10 Low-Maintenance Plants for the Newbie Plant Owner

Take your pick from these green babies that are hard to kill.

PHOTO BY Space Encounters Homes / Sunshine Selga Funa

(SPOT.ph) Indoor plants are pretty additions to any space. They are said to reduce stress, and improve air quality in the room where it's placed—and who wouldn't want those? Taking care of plants will require your time and attention, and if you do not have a green thumb, you might find it challenging to make your plants thrive. Thankfully, there are low-maintenance plants (read: hard to kill) perfect for newbies—and they're all a visual treat! We list down these plants and where you can get them, too.

Just an important reminder, though: Most of these fuss-free greens are toxic to pets and small children, so it’s best to keep them away from these botanical beauties.

To get you started, here are 10 plants that are easy to care for:

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-in-law’s tongue (P2,500/pair with planter) from Bijin Craft
PHOTO BY Bijin Craft

Mother-in-law's tongue also goes by the name "snake plant" because of the leaves' sword-like shape. It thrives in indirect sunlight, so you can place it by the door or a window. This plant does not require daily watering—you only need to water once a week, or when you notice that the topsoil is already dry. A bonus: The snake plant is also a natural air purifier!  

Radiator Plant (Peperomia)

Radiator plant (P1,100/two with handmade pots) from Bijin Craft
PHOTO BY Bijin Craft
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The succulent-like leaves of the radiator plant varies in patterns and colors. Some are plain green, while others are mottled with white. There are even purple variants! It’s a lovely houseplant that you can easily use to decorate your desk. A radiator plant can be grown in moderately lit spaces or even under a fluorescent light. Direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so don’t let it sit under the sun for more than 30 minutes. You don't have to water it all the time—only do so when the soil is already dry, or about once a week. Too much water may cause it to wilt.


Selloum (Philodendron selloum)

Selloum (P1,650) from Nest Plant Studio
PHOTO BY Nest Plant Studio

Also called Philodendron Hope, it features lobed, shiny dark green leaves and usually takes up more space than other houseplants. Take care of it by watering thoroughly once a week, or twice during summer months. When placing it indoors, keep it where it can get moderate, natural light. A fair warning though: This plant is considered poisonous; its sap in particular can cause irritation, so be careful!

Bacularis (Sansevieria bacularis)

Bacularis (P450) from Nest Plant Studio
PHOTO BY Nest Plant Studio

The bacularis is a snake plant variety that has cylindrical leaves. It’s a great tabletop decoration, especially when paired with a pretty pot. Caring for it is no-fuss; you just need to water it every other week. Pro-tip: let it drink every payday so you won’t forget. It’s also happy in various lighting conditions—whether in shaded areas or in spots that get a daily dose of sunshine.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ Plant (P500) from The Plant Shopper
PHOTO BY The Plant Shopper

Also called Welcome Plant, the ZZ usually sports shiny green leaves and usually grows to a height of three feet. It tolerates low light and does not require frequent watering—you only need to water it when the soil looks dry. Remember not to overwater because this might cause its roots to rot (which will eventually kill it). To encourage growth, repot it into a bigger container once a year for the first three years.


Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)

Money Tree (P350) from The Plant Shopper
PHOTO BY The Plant Shopper

This tiny “tree” is another "hard-to-kill" plant. Said to bring good luck, it can grow up to six feet depending on how big the pot is (in its native habitat, it can grow as tall as 60 feet!). The Money Tree prefers bright, indirect light, and can even tolerate artificial lighting. Wait for the topsoil to dry before watering, and do so thoroughly. Make sure the pot has a hole at the bottom so water can drain through it; otherwise, you risk root rot.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos (P750) from Space Encounters Homes
PHOTO BY Space Encounters Homes

Pothos is a vine that can be grown either in water or in soil. When growing it in soil, just make sure to water it three times a week. Pothos tolerates different lighting conditions, but it thrives best in indirect sunlight (avoid placing it under the sun as the heat can easily burn its leaves). Place it on a shelf or hang it in a corner to give room for its lovely vines to grow.

Cylindrical Snake Plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)

Cylindrical Snake Plant (P250) from Space Encounters Homes
PHOTO BY Space Encounters Homes

Another member of the Sansevieria clan (they’re quite a hardy bunch!), the cylindrical snake plant is also a joy to care for as it’s not demanding at all. It can go for days without water, and can also survive in low-light conditions. It will be thankful if you give it a drink every two weeks. 


Creeping Charlie (Pilea nummulariifolia)

Creeping Charlie (P50) from Cedarhills Garden Center
PHOTO BY Sunshine Selga Funa

If you want a hanging plant, then Creeping Charlie is for you. This pretty creeper, which also goes by the name Swedish ivy, sports scalloped edges and thrives best in bright, indirect light. Hang a pot (or two) in a partially shaded area, and watch its delicate tendrils slowly cascade as it grows. You might need to trim it eventually when it becomes overgrown, especially when you have a compact space. Make sure to water it thrice a week.

Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)

Pencil Cactus (P300 to P500) from Quezon Memorial Circle 
PHOTO BY Sunshine Selga Funa

The pencil cactus's green, fleshy stems will appeal to those who want something unusual. Also called pobreng kahoy or milk hedge because of its milky sap, this green baby is no picky plant. It requires watering only once a week, or twice if the weather is unbearably hot. Pencil cactus thrives in a partially shaded area. If it grows too unruly, cut a few stems (make sure to wear gloves to avoid getting the sap on your skin, which may irritate you), and replant them in a separate pot so you’ll have a baby shrub.

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