Houseplants that are hard to kill is a relative term. Every houseplant is vulnerable to overwatering and underwatering. Every houseplant may die from some combination of poor care practices, bad luck, and old age. That said, many people with less houseplant experience want to know which plants have higher tolerances for the occasional misstep in plant care.
As with houseplants that thrive on neglect, choosing a hardy plant is not a substitute for finding pots with good drainage and putting that plant in a compatible spot in your home or office space. The good news is that you can find houseplants for practically every location and watering schedule. You can find resilient houseplants that are full shade or full sun, ones that thrive on neglect and ones that are less likely to suffer from overwatering. Learn which of the easy-care houseplants are hardest to kill.
Houseplants that are Hard to Kill
- Heartleaf Philodendron: This type of philodendron needs to stay out of direct sunlight but can otherwise thrive with lots of indirect light or even low-light conditions. The heartleaf philodendron tends to like semi-regular watering but is quite resilient and will quickly bounce back if you do forget about it for a while. In addition to being quite resilient, the plant is known for its heart-shaped leaves and strong, vining growth. If you’ve got a modest sized shelf in a space that offers houseplants the opportunity to climb up or cascade down, the philodendron heartleaf is likely a great choice.
- Cast Iron Plant: This is another houseplant that has considerable tolerance for its watering allowance. The cast iron plant prefers semi-regular watering, but like any houseplant, it’s vulnerable to root rot if you overdo it. Plus, it generally has no trouble bouncing back if you accidentally miss a turn on its watering cycle. The other big thing to avoid with cast iron plants is direct sunlight. This is a full-shade plant that should only receive indirect light. Their vertical, sword-like leaves are available with solid green or variegated leaf growth to better match any home decorating scheme.
- Pothos: Known for being an easy-care houseplant in general, most pothos plants like semi-regular watering but is also fine being neglected for a watering cycle or two. So long as you don’t overwater to the point of root rot, it’s very hard to kill this plant. Similarly, pothos is usually happiest with plenty of indirect light but is also perfectly fine in low-light conditions. Simply avoid south- and west-facing windows as too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. Available in several different subtypes with various leaf shapes and colors.
- Chinese Evergreen: This houseplant is hard to kill, especially if you keep this plant away from south- and west-facing windows. It can tolerate low-light conditions or lots of indirect light. East- and north-facing windows are often ideal, so long as the windows aren’t too cold and drafty. This houseplant enjoys a moderate watering schedule. Err on the side of underwatering, especially in the winter. One way to make sure that the leaves don’t dry out too much in between watering is to put out a pebble tray of water to increase the air humidity in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
- Asparagus Fern: This plant isn’t a fern but a kind of lily plant with large leaves (Liliaceae). The asparagus fern likes fairly regular watering but will tolerate dry soil for a little while. It does best in east-facing windows but will tolerate any window placement. Try to avoid full-shade spots for the best results. True ferns aren’t the hardest houseplant to care for, but they’re not the easiest. If you’re looking for the look of a fern combined with an easy-care houseplant, the asparagus fern may be the plant for you.