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Hardy Winter-Neglect Houseplants for Your Home Full Guide of 2023

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houseplants you can neglect in the winterYou know how it is – winter rolls around and suddenly taking care of all those lovely houseplants feels like just one more chore on the never-ending to-do list. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Some fantastic foliage practically thrives on a little neglect.

Hardy beauties like ZZ plants, pothos, and ponytail palms won’t pitch a fit if you occasionally space out on the watering.

Cacti and succulents are similarly forgiving. Plus, you’ll get an extra dose of calm from the soothing greens and satisfying textures of low-maintenance houseplants. A few minutes tending to these undemanding lovelies every so often is all you need to keep your living space fresh.

So go ahead – relax and let your houseplants shoulder winter care duties for a change!

Key Takeaways

  • ZZ plants, pothos, philodendrons, and snake plants tolerate low light and irregular watering.
  • Cacti, succulents, and sedum let soil dry between waterings. Their thick, fleshy leaves and stems retain moisture.
  • Orchids and bromeliads withstand drought conditions. They retain moisture in their roots and leaf axils.
  • Hanging plants like pothos, philodendrons, spider plants, and hoya cascade gracefully when suspended.

Low-Maintenance Houseplants

Low-Maintenance Houseplants
The hardy ZZ plant, with its thick waxy leaves, is a perfect choice for beginners since it tolerates low light and irregular watering. For a trailing accent, golden pothos provides lush greenery with its iconic heart-shaped leaves and is similarly unfussy.

If you want something more unusual, consider a ponytail palm, whose long green fronds emerge from a bulbous base; this little palm thrives when you simply allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

ZZ Plant

You’ll love how the ZZ plant thrives when you occasionally forget to water it. This hardy houseplant has:

  1. Thick, waxy leaves that store water.
  2. The ability to handle low light.
  3. Tolerance for letting the soil dry out between weekly waterings.

With its easygoing nature, the ZZ plant is an indestructible houseplant that helps you feel in control even when life gets busy.


Your trailing heart leaves purify like golden charms while asking little, embracing neglect. As a hardy survivor, the pothos entwine their variegated vines around your home, an evergreen embrace. With occasional watering, their cascades signal life amidst winter’s withering grays.

Ponytail Palm

Those curled, cascading plumes sway despite neglect, their strappy leaves arching lazily through gray winter days. The ponytail palm is a slow-growing houseplant thriving in low light and dry environments with minimal tending.

This easy-care succulent stores water in its swollen trunk, allowing you to forget regular watering. Its fountain of green provides a living sculpture when you cannot nurture more delicate plants. Give it a sunny spot and occasional watering, and let your ponytail palm flourish while you hibernate.

Houseplants for Low Light

Houseplants for Low Light
Growing plants indoors during dreary winter months can really boost your mood. For easy care low-light houseplants, consider snake plants, also called mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria. Their dramatic, stiff leaves thrive with minimal care. Chinese evergreens are another great option, featuring tropical-looking foliage in silver, green, pink, and red hues that tolerate low light and infrequent watering.

Snake Plant

The otherworldly snake plant, with its sharp sword-like leaves, endures darkness and drought like a champ while purifying the air. Let these geometric beauties brighten your neglected corners with minimal fuss. Like air plants, they thrive in low light conditions, needing only indirect sunlight.

Their dramatic shapes and air-purifying powers are bonuses. Adding a snake plant to your home provides resilient, sculptural flair.

Chinese Evergreen

You’ll love having a Chinese evergreen’s vibrant leaves brightening up those gloomy corners during the dreary winter months.

  1. Thrives in medium light from a north or east window.
  2. Lots of variety in leaf shapes and colors.
  3. Withstands tough conditions like low light and low humidity.
  4. Purifies indoor air like a champion.
  5. Easy care, just water when soil is partly dry.

The undemanding Chinese evergreen is a colorful and versatile houseplant perfect for neglected areas. Its lush leaves add life to dim rooms. This tough tropical plant handles low light and erratic watering, rewarding you with lasting beauty.

