While some houseplants are notoriously fussy, others can give you plenty of greenery and joy without needing loads of attention.

Here are our top picks for anyone who might not have hours to lavish on their foliage friends or are guilty of some occasional neglect.

Spider plant
Having thoroughly shaken off its 1970s associations, spider plants remain a classic easy houseplant. Its graceful arching fronds cascade, fountain-like from its pot, making it work equally well as on a shelf or hanging up. They can cope with a fair bit of neglect – if they start drooping and the soil is looking parched, give them a good drink and they’ll perk up in no time.

Look out for long stems with little buds – these will form either cute white flowers or baby plants. Gently pull the baby plants off once they start to show roots, stick them in water until the roots are about an inch long, then plant them in free draining compost for a collection of free plants.

Golden pothos
As climbing / hanging plants go, pothos is one of the easiest around. It has glossy green leaves with yellow-lime patches and can tolerate being forgotten for longer than most.

It wants to grow, so give it either good support from the start with a moss pole for it to clamber up, or be prepared for it to trail down from ceiling to floor in a hanger or on a high shelf.

ZZ plant
If you’re looking for a bulletproof plant that’s very hard to kill, try a ZZ plant.

As well as not minding missing a watering every now and again, in contrast to most houseplants it can survive in rooms which don’t get much sunlight. Its glossy dark green leaves and architectural shape make it a great statement plant, but equally good as a neutral backdrop for other houseplants.

While most of the time it doesn’t do a lot, new leaves can suddenly emerge without warning. First, you’ll see a bright green spire poking up from the soil, which gradually and elegantly unfurls into a new set of leaves.

Ficus ‘Belize’
Ficus is a wide-ranging family of houseplants, including the trickier fiddle leaf fig as well more easy-going varieties.

Ficus ‘Belize’ is an especially beautiful tropical rubber plant, with variegated, waxy sage green, pale pink and cream leaves which almost look painted on.

Happiest and most vibrant in bright but indirect light, it can take not being watered for a while if you ever forget. It’s ideal for living rooms and bedrooms with its restful colour palette and air purifying qualities.

Christmas cactus
For a flowering houseplant with a very low maintenance approach to life, choose a Christmas cactus.

Its name doesn’t always ring true, as it can flower any time between November and February, with cheerful trumpet-like flowers typically in red, pink, or white. Pick these off once they’ve faded to encourage more buds to open.

It’s also technically a succulent rather than a traditional cactus, meaning it needs slightly more water than its spiky cousins. That said, it doesn’t mind if you neglect it a little as like other succulents it stores its water in its leaves to draw from in drier spells.

Find these and a wide range of other houseplants at our Houseplant Festival on 24 and 25 February 2024.

We’ll be taking over the Tropical House and handing out plenty of hints and tips alongside a big selection of houseplants to take home.

You can even join one of our workshops. Click the links below for more information and purchase your tickets.