19 Longest-Lived Houseplants for Your Indoor Garden

The average lifespan of a houseplant is two to five years, which is not very long at all. In this article, houseplant enthusiast Melissa Strauss discusses 19 long-lived houseplants and how to care for them.

Purple, pink, and white orchids grace white pots, their delicate blooms reaching for sunlight. Arranged on a bright windowsill, they bask in the luminous glow, a vibrant display of nature's beauty against the clean white backdrop.


Did you know that the longest-lived houseplants can survive several decades indoors?

Watching plants go through their growth cycles is an exciting part of being a gardener. Some houseplants have a fairly brief lifespan. The average life of most houseplants is between two and five years, which isn’t very long in the grand scheme of your decor. So, I’d like to share with you some plants you can grow in your home that will live much longer. With proper care, some of these plants can even thrive for 20+ years in the home!

Of course, there are external factors at play when it comes to how long any plant lives. It is important to establish a routine that mimics the ideal environment for that specific plant. Some plants need a high level of humidity for optimal health, while others may suffer from fungal issues in a humid environment.

Creating a positive watering and fertilizing routine is key to keeping your plant alive in the long term, too. Some plants need their soil to stay moist, and others need theirs to dry between watering. Many plants need regular fertilizing for optimal growth, as well. Knowing the specific needs of your plants is important to their longevity. 

Let’s take a look at some long-lived plants that don’t mind indoor conditions and can survive in containers for many more years than the average houseplant. Some of these plants can live for decades, and one or two might just outlive the gardener who planted them!

Rubber Tree

Variegated leaves adorn a petite rubber tree, housed in a white pot atop a wooden study table. Nearby, lush broad leaves from another plant add a touch of greenery to the serene workspace ambiance.
The rubber tree is a species of Ficus that grows up to six feet indoors.
botanical-name botanical name Ficus elastica
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 10’

The rubber tree is a tropical plant native to Asia. It is evergreen, looks nice year-round, and is tolerant of lower light conditions. These qualities, paired with its exemplary air-purifying properties, make the rubber tree a wonderful houseplant.

A rubber tree is a form of Ficus or fig tree. Its slender stems hold up large, glossy, waxy leaves that emerge in shades of pink and red before deepening. Mature leaves can be deep green, nearly purple, or variegated in shades of pink or white. Rubber trees are striking plants with a vigorous growth habit. These trees can grow as tall as ten feet when kept indoors and much larger when planted in the ground. 

In the wild, rubber trees typically grow much larger, reaching heights of 100 feet or more. They also live up to 100 years in the wild. With the proper care, your rubber tree can live for 25 years or more in the home. The ideal environment for this plant includes bright, indirect light and moderate humidity. Water your rubber tree every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to dry between watering. 


A monstera plant flourishes in a white pot perched on a wooden chair, adding a touch of vibrant greenery to the space. Armchairs encircle the scene, creating a cozy ambiance for relaxation and contemplation.
A monstera plant can grow up to 2 feet annually.
botanical-name botanical name Monstera deliciosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 8’

Monstera plants are quite popular as houseplants. Their rapid and observable growth rate plays a significant role in that popularity. I don’t know about you, but I get really excited when I see a new leaf about to unfurl. Waiting to see the increased fenestration (distinct holes) of your plant’s stunning leaves is always exciting. 

If your plant has the space to grow, it can put on two feet per year on average. Monstera plants like their nutrients. You should fertilize this plant several times per year with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. In the wild, a monstera can grow up to 70 feet tall. Indoors, six to eight feet is a more reasonable expectation. 

Monstera plants need thorough watering about once every one to two weeks. Filtered water will make your plant happiest, although tap water is unlikely to kill it. The more light your plant receives, the more water it will need. Give this plant extra humidity and plenty of bright, indirect light. Your plant can live up to 50 years in the home.