Houseplants Tolerating Irregular Water

Houseplants Tolerating Irregular Water
Forgetful green thumbs, take heart. Certain hardy indoor plants practically thrive on benign neglect when the gardening bug abandons you in winter. Succulents like cacti and sedum tolerate completely drying out between waterings.

Their fleshy leaves and stems store moisture for survival through long stretches of drought. Position these unfussy specimens in a sunny spot and feel no guilt when weeks pass without a drop of water.


For the biggest wow-factor ever, decorate with sculptural cacti and succulents that’ll survive even the toughest watering neglect. Give your spiky sedum and cacti as much direct sunlight as possible, allowing the soil to completely dry between waterings.

Their thick, fleshy leaves and skinny leaves sprout effortlessly from the neglect.


You’d love tending hearty sedums since they’re tough as nails. These succulents thrive on neglect with their thick, waxy leaves storing water. Just set them in a sunny spot and let the soil dry between waterings. Their rosettes of colorful, textured foliage sprout happily with irregular watering.

Sedums make perfect potted plants for your sunniest windowsills. They’ll reward neglect by growing vigorously.

Easy Blooming Houseplants

Easy Blooming Houseplants
You aspiring botanists and keen houseplant parents, bromeliads and orchids offer carefree flowers to enliven your indoor garden through dreary winter days. Although these exotic beauties thrive in steamy tropical locales, certain adaptive cultivars and hybrids flourish as potted specimens in the shelter of your well-lit, temperate home.

Give these obliging, everblooming plants a warm niche and occasional soakings when you can muster the motivation, and their vivid blossoms will reward your benign neglect.


Don’t fear harming your orchids when forgetting to water in winter – their fleshy roots and leaves hoard moisture like camels. These showy flowering plants thrive on benign neglect. Their pseudobulbs plump with stored water and survive dry spells.

Position orchids in bright light. Allow the potting mix to dry between waterings. Mature specimens need less moisture. Reward patient care with graceful sprays of blooms when warming temperatures arrive.


Bromeliads will withstand a period of drought in winter with their water-retentive cups formed by overlapping leaves. These tropical beauties accept your neglect and thrive on benign oversight, hoarding moisture between leaf axils.

  1. Cryptanthus
  2. Neoregelia
  3. Vriesea
  4. Guzmania

Appreciate their resilience and embrace winter’s respite from watering duties. Reward them with dazzling bloom when lengthening days arrive.

Best Hanging Houseplants

Best Hanging Houseplants
Expand your indoor garden’s horizons with stylish hanging planters showcasing carefree spider plants, delicately cascading philodendrons, and other lush vines thriving when suspended in air. In fact, over 80% of plant lovers report choosing pothos and cute air plants to decorate patios and porches with greenery needing little fuss.

Air plants, spider plants, pothos, philodendrons, and hoya vines adapt beautifully to hanging planters, lending their graceful trails to wind through macramé and moss frames suspended away from curious pets.

Let these undemanding plants freshen stagnant corners with gently swaying greenery. ZZ plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, ponytail palm, cast-iron plant, and jade plant also add rich texture and a living touch when creatively mounted.

Houseplants for Displaying on Shelves

Houseplants for Displaying on Shelves
You can showcase airy anthuriums, stylish succulents, and petite bonsai trees on sleek floating shelves. Choose undemanding plants like jade, cast-iron, or ZZ plants to display on open shelves near bright windows.

Their fleshy leaves and tucked-away blooms align in a pleasing way. Those with green thumbs might grow cacti, sedum, or ponytail palms. Snake plants and succulents only need occasional watering. Just avoid overcrowding plants or hiding their shapes.

Exotic and Eye-Catching Houseplants

Exotic and Eye-Catching Houseplants
You’d gawk at glossy green ginger plant’s grand, ground-grazing palm leaves making any modern minimalist milieu more marvelous.

Seek spectacular specimens like the vibrantly-veined Chinese evergreen or fantastically forked bird of paradise to enliven your abode. The curiously creased leaves of the riveting fiddle leaf fig tree tantalize the eye while ponytail palm’s wild fountain of lengthy leaves livens up any corner.

