5 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants

Brown thumb? No problem. These five hard to kill houseplants can make even the worst home gardener look like they know what they’re doing.

By Shelley Wigglesworth

Nov 07 2017


Philodendron | Hard to Kill Houseplants

Photo Credit : Dreamstime

Attention self-proclaimed “brown-thumbs.” If you haven’t had luck keeping plants alive in your home or office, don’t give up just yet. Here are our picks for the top five hard to kill houseplants, along with a list of their requirements. These tried-and-true plants can and will thrive with very little care, so why not give it one last shot? Having plants in the home or office has many benefits, including air purification, stress relief and ambiance. Try one or more of the plants below and see for yourself how easy it can be.


Hard to Kill Houseplants
Philodendron | Hard to Kill Houseplants
Photo Credit : Dreamstime


A common house plant in American homes for generations, the philodendron comes in two main varieties — climbing, which can be hung, trailed, wound, and rooted like the pothos plant, and non-climbing. The non-climbing plants are not as versatile when it comes to display options, but will do just as well as their climbing relatives in indirect light with occasional watering.

Hard to Kill Houseplants
The ZZ Plant | Hard to Kill Houseplants
Photo Credit : Dreamstime

The ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas zamiifolia — also known as Zanzibar gem — is native to East Africa. Commonly found in flower and plant shops in the U.S., it’s an excellent choice for a house warming gift, as even the most careless gardeners can keep this plant alive. The ZZ plant has green, shiny leaves and can grow to over a foot tall.

Hard to Kill Houseplants
Jade Plant | Hard to Kill Houseplants
Photo Credit : Brenda Darroch

Jade Plant

Jade plants do quite well when left alone in bright, full light. This plant can go weeks without watering and still flourish. Prized for its bright green foliage, it is also said to bring good luck and is a traditional gift given to new business owners.

Hard to Kill Houseplants
Snake Plant | Hard to Kill Houseplants
Photo Credit :

Snake Plant

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant is named for the sharp tips at the end of its elongated, variegated stems, resembling snakes or tongues, depending on your point of view. This plant can do well in most light sources and withstand long periods without water. Its shiny leaves may need to be dusted on occasion.

Hard to Kill Houseplants
Pothos | Hard to Kill Houseplants
Photo Credit : Brenda Darroch


Easy, tolerant, and forgiving, the pothos plant can be wound around a small stake or trellis in a plant pot or trailed around the room for a tropical, jungle-like feel. Fast growing, it also makes a nice hanging plant. Pothos can tolerate dry spells and most light exposures, quickly bouncing back when given a little water. This plant is easily rooted from cuttings and is a great plant for propagating plants to share.

What are your favorite hard to kill houseplants? Let us know in the comments!

This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.

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