Interior Kitchen & Dining

The 9 Best Houseplants for the Kitchen

The kitchen may not be the first place that comes to mind when you're thinking about bringing a little greenery into your home. Countertop space is precious, direct sunlight may be limited, and high temperatures and grease can keep houseplants from looking their best. But the kitchen is one of the most popular spots in the house, so it deserves to be brightened with a bit of nature. Try finding a place for one of these easy-care houseplants that thrive in the kitchen.

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English Ivy

This fairly hardy houseplant is pretty easy to keep alive. It does well in part-sun, part-shade locations, so it’s a good option if your kitchen doesn’t get a ton of natural light. Its long, twisting vines might make it seem an impractical choice at first glance, but they make the plant ideal for a high shelf or a hanging basket, which means the plant will be off the countertop and out of your way. As a plus, its leaves absorb formaldehyde, a common indoor pollutant.

Related: 18 Plants Perfect for Hanging Baskets

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great plant for the kitchen. The sturdy succulent doesn’t require direct sunlight and needs a good watering only about every three weeks. Even better, it’s good to have on hand for cooking mishaps: Just cut a leaf to extract a little aloe gel to soothe cuts and burns.

Related: 7 Houseplants with Secret Health Benefits


Grow your favorite herbs—basil, mint, rosemary, and more—right on your kitchen windowsill. The aromatic and flavorful plants will get the sun they need, and you’ll have fresh ingredients within arm’s reach.

Related: 12 Easy Herbs to Grow on Your Windowsill

Venus Flytrap

No one likes seeing little bugs zipping around the kitchen, but in a room that’s filled with crumbs, garbage, and enticing aromas, you’re bound to find them. Combat the pests by keeping a Venus flytrap on the counter. The carnivorous plant is surprisingly easy to care for. Just keep it away from direct sunlight; pot it with poor, acidic soil; and water it using rain or distilled water. 

Related: The 9 Spookiest Houseplants on God’s Green Earth

Air Plant

This exotic may look like it would be a challenge to keep alive, but once you have it set up, it doesn’t require much attention. Air plants grow without soil. In the wild they grow on rocks, trees, and the ground, but at home you can site them attractively in terrariums, seashells, or even driftwood. Because air plants hail from tropical climates, they prefer warmer environments like the kitchen. The air plant does, however, require frequent watering. Either mist the leaves three to seven times a week or soak the plant in the kitchen sink once a week.

Related: 8 Exotic Houseplants You’ve Never Heard Of

Cast Iron Plant

It makes sense that you’d put a cast iron plant in the kitchen, but its apt name isn’t the only reason this plant is on our list. This low-maintenance houseplant can tolerate a variety of conditions. The sun scorches its leaves, though, so it’s a good pick if your kitchen is low on light. And it’s OK if you’re bad about watering—these plants certainly need water, but they can tolerate being thirsty for a bit.

Related: 10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere

Spider Plant

There’s a reason the spider plant is one of the most common houseplants: It’s so easy! This long-leaf plant isn’t particular about its growing conditions. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight, but it can still survive in shady or sunny spots, and it needs watering just once a week. Like English ivy, this is a great plant to plop on a shelf or put in a hanging basket.

Related: 10 Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Snake Plant

Want a plant that looks great but requires minimal work? Then you want a snake plant. The plant’s long, broad, sturdy leaves provide visual interest, but maintenance is no fuss. Place the plant in the corner of your kitchen where it can get some sun but won’t be saturated in sunlight. Wait until the soil is dry before you water a snake plant—it doesn’t like to be overwatered. One caveat, though: Snake plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Related: The Best Plants for Every Room of the House

Calamondin Orange

For a burst of color and fragrance, bring a calamondin orange tree into the kitchen. This hardy tree will do best in sunlight, but it can grow in shadier spots as well. While the tree can reach 10 to 20 feet, it is typically short and bush-like. You’ll have to be patient if you’re hoping to eat its fruit—it can take as much as a year for an orange to ripen. 

Related: 10 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on Your Windowsill

Plant Your Greens

Every kitchen should benefit from the touch of nature a houseplant can bring.