The Most Popular Houseplants from A to U

08/19/2021 | Ken Davis Houseplants

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener 

  • What indoor plants are most popular?
  • Best indoor plants for clean air.
  • What are the easiest houseplants to grow?
  • Easy indoor house plants low light.
  • What is the trendiest house plant?
  • List of indoor plants for beginners.
  • What is the hardest houseplant to kill? 
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two ladies holding houseplants

Houseplants add style, color, and brightness, all while cleaning the air we breathe. Even if you’re not an experienced #PlantParent, this list of 17 houseplants thrives indoors with minimal care. Each with descriptions and how to grow in your home without killing a single one 

African Violets

African Violet, Saintpaulia, encompasses about 20 species and many more hybrids to bring delicate blooms to your home or office. Use a soil-free mix to encourage good air circulation and water moderately at the soil level to prevent spotting on the leaves. Special African Violet containers designed specifically for this plant are recommended.

Light: Indirect light

Water: Light, regular moisture

Color Varieties: Thousands of cultivars available; flowers may be pink, blue, purple, or white, with picotee or stippling.

Air Plant, Tillandsia, has breathed new life in the terrarium hobby. Although these plants grow without any soil, they still need bright light and weekly water, which you can achieve with a heavy spritz from a spray bottle or by dunking the whole plant in a sink of water.

Light: Bright light

Water: Weekly misting

Color Varieties: ‘Tricolor’ has reddish leaves; ‘Abdita’ has pink leaves that darken to red upon flowering; ‘Huamelula’ has salmon leaf tips.

Aloe Vera with pad

Aloe Vera gel from cut leaves is widely used in first aid remedies and cosmetics, adding function to form as a houseplant. Like most succulents, it prefers dry sandy soil and bright light. Healthy plants produce pups to replace any leaves you might harvest. 

Light: High 

Water: Dry 

Color Varieties: ‘Christmas Carol’ has red leaf edges; ‘Walmsley’s Variegated’ has cream streaks. 

Bromeliad, Bromeliaceae, grow as epiphytes nestled in trees. That means two things for their care: they like filtered light and good aeration around their roots. Orchid potting soil works best. Fill their stiff leaves with distilled water to further mimic nature’s way.

Light: Filtered or indirect

Water: Medium

Color Varieties: Orange, yellow, red, white, pink, and purple

Chinese Money Plant

Chinese Money Plant, Pilea peperomiodes, is at home with minimalist and contemporary homeowners. Preferring a bright room, but never directly in front of a window. Mature plants have a slightly cascading habit that looks great in hanging baskets.

Light: Indirect light

Water: Regular watering

Color Varieties: Green

croton floor plant

Croton, Codiaeum, produce a colorful WOW neutral gray or taupe rooms need. Bright light is essential for good leaf coloration and plant health. All varieties have stripes or splotched of yellow, red, orange, and pink, all on the same plant. 

Light: High 

Water: Medium 

Color Varieties: Orange, white, yellow, red, pink, purple 

Dumb Cane Plant, Dieffenbachia

Dumb Cane Plant, Dieffenbachia, does not describe the elegance of the large speckled and splotched leaves display in bright light. Provide moderate moisture, and keep the toxic leaves away from kids and pets.

Light: Medium to bright

Water: Medium

Color Varieties: ‘Honeydew’ has gold leaves; ‘Mary’ has splotches of cream; ‘Snow’ has white speckles.

Woman beside a fiddle leaf fig Ficus lyrata plant in a container

Fiddle Leaf Fig, Ficus lyrata, provides a fresh, modern twist in their decor, even smaller spaces. Natural light is essential for the large leaves, so place it close to a south or east-facing window. Allow soil to dry between waterings.

Light: Bright light

Water: Dry between waterings

Color Varieties: A variegated cultivar with creamy leaf margins

Ivy Hedera helix on shelf

Ivy, Hedera helix, is an instant upgrade for your kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere you have bright light and some humidity. Cooler rooms that remain at or below 70 degrees also extend the life of this glossy beauty.

Light: Medium to high

Water: Medium

Color Varieties: Green, variegated

Jade Plant as floor plant

Jade Plant, Crassula ovata, you can’t go wrong for a bright room. It’s every bit as pretty as those trendy faux plants you see at the hobby store. Only fake plants don’t continue to grow and become more stately over time like a natural jade plant. Water sparingly and add supplemental lighting if leaf drop occurs.

Light: High

Water: Dry

Color Varieties: ‘Calico Kitten’ has pink and cream leaves; ‘Variegata’ has cream streaking.

Lucky Bamboo in vase

Lucky Bamboo, Dracaena sanderiana, grows easily in water with pliable stems that can weave into grids or braids for a handsome statement in small spaces. Lucky bamboo ceases to grow when their top is clipped, making it easy to manage. Grows well under artificial light.

Light: Low

Water: High

Color Varieties: Green

Peace Lily Spath floor plant

Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum wallisii, the graceful white spathes of the peace lily have long been rendered in silk plants. There is no reason to go fake when a living specimen is so easy to grow. Peace lilies do well in dark rooms and need regular moisture.

Light: Low light

Water: Moist

Color Varieties: ‘Domino’ has white stippling on leaves.

Philodendron in hand

Philodendron thrives in any room with classic low care for any beginner houseplanter. You might see the heart-shaped leaves grow to giant proportions outdoors in frost-free gardens, but it’s just as happy in your bedroom.

Light: Low to high

Water: Medium

Color Varieties: ‘Brandi’ has silver variegation; ‘Micans’ has purple-tinted leaves; ‘Prince of Orange’ has orange-tinted leaves.

Snake plant family

Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata, is as close to plant an forget it as they come. The plant tolerates a wide range of moisture, soil, and light conditions. You can find variegated types, and the plants also look great grown in metal or concrete containers for industrial chic.

Light: Low to high

Water: Low

Color Varieties: ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ has cream leaves; ‘Black Gold’ has thin gold edging; ‘Gold Hahnii’ has wide gold bands.

Spider Plant on plant stand

Spider Plant, Chlorophytum comosum, is a top seller year after year for its super low maintenance needs and air purification qualities. The arching leaves make these plants great for pedestals or hanging baskets.

Light: Indirect light

Water: Average to dry

Color Varieties: ‘Bonnie Variegated’ has white striping

Umbrella Plant Schefflera Amate in sun room

Umbrella Plant, Schefflera arboricola, can grow 10′ feet tall in the jungles of Taiwan. You can check this growth in containers, especially with slow-growing variegated cultivars like ‘Gold Capella’ or ‘Sunburst.’

Light: High

Water: Medium

Color Varieties: ‘Sun Burst’ is a gold variegated type; ‘Janine’ is a white variegated type.

Until next week, I’ll be helping locals choose the prettiest flowers for summer gardens here at Watters Garden Center.

Throughout the week, Ken Lain can be found at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her website at or