9 Houseplants You Rarely Have to Water

These varieties are perfect matches for an absentminded owner.

Getty ImagesChris Leschinsky

Every plant requires a certain amount of care — but some can put up with (or even prefer) minimal tending. These options look lovely, and will fare well even if watering is always the forgotten to-do item on your list.

1. Succulents

These waxy, geometric beauties are certainly trendy, but not only because of their interesting shapes and hues ranging from mint green to deep violet. Their thick leaves store water, so they typically only require weekly watering (wait until the soil is dry before dousing them again). Succulents come in lots of varieties (like slender cacti, spiky sedum, smooth Echeveri, or flowering Kalanchoe), but typically enjoy sunlight and dry air.

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2. ZZ plant


These beauties, which grow in tall stalks of deep green, rubbery leaves, actually like to be left alone. Though they prefer moderate levels of sunlight, but can tolerate low light, too, so they're often go-to choice for offices. "These plants prefer to stay on the dry side, and seem to thrive on neglect," says Kathie Hayden, plant information service manager at .

3. Pothos


This leafy vine would have been voted "most popular" in high school. Since its quite hardy (and quite pretty), people choose it often. It can deal with low light, and won't be bothered if you let the soil dry out.

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4. Ponytail palm


This Mexico native gets its name from its shape — its skinny leaves sprout from a thick stalk, where it stores water.

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5. Snake plant


Also called mother-in-law's tongue (perhaps because its leaves come to a sharp point), this easy-care plant is a popular choice for many homes. "You might think they're kind of passé," says Tovah Martin, expert gardener and author of the upcoming book, . "But at a recent flower show, I saw a lot of interesting new varieties, like a silver-looking one."

6. Air plants


Much like their name suggests, these spidery plants don't even need soil to thrive; you can literally hang them in midair, place them in a decorative vase, or prop them up on a shelf. And watering them is nearly set-and-forget: "Just dunk them in water for about 2 or 3 hours every 10 days or so," says Martin.

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7. Begonias

Ruddy Gold

These crowd-pleasing spring and summer blooms need their soil to dry out before they get another drink, and require even less watering in the winter. "Plus they come in many different foliage colors and patterns," says Hayden.

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8. Chinese evergreen


"This is one rock solid plant," say Martin. "Of course, I don't think you should torture any plant, but the Chinese evergreen can stand up to a lot. And there are fun versions with speckles and stripes that look like they belong at a carnival." Chinese evergreens can tolerate low to medium light, and you can water when you notice the soil is dry.

9. Cast-iron plant


Much like its name suggests, this low-growing plant with wide flats leaves can stand up to tough conditions (like an owner who often forgets to pick up the watering can). You should water them when the soil is dry, but they'll fare through a drought, too.

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