Jade Plant

A close-up reveals a thriving jade plant nestled indoors, its compact leaves abundant and lush. Each leaf is petite yet robust, characterized by its thick texture, embodying the plant's resilience and vitality.
Jade plants thrive for up to a century with proper care.
botanical-name botanical name Crassula ovata
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height up to 6’

I can vouch for the longevity of this plant, as my father has had one for as long as I can remember. After at least 40 years, and the plant is still going strong. Jade plants are slow growers, so they are a practice in patience. These succulents can reach up to six feet tall indoors, but it takes quite a while for them to grow at a rate of only two inches per year. 

Like most succulents, jade plants do not like a lot of water. Research shows that the biggest issue with this species is overwatering. They store what they need in their fleshy leaves and tolerate watering about once every two to three weeks. They need very little water during their dormant period. They also prefer low humidity. A humidity level of 50% is about the highest this plant will tolerate. 

Give your jade plant plenty of bright, indirect light. It will enjoy at least six hours of light daily. Under the right conditions, these ultra-long-lived houseplants can live up to 100 years, and there are records of them living even longer!

Wax Plant

A close-up of a cluster of delicate white flowers blooming on a wax plant, their petals gleaming softly. Green leaves frame the blossoms, creating a natural backdrop that accentuates their purity and elegance.
Indoor wax plants can thrive for around 30 years with good care.
botanical-name botanical name Hoya carnosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 4’-20’

Wax plant is a species of Hoya, and truly, all hoyas are long-lived and wonderful houseplants. This is an epiphytic plant, which means that in its natural environment, it grows on trees. It is, essentially, an air plant. This is the most important factor in caring for one of these plants. 

Their roots are very sensitive to water and fungus, so use a potting mix that drains very well. An orchid mix combined with standard or succulent potting soil is a great choice for your hoya. These tropical plants like high humidity, so good air circulation is imperative. 

Wax plant grows under the canopy of a tree, so it prefers bright but indirect light. Without sufficient light, you’re unlikely to see any flowers, and the flowers are really lovely. If you take proper care of your hoya, it could live up to 30 years as a houseplant. It makes a lovely hanging plant as it has a trailing habit.

Heartleaf Philodendron

A heartleaf philodendron plant sits gracefully in a blue pot, adding a touch of natural elegance to the wooden table. In the soft blur of the background, the cozy indoors beckons with warmth and comfort.
This plant lasts up to 20 years with minimal care and regular fertilization.
botanical-name botanical name Philodendron hederaceum
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 20’

I most enjoy propagating and sharing heartleaf philodendrons with fellow plant lovers. This wonderful, economical plant grows quickly and has the prettiest leaves. Medium green at maturity with a soft shine, the heart-shaped leaves first appear in shades of pink and red. The color variations make this simple vining plant quite striking. 

I keep this plant in a kitchen window where it receives a little extra humidity. It gets partial sun with indirect light all day. I take cuttings several times per year, and the cuttings are easy to root in water. Philodendrons are tropical plants that like moisture, but be careful about overwatering. It’s best to let the soil dry between waterings. 

A heartleaf philodendron can live for a surprisingly long time, 20 years or more. This plant almost prefers a bit of neglect. Keep it in a spot where you will regularly enjoy it, and don’t let the soil stay dry for more than a day or two. Fertilize a few times a year with liquid tropical plant food. You will not regret picking up one of these plants.

Snake Plant

A white potted snake plant on a wooden coffee table, featuring vibrant green leaves with delicate patterns. The foliage appears healthy and glossy, adding a refreshing touch to the room's decor against a blurred gray couch backdrop.
The snake plants need watering every two weeks when the soil is dry.
botanical-name botanical name Dracena trifasciata
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 3’

I want to give the disclaimer here that for as many exotic plants as I keep healthy, the snake plant is one that I always struggle with. I am told, however, that I am simply loving it too much. So, a bit of neglect seems to be the key to keeping this fun plant alive. Also called ‘Mother-in-Law’s Tongue,’ this is a great beginner plant that doesn’t need much fussing over. 

Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, including low light. Water your plant every two weeks or when the top inch or two of soil is dry to the touch. Warm temperatures, or at least an absence of a draft, will make this plant happy. Consistency is key here. 

Repot this plant in the spring if it looks like it might outgrow the pot during the current growing season. A good potting mix is high in nutrients so that you don’t have to fertilize often. Mix some compost in with your standard potting mix. Snake plants live upwards of 25 years and more if they are happy in their environment. 

Living Stone Plant

A close-up reveals a Living Stone plant nestled in a brown pot, its succulent leaves resembling pebbles. The plant sits gracefully atop a wooden table, its textured surface reflecting the plant's natural environment.
These unique plants prefer full sunlight in the morning and some shade in the afternoon.
botanical-name botanical name Lithops spp
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2”

These quirky little succulents will forever remind me of the rock people from the movie Frozen. Lithops are a great plant to get for kids to tend to. Not only are they adorable, and fun to look at, they are easy to care for and low maintenance, too

Living stone plants are small, rarely growing more than an inch or two tall. They have a pair of succulent leaves that resemble stones, which is where they get their common name. They are completely non-toxic, so curious kiddos are safe with these succulents. In fact, kiddos in their native Africa are known to snack on these leaves as they are full of water and help hydrate!

Give your living stones full sunlight in the morning and some shade in the afternoon. They are sun lovers, but too much hot sun can burn them. They tolerate very hot temperatures but prefer to stay between 65-80° F (18-27°C), perfect for a sunny windowsill.

Water your lithiops every two weeks during growth periods and leave them alone in the winter. These plants need good drainage, and you can skip the fertilizer. These long-lived houseplants can survive for up to 60 years!

Cast Iron Plant

An elegant cast iron plant thrives in a brown pot, its slender leaves gracefully cascading downward. Set against a backdrop of white tiled flooring and warm wooden panels, this botanical addition brings a touch of nature to interior spaces.
The cast iron plant thrives in indirect light and well-draining soil.
botanical-name botanical name Aspidistra elatior
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 2’-3’

You may be more familiar with these plants as outdoor landscaping elements. They grow fast outdoors and are great for reducing erosion. They work in nearly complete shade, and they do well indoors as well. Avoid placing your cast iron plant in direct sunlight, as this will burn the leaves. 

As a houseplant, this plant lives up to its name. Cast iron is quite a sturdy material, and cast iron plants have a reputation for their sturdiness, too. The lush foliage looks great all year, and you barely have to touch it. the ideal temperature for this plant is between 60-75°F (18-24°C). I can certainly relate to those numbers!

Place your plant in bright but indirect light for the best results. Soil type isn’t important as long as there is adequate drainage. Cast iron plants don’t like to be overwatered, so let the soil dry between watering this one. A humidity level of around 50% is just right. Fertilize once or twice in spring and summer. You could get 50 years out of this plant!

Dwarf Umbrella Tree

A dwarf umbrella tree, its vibrant leaves stretching toward the light, stands gracefully within a cozy interior. In the background, a serene white curtain softly billows, creating a tranquil atmosphere around the verdant botanical presence.
Provide dwarf umbrella trees with warm temperatures for optimal growth and health.
botanical-name botanical name Heptapleurum arboricola
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 10′-25’

I don’t love Schefflera plants outdoors, as they can be a bit pushy with the natives where I garden. However, as a houseplant, that vigorous growth habit is a real asset. The dwarf umbrella tree is a pretty plant with variegated leaves that form small umbrella-like clusters. 

This tropical plant needs to stay above 60°F (16°C), or it will begin to lose its leaves. It prefers rich and slightly acidic soil to do its best growing. Soil that holds water is a plus, but drainage is important to make sure your pot has drainage holes. 

