The 6 Easiest Plants to Grow for Beginners

Updated on March 8, 2018
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.


You Don't Need Green Thumbs

Live plants are a great, quick, inexpensive way to liven up any room, from your office to your bathroom. And contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few houseplants out there that are easy to grow, even for people who don’t think they have green thumbs.

An easy-to-grow houseplant means it is adaptable to its immediate surroundings. These plants are not picky and are the best house guests you will ever host. They put up with being forgotten, need very little pruning or pinching, don't get sick or infected with pests, and low-light doesn't bother them for a while.

About the easiest plant in the world to grow is a shamrock. These grassy plants with bright green shamrock-shaped leaves and delicate white flowers bloom continually through the year.

1. Shamrock

About the easiest plant in the world to grow is a shamrock. Shamrocks can grow four-leaf clovers. As a matter of fact, my niece is known for being able to find four-leaf clovers. She must be a lucky girl.

These grassy plants with bright green shamrock-shaped leaves and delicate white flowers bloom continually through the year. They are easy to care for because they are kind of like a weed. Once they take root, they keep growing and spread if not in a container.

If you have a plant in a pot, put them in a sunny spot, water them when you remember, and you will be rewarded.

Shamrocks are plants that die and come back and should be trimmed. The stems turning brown and withering after blooming (you can just snap these bits off), but they’re really hard to kill, even when you think you’ve killed them, just keep watering, and the plant almost always comes back.


2. Philodendron

Speaking of hard-to-kill beauties, try a philodendron. These viny plants can have solid green or variegated leaves and will survive in the high or low light. Water it when the leaves get droopy. It has been reported that it can go up to a month without water and if treated with a little more care it will climb all over whatever you put it on.

I discovered that the strong plant can do well in low light. If I place my plant in higher light, it overshadows its potential. I noticed it grew faster than its usual doodle-daddle speed.

I always keep my plant away from any hot direct sun, especially in the afternoon, as the plant will burn.

3. Aloe Vera

Another great plant (and useful, too) that’s easy to grow is aloe vera. I keep my aloe plant in a sunny spot in my private bathroom. Sometimes, I bring it out to the kitchen.

These plants have so many healthy purposes.You’ll always have a ready cure for rough skin and a salve to ease the pain of cuts and burns. Aloes like soil that drains, so buy potting mix made for succulents and don’t water the plant except when the soil is completely dry.

If you have a balcony or back porch, your aloe will enjoy being outside during the summer. I set my plant outside during the summer days. It flourishes, and I bring it in at night.

You can leave it outside overnight during the summer. Remember, you need to make sure to bring it inside before the winter frost starts.

4. Lucky Bamboo

Little pots and big pots of “lucky bamboo” have been cropping up all over the place, and they’re a good addition to the black-thumbed gardener’s palette. Some of these plants don’t even have soil, they only require water to grow.

I have both. For the one with just water, I refresh it whenever I think of it. The plant is flourishing. For the other plant in soil, I either set the pot in a tray of water or water the plant from the top regularly.

I have found that these plants like indirect sunlight, but they really aren’t too picky. I haven't lost one yet. If my plant’s leaves start browning on the tips, I know the city water is not all that great. I revert back to watering with bottled or filtered water because fluoride can cause that unattractive problem.


5. Cacti

If all else fails, try cacti. There are a lot of really pretty cactus plants available these days, with different plants grafted to each other so they appear to bloom.

Cacti come in lots of colors and sizes and will be happy with a lot of sunshine, a warm room, and very little water. You can even go on vacation for two weeks and come home with the cacti still happy as can be.

The most common cause of death among cacti is overwatering, so plant them in the succulent mix soil and allow them to revel in your neglect. Indoor gardening is fun and can be very rewarding when it doesn’t take a lot of work. Visit your local nursery and try your luck and give some of these easy plants a try.


6. Topiary

Historically, topiary popularity stems from the 16th and 17th century Manors of England and Chateaux of France. Many estates grew thousands of topiaries. Using an enormous staff of gardeners whom painstakingly controlled and bent nature to the will of man, creating beautiful, living art of nature.

Today, topiaries are grown on wire frames, different from the historical methods, vastly reducing the time needed for maintenance and enabling anyone to own and care for topiary. You can grow lollipops (standard), cones, wreathes, baskets and balls with many more shapes.

During the holiday seasons, you can decorate your topiaries with appropriate colored ornaments and gold, white or red ribbons.

Caring for a topiary is simple and requires very little time since they grow on wires. Because different types of plants can become a topiary, it is best to pick the easiest plants to grow, such as rosemary and ivy. They do need their sun, so keep them in a well-lit area and fertilize when the seasons change. Water them when the soil is just about dry but not awfully dry.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 4 weeks ago from Northern California

      Lucky Bamboos are pretty easy to grow and they bring you luck.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 4 weeks ago from Northern California

      Lucky Bamboos are pretty easy to grow and they bring you luck.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      Gardening or growing plants has never been one of my strong points. I like the lucky bamboo plants, they're really nice.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 7 weeks ago from Northern California

      Growing plants outside is therapeutic and so rewarding, I love it. Pothos is a great plant for first time indoor plant. They are so easy to grow. You can toss one in the garbage, and they will survive the landfill. They come in different shades of greens. They are great air filters, too. Thank you for commenting!!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 7 weeks ago from Ohio

      I can grow a garden outside, but I never have much luck with inside plants. I went through a stage when I killed every plant from not watering it. So, I bought myself a rock cactus. LOL, killed that over watering it. Now I pretty much stick to the outdoors.