Paging Dr. Greenthumb

Hardy houseplants even you can't kill and where to buy them online

Just because you're not green-thumbed doesn't mean you can't make your home a jungle.

Hugo Goudswaard/Photodisc/Getty Images

First up, where to shop.

Miguel Sotomayor/Moment/Getty Images

Support local stores...

If you're looking to kit out your home jungle, your first stop should be your neighborhood nursery or plant shop.

...when you can

But maybe you don't have one, or you can't transport your purchases, or you're looking for something specific your local doesn't have. In which case the internet is ready to help.

The best alternative to a local store? Etsy

kyonntra/E+/Getty Images

931K

The number of results Esty returns for the search term "plants."

Etsy

Horti

Horti's a subscription service that's keen on getting people into not just plant ownership, but plant care. For those who prefer instant gratification, though, it also offers a service aptly named "Order a Jungle," where you can order 5, 10, 15, or 20 plants all at once.

The Sill

Another great online plant purveyor, The Sill includes a care card of hints and tips to help prevent your new housemate from suffering an ignominious death.

Bloomscape

Rather than overwhelm you with options, Bloomscape offers a curated selection of green companions in useful categories like "easy indoor plants," "pet-friendly," and "low light." Delivery is free for orders over $50.

The Home Depot has a huge selection and decent pricing

Plus, there's free delivery if you spend more than $45 and there are plants online you can't get in-store. Yes, it's a huge chain, and sure, it's owned by a billionaire. But it's extremely convenient, it packages plants for delivery really well, and at least the billionaire in question isn't named "Bezos."

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Seriously...

...hundreds of options

Now, which plants should you buy?

Shutterstock

Snake Plants (Sansevieria)

Probably the lowest maintenance plant outside a plastic one, the snake plant (aka "mother-in-law's tongue") is as sculptural as it is impossible to kill. Water it when you remember, wipe the dust from its leaves similarly infrequently, and, well, that’s literally all you need to do.

If you can kill a snake plant you have a tragic superpower and should probably stay away from children or pets until you learn to control it.

photography bySara Cuadrado/Moment/Getty Images

Succulents and Cacti

Available in seemingly infinite varieties, and with plenty of enchanting pattern-like shapes to choose from, succulents and cacti are having a bit of a moment.

Extremely low effort and hugely forgiving of neglect, some to consider include the mandala-like echeveria, the heart-shaped hoya, and the zebra-striped haworthia.

Just avoid the overly spiky or spiny ones if you’re clumsy, or you’ve got children or cats.

kyonntra/E+/Getty Images

Dragon Tree (Dracaena)

Tough as nails and equally pretty, these plants can go without water for months at a time and still look incredibly fetching. There are few easier plant companions out there. But don't let your pets eat it, it's poisonous.

Shutterstock

Delicious Monsters (Monstera Deliciosa)

Your parents probably had a delicious monster once. They've come full circle, from being common and cool, to kitsch and derided, to ubiquitous and hip all over again. And with good reason.

Monstera come in all sorts of sizes, require minimal love, are pretty tolerant of over- or underwatering, and they’re playful and cheerful on the eyes.

Shutterstock

Air Plants (Tillandsia)

Don’t let the name mislead you. Air plants don’t get everything they need from the air alone. They’ll need to be watered every week or two, but that’s usually as easy as putting them in a bit of water in a sink or basin for half an hour. They’re visually striking and lend themselves to being used decoratively because they don’t need pots or soil.

Firdausiah Mamat/Moment/Getty Images

Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana)

You don't need any luck to keep lucky bamboo alive. Just a vase with some water in it. Though, once the roots are well-developed, it'll thrive if you pot it in soil. Or keep it in the vase if you prefer, that's your business.

Roxana Dinulescu / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

Rubber Plants (Ficus Elastica)

The thick, waxy leaves of the rubber plant are its primary drawcard. But it's not just a looker, it's also another low-effort, high-reward option if your Game of Thrones name would be "<Your name> Killer of Plants, First of their Name."

Jessica Lia/Moment/Getty Images

Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium)

Named for the shape of their leaves, arrowhead plants will tolerate very low-light placement, and all they need to thrive is some water from time to time. They're also very easy to propagate, so you can use cuttings to start new plants and give them to all of your friends.

Do beware if you've got children or animals around, though, as the leaves are poisonous if ingested.

Elizabeth Fernandez/Moment/Getty Images

Pothos (Epipremnum)

Often confused with another great indoor vine-like plant, philodendron, pothos like to dry out between waterings, but can endure for weeks if you forget entirely. You'll know you're pushing it when the leaves droop or start to brown, but even then, a bit of water and it'll likely spring back to life.

Brendan Maher/Moment/Getty Images

Fake Plants (Fauxis Plantus)

We understand that purists will argue that faux plants are a faux pas. They’re wrong. Whether you’re looking to brighten up an area with little-to-no light or your cat destroys anything green, sometimes an artificial plant is the best one for the job… especially if it’s a high-quality one and its intermingled with real ones.

Capelle.r/Moment/Getty Images

Other gear to consider:

Watering can (more elegant than using a coffee mug or filling your mouth with water)

Fertilizer sticks (tuck them into the soil and forget about them)

Humidifier (most house plants like it moist)

Trowel (more respectable than using a dessert spoon)

Spray bottle (for misting leaves and looking like a pro)

Nikola Stojadinovic/E+/Getty Images

Share