Place your dwarf umbrella tree in bright but indirect sunlight to avoid burning the leaves. This is a heavy feeder, so fertilize every two weeks during the growing season. Scheffleras grow quite tall and can live up to 25 years indoors

Christmas Cactus

Vibrant violet flowers bloom on a Christmas cactus, gracefully spilling over the edges of its brown pot. The lush greenery of the plant adds a touch of freshness to any indoor space.
The Christmas cactus has the potential to develop into tree-like shapes.
botanical-name botanical name Schlumbergera russelliana
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 1’-2’

Another succulent with excellent longevity is the Christmas cactus. Most of the year, these plants are a quirky and quiet little plants. They have low care needs and grow rather slowly, so you may forget they are there from time to time. They absolutely light up in the winter months, though. At the end of each segmented stem, large, flamboyant flowers bloom in shades of pink, red, white, purple, or yellow. 

You might not think so by looking at it, but this plant can live for a very long time and grow very large in the process! Over time, Christmas cactus plants can become tree-like. The central stem becomes woody, and the plant takes on a different shape. 

Sadly, most of these plants never make it to this point. They have a reputation as seasonal hanging plants to take the place of annuals for winter, and then disposed of. However, with consistent care and keeping, this long-lived houseplant can live up to 100 years, sometimes even more!


Variegated scindapsus plant, with lush green and cream leaves, flourishes in a white pot. The pot, nestled in a bright corner, provides a serene backdrop for the plant's graceful growth and natural beauty.
This indoor plant flourishes with moderate light and requires intermittent watering.
botanical-name botanical name Scindapsus
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial sun
height height 8”

You may have purchased this plant as a silver philodendron or satin pothos. While it is not technically a Philodendron or a Pothos species, it is a relative and shares a lot of similarities with both. This is another plant that I keep in my kitchen window and a bunch of other spots, as well. It propagates easily, and it grows quickly

The silvery, heart-shaped leaves make this highly desirable as a houseplant. It is as resilient as a pothos but has a similar appearance to heart leaf philodendron. The silver markings have a soft texture and almost a reflective quality. 

Give your scindapsus sun for part of the day, or bright indirect light for most of the day. You can wait until the soil is dry to water, but it will start to droop if it dries out too much and may drop leaves if you let it go too long. This one doesn’t have a terribly long life; about 15 years. However, you can take cuttings and propagate for an indefinite lifespan.

Spider Plant

A close-up of a potted spider plant showcasing its green leaves with elegant, slender shapes. Each leaf features a unique pattern of delicate stripes, creating a visually captivating display of nature's intricate design and vibrant vitality.
Spider plants thrive in higher humidity environments like bathrooms.
botanical-name botanical name Chlorophytum comosum
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 1’-2’

Spider plants have great personalities, but did you know these houseplants are surprisingly long-lived? Under the right conditions, one spider plant can live and reproduce for up to 20 years. Spider plants produce a lot of oxygen and absorb quite a few chemicals from the air, so they are great air purifiers. They are tough, sturdy, and fun to look at. 

If you want a spider plant to reproduce, creating those adorable little mini spider plants, it needs a fair amount of sunlight. Indoors, this means that it will need to be close to a window that gets sun for several hours per day. Your plant may survive in low light, but it is unlikely to flower. It is after they flower that they create offsets. 

Spider plants like regular watering and average soil. There is no need to repot them regularly; they will reproduce better if they are a bit pot-bound. Fertilize your plants every two to three months, and place them in a room with elevated humidity, like a bathroom. 


A close-up of a white orchid blooming elegantly in a woven pot, showcasing delicate petals. Positioned on a pristine white windowsill, basking in soft natural light, the plant radiates serene beauty and tranquility.
Regularly care for orchids by watering weekly and fertilizing monthly.
botanical-name botanical name Orchidaceae
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height Varies by species

I could go on for days about orchids. They are not considered low-maintenance houseplants, but really, they can be, if you know how to care for them. Orchids are epiphytes, similar to hoyas. They need a lot of air circulation and humidity to balance their high moisture needs. They do not like wet roots, but they love water. So confusing!

