The best indoor plants: take your pick from our favourites

Bring the outdoors in with the best indoor plants. Easy to care for, colourful and essential for any Insta-worthy pic, these are the ones you want on your shopping list

best indoor plants: large green house plant in a white modern living room
(Image credit: Patch)

The best indoor plants are the ones that look great, keep our air nice and pure, and are fairly easy to keep alive – often harder than you might think if our experience is anything to go by! The notion of ‘bringing the outside in,’ otherwise known as biophilia, has been a big trend in interiors over the last year, and it would seem we're all keen to welcome more indoor plants into every corner of our home. 

But with so many wonderful varieties out there, how do you choose the best plant for your space? Just as you’d consider the measurements of a sofa to see if it will work in your room, you should consider the requirements of your house plants before you buy, too. From the amount of sunlight, watering and humidity required, there’s much more to bear in mind than just your plant’s appearance.

We’ve created this no-nonsense guide so you can discover the best indoor plants for your space. Whether you’re ready to have your first plant baby or you’re keen to expand your crop, read on for our round-up of the best.

The best indoor plants

Peace Lily house plant in a white pot

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

1. Peace lily / Spathiphyllum

Best indoor plant for air purifying: perfect for a home office

Specifications
Best for : Air purifying
Care level: Easy
Position: Medium to low light
Pet safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Good for north facing rooms+Easy to maintain
Reasons to avoid
-Harmful to pets

In a nutshell

If you’ve never had a house plant before, this is a great one to start with. The Peace Lily, otherwise known at Spathiphyllum features deep green shiny leaves and occasional elegant white ‘flowers’ which are, in fact, also a form of leaf. Known for its air cleansing properties, the tropical plant breaks down and neutralises toxic gases, making it a great addition to any room.

Why we love it

The Peace Lily’s glossy pleated leaves are a joy in themselves, but the surprise of the white blooms adds yet more interest. While many plants will flourish in your sunniest rooms, Peace Lily’s are great for north-facing spaces, withstanding even the darkness of hallways and landings. They're also relatively inexpensive for even the larger options.

Care tips

Peace Lily’s are one of the easiest house plants to look after, because if they have a problem, they’ll let you know about it. If they’re feeling thirsty, all their leaves obediently droop, and once watered they perk up again. If they’re getting too much sunlight, new leaves will grow bright yellow so you know to move them to a shadier spot.

What to watch for

Peace Lily’s are poisonous to cats, so they’re not one for households with these furry friends.

Buy the Peace lily / Spathiphyllum

Maranta house plant in a hanging planter

(Image credit: Etsy)

2. Prayer plant / Maranta Leucone Kokodama

Best indoor plant for colourful leaves: watch as they move throughout the day!

Specifications
Best for: Colourful leaves
Care level: Easy
Position: Bright indirect sunlight
Pet safe : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Attractive pink veined leaves+Plenty to observe
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't grow particularly quickly

In a nutshell

The pink veins on a Maranta plant make them utterly gorgeous. And this one comes compete with a coconut fibre pot and jute string, perfect for creating a boho vibe. We're loving the eco-friendly materials used here, and the neutral colours allow those pink patterns to pop even more. 

Why we love it

A Maranta plant has vibrant red spears emerge and unravel into more beautiful leaves. It also produces tiny lilac flowers. As plants go, prayer plants are action packed and there’s something new to notice nearly every day.

Care tips

Keep away from direct sunlight or the leaves will gain brown patches. Water every 1-2 weeks. Maranta grow fairly slowly so they won’t need repotting often. Allow them access to bright light throughout the winter months to maintain growth.

What to watch for

There are three different Maranta types with different coloured leaves, so be sure to specify the one you want.

Buy the Prayer plant / Maranta Leucone Kokodama

house plant called Begonia with spotted leaves

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Spotted Begonia Maculata

Best indoor plant for grabbing attention: those spotty leaves won't go unnoticed

Specifications
Best for: Decorative leaves
Care level: Medium
Position: Bright indirect light
Pet safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Talking point+Striking appearance
Reasons to avoid
-Special care needed to maximise humidity

In a nutshell

This striking spotty plant is a real centrepiece and will undoubtedly steal the show wherever it's placed. The quirky spotty leaves and red reverse is a feast for the eyes in itself, but between spring and autumn, a spray of small pink flowers will make an appearance too! What more could you ask for in a plant?

