Starting your journey as a houseplant parent should begin with success. This requires selecting the right plants to start your indoor jungle. If you ask any houseplant lover for their top five easiest plants you will get many answers, but there are a few plants that will show up over and over.

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Philodendron species (also pothos and monstera):

This particular group of plants provides a huge variety of leaf shapes and colors. There are varieties to trail from baskets and varieties which will boldly stand out as floor plants. This plant family brings enough variation to fill out an interesting collection without ever buying another genus. Most philodendron are quite forgiving and happy in the average home with bright light, but there are varieties that will challenge a beginner. If you are a fan of heart shaped leaves, there are more than a few philodendron you should meet and grow!

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Dracaena species:

If you are looking for an easy plant and also need something with some height, dracaena are a fantastic easy care selection. They offer everything from colorful striped leaves to basic green and are happy in most home environments. With age, dracaena develop multiple branching stems that add character to their environment. Dracaena like a little bit of attention, but forgive the occasional period of neglect.

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Aglaonema; Chinese Evergreen:

Aglaonema have interesting variegated foliage and an uncanny ability to survive anything. These plants can be found with any number of leaf patterns and colors; ranging from soothing silvers and greens to hot bubblegum pink. While these plants are not prone to many pests, they do require a little bit of extra warmth. A bit of neglect is often the recipe for success with aglaonema, but they will appreciate a regular shot of fertilizer while they are actively growing.

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Spathiphyllum; Peace Lily:

The classic peace lily is a decorator’s dream. They look great everywhere and will survive in the lowest of light levels. If you are able to read a newspaper without turning on a light during the day, you have enough light for a peace lily. If given bright light, these plants will bloom regularly; some even have fragrant flowers. Varieties such as ‘Sensation’ are grown for their huge leaves and will only bloom occasionally. Spathiphyllum are great plants for observant plant parents. They like to be watered as soon as the ends of the leaves begin to droop. If they go dry to the point of wilting, growth will slow and blooming will be delayed. Keeping your peace lily in a smaller container and watering more frequently will encourage more blooms.

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Aspidistra; Cast Iron Plant:

To say these plants will tolerate neglect is an understatement. They don’t call a plant cast iron for no reason. This is one of those plants that can be kept by anyone. There is a certain elegance to the foliage and they are available with several types of striking variegation. This is a plant which will thrive in almost any naturally lit space with less effort than any other. The variegated varieties need a little bit more light, but are still lower light plants. This classic houseplant is known to survive extreme shade, freezing temperatures, and severe neglect. As long as the plant is not placed in full unfiltered sunshine, it will thrive.

Getting going can be a challenge, but starting with a few reliable basics is the best way to begin a fantastic plant family!