The key to healthy orchids is to neglect them, but not too much. Create a regular care routine where you water once per week, and fertilize once per month. Make sure to plant your orchid in a bark mix and a container with ample drainage or mount it on a log. In terms of light, most orchids prefer bright but indirect sunlight. I find a bathroom window with privacy glass is the perfect spot for most of my orchids. 

Some orchids, like vandas and cattleyas, require more sun than others. These are better suited to the outdoors. Orchids need a lot of humidity, more than is available in most homes without supplementation. Because of the way they reproduce and are propagated, an orchid can live for an undetermined time. Some orchids are more than a hundred years old, and they have very patient caretakers. 

African Milk Tree 

An oblong pot contains an African milk plant, distinguished by its thorny stems. Nearby, various cacti inhabit pots of diverse shapes and sizes, each displaying unique forms and textures.
African milk trees pose a risk to children or pets because of their toxic nature.
botanical-name botanical name Euphorbia trigona
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 8’

African milk tree is a succulent relative of poinsettias. It has spines like a cactus and grows ovate leaves from between the spines. Over time, this moderate-growing plant can reach heights of six to eight feet tall. They are low-maintenance and blush a wonderful shade of purple when lightly stressed by light or cold. 

When grown outdoors, African milk trees can become very large and shrubby. Indoors it will remain much smaller. It is important to note that this tree is spiny and also toxic, so it’s not a great choice if you have curious little ones or pets around. Otherwise, it makes a wonderful houseplant. 

Plant your African milk tree in well-draining soil and a container with good drainage. Give it partial sun in the morning or bright, indirect light all day. Water only when the soil is dry, and fertilize it monthly in spring and summer. With the right care and environment, this long-lived houseplant can thrive for more than 60 years

ZZ Plant

 A gray pot cradles a ZZ plant, adding greenery to a bright white corner. Nearby, a window adorned with billowy white and blue curtains invites gentle daylight into the room, creating a serene atmosphere.
Keep the ZZ plant in an optimal humidity range of 40-50%.
botanical-name botanical name Zamioculcas spp
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 2’-4’

There is a reason the ZZ plant often gets recommended as a fabulous beginner plant. It is easy to care for and lives a long time without much consideration. Even a novice can keep this plant going for a long time. While slow growing, ZZ plants can live up to 30 years and reach about three to four feet tall at maturity. 

Choose a potting mix that drains well, and add some perlite for extra aeration. A humidity level between 40-50% is ideal for a ZZ plant, and this is not out of the normal range for most homes. In winter, moving this plant to the bathroom will help keep it happy when the forced heat may dry out the air. 

This plant can tolerate a wide range of light exposure. Adjust watering according to the amount of light your plant receives. In more light, give more water; in lower light, watering once every two to three weeks is sufficient. Fertilize once every month or two during the growing season. 

Weeping Fig

A weeping fig tree, elegant in a gray pot, graces a wooden table. Behind it, blurred greenery of other potted plants fills the house with life, adding to the serene ambiance of the room.
Repot your weeping fig annually in rich, well-draining soil.
botanical-name botanical name Ficus benjamina
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5’-30’

The second Ficus on our list, the weeping fig, is also known by the scientific name Ficus benjamina. Ficus plants are low-maintenance and fast growers. They are evergreen when grown in a tropical or subtropical climate, and indoors. They can be pruned to keep between three and six feet tall, making them a nice design element. 

Your weeping fig will need repotting once per year for the first several years to accommodate its vigorous growth. Rich potting soil with good drainage is ideal for this plant. Give it a large container; there is no need to keep this tree pot-bound. Water it regularly during the growing period, but ease up in the winter. Your plant will need less water in the winter, and too much can cause root rot. 

Weeping fig needs a lot of light. This is the only high-maintenance aspect of this plant. Place it in a room with plenty of bright light and even some direct light if it’s available. Your tree will live up to 40 years in the right environment. 

