Common House Plants -
Hardy, Easy-to-Grow, Popular Favourites

These plants are common house plants for a reason -- they're attractive, generally low maintenance and overwhelmingly enjoyed by both beginner and veteran gardeners.

I've selected ten popular plants and explained briefly their lighting and watering requirements. I'd suggest reading a bit more about caring for a plant to make sure that you provide it with the ideal conditions. Take note of any special considerations.

You can't really go wrong with these popular plants. They're generally very forgiving and hardy. Perfect for those without a green thumb.

I've also noted those common house plants in the list that are especially good at cleaning the air. Modern homes contain a lot of man-made products such as varnishes and other chemicals that put harmful gases into the air we breathe. Put one of these plants in each room and you'll clean most of it from the air. See my clean air plants page for full details.


Common Name Scientific Name Description Light Watering Cleans Air Plant
African Violet Saintpaulia Small oval-leaved plant that produces lovely violet, purple, pale blue or white flowers Medium to bright indirect light Keep soil moist to dry. Don't keep it wet. Keep water off the leaves or it will cause spots to form.
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis Popular perennial house plant. Great for hanging planters. Medium Regular watering to keep the soil moist. In winter, water when soil fees dry. Likes high humidity, so mist regularly if this is a problem.
Braided Ficus Ficus benjamina Ficus plants with stems intertwined. Very attractive and effective. Bright, indirect light Moderate watering in summer. Enough to not let it dry out in winter.
Chinese evergreen Aglaonema Perennial with medium to dark green leaves. Very easy to grow. Tolerate wide range of light, but prefer low indirect light. Moderate watering. Keep soil moist. Yes
English Ivy Hedera helix Evergreen vine. Noxious weed in certain areas. Very easy to grow. Leaves are poisonous. Bright but not direct sunlight Keep soil moist but not wet in summer. Water slightly less in winter. Yes
Peace Lily Spathiphyllum wallisii An attractive plant with dark, glossy leaves, producing lovely white flowers. Bright light preferred. Not direct sunlight. Keep soil moist but not soggy. Keep it slightly drier in winter. Yes
Pothos Plant/Devil's Ivy Epipremnum aureum Arguably the most popular house plant. Very decorative and hardy. Very easy to grow. Low to bright. Avoid full sun. Water when the soil feels dry Yes
Snake plant / Mother-in-law's tongue Sansevieria trifasciata Long variegated leaves come from the plant base. Very easy to care for. Medium to bright light Water well and wait for the soil to dry before watering again. No
Spider plant Chlorophytum Long-leafed evergreen perennial. Produces small white flowers on long arching stalks. Bright to medium light Every one or two weeks Yes
Yucca Yucca Elephantipes Thick leafless stalk protruding from a bulbous stem base, with a rosette of pointy-tipped leaves at the top of the stem. Use a sandy soil. Great architectural plant. Bright light Water only when soil is dry. Overwatering will badly affect this plant. No

* Clean air plants have been scientifically proven to be very good at removing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air in your house.


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