10 Houseplants You Hardly Ever Have To Water

So you forgot to water your plants. Again. These beauties won't hold a grudge.

June 9, 2016

When the weather starts to warm up, it means it's time for me to start planting summer flowers in my window boxes. The first few weeks of summer always go great. I'm really on top of my container gardening game, watering my plants every day or two. But by mid-July, when all I want to do is take weekend trips and have fun in the sun, I tend to let it all slide, along with diligently watering my beloved flowers.

Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful houseplants that bring bright, fresh colors into any home and are ready to live with a forgetful gal like me. While my indoor herb garden might end up withering away this summer, these plants will surely make it through. Read on to see the variety of plants that can survive with minimal watering.

Related: Give Your Home A Face-Life With This Window Box Project


This beautiful plant loves sunlight, dry air, dry soil, and a douse of water no more than once a week. Too much watering causes the plant’s storage tissues to fill up, bloat, and split open, making the leaves burst. They usually live in high-temperature climates with low precipitation, so they're used to living off of dew and mist.


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zz plant
ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant does especially well in homes and offices with little to moderate amounts of light, but otherwise they're pretty self-sufficient. Too much direct sunlight and too much watering can cause the leaves to yellow and the plant’s underground rhizomes to rot, so only water it when the soil completely dries out. 


Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this plant is poisonous if ingested. It's unique in that it can grow in water or soil, but it cannot be interchangeable—so don’t try to switch it up for better growth. If you're growing this plant in soil, only water it when the soil has completely dried out and the plant starts to droop. Too much watering will cause root rot and kill your plant. And be sure to keep it out of reach from your cat or dog, as it's one of 9 Houseplants That Could Kill Your Pets

air plant
Air Plants

These otherworldly plants grow in nothing but air. It gets its nutrients and water from its leaves, so give it only an occasional misting. You may choose to forgo the misting technique and outright bathe your air plant. If you do, submerge the plant for no more than an hour, and make sure that it's completely dry when you remove it. Only bathe the plant once a month. 

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These delicate flowers need air in the soil to survive, and overwatering prevents air pockets to develop in the soil. So only water this plant once a month or when the top inch of the soil is dry. Begonias do very well growing in shade, so use it to brighten up the dim corners of your home.


Related: 51 Plants That Don’t Need A Lot Of Sun To Thrive

crown of thorns
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Crown Of Thorns

You guessed it: A cactus made it onto this list. This flowering, prickly plant only needs to be watered when the top half of the soil is dry. In fact, too much watering can lead to rhizoctoria fungus, which is caused by excessive moisture and makes the plant look limp and unhealthy. Make sure to use gloves when handling this plant, as the sap causes skin irritation and is poisonous if eaten by you or your pet.

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Part of the 6 Easy-Care Flowers To Grow Inside, these delicate beauties are native to climates with high amounts of rainfall, followed by long periods of drought. That means they're able to store water in their system over long periods of time. Only water them once a week when the weather is cool and up to twice a week when it’s warmer—only in the morning. Watering at night can lead to stagnant water and diseases. If the soil is moist, don't water, as it can lead to root rot, loss of buds, and soft, withered leaves. 


This plant loves high humidity, so misting once a week instead of heavy watering will make its leaves look and feel better. Place a layer of pebbles on the bottom of the container before putting in soil and planting to help with drainage. Anthuriums are susceptible to root rot, but if the plant sits in a pot and becomes too dried out, the roots can be difficult to rewet. 

lucky bamboo
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Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo can grow in just a vase filled with water or in a pot of soil. To learn How To Grow Lucky Bamboo using the water technique, put pebbles on the bottom of the vase for support, and change the water every few weeks. Make sure that the vase always has at least an inch of water in it at all times. Fluoride in tap water can cause tip burn on Lucky Bamboo. But by letting a glass of water "rest" for a day on a countertop before adding it to your vase will eliminate the fluoride and make it more suitable for your plant to drink in. 

peace lily
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Peace Lily

Peace Lilies are one of the 7 Plants That Purify Indoor Air and are more tolerant to underwatering than overwatering. Just check them once per week to see if the soil is dry to see if they need a watering. They are drought tolerant, so it’s fine to let them droop before watering again without fear of damaging the plant.