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10 low maintenance houseplants that'll survive decades


In a world where greenery and nature intertwine seamlessly with our living spaces, homeowners can often struggle when it comes to being greenfingered. 


Fortunately, experts at have discovered 10 of the longest-lasting ‘indestructible’ houseplants to own.


Neil Mclaren, at comments:

“We already know that by surrounding ourselves with mood-boosting and captivating plants, we invite the benefits of cleaner air, reduced stress, and heightened creativity into our lives. Unfortunately for some, certain houseplants require a lot of tender and care which can be difficult to maintain.


So to ensure a balance, why not purchase house plants such as the Common Houseleek or a Fern, which are some of the longest-lasting houseplants known, perfect for low-maintenance; that way you can claim to be greenfingered, but without the hassle!”

Image: Nick Pope

10 longest-lasting virtually ‘indestructible’ houseplants

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  • Coming in a joint first, the longest-living houseplants with an infinite lifespan are the Common Houseleek (often known as ‘hens and chicks’) and Fern Arum. Both plants require little watering and low sunlight, therefore super easy to maintain as they both thrive from neglect; a perfect addition in the run up to autumn/winter.

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Common Houseleek

Sempervivum tectorum (Common Houseleek). This succulent is sometimes called 'hens and chicks' because it produces 'chicks' - miniature plants that are offset from the mother 'hen'. There are many varieties available and all of them seem to thrive on neglect. They work really well planted up as part of a 'living wall' design.

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Fern Arum

Zamioculcas xamiifolia (Fern Arum). These compact plants are happy to dry out and can take a dark location.

  • Taking third place overall, with a shelf life of 20 years is the Spider plant. Similar to the Common Houseleek and Fern Arum, the Spider plant can be left alone, although does need to be in well-drained soil and only watered when it feels dry.

Spider Plant

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant). As long as you give spider plants reasonable levels of light, you can then pretty much forget about them.

Money trees, Aloe Vera and Panda Plant all take fourth place with a shared life span of 10 years each, requiring little watering. However, Aloe vera would require more sunlight than the other two plants, as they enjoy soaking up the sun as they slowly grow.

Money Tree

Crassula ovata (Money Tree). Also known as the 'money plant', these exotic hardies require good light and little water. They have beautifully plump, glossy green leaves that are tinged with red, and they retain a bush-like appearance.


Aloe. While these succulents need bright light, they can be allowed to dry out between waterings. They also grow slowly, so you won't have to keep repotting them.

Panda Plant

Kalanchoe tomentosa (Panda Plant). The green leaves are covered with small silver hairs, giving this plant a blue-grey appearance. It should be placed by a bright window. Be careful not to over-water, and do cut off dead flower stems and pinch back leggy growth to keep plants looking their best.

Chinese Evergreen

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen). The 21 species of Aglaonema all have attractive, oval-shaped leaves growing from a stalk in a variety of leaf colours, many of them with pretty variegated white markings. All of them need moderate watering, and while the all-green varieties, such as A. modestum, don't mind lower light levels, the variegated ones, like the silvery-grey A. 'Silver Queen', need brighter light, though not direct sunlight. They are slow-growing and look particularly good when grouped together.

Pothos Plant

Epipremnum pinnatum (Pothos). This genus of about 15 species in the arum family (Araceae) occurs from Southeast Asia to the western Pacific. In tropical regions pothos is grown as a ground cover or as a scrambler up trees. It can be planted in hanging baskets, used as an underplanting for large potted plants or trees, or grown indoors as a pot plant or trained up a sphagnum pole. Pothos is very easy to grow, so is an excellent choice for the beginner. It does best in filtered light, with high humidity, and temperatures between 70 and 90°F but will survive a wide range of environmental conditions.*

Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum wallisii (Peace Lily). Of all the flowering houseplants, the peace lily is perhaps the easiest to care for. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight, but can tolerate lower light levels. However, for the plants to bloom, they do require brighter light. The attractive white flowers appear in early summer and can last for weeks.

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Corn Plant

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant). These plants need good light levels, but they should be kept out of direct sunlight. You only need to water them moderately, and reduce this in winter. Any pruning should be done in spring. They can reach 2m tall but their spread is fairly compact, which makes them ideal for corners and tight spaces.

* University of Wisconsin-Madison
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