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5 House Plants That Don’t Need Much Water

  • a Care2 favorite by Katie Waldeck
5 House Plants That Don’t Need Much Water

Whether you’re a diehard water conservationist or you just, well, forget sometimes, there are plenty of advantages to owning plants that don’t need a lot of watering. You save time, you save resources, and you save yourself the heartbreak of coming home to a dead houseplant. These five unique plants are perfect for your home or office, and they won’t mind if you forget to water them every now and then.


1. Snake Plant.

Native to West Africa, the Snake Plant gets its name from its long, slender leaves, and is also sometimes referred to as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” because of the leaves’ sharpness. The super adaptable Snake Plant can get by with minimal sunlight and minimal water, making it a very forgiving plant indeed. An added bonus: one study by NASA found that Snake Plants are especially good at improving indoor air quality.

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2. Desert Rose.

As you might expect from its name, the Desert Rose gets along great in drier climates, and can go long periods of time without water. This popular houseplant does need plenty of sunlight, and it can’t survive cold climates, but otherwise it’s very low-maintenance. One important warning: the Desert Rose’s sap is poisonous, so keep it out of reach of pets and children, and wash your hands if you get sap on them.

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3. Tillandsias.

Also known as Air Plants, Tillandsias are some of the oddest houseplants around. They are epiphytes, which means they absorb nutrients and moisture from the air, rather than soil. Instead of planting it in a pot, you can mount it on just about any surface; instead of watering it, you just need to give it a generous misting with a spray bottle a couple of times a week. Most varieties prefer to be soaked in water for about 30 minutes each week. (You can then re-use the water for other plants.)

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4. ZZ Plant.

This tropical plant is a fixture in malls and offices here in the U.S., where it’s usually planted in massive quantities and blends into the background. Plant one on its own though, and you’ll really see the beauty of the ZZ’s lustrous, vivid green leaves. Overwatering the ZZ Plant is actually more dangerous than under-watering, so it’s great for occasionally negligent (but still caring!) plant owners.

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5. Ponytail Palm.

Another plant that really lives up to its name, the Ponytail Palm’s curious leaves often resemble a flowing mop of hair. Although it’s a common houseplant, the Ponytail Palm can also grow up to 6 feet tall when left outside. This amazingly low-maintenance plant only needs watering every week or two during the sunnier seasons, and only once a month during winter.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
3:19AM PDT on Sep 23, 2015

I have several pots with snake plants. They multiply very quickly.

11:01AM PDT on Sep 13, 2015

My boss has three planters with - I think - something that looks like one of these plants, they look so green and I am so jealous when I walk in her office. It is a miracle though they don't wither since she smokes a lot. So I guess they purify the atmosphere in her office and that is why she keeps them!

1:40AM PDT on Sep 3, 2015

yes, they are beautiful

1:18AM PDT on Sep 3, 2015

beautiful plants

9:18PM PDT on Sep 2, 2015

but, i'm pretty sure they would die quick deaths should we try to give any of them a home. not into killing

9:18PM PDT on Sep 2, 2015

no green thumbs here for indoor plants :(

9:17PM PDT on Sep 2, 2015

sounds like it should be easy...

4:22PM PDT on Aug 30, 2015

Great practical info thank you!

3:52AM PDT on Aug 30, 2015

Thank you.

12:12PM PDT on Aug 29, 2015

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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