No green thumb required

The Best Houseplants You (Probably) Won’t Kill


February 25, 2015 Buying Guides By
10 Best Indoor Plants for Men

When it comes to indoor plants, men don’t have a reputation for green thumbs. But plant life is important: it can improve your home’s decor and feng shui, not to mention the air quality. And not all plants require equal amounts of TLC; there are a lot that can put up with a little unintended neglect. With the help of Juliette Vassilkioti (cofounder and lead designer at My City Plants) and Dimitri Gatanas (co-owner of New York City’s Urban Garden Center), we’ve chosen the best-looking and most beneficial houseplants that just about anyone can care for. Buy one and treat it moderately well, and there’s a good chance it’ll live a long and prosperous life.

ZZ Plant

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Best Urban Indoor Plant: Native to eastern Africa, the ZZ Plant is relatively small, has beautiful polished leaves and helps purify air. It requires very little water and sunlight, so you’ll have to try hard to let it die. Vassilkioti even suggests that letting the soil “dry out between waterings” is a good idea.
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Snake Plant

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Best Plant for Bachelors: The Snake Plant (also known as a “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” or “Good Luck” plant) has air-purifying qualities and can survive in near dark. It’s originally from South Africa and needs very little water. In fact, overwatering is the only surefire way of killing it. Gatanas calls it “the perfect bachelor plant”.
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Ponytail Palm

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Best Windowsill Plant: The origin of its name is obvious: it looks like someone’s hair tied back in a ponytail. This palm is also referred to as an “Elephant Foot” because of its bulbous succulent base. Originally from Mexico, it needs consistent light and a very little water. It’s best suited for a windowsill or a brightly-lit corner.
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Bird of Paradise

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Best Large Indoor Plant: “One great thing about this plant is the statement it makes in a room”, says Gatanas. The Bird of Paradise plant is magnificent, exotic and known for its large crane-like leaves. But this plant is more fickle than most. It needs consistent waterings (although too much water will cause it to weep and die), sunlight and weekly dustings. And the leaves are poisonous when eaten, so keep children and animals away.
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Dracaena Lemon Lime

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Most Colorful Indoor Plant: Despite “Dracaena” meaning “female dragon” in ancient Greek, this bushy plant isn’t harmful. It also requires minimal care. Native to Africa, this lush plant has leaves that look like daggers, each striped with a lemon-lime color. According to Vassilkioti, it’s an air purifier and produces a lot of oxygen.
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Vine Alternatives
For those seeking a different type of houseplant, vines are a fun alternative. They’re extremely resilient and grow voraciously, and many flower as well. Since they’re great climbing plants, they can be bit unruly, but that’s nothing a monthly trimming can’t fix. Additionally, it’s common for people to trim them, place the healthy stems in water, and let them grow into separate plants. That’s a free housewarming gift.

Sidebar-1-Gear-PatrolGolden Pothos
A great hanging plant, the Golden Pothos has long vines of heart-shaped leaves and, according to Gatanas, “grows like a weed”. It requires more water than most houseplants, but that’s the only drawback. It can thrive in indirect sunlight, 40-degree temperatures and is great at removing airborne formaldehyde.
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Sidebar-2-Gear-PatrolSolanum Laxum
Also known as a White Potato Vine, this plant is native to South America, and can now can be found all over America. It grows quickly, has large greenish-yellow leaves and can live in just water. On top of that, it has white or celeste blue flowers that bloom every year (at least once). This plant does need a lot of sunlight to flourish.
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Iron Plant

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Most Resilient Plant: Also known as the Cast Iron Plant, this guy thrives on low light and little water. It gets its name because it’s tough and tolerant of neglect. The Iron Plant has Chinese origins and dark green droopy leaves, and according to Vassilkioti, it “will fill all those corners where other plants wilt”.
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Jade Plant

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Most Ornamental Succulent: Thought to be good luck to many, these feng shui plants can live over 100 years — if taken care of properly. They love direct sunlight and don’t need a lot of water. But they’re small, grow slowly and aren’t terribly pleasing to look at.
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Peace Lily

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Best Air-Purifying Plant: The Peace Lily is named after its flowers, which bloom twice a year (for two months at a time) and look like white flags. They’re native to the floor of South American rainforests, so they enjoy humid environments and a few hours of sunlight per day. Fun fact: they are one of the most potent natural air purifiers in the world.
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Money Tree

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Most Feng Shui Plant: Just for its name, Jordan Belfort would love this plant. It has a beautifully braided trunk and large verdant leaves, and is said to bring good luck. However, they’re a little unpredictable when it comes to size. “I have seen these plants up to six feet tall or as short as six inches”, says Gatanas. On the plus side they’re great indoors because they thrive on fluorescent light.
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Yucca Plant

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Editor’s Pick: The Yucca is a visually striking plant. Spineless and slow growing, they originally called the deserts of the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America their home. Yucca grows slowly, requires ample sunlight and needs frequent waterings. It should be noted that yucca plants have sharp pointy leaves, so they’re dangerous if you’re absent minded.
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