For decades, philodendron has been a houseplant mainstay. Native to the American tropics, it thrives in an indoor environment and is easily adaptable to lower-light situations. It comes in both vining and shrub-like varieties, so you can choose whichever strikes your fancy. Available on Amazon; $2.41 for a 4-inch pot.
Named for its distinctive arrow-shaped leaf, this shadow-dweller often springs up in variegated shades of bronze, pink, and green. Arrowhead vines also grow well in low to medium light and will lengthen as they mature—making them a popular pick for hanging baskets. Available on Amazon; $4.20.
A suitable choice for any beginner, the Chinese evergreen requires very little attention to turn into a highly ornamental addition to any room. Even if you follow a when-I-remember-to watering schedule, this plant will still reward your home with showy, lustrous leaves of green streaked with silver, yellow, or white. Available on Amazon; $14.99 for 6-inch pot.
The snake plant, a succulent, is one of the most tolerant houseplants in practically every way, enduring both low light and drought. Its strikingly long, erect leaves are typically edged in yellow-gold, yielding an architectural shape that especially complements modern decor. Available at The Home Depot; $18.88.
Ferns are familiar forest floor inhabitants, but several varieties, like the rabbit foot fern, have made the move to the home. Like their natural-setting counterparts, they thrive in low-light conditions. With their soft, lush fronds, ferns add dramatic visual interest to a room. Available on Amazon; $9.99.
Peperomia is highly decorative, small, and super low maintenance. Don't worry if you forget to water it one week—it can tolerate dry conditions. A member of the pepper family, peperomia’s leaves come in a variety of vibrant colors, shapes, sizes, and textures, with many presenting a deeply waffled appearance. Available on Amazon; $4.99 for a 4-inch pot.
The spider plant's slender, arching blades create a sunburst display in hanging baskets and on top of columns. And it's as beneficial as it is beautiful: This houseplant improves indoor air quality by filtering out benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene. Available on Amazon; $4.69 for a 3.5-inch pot.
Cast Iron Plant
Aptly named, the cast iron plant is ruggedly hardy. It can survive with little light, tolerate irregular watering, and weather fluctuating temperatures to last all year. It's nearly indestructible. Don't worry about trimming it back or repotting, either; this slow grower will not overrun your home like an aggressive vining houseplant might. Available on Amazon; $14.99.
The thick, glossy leaves of the rubber plant put on an outstanding show. While smaller, a potted plant can function as a naturally elegant centerpiece for the table, but over time it can grow to more than three feet tall. When it does, move it near an entrance or fireplace for a pop of greenery. Available at The Home Depot; $23.46.
A shade-loving plant that thrives indoors, the peace lily produces elegant white blooms in spring. It's an ideal housemate: It is not only ranked as one of the top 10 best household plants for cleaning the air, it can also succeed with fluorescent fixtures as its main light source. Available on Amazon; $12.98.
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