9 Super-chic House Plants

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone.


This bromeliad reaches 3 feetThis bromeliad reaches 3 feet
The bombshell

Vriesia hieroglyphica hybrid

Foliage: Leaves are curvaceous, always dressed in skintight patterning.

Plant: This bromeliad reaches 3 feet tall and wide. Lives for 8 to 10 years before it blooms, then dies.

Light: Any.

More on container gardens


Most interesting textureMost interesting texture
The islander

Black aralia (Polyscias guilfoylei)

Foliage: Ruffled, slightly coarse leaves on slim trunks--the most interesting texture of any houseplant we've seen.

Plant: A tender shrub from the tropics, it grows slowly to 12 feet. Water when soil has dried 2 to 3 inches below the surface.

Light: Moderate to bright.


Dramatic all yearDramatic all year
The jungle queen
Spathiphyllum 'Sensation'

Foliage: Lush 2-foot-long leaves of deep green are dramatic all year; luxuriant white flowers in spring.

Plant: A peace lily, it can reach 4 feet tall.

Light: Low to medium.


Can reach 20 feet tallCan reach 20 feet tall
The grand dame

Ficus lyrata 'Little Fiddle'

Foliage: Large, leathery, nearly violin-shaped leaves.

Plant: This stately plant can reach 20 feet tall. To maintain its size and shape, prune branches in early spring. Feed the plant after pruning; rotate it every few weeks to keep it from leaning.

Light: Moderate to bright.

Don't let this one get potbound--here's how to re-pot it.


Thin when youngThin when young
The waif
Schefflera elegantissima

Foliage: Blackish green leaves are thin when young.

Plant: Eventually reaches 8 to 10 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Tolerates drafts.

Light: Bright.

More easy-care plants


Shapely and slender as a palmShapely and slender as a palm
The starlet
Dracaena warneckii 'Jade Jewel'

Foliage: Variegated leaves form compact rosettes that resemble starbursts.

Plant: Shapely and slender as a palm, it grows slowly to 8 feet tall with sturdy, upright canes.

Light: Moderate to bright.


A standout among snake plantsA standout among snake plants
The survivor

Sanseveria 'Silver Queen'

Foliage: Silvery green leaves are stiff, slightly twisted, and lightly mottled.

Plant: A standout among snake plants, it reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and thrives on neglect.

Light: Moderate to bright.
More low-water plants


No drafts, no wet leavesNo drafts, no wet leaves
The diva

Variegated Ficus decora (at right)

Foliage: Big leaves are simply spectacular.

Plant: Indoors, it reaches 10 feet tall. Leaves turn brown or drop if this finicky plant doesn't get what it wants--no drafts, no wet leaves.

Light: Bright.


Willowy stems can reach 10 feetWillowy stems can reach 10 feet
The climber
Ficus triangularis (at left)

Foliage: Triangle-shaped leaves nearly cover the stems.

Plant: Willowy stems can reach 10 feet tall and 2 feet wide, and need staking to stay upright. Prune to control size or let the branches grow for a weeping look.

Light: Moderate to bright, indirect.

Before planting, make sure these rose varieties will grow in your climate zone using the Sunset Plant Finder. And if you don't know your climate zone, look it up here.