Think you don’t have a “green thumb” or too busy to remember to water your houseplants regularly? No worries! There are plenty of houseplants you don’t need to water much that will fill your house with the greenery you love, with out the fuss of daily care.
Drought resistant houseplants tolerate dry conditions that may kill other, less hardy plants. They make the perfect addition to the forgetful gardener’s indoor plant collection.
In many cases, a skipped watering won’t faze these tough plants. Do keep in mind, though, that no plant can live forever without water. Even the most drought resistant house plants require water sooner or later, although some need far less attention than others.
Navigating plant choices can sometimes be tricky, so we’ve done the research for you to select the best plants for you to start with. All are houseplants you don’t need to water with a high success rate of with-standing drought conditions.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Elatior)
This tough, evergreen, perennial foliage plant is well-known for its ability to withstand neglect and abuse, particularly low light and drought-like conditions, for long periods. Best grown in indirect light and watered once per week, cast iron plant is one of the most resilient drought resistant house plants in existence.
While it prefers moist soil, the plant will tolerate dry conditions for weeks before showing any signs of distress.
Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Tolerant of neglect and extremely drought resistant, snake plant is one of the easiest houseplants to maintain. The plant’s common name, Mother-in-Law’s tongue, refers to its inability to “go away,” even when ignored for long periods.
Snake plant will grow in a nearly light-less corner with very little moisture, although it thrives in bright, indirect light with weekly applications of water. It will survive for weeks, sometimes months, with little water if necessary.
Kalanchoe, Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana)
A common indoor plant in cool climates, kalanchoe is a tough, flowering perennial that can withstand some neglect. Native to Africa and Madagascar, the plant is partial to dry conditions. It’s one of the best drought resistant houseplants once established in its container.
Partial to bright, indirect light, kalanchoe thrives in an east- or west-facing window. They prefer weekly applications of water for robust growth and flowering.
Aloe Vera, Burn Plant (Aloe Barbadensis)
One of the world’s favorite drought resistant house plants, Aloe Vera is a succulent perennial with a short stem and thick, fleshy leaves adept at storing water. The most common cause of death is, in fact, over-watering. Aloe prefers bright, indirect light and requires water only once or twice per month when grown in an indoor garden.
The sap from Aloe’s leaves soothe burns and abrasions, which makes them practical as well as easy to care for.
Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)
Pothos is one of the most widely-grown house plants and gardeners value the perennial vine for its attractive foliage, ease of care and tolerance of a wide range of growing conditions. They will grow in low light with very little water, but it thrives in medium, indirect light and prefers its soil to dry out between weekly to bi-monthly watering.
Although tolerant to drought, pothos wilts if too much time elapses without moisture.
Jade Plant (Crassula Argentea)
Long grown as foliage plants in containers where they live root bound for years, jade plants are extremely tolerant of poor soil and their thick, succulent leaves act as reservoirs for water. This trait and its susceptibility to over-watering makes jade plant one of the best drought resistant house plants available.
For indoor gardening, the plant prefers indirect light and watering only when the top few inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
ZZ Plant, Zamioculcus (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
A tropical perennial house plant, ZZ plant’s rhizomatous roots allow it to store water, which makes it extremely tolerant of drought-like conditions and dry soil. The plant also tolerates low-light conditions that may kill other plants. However, it performs best when provided with bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day.
Watering once every two weeks provides the best results, though ZZ plant can live for much longer without moisture.
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Pseudobracteatum)
Among indoor plants, Chinese evergreen is one of the most attractive, easy to grow and tolerant of adverse conditions. Popular foliage plants in office buildings, shopping malls and homes, the plant tolerates low light and drought. Chinese evergreen thrives when given shadowless light, such as that from a north-facing window, and watering when the soil dries out. The plant is even purported to grow better indoors in a container than in its native habitat.
Weeping Fig, Benjamin’s Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
Many members of the genus Ficus are popular, easy-care houseplants, but the weeping fig is one of the only ficus trees that tolerates dim light and drought. The plant thrives when provided with bright light. Weeping Fig requires water only about once every two weeks during the spring and summer and once per month during the fall and winter. In most cases, weeping fig can survive longer than this without moisture, but may lose its leaves.
Wandering Jew, Inch Plant (Tradescantia Zebrina)
A species of spiderwort, Wandering Jew tolerates heat, drought and poor lighting, though it thrives in bright, indirect light. Watering becomes necessary when the plant begins to lose its color, but it can tolerate long periods without any moisture.
One of the most popular drought tolerant house plants for hanging baskets, Wandering Jew trails over the sides of its container. This creates a dramatic effect in any indoor garden. Monthly feeding also increases growth, though this isn’t necessary.