Gardeners at every experience level look up to someone else in awe of their ability to produce huge plants and plentiful harvests. We all have that friend who has coerced a houseplant to take over half of a wall. They make it look so dang easy. It might be discouraging to see their success while you struggle to keep one houseplant alive, but gardening doesn’t have to be intimidating.

In fact, producing bigger, better, heartier, more prolific plants is the goal of every grower, from those nurturing that first bulb to proprietors of fields blessed with copious crops. If you’re just starting out or have set a goal to grow more variety, we can recommend some forgiving plants that will set you up for success. After all, gardening is supposed to be fun!

Herbs

Herbs are every gardener’s friend. Not only are they easy to grow, but they are the gift that offers rewards. Having a small herb garden indoors allows you to always have fresh ingredients to boost your recipe index. Basil, rosemary, cilantro, and chives are all options when you are starting out. Basil and cilantro have a short season, so take heart that it might just be their time to die off through no fault of your own. Cilantro is particularly happy indoors as a cool-weather crop because it will shoot up into coriander if exposed to too much sun and heat.

Aloe

Two potted aloe plants on wood shelf

Aloe is a beautiful and useful plant that is quite varied when you look closer. Although it thrives in hot climates, aloe can be placed in a windowsill and perform just fine. When summer comes and you get a little too much sun working in your outdoor garden, simply break a piece off of your aloe plant and let the healing gel seep from the opening.

Succulents

There is a vast variety of succulents that can be successful in your growing area. They do well both outdoors and indoors. Fairly forgiving of temperature variations, succulents have a unique ability to retain water. It holds them through droughts when you fall off your watering schedule. Alternately, they grow well in coastal regions that receive copious rain, so they adapt well to overwatering too. If you're just dipping your toe into gardening as a hobby, succulents are sturdy and versatile enough to withstand most of the common mistakes that amateur growers make.

Bamboo

Row of bushy potted bamboo plants on wood deck

Houseplant bamboo, most commonly lucky bamboo, is one of the easiest plants you can grow. They require very little water or other care. Simply place your bamboo stocks in a glass vase and fill it with pebbles or marbles. Fill the container with enough water to cover the roots and place the plant out of direct sunlight. Check the water level every few weeks and take off leaves when they yellow.

Tip: use filtered or bottled water as chlorine in tap water is one cause of yellow leaves.

Cactus

There is a reason that cacti grow in deserts,the most inhospitable environments on the planet, they are forgiving plants. Cacti is an option that will watch you pass by day after day, failing to give it any touch or drink and it won’t hold a grudge. A weekly water, a bit of fertilizer during the growing season, and a sunny location in your home will yield you a plant that offers texture and visual appeal to even the smallest space.

Spider Plant

Potted Spider Plant in Windowsill

Spider plants are another forgiving breed of houseplant. While they appreciate fertilizer as they grow and a consistent watering schedule, they are less finicky than many plants and will tolerate a bit of abuse. As a bonus, spider plants are easy to propagate from clippings. When a root clump begins to separate from the mother plant, place the roots into a glass of water. After a few weeks, transplant the mini spider into a new pot.

Ivy

If you’ve ever visited an aging castle or seen a documentary on invasive plants, you’ve seen how prolific ivy can be. The vines grab on to anything near it so it can sprawl up walls, pergolas, and hillsides. These are the exact characteristics that make it the perfect house plant. In a pot, ivy can be restrained so that it doesn’t create unwanted wall art, but it’s hardy enough to endure the abuse you might inadvertently throw its way. Plant your ivy in a wide, shallow planter and place it in an area with indirect sunlight.

Pothos

Pothos Plant in Sunny Windowsill

Well known for its forgiving nature, the pothos is a great plant for beginners. The appealing leaves on this plant are variegated green with an elongated-heart shape.

Although it does appreciate a moist soil, pothos will tolerate most ranges of lighting so it offers a variety of placement options. The only poor lighting choice for a pothos is direct sunlight so keep it out of the east or west facing windowsill.

Air Plant

With sage-colored spiky leaves, this striking plant makes indoor gardening easy since it doesn’t require you to calibrate the soil to keep it happy. That’s because it doesn’t require soil to grow. Just submerge the bottom of the plant in a bowl of water for a few minutes to a few hours every week or two. Then dry the roots completely on a towel.

Gardening can seem like an all-encompassing task, but growing plants indoors doesn’t have to be. There are endless options that allow you to make your room more lively without too much sweat on your brow. With the ideas above, we hope you’re feeling inspired to add some green to your indoor space.