle. 

Provide east exposure, don’t water often, grow it in a humusy mix with compost. Provide artificial light too if your place doesn’t have enough light. 

ZZ Plant

ZZ plant

Zamioculas zamiifolia is a fat plant with juicy stems lined with shiny, rounded leaves and the entire plant looks very tidy. There are no flowers, yet the bulletproof plant is definitely worth cultivating. 

Keep lightly moist, provide indirect light and include compost in the soil. Shade ZZ plant from direct sun. 

Related: 25 Easiest Houseplants to Keep Alive

Final Word

You may be wondering how to select hard to kill plants. Well, consider the light, temperature and humidity conditions that you can offer and match those conditions to the plant’s needs.

Secondly, if you have pets or children, it is best to choose specimens that are safe for them. Finally, you want to think about the display place and the purpose of the plant. Do you want an accent plant? Go for philodendrons. Do you want a bathroom edition? Go for ferns or moss kokedama. Start with a checklist of your indoor conditions and match those hard to kill plants to them.