Easiest Indoor Plants to Keep Alive in New York City

Do you love the idea of growing lush houseplants in your apartment but have a thumb that’s any color but green? Fortunately, options exist that thrive on neglect and poor conditions. Following are six plants that perform well in urban indoor environments and don’t need extra care and fuss.

Snake Plant

Snake plants thrive in low light and can go months without water. They provide a dramatic, upwards silhouette that pairs well with the urban minimalist interior design and doesn’t take as much space as plants with horizontal growth patterns.


Peace Lily

The gorgeous dark green leaves and large, white flowers of the peace lily make it a striking addition to any indoor decor. It has the added benefit of acting as an air purifier. Never place a peace lily in direct sunlight. You’ll know when it needs watering because the leaves will begin to droop.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants need a relatively bright location, so place yours need a window with a southern or western exposure. Only water the plant when the soil has dried out completely. Aloe vera performs best in soil that provides excellent drainage, so use potting soil designed for use with cacti. Your aloe vera plant can also do double duty as a burn salve — just snip off a tip and hold the inner tissues of the affected area. Aloe vera can grow over three feet tall, but if you don’t want yours to get that large, leaving it in a smaller pot will do the trick.

Spider Plants

Spider plants are excellent choices for city apartments because they’re typically placed in hanging baskets and therefore don’t take up valuable surface space. They aren’t fussy about the light at all, and they thrive when their roots are crowded, so you won’t have to remember to re-pot them as they grow. They also self-propagate by creating small versions of themselves that hang from existing stems, ensuring a constant source of visual interest. You can re-pot the baby spider plants and re-plant them yourself or give them friends and family, or you can simply leave them on the parent plant.



Bamboo is a beautiful plant that thrives indoors when it’s given water, shade, and plenty of neglect. Its dramatic horizontal growth habit makes it perfect for placing on a shelf about midway between the floor and ceiling with a light-colored wall as a backdrop.


Ficus is otherwise known as an ornamental fig tree. This tree is a common indoor plant that thrives as long as it has well-drained soil and receives light applications of fertilizer during the spring and summer growing season. Ficus makes an excellent accent plant, so place it in a highly visible area of your apartment.

Once you’ve mastered basic indoor horticulture techniques by introducing one or more of the above options into your indoor living environment, you’ll undoubtedly want to continue your journey with the wonderful world of house plants by moving on to some more challenging varieties.

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