Feel reassured and comforted by stalwarts such as jade plant or trusty cast-iron plant, whose undemanding nature satisfies a subconscious yearning for safety and control. Rarest treasures like the flamboyant flamingo flower, mystifying Madagascar dragon tree, or alien-like anthurium crystallinum are sure to astound those seeking the exotic.

Though tempting, take care not to overcrowd collections or fuss over finicky rarities.

Choosing the Right Planters

Choosing the Right Planters
Glazed ceramic, with higher porosity, nurtures moisture-loving plants. Plastic planters provide flexibility and durability for versatile plants. Unglazed terra cotta breathes, slowly releasing excess moisture for drought-tolerant varieties.

When selecting planters, first consider the plant’s needs. ZZ plant, jade plant, cast-iron plant, snake plant and ponytail palm thrive in porous terra cotta, which allows soil to dry between waterings.

For tropicals that require consistent moisture, choose glazed ceramic pots which help soil retain water.

Beyond practical concerns, let your personal taste dictate color and style to complement your space. Thoughtfully chosen planters signal your devotion to each plant, promising security within your indoor oasis.

Caring for Houseplants in Winter

Caring for Houseplants in Winter
Your houseplants crave your tender care through the harsh winter. Continue nurturing your loyal green companions with gentle wisdom. Shield tropical plants from drafts, providing shelter behind furnishings. Mist broad leaves often, mimicking humid jungles.

Move sun-loving plants closer to bright windows, letting them bask in pale radiance. Reduce water for resilient houseplants, allowing soil to dry between waterings. Hardy houseplants like cast-iron plants thrive in shady environments.

Rejuvenate low-growing plants by trimming leggy stems back to their bases. Your steadfast devotion sustains flourishing indoor gardens, transforming sheltered rooms into verdant havens.

Decorating With Houseplants

Decorating With Houseplants
Decorating with plants allows you to define spaces and soften surfaces while purifying air – studies show rooms with plants have 30% less dust than rooms without plants. Group an assortment of rubbery-leaved snake plants and broad leafed philodendrons on your coffee table to add vibrant greenery and clean your air.

The snake plants’ upright swordlike leaves tolerate low light and infrequent watering. Philodendrons’ heart-shaped leaves thrive in average room moisture and bright light. Display vibrant green spider plants and purple waffle plants on shelves to add visual interest.

A tall fiddle leaf fig placed in the corner breaks up a stark wall. Shiny-leafed pothos draping from the bookcase softens the room’s hard surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some pet-friendly houseplants that can be neglected in winter?

Air plants, spider plants, trailing pothos, and philodendrons adapt to less water without issue. Grouping them together in a hanging planter near a sunny window creates a lush, low-maintenance display.

How often should I check neglected houseplants for pests like spider mites or mealybugs during winter dormancy?

Houseplants can go long periods without checks, but pests adore plant slumber. Give your plants a thorough going-over each month or you’ll regret seeing those bugs multiply.

Should I use any fertilizer at all on houseplants I’m neglecting over winter?

Don’t bother with fertilizer, my dear. Those poor plants are just clinging to life through the dreary winter—why taunt them with nutrients they can scarcely absorb in their weakened state? Let the plants rest and ready themselves for spring’s renewal.

Is it okay to keep neglecting houseplants that are flowering in winter?

You can keep neglecting blooming plants, but sparingly water them to prevent buds and flowers from dropping. Tougher varieties will bounce back after neglect while more sensitive ones may abort flowers.

Focus your care on ensuring blooms last to brighten your indoor garden through winter.

Should I prune back or trim houseplants I’m neglecting before winter dormancy sets in?

You should wait until spring, when your plants reawaken, to trim and shape them for lush growth ahead.


What a splendid winter garden you can cultivate despite the minimal care it requires. With hardy houseplants like the snake plant purifying your air and the ZZ plant’s glossy leaves brightening any corner, you’ll find pleasure in plants needing little water.

Allowing more time for holiday festivities, these long-lived greeneries forgive your winter neglect. Simply provide cacti adequate sun or display orchids where their exotic blooms lift spirits. This winter nurture yourself by surrounding your home with houseplants you can neglect.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.