Why we love it

Spotty leaves, enough said.

Care tips

Place in east- or west-facing rooms. They love humidity, so use a pebble tray or place in the bathroom. Water regularly in the summer, always allowing the soil to dry out in between. They’re very sensitive to over watering as this could lead to root rot, so your best bet is to hold off watering until the leaves droop, a a sure sign they’re thirsty. Keep dryer in winter. Always avoid getting the leaves wet – they need to remain chalky, so water directly into the soil.

Watch out for...

These are toxic to pets, especially the roots.

Buy the Spotted Begonia Maculata

snake plant in a grey pot in a white living room

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Snake plant / Sansevieria Laurentii

Best indoor plant for unique architecture: the pointy leaves pack a real punch

Specifications
Best for: Striking shape
Care level: Easy
Position: Indirect sunlight/low light
Pet safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Air purifying 
Reasons to avoid
-May be too pointy looking for some

In a nutshell

If there was a prize for the most high-impact, low-effort houseplant, the snake plant would be the winner. Its sharp and striking appearance is a real attention-grabber and works well positioned among softer and more rounded plants.

Why we love it

We love the snake plant for its effects on our health and wellbeing. It stores oxygen by day and then releases it all at night, so position in your bedroom for a purer night’s sleep.

Care tips

The snake plant can survive in most light levels, from shady north-facing rooms to brighter spaces, but the more sunlight it receives, the quicker it will grow. Water once every few weeks, and remember to dust the leaves occasionally to keep its pores exposed.

What to watch for

There are around 70 species of snake plant, so do your research before you buy.

Buy the Snake plant / Sansevieria Laurentii

Coral anthurium house plant in a white room next to some books

(Image credit: Bunches)

5. Coral Anthurium

Best indoor plant for year round colour: perfect for a splash of colour throughout the winter months too

Specifications
Best for: Long lasting colour
Care level: Medium
Position: Bright indirect sunlight
Pet safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Vibrant colour
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a mix of potting and orchid soil

In a nutshell

If you’re looking to add a burst of colour into your home, this is the indoor plant for you. The vibrant waxy blooms appear in many different colours, including pink, red, orange, purple, black, yellow and even blue.

Why we love it

There’s nothing worse than buying a plant in spring because you love the flowers, then having to wait a whole year until they reappear. We love Anthuriums because they bloom all year round, with short breaks in between, so you can cherish the colourful burst of colour throughout the winter months too.

Care tips

Only water when the soil is dry to touch to avoid root rot – this should be around once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. Position in a spot that’s too light, and the leaves will burn, too dark, and it’ll give fewer flowers. Anthuriums love high humidity, so the bathroom is their ideal home. Use a fertiliser that’s high in phosphorus for maximum blooms. You may see roots growing from the stems, you can either chop these off or mist them as you please – neither will damage the plant.

What to watch for

These are poisonous if ingested, so keep away from children and pets. The sap can also cause skin irritation.

Buy the Coral Anthurium

string of hearts trailing house plant

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan )

6. String Of Hearts / Ceropegia Rosary Vine

Best indoor plant for delicate trailing: the heart-shaped leaves have us head over heels

Specifications
Best for: Delicate trailing
Care level: Easy
Position: Sunlight
Pet safe: No
Reasons to buy
+Heart-shaped leaves+Trailing
Reasons to avoid
-Must be placed up high

In a nutshell

Trailing plants displayed in ceramic or macramé hanging planters are perfect for creating a on-trend look. String of hearts plants have tiny heart-shaped leaves which mimic charms on a necklace.

Why we love it

Lots of little heart-shaped leaves make this houseplant particularly eye-catching. As a semi-succulent, it’s tougher than it looks, too.

Care tips

String of hearts plants are more tolerant to dry soil than wet soil – always allow to dry out before watering. Keep in bright light, with some direct sun (but not all day). Little bean-like nodules will appear on the vines. If you want to propagate, allow the nodules to touch the soil (either by cutting the vine or curling it up) and it will grow roots in the soil for a whole new plant.

