Andy Sentgeorge

I Killed A Cactus! Top 8 Houseplants For Beginners

Cactus killer on the loose!
Lessons from a Beginner Houseplant Owner



Desert Cactus

This past summer, I received a thoughtful gift from Andy. We love to travel out west so Andy bought me a beautiful flowering cactus to remind me of our trips. I perched it on my desk at home and admired its loveliness. I didn’t worry too much about it – after all, it was a cactus! They don’t need much water, right?

That was my first mistake as a beginner houseplant owner.

As the months went by, the flowers dropped off and the base of the plant started to look a bit sickly. At that point, I figured I hadn’t given it enough water. So I practically drowned the little fella! I think that’s what finally did him in.

Regrets…I’ve had a few

Not long after that, I knew we had reached the point of no return. I felt awful killing my cactus. Maybe I didn’t talk to him enough. Perhaps I should have gotten to know him better: Did he need more light? Fertilizer? Should I have given him a name? Was he even a “he?”

After an unceremonious toss in the trash, my husband consoled me by getting me another plant! This time it was a Money Tree. Terrified that I would kill another living thing and possibly ruin our finances in the process, I decided I needed help. I simply couldn’t be held responsible for another houseplant murder.

A Cry for Help

In desperation, I transported the Money Tree to our MORE Real Estate office and into the loving hands of my assistant, Joyce. You see, Joyce has a home full of houseplants, and, well, she just seems to know things about them.  

The first thing she asked me was, “What is his name?” Well, he didn’t have a name but I quickly gave him one. “His name is Monty,” I replied confidently. “He doesn’t look very happy. Can you help him?” That’s when I opened up about the cactus murder. Joyce was very understanding and agreed to take him home and nurse him back to health. I am happy to report that Monty is in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery! (Check out his progress photo at the bottom of this post.)


Top 8 Houseplants for Beginners

houseplants for beginners home stagingHaving plants in your home is a fun and creative way to add a touch of life and color to any area. When staging a home for sale, we often include houseplants to add warmth and greenery to the main rooms.

Even if you’re not quite sure where to start, it’s worth trying out a few plants that may suit your style. 

These eight houseplants for beginners are all easy to care for, difficult to kill, and tolerant of a variety of environmental conditions. For those of you like me who are plant-challenged, you really can’t go wrong with one from this list. 

houseplants for beginners aloe vera

Aloe Vera


Aloe vera

First on our list of houseplants for beginners, Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of environments. The plant is known for its medicinal properties and can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The gel from the aloe vera plant can be used to treat burns, cuts, and other skin conditions. Aloe vera plants prefer bright, indirect light and should be watered about once a week.


houseplants for beginners snake plant image

Snake Plant

Snake plant

Practically bullet-proof, snake plants are hardy plants that can tolerate low light and neglect. An excellent houseplant for beginners, they are also known for their ability to purify the air, making them ideal for bedrooms or office spaces. These plants should be watered about once a week, and they will tolerate periods of drought better than most other houseplants.


houseplants for beginners peace lily

Peace Lily

Peace lily

A beautiful flowering plant, peace lilies thrive in shady areas. The plants are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air, making them ideal for homes with pets or smokers. Funny think about peace lilies – they will actually let you know when they need water – the leaves will start to droop.


houseplants for beginners spider plant

Spider Plant

Spider plant

Popular for hanging baskets, spider plants are easy-to-care-for houseplants that are known for their ability to produce large numbers of offspring. The plants are also known for their ability to purify the air, making them ideal for bedrooms or office spaces. They look great hanging in a window! Talk about low maintenance – spider plants will also tolerate periods of drought better than most other houseplants.


houseplants for beginners philodendron



A type of climbing houseplant, philodendrons can add a touch of tropical flair to any home. The plants are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. They come in a variety of species and look great in hanging planters. An excellent houseplant for beginners, philodendrons should be watered about once a week and allowed to dry out between watering sessions.


houseplants for beginners pothos



One of the best houseplants for beginners, Pothos are fast-growing vines that can add a touch of greenery to any home. The plants are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. You can also take cuttings from them to create new plants – Bonus!! Pothos do not need much light, so they work well on mantles, bookcases, or above the refrigerator.


houseplants for beginners english ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy

Shade-loving English Ivy thrives on weekly watering. It will reward you with long tendrils that will trail down from a mantel or shelf, or you can train it to climb a small trellis. While it can be invasive if left unchecked in a garden, a potted variety will add classic charm wherever you place it in your home.


houseplants for beginners fiddle leaf fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf fig

A “cult favorite,” Fiddle leaf figs are large, leafy plants that make a dramatic statement in any room. The plants are finicky, however, and require consistent watering and bright, indirect light. With proper care, they will reward you with large glossy leaves and attractive bark.



Now it’s your turn

Whether you are up for a challenge or prefer taking things slow, there is something for everyone when it comes to sprucing up your home with houseplants. We’ve given you our top picks, but the options don’t end here. Get creative and see what looks best in your home. 

Take it from me…it doesn’t hurt to search online for plant care instructions and further tips! Need more inspiration? Check out what Joanna Gaines is doing with plants these days. 

And if you want something that looks good but without any of the upkeep requirements, faux plants will do just the trick. You can find very realistic faux houseplants at Home Goods or even Target.

In any case, why not begin to dive into the world of houseplants for beginners – you may just surprise yourself. 


houseplants for beginners money tree


As for Monty, if you look closely, you can see that he is sporting some lovely new baby leaves! Go, Monty!!


Did any of these houseplants for beginners inspire you? Do you have a green thumb? What are your favorite houseplants? Let me know in the comments!