Bird of Paradise

Orange tepals unfurl from a bird of paradise plant, captivating with their vibrant hue. Each leaf stretches elegantly, forming verdant arcs that complement the vivid blooms in a harmonious dance of color and form.
Bird of Paradise plants benefit from monthly fertilization during spring and summer.
botanical-name botanical name Strelitzia spp
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 3’-6’

Bird of Paradise is another tropical plant that does well indoors and will live for a long time if well cared for. It is a large plant with dramatic leaves and flowers. While it does need a significant amount of light to grow indoors, it is otherwise not difficult to care for. 

Keep your plant in a sunny room. Direct light is not imperative, but this plant will need bright light for most of the day. If you want this one to flower indoors, it will need some direct light. Water about once per week or when the top inch of the soil is dry but there is still moisture down deeper. Water until the fluid runs out the bottom of the pot. 

Bird of Paradise plants like higher humidity, so a bathroom is a good place for them. A humidifier or pebble tray are good supplements if you want to keep this one in full view. Fertilize once per month in spring and summer; this plant can live up to 50 years indoors. 


A lush dracaena plant with green leaves gracefully arching outward, basking in a brown pot on a sturdy wooden table. Behind it, a serene backdrop of a white and blue wall adds a soothing touch to the room's ambiance.
Low-light houseplants like dracaena prefer bright, indirect light and acidic soil.
botanical-name botanical name Dracaena spp
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 4’-10’

Dracaena is a genus of small shrubs and trees that make nice houseplants and don’t require a lot of attention. They are evergreen and usually start life as a whorl of leaves close to the ground. The leaves tend to be lanceolate and often variegated or edged with a different color. Over time, they grow tall, and you can train them into the shape of trees by removing the lower leaves to expose the woody stem. 

These plants fall into the class of low-light houseplants. However, they will thrive and grow best with bright, indirect light. In their native environment, they often grow to 20 feet or taller. In your home, they won’t grow much past eight feet at the most. 

Use a peat-based potting mix when planting your dracaena. They prefer their soil to be on the acidic side. During their growing season, keep the soil moist. Watering once per week will typically be enough, but if your plant gets a lot of sun, it may need more. Some species of dracaena live up to 40 years, while others are shorter-lived. 


 A close-up of green croton leaves with splashes of yellow and red hues, nestled in a rustic brown pot. Each leaf displays a mosaic of colors, creating a captivating tapestry of nature's artistry, a testament to growth and vitality.
This plant needs monthly fertilization in spring and summer for optimal health.
botanical-name botanical name Croton spp
sun-requirements sun requirements Bright indirect light
height height 1’-8’

Crotons are flashy, colorful plants with large leaves that make nice houseplants. The variegated leaves show off in shades of red, green, orange, and yellow. They are low maintenance and forgiving as houseplants, or potted plants outdoors. In warm climates, they can grow in the garden. 

These are tall plants that become tree-like. It’s important to choose a container with some weight so that it won’t fall over. They tend to be top-heavy when mature. Give your plant plenty of bright light, this will increase the variegation and give you a brighter plant. If new leaves aren’t as colorful, the plant might need more sun. 

Crotons need some extra humidity in the home, and misting is a good idea with this plant. Water well, but allow the soil to dry between waterings. In spring and summer, Give your plant fertilizer once per month. Crotons can live up to 15 years and sometimes more. 

Final Thoughts

The average lifespan for a houseplant is only two to five years. That’s not very long if you consider all the effort we put into our plants. The good news is that there are lots of beautiful long-lived houseplants that will beautify your home for much longer. With the right care and environment, these plants will stick around for a decade or more

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A close-up of polka dot leaves, their lush texture inviting touch and exploration. Speckled with shades of green and pink, they create a lively mosaic, a delightful blend of natural hues that captivates the eye with its playful charm.


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