What watch out for

If you’re finding large gaps between the leaves, making them arguably less pretty, this is most likely due to a lack of light, so move to a sunnier spot.

Buy the String Of Hearts / Ceropegia Rosary Vine

money plant house plant on a wooden table

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Money plant / Pancake plant / Pilea Peperomiodes

Best house plant for propagation: fast growing and super cute, this little plant will keep you on your toes

Specifications
Best for: Fast propagation
Care level: Easy
Position: Sunlight
Pet safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Fast growing+Small enough for any space
Reasons to avoid
-Must be placed up high

In a nutshell

Affectionately nicknamed both the money plant as the leaves resemble coins, and the pancake plant for similarly obvious reasons, this cute-as-a-button houseplant has taken Instagram by storm. Small enough to fit on any shelf or desk, it’s an easy- to-grow plant that's great for first-time plant parents.

Why we love it

Money plants keep us on our toes as they’re so fast growing. The size could double or triple within the space of a year. This means that not only will you quickly end up with a much larger plant than you paid for, but you will also be able to propagate faster.

Care tips

With qualities akin to the succulent – tough waxy leaves and thick stems – the money plant can withstand direct sunlight, within moderation. Not enough light and the leaves will curl up, too much and they’ll turn purple! The leaves will grow towards the light, so remember to rotate for an even spread.

Water thoroughly and leave alone until it’s completely dried out (around once or twice a week). The plant will flop whether it’s under or over watered, so check the soil before grabbing your watering can. To propagate, simply snip off some woody root, then place in water and let new roots grow before returning to soil. You’ll have a money plant gang in no time.

What to watch for

Avoid placing in the bathroom or kitchen as it won’t like the humidity.

Buy the Money plant / Pancake plant / Pilea Peperomiodes

Calathea house plant with striped leaves in a grey plant pot

(Image credit: Waitrose)

8. Pinstripe Calathea

Best houseplant for a tropical vibe: intricate striped leaves will create a statement anywhere

Specifications
Best for: Tropical feel
Care level: Medium
Position: Bright but indirect light
Pet safe?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic foliage+Contemporary concrete pot
Reasons to avoid
-Very light sensitive

In a nutshell

Part of the prayer plant/Maranta family, the Calathea raises and lowers its leaves as if in prayer. So much so, that you can sometimes hear the leaves rustling as they move.

Why we love it

While this plant may take a little more TLC, it’s well worth it for such a large and beautiful statement. The pinstripe lines look as if they could have been hand drawn, making this plant particularly Insta-worthy.

Care tips

The Pinstripe Calathea loves humidity, so it will thrive best if you mist it daily throughout the summer, and use a pebble tray. The positioning of this plant is particularly important; too little light will cause stunted growth, and too much can burn the leaves.

What to watch for

They prefer a stable light, moving from bright to dark too quickly could be detrimental.

Buy the Pinstripe Calathea 

Aloe Vera house plant in a pot

(Image credit: Amazon)

9. Aloe Vera

Best house plant for medicinal value: feel the healing power of nature with our favourite succulent

Specifications
Best for: Succulent style
Care level: Very easy
Position: Bright light
Pet safe?: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy maintenance+Medicinal qualities 
Reasons to avoid
-Can be poisonous for cats and dogs

In a nutshell

Aloe Vera is a succulent and is incredibly popular due to its good looks and low maintenance. Like a camel, Aloe Vera stores energy in its leaves, so little watering is required – great for a house plant newbie or those with a forgetful nature!

Why we love it

Aloe Vera pretty much looks after itself, as well as us. There’s something so satisfying about cutting open an aloe leaf and using the gel to cool your sunburn or soothe your skin. Aloe Vera gel is used abundantly in skin care products, so having some in its more raw form feels like a luxury.

Care tips

Aloe Vera loves sunlight and simply won’t grow in a darker space. Water thoroughly once every two weeks. If repotting, remember to use succulent soil.

What to watch for

Can be poisonous for cats and dogs.

Buy the Aloe Vera

More plant advice: