Here are seven low-maintenance houseplants that practically take care of themselves. In fact, they thrive on neglect.
1 Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
As strong as, well, cast iron, these plants don't like sunlight and will tolerate outright neglect. Glossy, waxy leaves can be green, speckled yellow or cream striped. Plants with green leaves are the most vigorous. Place near a north-facing window for a lowlight exposure. Artificial light works, too. Feed twice a month in summer and fall, and once over the winter. Allow to dry between waterings.
2 ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
ZZs command attention with glossy foliage and an upright habit. They thrive in lowlight conditions and don't require a lot of water. Though they can reach 3 feet in height, ZZs are slow growers. Keep them well drained, away from bright light and don't overwater.
3 Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)
With its smooth, glossy, sometimes variegated or mottled leaves, Aglaonema tolerates low light like a champ. Keep soil lightly moist at all times and fertilize monthly (every 6 weeks during winter.)
4 Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Long vining stems with glossy heart-shaped leaves trail over the side of the pot and can grow up to 8 feet long. Trim them as you see fit. Because pothos thrives without much sunlight, it's the perfect choice for artificially lit settings, like your office. Allow to dry out between waterings and fertilize twice a month (once a month in winter.)
5 Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Virtually indestructible, this low-maintenance plant also is called mother-in-law's tongue, presumably because of its sharp, sword-shaped leaves and because you can't get rid of it. Tolerates low light and neglect. Water sparingly -- only once or twice over the winter -- to avoid rot.
6 Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Though they require bright to moderate sunlight and lightly moist soil, spider plants don't really have any other requirements, and they reproduce like rabbits, developing plantlets prolifically.
7 Corn plant (Dracaena)
Upright plants with strong, straplike leaves, often edged in white or red. If they grow too large, simply decapitate them. Don't worry, they'll come back. Corn plants (also called rainbow plants) prefer bright, indirect light. Allow soil to dry out between waterings. If you forget to water them and they wilt, a good watering will bring them back.