You can find specific species for popular types of houseplants at the bottom of the page, but there are also large categories of houseplants that are popular for shared reasons. These plants may be easy to care for, hard to kill, thrive on neglect, or pet-friendly. Quite simply, knowing what makes these houseplants popular can quickly narrow the search and help you find the perfect species for your next plant.
Philodendrons: This category of houseplant is so popular that some people mistake this genus for its own specific type of houseplant. The reason these plants are so common is that they are resilient, relatively easy to care for, and grow full-leaf foliage even in lower-light conditions. They can be grown in soil or in water. Philodendrons produce flowers known as spathes that resemble corn cob inside an open husk. They can be colorful, but the blooms rarely last longer than a week or two. Native to warmer climates, these plants require regular to semi-regular watering. The most popular types of philodendrons are the peace lily, sweetheart or heartleaf philodendron, hope plant, and red-leaf philodendron.
Succulents: Native to arid climates, these houseplants thrive on neglect. Easy to care for, especially on a busy schedule, that doesn’t mean succulents tolerate anything. Overwater these plants and you can create root rot that destroys part or all of the plant. Many but not all of these plants like some direct sunlight from south- or west-facing windows. These houseplants are also popular for the diversity of their foliage and leaves. Just because a houseplant is a succulent doesn’t mean it has to look like a cactus. Informally, all houseplants can be classifieds as either succulents or tropicals, depending on their native climate and soil moisture needs. Aloe vera, jade plants, snake plants, kalanchoes, dracaena, crowns of thorns, and zebra plants are all popular succulents.
Pothos: Pothos are tropical plants that do well in low-light and relatively dry soil conditions. It likes a little more water than a succulent but not as much as plants that like regular water. Apart from being more susceptible to root rot, the pothos is just as hardy as philodendrons. These plants are sometimes called Devil’s Ivy in part because they are so hard to kill. If you’ve struggled with root rot in the past, try growing the pothos plant in water. These plants have medium, teardrop leaves. They are also easy to propagate. Popular types include the golden pathos, marble queen pothos, satin pathos, neon pothos, and jade pothos.
Orchids: There are more than 25,000 different species of orchids. These houseplants are also unique in that they do not live in soil, not even in their natural habitat. Instead, they use other plants and plant material for support while giving the roots plenty of access to air. Special potting mix formulas mimic this natural growing environment. One common recipe is three parts tree bark to one part perlite to one part peat moss. This mixture allows the plant to be watered on a weekly basis without letting standing water reach the roots. Like philodendrons, the orchid plants you find in plant shops will have colorful flowers that may hard to reproduce in future years without maintaining ideal growing conditions. These popular types of houseplants are relatively easy to keep alive but hard to flower. In addition to resilience and flowering, the height of the plant and the color of the blooms depend on the type of orchid. The most common types include the moth orchid, jewel orchid, cattleya orchid, boat orchid, brassavola orchid, and lady’s slipper orchid.
Peperomia: These houseplants have a varied look and foliage growth pattern. Some leaves are thin and long, some are small and round like a jade, some have variegated leaves, some have red or golden edges. Also known as radiator plants, peperomia plants appreciate warm air whether in high or low-humidity conditions. Like pothos, peperomia plants like relatively dry and fast-draining soil but like more regular water than succulents. They also like medium-to-light exposure. For the best care practices, it’s good to learn more about what type of peperomia plant you have. Popular species include the beetle peperomia, belly button peperomia, cupid peperomia, golden gate peperomia, and bibi peperomia.
Dracaena: Looking for larger, taller plants that don’t require a ton of care and attention? There’s a good chance you’ll end up choosing some type of dracaena. These houseplants are succulents that like dry soil and infrequent watering. South and west-facing windows can cause enough direct light to brown and dry out leaves. They otherwise prefer bright light conditions but will tolerate low-light exposure. These indoor shrubs may have tall well-defined stems and leaves that can be long and thin or more husk-like. If you’ve never heard of dracaena as a type of houseplant, you probably at least know some of the species by their common nicknames. Lucky Bamboo, Corn Plants, and Dragon Trees are all popular dracaena plants.
Other large, popular categories of houseplants include palms, schefflera, lilies, ficus, bromeliads, begonias, calathea, ferns, and dieffenbachia.
Most Popular Types of Houseplants
More than general categories, here are some of the most common and popular houseplant species. You can use the other resources on our website to pick the best houseplant, but if you’re looking to quickly find the most popular types of houseplants, this is a great place to start.
- Peace Lily
- Spider plant
- ZZ Plant
- Snake Plant
- Christmas Cactus
- Boston Fern
- Air Plant
- African Violet
- Prayer Plant
- Aloe Vera