As a person who often forgets what day it is, I’m proud to say my plants are living and thriving.

How many times have you bought a plant on a whim only to find yourself picking dead leaves off the floor a few weeks later? Once upon a time, this was me as well.

I grew up with a mom who always had a spectacular garden, but I seemed destined to have a black thumb. My mom won’t let me forget about that lavender plant she bought me and never saw alive again.

These days, things are different. As someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I surprise myself with my thriving mini urban jungle.

Most people are drawn toward green spaces even if they don’t have plants. This makes complete sense given that plants have been shown to reduce psychological and physiological stress.

Additionally, a 2019 study showed that plants can lead to increased productivity, attentiveness, memory retention, and alertness. For those of us with ADHD or who are just forgetful in nature, this could actually be a mutually beneficial relationship.

There’s no need to counteract those benefits by stressing about taking care of your plants. If you also tend to forget you have living things in your home, don’t fret!

Here are 11 foolproof plants for the forgetful among us. I’m talking so low-maintenance that they’ll laugh in the face of your neglect.

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

Aloe is possibly my favorite plant in terms of still loving me despite my forgetfulness. If you can’t remember the last time you watered your plants, aloe is perfect for you.

While I’d be hard-pressed to call anything indestructible, too much attention is more likely to cause aloe’s demise than too little.

Case in point: My wonderful boyfriend took up watering and misting the plants to be helpful. However, he treated all plants equally. My aloe was not happy about being misted or watered this much. A little neglect and she’s back to her happy aloe self.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: monthly (let dry out completely between watering)

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

ZZ plants are the ideal starter plants. If you forget to water even yourself, the ZZ is probably perfect for you. I’ve not once had to worry if there was anything wrong with it.

It’s just here, relaxing in the corner. Sometimes I water it, sometimes I don’t — and we live in perfect harmony.

The ZZ gets bonus points for how beautiful it is. If you want something even more unique, seek out a raven ZZ — a stunning, black variation.

Care tips

Light: low light

Water: monthly (let dry completely between watering)

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Have limited lighting? Snake plants, also affectionately known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue,’ are great for windowless bathrooms. They also do fine in bright, indirect light.

These aesthetically pleasing houseplants can go weeks without even a speck of moisture, making them perfect if you can’t remember to water plants or if you travel frequently.

Care tips

Light: low or medium light

Water: monthly (let dry completely between watering)

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

One of the best starter plants, spider plants are extra resilient. They remind me of an indoor version of what’s commonly known as monkey grass.

Spider plants do best in a hanging basket in front of a window, but will thrive in most situations.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: weekly; mist occasionally

Toxicity: nontoxic to pets

Healthline

Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)

Cast iron plants are perfect if your ideal plant maintenance routine is almost nothing.

If you want a live plant, but don’t actually want to care for a live plant, try one of these sturdy guys out.

They make plant care a walk in the garden.

Care tips

Light: low light

Water: weekly (let dry between watering)

Toxicity: nontoxic to pets

Healthline

Succulents (multiple families)

Succulents have become all the rage with their own Instagram feeds and subreddits. Despite my own trouble with succulents, I’m including them because they’re truly some of the best plants for beginners.

If they’re dying, it’s likely due to too little light or too much water.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: monthly (let dry completely between watering)

Toxicity: most (but not all) are nontoxic. Plush Plant, Tree Cactus, and Wax Rosette are safe bets

Healthline

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Also known as devil’s ivy due to its resistance to death, this is one of the most forgiving houseplants. I’ve neglected my pothos plants for weeks upon weeks and all I had to do was give it a little water, time and time again.

Pothos come in a wide variety of beautiful colors and variations, including what’s called neon (a bright, almost yellowish green), marble queen (green and white patterned), and golden (which has a yellow and green pattern).

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light and low-light

Water: water weekly or biweekly

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Lucky bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Want a plant so easy that you don’t even have to deal with soil?

Simply stick lucky bamboo in water and forget about them for a couple of months.

No work, zen vibes.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: change water roughly every 2 months

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Cactus (Cactaceae)

Cacti are in the succulent family and can basically be treated the same exact way.

If you’re an over-waterer, which is likely not the case if you forget about your plants, then avoid cacti for now.

These guys like it dry.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: monthly (let dry completely between watering)

Toxicity: most (but not all) are nontoxic. Try Zebra Haworthia, Blue Echeveria, and Sempervivum “Ruby Heart”

Healthline

Philodendron

Similar in behavior to pothos, the two are often confused. While not quite as hardy as pothos, these are great plants to graduate to.

Philodendrons include a large group of different plants so you have plenty of variety in size and shape to choose from.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light

Water: water weekly

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Swiss-cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)

This was my first “big girl” plant when I finally had the desire to level up my small collection. I was feeling strong and ready to move on to something more difficult.

I may have gone bigger, but not really more difficult. Turns out monstera plants are incredibly resilient as well. Monstera’s thrive in different lighting conditions and will forgive you when you forget watering here and there.

True to their name, these will turn into monsters. If you’re a little worried about space, you can keep them in a low-lit area for slower growth.

Care tips

Light: bright, indirect light or low-light

Water: water weekly; mist regularly

Toxicity: toxic to pets

Healthline

Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)

These show up on many “easy” houseplant lists, but I’m going to respectfully disagree. While my prayer plant and I now live peacefully, it wasn’t always that way.

I almost killed her three times, and when asked for advice almost all of my friends said, “I haven’t been able to keep one alive yet.”

Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla)

I had a grand plan to get a Norfolk Island pine as my Christmas tree last year — a common sustainable alternative. “Supposedly hard to kill” turned out not to be the case.

They like bright light, high humidity, and can be tough to maintain through the winter.

Start with plants with the same needs

Don’t go out and buy every single “easy” plant, or you’ll defeat the purpose of starting with easy plants in the first place.

Instead, start with a couple of plants that have similar requirements. Good pairings include cacti, aloe, and succulents, or ZZ plants and snake plants.

Have a regular watering day

With the species recommended above, once a week is plenty.

Sundays tend to work well as my watering day because I’m usually home already, but pick the day that works best for your schedule. If you still have trouble remembering, try setting an alert on your phone.

Keep plants in view

It may seem pretty obvious, but trust me. I know from experience. Don’t put them on top of a high shelf or in a guest bathroom you never use. This is just baiting your forgetfulness.

As a person who often forgets what day it is, I’m proud to say my plants are living and thriving.

If you’re like me, take heart. It can be done! These leafy roommates are the perfect start to get you closer to a vibrant in-home plant family.


Ashley Hubbard is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, social justice, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. Visit her website wild-hearted.com.