10 hardy houseplants you can recommend to clients

Updated May 25, 2023
Photo: sk/FlickrPhoto: sk/Flickr

As a professional landscaper, your clients often come to trust you as an expert in all things plants. While this may or may not be true, the truth is that the indoor domain is just as important to many homeowners as their outdoor landscaping.

If you’ve ever been asked for houseplant suggestions by clients and wish you had better recommendations to give them, fear not — here are 10 wonderful and easy to care for plants that will brighten up any home.

Photo: WikipediaPhoto: Wikipedia

Cast Iron Plant

Care Level: Low

The aptly-named cast iron plant is one of the hardier houseplants you can recommend. It might not be the most visually striking plant out there, but it provides a lush green background in a room. You can recommend the ‘Lennon’s Song’ or ‘Okame’ variety if a client wants a bit more color and variegation. Care-wise, they’re quite tolerant of neglect and grow slowly. As long as they’re given a modest amount of sun and water, they’ll trudge along.

Photo: WikipediaPhoto: Wikipedia

Money Tree Plant

Care Level: Low

While there are many plants with the money tree plant moniker, the one we’re talking about here is Pachira aquatica. It’s recognizable by the signature braiding of its trunks by many commercial growers, usually weaving three money tree plants into one. As far as care, the leaves of the money tree plant are what to look at to determine what it needs. If they begin to yellow, the plant needs more sun. Water it once a week or when the soil is dry to about two inches deep.

Photo: jalexartis Photography/FlickrPhoto: jalexartis Photography/Flickr

Snake Plant

Care Level: Low

The humble snake plant is in my top three “unkillable” houseplant recommendations, mostly because it’s an indoor succulent. In general, succulents require less care than more finicky plants, and the snake plant is no exception. Recommended varieties are ‘Black Gold,’ ‘Black Robusta,’ and the oddly-shaped ‘Cylindrica.’ So long as they get bright, indirect light and are watered minimally (they’re succulents, after all), they should thrive indoors.

Photo: WikipediaPhoto: Wikipedia

Spider Plant

Care Level: Low

Another incredibly popular indoor houseplant is the spider plant. It’s similar in appearance to a snake plant, but a bit more finicky as it’s not a succulent. That said, it’s still easy to care for as long as it’s given at least twelve hours of bright, indirect light per day. When given this much light, it’ll also produce more babies for propagation, so your clients can fill their home with spider plants! Recommended varieties: ‘Zebra,’ ‘Variegatum.’

Photo: Nelson Pavlosky/FlickrPhoto: Nelson Pavlosky/Flickr

ZZ Plant

Care Level: Low

The ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is by far the hardiest indoor plant you can recommend. There are reports of 10- to 12-year-old ZZ plants found at estate sales that have barely been cared for in that time that are still alive and kicking. It’s incredibly slow to propagate, so recommend that clients buy established adult plants at garden centers to outfit their home with this unique and hardy houseplant.

Photo: Mauricio Mercadante/FlickrPhoto: Mauricio Mercadante/Flickr

Dracaena Marginata

Care Level: Low

If you want to recommend a spikier houseplant, look no further than the dracaena marginata. It’s hardy, slow-growing, and absolutely beautiful. Try the ‘Tricolor’ or ‘Colorama’ varieties for even more color. These plants require partial shade, otherwise their delicate leaves burn. Aside from lighting requirements, they require little water and grow slowly, so you won’t have to repot often.

Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Jasmine Plant

Care Level: Medium

The jasmine plant has a long and storied history, and makes a wonderful indoor houseplant with their year-round blooms. Recommend ‘Spanish jasmine,’ ‘Winter jasmine’ and ‘Dwarf jasmine’ if you want a few unique varieties for clients. Care-wise, jasmine requires full sun to light shade, making them perfect for windowsills. They also love well-draining and slightly sandier soil.

Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Elephant Ear Plant

Care Level: Medium-High

The elephant ear plant is a bit fussy, but the extra care required to grow it successfully is well worth the beautiful appearance. There are dozens of cultivars, but ‘Amazonica,’ ‘Black Beauty,’ ‘Coffee Cup’ and ‘Midori Sour’ are all wonderful recommendations. Most varieties prefer partial shade and love moisture. They need to be away from strong winds and the soil should always be moist or even partially submerged in water.

Photo: WikipediaPhoto: Wikipedia

Christmas Cactus

Care Level: Medium

Despite the name, the Christmas cactus can be grown throughout the year – they just bloom around Christmas time. They’re a wonderful succulent to add to small pots indoors. Seeing as they’re indoor succulents, they aren’t cared for like you would a normal succulent. They like warm temperatures, but not much direct light. Water when soil is dry an inch deep and you’ll have a healthy Christmas cactus.

Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Jade Plant

Care Level: Low-Medium

Jade plants are gorgeous and come in many varieties. ‘Tricolor,’ ‘Variegata’ and ‘Gollum’ are all nice recommendations for clients. They’re also incredibly easy to care for, requiring medium bright light (about 3-4’ from a window) and minimal watering. You’ll know it’s overdue for a watering if the succulent leaves begin to wrinkle.

There we have it — 10 recommendations for houseplants, most of which are easy to care for and add wonderful variety to a client’s home. There are many more where these came from, but these are all tried and true houseplants that will brighten up just about any home.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Kevin Espiritu. Espiritu is a plant lover and urban gardener. He grows using every method possible – hydroponics, aquaponics, small spaces, etc. and teaches hundreds of thousands of people how to do the same over at www.epicgardening.com.

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