BEST DROUGHT-TOLERANT INDOOR PLANTS
Indoor plants have always been popular with homeowners and apartment dwellers. They add a touch of nature to any indoor space, purify the air, and can even boost mood and productivity. However, only some have the time or green thumb to regularly water and care for their plants. This is where drought-tolerant indoor plants come into play. These plants are beautiful and require minimal watering, making them perfect for those who might forget to water them now and then.
- Drought-tolerant plants require minimal watering.
- They are perfect for individuals with busy lifestyles.
- These plants can survive in varying light conditions.
- They are functional and add aesthetic value to your space.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Snake plants’ sword-like, dark green leaves give them a bold look, often enhanced by silver, cream, white, or yellow variegation. Even better, these plants can go for weeks without a drizzle of moisture, making them perfect for forgetful gardeners. Snake plants tolerate low to bright light and grow up to four feet tall.
Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
The ponytail palm can store long-term moisture thanks to its thick, trunk-like stem, easily surviving missed watering. It gets its name from the long, narrow leaves that grow from the end of its single stem, making it look like a peppy, cascading ponytail. This drought-tolerant indoor plant may need a drink every couple of weeks during the warmer months, but during the winter, you can stretch it to only watering every three or four weeks. Ponytail palms tolerate low to bright light and can eventually reach 10 feet tall.
Aloe (Aloe vera)
A spiky succulent with plump, toothed leaves, aloe is famous for its ability to soothe burns. These easy-care indoor plants don’t need water very often, so you can let the soil dry out between waterings. Aloe grows slowly, like most succulents, but it will reach three feet tall and wide with patience. Please keep it in bright light, but don’t place it in direct sunlight, or your plant could end up with a sunburn.
Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Looking at the burro’s tail, you can see how this gray-green succulent got its name. A member of the sedum genus, the burro’s tail has lush, almost jelly bean-shaped leaves that overlap on trailing stems. The tiny leaves easily drop off; pot them up to start new plants. Water this houseplant like any other succulent (let the soil dry before giving it more water), and keep it in bright light. The burro’s tail may eventually reach a couple of feet long with proper care.
Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
Slow-growing sago palm is a popular, durable houseplant that’s easy to care for and adds a touch of the tropics to any room. The leathery, dark green fronds on a mature plant will stretch up to three feet long. Sago palms like well-drained soil, so while forgetting to water this plant won’t kill it, overwatering will. Give your palm a drink when it’s just on the verge of drying out, and keep it in medium to bright light—eventually, it can grow up to five feet tall.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
A popular choice for households and offices, pothos is a tough, drought-resistant houseplant with attractive, glossy foliage. Its vines spread up to eight feet or more, and you can find varieties with variegated and bright green leaves. Pothos earned its popularity by being practically indestructible—it tolerates low to bright light and drying out between waterings. It’s also super easy to start new plants from cuttings.
Commonly known as a zebra plant because of its white-striped foliage, Haworthia fasciata is excellent for dressing up a windowsill. One of the easiest indoor plants that don’t need water, it thrives on minimal care. It tends to stay less than a foot tall and wide, and it’s usually even more compact than that. Like most succulents, the zebra plant does best in bright light, and it prefers when the soil in its pot dries out a bit between waterings. Because of its unique spikes and striped coloring, it’s a favorite for modern decor.
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
As you might guess from its common name, cast iron plant is practically indestructible. If you’ve struggled to keep plants alive, this hearty houseplant tolerates low light, low humidity, and infrequent watering. It has broad, dark green leaves, and some varieties have variegated foliage. Cast iron plants are also popular in outdoor gardens with temperatures above freezing. They tend to grow about two feet tall and wide.
Ox Tongue (Gasteria bicolor)
The rough-textured, gray-green leaves of ox tongue make a unique addition to your collection of indoor plants. These drought-tolerant plants that don’t need water very often need bright light to thrive, and when they get enough of it, ox tongue produces spikes of pinkish-red flowers in the spring. In the winter, this durable plant can go for weeks without water. It tends to stay on the small side but may reach three feet tall in the right conditions.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
The leathery leaves of the ZZ plant almost look plastic because they are so stiff and shiny. ZZ plants only need a little more care than their faux counterparts—these plants don’t need watering more than once in a while. This drought-resistant houseplant is happiest in bright light, but it’ll also tolerate low-light areas of your home. All ZZ plant varieties are slow growers but eventually grow three feet tall and wide.
Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Jade plants are succulents that have thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves. They are often considered symbols of good luck. These plants are drought-tolerant and can go without water for extended periods. They prefer bright light, and it’s essential to let their soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering is a common mistake with jade plants.
Cacti are the ultimate drought-tolerant plants. Native to arid regions, they have evolved to store water in their thick stems and leaves. There are many varieties of cacti that can be grown indoors, from small potted varieties to larger columnar types. They prefer bright light and require very little water. In fact, during the winter months, many cacti go dormant and need even less water.
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)
Rubber plants have large, glossy green leaves and can grow quite tall indoors. They are not only drought-tolerant but also tolerate low light conditions. It’s essential to let the soil dry out between waterings. If the leaves start to droop, it’s a sign that the plant needs water.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Spider plants are popular indoor plants known for their arching leaves and small white flowers. They are incredibly resilient and can tolerate a variety of conditions, including drought. They prefer indirect light and should be watered moderately. Spider plants are also known for their air-purifying qualities.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Peace lilies are known for their beautiful white flowers and dark green leaves. They are relatively easy to care for and can tolerate low light conditions. While they prefer consistent moisture, they are also somewhat drought-tolerant. If you notice the leaves drooping, it’s a sign that the plant needs water.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I water drought-tolerant plants?
It depends on the specific plant and the conditions of your home. However, most drought-tolerant plants prefer to dry out between waterings. It’s always better to underwater than overwater.
Can drought-tolerant plants survive in low light?
Many drought-tolerant plants can also tolerate low light conditions, but it’s essential to research each plant’s specific needs.
Are all succulents drought-tolerant?
While most succulents are drought-tolerant, not all can go extended periods without water. It’s essential to understand the specific watering needs of each succulent variety.