If you want to green up your interior with lots of lush foliage it can take a lot of patience waiting for a houseplant to reach its best. That's if you don't manage to kill it off in the meantime, especially if you've happened to choose one of the more finicky plants that takes a certain level of skill to nurture it along.
Instead choose the easiest and fastest plants to grow in your indoor garden and you'll create that sought-after lush interior aesthetic in no time. We've included some iconic choices as well as some lesser known varieties, all nominated by our team of experts.
The thing they all have in common is that they have minimal care requirements and they're fast growing too. As well as looking good of course.
The 8 easiest and fastest plants to grow indoors
What plants are best for a lush indoor garden? Experts pick the plants that will help you create a verdant home in no time.
1. Pothos (Devil's Ivy)
This easy and quick growing houseplant has the potential to grow between 12-16 inches in a month. And it's one of the best low maintenance plants for indoor gardening, so it definitely ticks the box as one of the easiest and fastest plants to grow indoors.
Pothos is a vine-like plant that's a close relation of the philodendron, and its heart-shaped leaves look great trailing down from shelves or hanging planters.
'Each pothos variety has its own distinct features with so many different leaf shapes and growth habits to suit that perfect spot in your home,' explains Breanna Sherlock, in-house plant expert for Planta. 'Find them in colors ranging from green with yellow streaks, to marbled white, or even minty green. May as well collect them all!'
The golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) variety is No 1 on Planta's list of houseplant trends for 2023, and remains the all-time most added plant on their app – and for good reason too. It's an easy plant to care for, as it can tolerate low light levels and irregular watering. Pothos thrive in nutrient rich soil, but do almost as well in poor soil. It's also very easy to propagate. So pothos are a win-win.
2. Jade plant
If you're a big fan of the succulent trend, the jade plant (also known as Crassula ovata and money plant) is the one to go for. A resilient succulent that is incredibly easy to grow indoors, jade plants have been known to reach as much as 6 foot. You will have to be patient though, as they grow around 2 inches per year, which is nevertheless pretty impressive for a succulent.
Once established as a mature plant, it forms a miniature tree-like structure, with a thick trunk and branches. Leaves are fleshy and come in a deep, glossy jade green, sometimes tinged with red at the edge. And even better, jade plant care is easy.
'Fast-growing succulents are uncommon, but jade is an exception,' says Izzy Goldberg, landscaper and plant expert at White Maple Landscaping in Farmington Hills, MI. 'The oval-shaped, thick leaves look stunning on the woody stems. The plant can grow to a height of 4-5 foot as it gets older and begins to resemble a small tree. Happily it has a long lifespan, too.'
3. Tradescantia Nanouk
Stealing the show amongst trailing plants, especially if you're looking for color, Tradescantia Nanouk is much sought-after for its patterned leaves in shades of pink, purple, green and white. In other good news, it has simple care requirements too.
Pink houseplants in general are trending, and this plant is very fast growing as well and will quickly generate new growth. 'These plants, like most tradescantia, grow like mad,' says Breanna Sherlock. 'This variety in particular won’t mind drying out if you forget to water it and will figure out a way to grow anywhere with bright to moderate lighting. For more purple hues and a more compact plant, place it somewhere brighter. More diffuse lighting will produce longer, greener vines.'
They're easy to propagate too. Simply snap off one or two of the young growing tips and they will root very quickly, even in a glass of water on the windowsill.
4. Spider plant
Officially known as Chlorophytum, fast-growing spider plants are a real favorite if you want quick and easy. Their attractive arching leaves and cascading wiry stems with tiny plantlets (which look like spiders, hence the name) dangling on the end are endlessly pleasing, particularly in a hanging planter, on top of a cupboard, or adding green and leafy interest to a room divider.
'Spider plants are incredibly resilient and adaptable,' says Zahid Adnan, gardener and founder of theplantbible.com. 'They tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions and are forgiving when it comes to watering. The long, arching foliage adds a touch of visual interest to any indoor space.'
They're also easy to propagate if you're looking to grow your plant collection. Simply snip off a plantlet, pot up in soil, and it will quickly grow into a mature plant.
Coleus are available in every color you can imagine and are an easy way to add spectacular foliage to your indoor plant collection. They come in upright and trailing varieties, as well as with frilled leaves or nettle-like leaves. And they're so straight forward that they're great if you're just getting into apartment gardening for beginners.
'These plants can handle some excess moisture or drought,' says Breanna Sherlock. 'They’ll go a bit droopy when they need a good watering so if you’re unsure when to water, this might be a good plant for you. You’ll get the brightest colors and largest leaves in a window that gets sun most of the day, but they will also do just fine in part sun or indirect sunlight.'
Keep coleus around 1 foot high by pinching out the tips to keep the plant bushy. 'You can quickly (and easily) turn a single cutting into a full plant,' says Breanna. 'Cuttings root up very well in water and can be added back into the pot to bulk it out. Pruning actually encourages more branching growth so these plants will look their best when maintained this way.'
6. Swiss cheese plant (Monstera)
This is one of my all-time personal favorites as it's one of the easiest and fastest plants to grow indoors. It's a low maintenance choice that's quick growing, plus of course the shiny green foliage looks amazing with all those perforations. It's oddly calming to look at, ideal for an indoor zen garden.
In my apartment I have a smallish Swiss cheese cascading down from a tall book shelf, and another larger one in my shower room as they love humidity and getting misted occasionally. They are super easy to look after, as they thrive in bright indirect light, but are also okay in medium light conditions. Any compost works fine for them.
My top tips for Swiss cheese plant care? Put your plant in a warm spot, give it plenty of moisture and an occasional liquid feed, and it will grow rapidly into a big specimen plant you can be proud of. It's only when they get larger that you get the more attractive holes in the leaves, so all the more reason to snap up one of these easy plants to nurture now.
7. Philodendron scandens (Sweetheart Plant)
One of the most valuable indoor plants you can add to your collection, Philodendron scandens is a trailing plant that can eventually reach up to 6 foot. It's dark green heart-shaped leaves make it a firm favorite, as well as the fact it's extremely easy natured and fast-growing.
As long as you keep it out of direct sunlight, it will thrive in both light and dark positions, although if you choose the latter this may slow down their growth a little. This versatile plant can be trained up a moss pole to encourage larger leaves, or allowed to cascade from a hanging planter or shelf. It will create instant impact wherever you put it.
Keep the soil moist during the warmer months, and allow to dry out in winter. Feed monthly from spring through fall with a liquid fertilizer. Pinch out the tips of young plants to encourage plenty of new shoots to pop up from the base of the plant.
8. Hoya carnosa (Wax Plant)
Easy to grow and take care of? Yes. Fast growing? Definitely! We've saved the best till last with the very collectable trailing plant Hoya Carnosa. It has exquisite clusters of waxy star-shaped cream flowers and dark green leaves on vigorous twining stems that can reach 15 foot or more.
Hoya plants are native to the jungles of East Asia so love a spot with bright, indirect light in your bathroom or kitchen, which tend to be more humid. Given the right conditions it will develop into a large vining statement plant in a relatively short period of time. It's another one that looks good trailing down from shelves or in a hanging planter.
There's a miniature version available too called Hoya bella. You can train this one up a small trellis, and it makes a beautiful table top plant.
Hoya are among the easiest and fastest plants to grow indoors, so definitely one to add to your collection.
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Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about flowers, plants, and garden design and trends since 2015. Having already studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently adding to her list of qualifications with an RHS Level 2 course in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development. In addition to livingetc.com, she's also written for homesandgardens.com, gardeningetc.com, Modern Gardens and Country Homes & Interiors magazines.
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