The Zamioculcas zamiifolia, or the ZZ plant, is a popular and beloved household plant characterized by its shiny, spotless, oval-shaped leaves that often look too good to be true.
In addition to their beauty, ZZ plants are favored by many because they’re incredibly low-maintenance and resilient to the harshest conditions, including low light and drought.
If you’re a beginner plant enthusiast concerned about their dark apartment, forgetful nature, or a self-proclaimed lack of green thumb, this guide is for you.
We’ve put together some beautiful, stress-free, and refreshing plants to invigorate your space, purify your air, and enhance your well-being. Like the ZZ plant, these plants require minimal care and attention to stay happy, healthy, and thriving.
Similar to the ZZ plant, the Mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant tolerates low to bright light levels. It has thick, sturdy, sword-shaped leaves that vary in color but are usually green-striped with a cream or yellow border.
This low-maintenance and seemingly indestructible houseplant can grow 3–4 feet on average, but it’s also capable of reaching 12 feet in its native habitat! Like the ZZ plant, snake plants are slow-growing and prefer warm, bright, and indirect sunlight.
Other fascinating characteristics of these plants are their ability to purify the air in your home and their minimal need for hydration—once a month will suffice in the winter. Their vertical structure can add interest to any room, but be careful, as they’re toxic to pets and humans, too.
Pothos is a tropical vine houseplant that’s just as forgiving and easy to care for as the ZZ plant. Its stunningly beautiful heart-shaped green leaves grow fast, typically at a rate of 12–18 inches in length each month.
These lush vines thrive in low-light conditions and are simple to propagate in case you want to expand your plant collection. Whether you overwater or underwater your pothos plant, it quickly bounces back to health under the right conditions.
A pothos plant can make do whether you hang it in a basket, wrap it around a kitchen window, or allow it to climb a plant pole. It doesn’t mind low humidity and is nicknamed “devil’s ivy” for its ability to survive the toughest conditions, including pitch-black environments.
The attractive and trouble-free Chinese evergreen is ideal for beginners, as it only follows one simple rule: the lighter the variegation on this houseplant’s leaves, the more sunlight it requires. Its glossy oval-shaped leaves resemble those of the ZZ plant, but they’re much larger in size.
Since Chinese evergreens are slow-growing, they work well as potted office plants. You’ll need to exercise caution around them because they’re toxic to cats and dogs.
Like the ZZ plant, the Chinese evergreen isn’t fond of direct sunlight, as harsh rays can damage and burn its beautiful leaves. It also struggles under cold drafts and temperatures, so keep it away from vents and find a nice warm spot for it to stay in.
Mighty philodendrons have a reputation for being one of the best drought-tolerant indoor plants. Their name is a combination of the Greek words “Philo,” which means love, and “dendron,” which stands for tree—chances are you’ll love taking care of them!
There are hundreds of varieties belonging to the philodendron family, but most of them have green and glossy leaves like the ZZ plant. If you notice either plant’s shiny leaves getting dull and dusty, give them a gentle wipe using a damp washcloth.
To add vibrant colors to your home, opt for varieties with red, purplish, or copper foliage. Philodendrons can be vining or non-climbing, but both types are low-maintenance houseplants that can survive for decades with proper care.
If you want some lovely white flowers with a light and sweet fragrance in your office, potted peace lilies are the perfect choice. These popular houseplants have glossy spade-shaped leaves associated with purity, healing, sympathy, and hope.
Similar to a ZZ plant, caring for a peace lily is simple, as this plant can survive almost all conditions. To keep your plant happy, don’t allow its soil to completely dry out, and try to water when the top inch is no longer moist.
Well-draining soil is essential for both peace lilies and ZZ plants because they don’t do well on soil that’s too damp. Even gardeners with black thumbs will enjoy taking care of these flowering tropical plants, and their twice-a-year blooms give you something to look forward to.
The fluffy asparagus fern adds variety to your collection of bold and leafy houseplants. Like the ZZ plant, this hardy houseplant can handle a bit of neglect, so don’t fret if you forget to water it every now and then.
Browning or droopy leaves are a sign that your plant needs more water, so do your best to keep it happy in indirect sunlight, moist potting soil, and a humid environment. This plant is great for wall boxes, window boxes, hanging baskets, and various planters.
As its name implies, the asparagus fern is closely related to a common springtime vegetable: asparagus! Exercise caution, as asparagus ferns, are mildly toxic to humans, moderately toxic to pets, and considered invasive in areas such as Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.
Jade plants resemble ZZ plants in both looks and hardiness, and they both have excellent water retention mechanisms that allow them to survive over a month without any attention. A jade plant is capable of storing water in its round, plump, and shiny leaves.
Surprisingly, jade plants have extensive lifespans and can live for as long as 100 years in ideal conditions! They need at least six full hours of indirect sunlight each day, so find a cozy spot for them near a south-facing or west-facing window in your office or kitchen.
Other interesting traits about this succulent include its thick woody stems and rare flowers that are usually small, star-shaped, and light-colored. One good care tip is to examine its leaf edges for a rosy tint that indicates that the plant is receiving enough sunlight.
If you prefer growing a tree-like plant with large dark green leaves and a nice height, say hello to the rubber plant. For beginners, it’s best to start with a young rubber plant because it’ll adapt to indoor living easier than fully grown plants.
Rubber plants’ beautiful waxy leaves prefer medium to bright indirect light, and you’ll have to water them when the top two inches of your soil are dried out. Some of the most common types of rubber plants that you’ll find in nurseries and gardens are Robusta, Tricolor, and Burgundy.
Certain varieties of rubber plants can look similar to ZZ plants because they have round leaves and a rubbery and shiny appearance. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling this plant and its sap, as it can irritate your skin and even cause digestive issues if you consume it.
Being a plant owner can sometimes feel intimidating, with watering schedules, lighting requirements, and regular fertilization to take care of. Thankfully, there are several low-maintenance plants like the ZZ plant that perform well in the toughest conditions!
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a few houseplant options that are easy to care for, with no green thumb required. Bring one into your home to instantly add beauty, freshness, and health!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.