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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
1:12AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

Air plants make great gifts, too, since you can plop them in all sorts of unlikely plant holders for amusing or dramatic presentation.

Also, you aren't committing the recipient to "chores" if they aren't already green thumb types.

11:17AM PDT on Aug 27, 2015

thanks for the info

7:16AM PDT on Aug 27, 2015

Thanks for sharing!

4:18AM PDT on Aug 26, 2015


3:46PM PDT on Aug 25, 2015


7:00AM PDT on Aug 25, 2015

Thanks for the list

1:00PM PDT on Aug 24, 2015

Thank you.

7:54PM PDT on Aug 23, 2015

Thank you

4:26AM PDT on Aug 23, 2015

I remember that the snake plant was very common when I was young (and a child). They were called sansiviera, which I don't think it's an Italian name, but maybe the botanic name. They came in two varieties: with the yellow border and without.

I haven't seen one for decades!

6:12PM PDT on Aug 22, 2015


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