10-longest-living-indoor-plants

Top 10 Longest Living Indoor Plants (& How To Care For Them)

Indoor plants are a great way to bring the outdoors in and the longer they live, the better they seem to get.

Not only can indoor plants grow stunning foliage and make your home feel more lively, but they can also live alongside you for many years with the proper care and conditions. 

So, if you’re looking for a plant that you can get attached to and that can be your companion for a long time to come, you’ll find in this article a carefully selected list of 10 longest living indoor plants.

Indoor plants want to live long, healthy lives and they typically can for as long as you allow them to.

While many people keep their indoor plants alive for only about 2-5 years, most indoor plants can actually survive for much longer than that. If all their basic needs are met and sustained, most of your indoor plants can live for decades.

Of course, there are some indoor plants where this may not always be true.

However, in this list, we are going to focus on the most common indoor plants that thrive on longevity and are known for having a long lifespan. 

Top 10 Longest Living Indoor Plants

1. Succulents & Cacti

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-succulents-cactiSucculents and cacti are hardy plants that thrive with little care and are perfect for plant owners at all levels. There are hundreds of options for you to choose from and each is unique.

Succulents generally have thick fleshy leaves and can be trailing or upright; some even resemble flowers.

Cacti are a subfamily of succulents and are known for having prickly thorns on the outside.

One of the longest living succulents, the Jade plant, can reach up to 100 years old.

For most other succulents and cacti, it is not exactly sure how long they live.

However, since they are constantly propagating themselves, they can essentially live forever.

Without propagation, Jade plants can reach ages of up to 100 years old, while other types of succulents and cacti may typically only reach 10 years of age.

Another great thing about these plants is that they require almost no extra maintenance and will reproduce from themselves often.

Being native to the desert, succulents prefer warm weather year-round and do not take well to cold temperatures.

2. Air Plant (Tillandsia)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-air-plantAir plants are tropical plants that do not require soil to grow, which is why they take easy-going to a whole new level.

Air plants are slow-growing and long-lasting, with the opportunity to be displayed in ways that other plants can’t be.

Most air plants are silvery-green colored and only a few inches in size. However, they can produce brightly colored flowers once in their lifetime.

During blooming period, Tillandsia’s flowers can last from days to several months.

While most people only keep their air plants alive for a few years, they can essentially live forever as the main plant will always produce new buds.

If you want your Air plant to live forever, keep in mind not to move it too much, as this can cause stress.

Read here more about the effect of moving plants around.

Fun facts:

  • Some of the silver-leafed Air plants can handle more direct sunlight than green-leafed ones.
  • Along with soaking, Air plants love misting. Read more about how to correctly mist your plants in this article here.

3. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-devils-ivyOther names: Pothos.

Devil’s Ivy is one of the most common houseplants.

It is loved for its long trailing, heart-shaped foliage that usually features some yellow or white variegation.

This vine is one of the most common hanging plants. It can be grown onto other objects or can be hung from the ceiling to trail downwards.

You can read more about other indoor hanging plants that are more common than you think and are very low maintenance in this article here.

Fun facts:

  • Generally not a big fan of direct light. However, the paler the leaves, the more light the plant needs.
  • For optimal growth, apply fertilizer once a month during the growing season (April to August).
  • A yellow or brown color of the leaves indicates overwatering.

4. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-sago-palmNative to the Cycadaceae family and originating from the south of Japan, Cycad (or the Sago Palm) is one of the longest living indoor plants, that can live over 240 years.

These plants mimic palm trees with their large fronds and thick base and are known for their hardiness and longevity.

If you’re particularly fond of plants with big leaves, here’s a list of the best giant leafed indoor plants and how to care for them.

While the oldest living cycad is over 240 years old, not all cycads will reach this age. On average, cycads will reach about 30-50 years in your home. 

Fun facts:

  • Sago palms date back to prehistoric times, hence their hardiness.
  • The most common problem with Sago Palms is yellowing. This can be fixed by applying fertilizer.
  • Careful around Sago palms, as all parts are toxic to humans and pets.

5. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-snake-plantSnake plants are one of the most common indoor plants due to their simple needs and their unique foliage.

This plant features thick, flat foliage that grows upwards like a snake and many of these leaves have yellow or white variegation.

Snake plants are slower growing but can reach lengths up to almost 5 feet (1.5 m) tall.

While snake plants can take low light fairly well, they won’t grow as fast in those conditions.

Therefore, in low light settings, most snake plants live for 5-10 years, however, in the best settings, they have been seen to live past 20 years old.

Snake plants like to fully dry out in between watering so overwatering can be one of the biggest concerns. These plants only require water once about every two weeks. 

Snake plants like warm weather best and should never be kept in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want your snake plant to grow thick and tall, it will need fertilizer regularly during the growing seasons. However, it can also go without it.

6. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-english-ivyAnother long-living and long-trailing plant is the English Ivy.

Native to most of Europe and western Asia, this is a classic plant that brings elegance to your environment with its small, green maple-like leaves.

English ivy makes a great hanging plant and can be trained easily along walls or other objects.

These plants are very rapid growers as they can reach up to 9 feet in one year, but it takes at least 2 years before any significant growth takes place.

English ivy is hands down one of the longest living indoor plants. They have been known to live for hundreds of years.

Also, keeping them alive is very easy, as they are hardy plants that require very little to no maintenance.

As a general rule you can fertilize once a year in the spring and an occasional trim, but not much else.

This type of ivy likes moist soil and doesn’t like to dry out. A bit of humidity is also preferred as well.

English ivy tends to prefer cooler temperatures (around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to other indoor plants. 

Fun fact: English Ivy is classified as invasive in Oregon and Washington and as a noxious weed in 46 states.

7. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-spider-plantKnown for its bright green and white foliage, and the spider-like clones that trail away, Spider Plant is one of the best long-living indoor plants. Why?

Well, Spider plants are really hard to kill, which is why they are known to live for a very long time.

Also, they help clean the air, which is why most people who smoke tend to keep Spider plants in their homes.

On the topic of smoking and plants, there are many interesting facts to know, so I wrote an article about this that you can read here.

Most Spider plants will live for about 20 years on average, however, they have also been seen to live past 50 years. 

These plants prefer to dry out a little in between watering, but they still like to be watered about once or twice a week.

It’s good to know that Spider plants will eventually send offshoots of smaller spider plants that can be cut and propagated, but they can also be left on the main plant.

These plants are extremely adaptable and will tolerate most conditions, so as longs as their soil is well-drained and they benefit from bright, indirect light, they will flourish.

8. Rubber Fig (Ficus elastica)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-rubber-figNative to eastern parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia, the Rubber Fig (the Rubber plant or Indian rubber tree) is a species of plant in the fig genus that is commercially grown to make rubber, hence the name.

As a houseplant, the Rubber fig provides beautiful foliage and longevity in our houses.

Its leaves tend to be thick and rounded with a point at the end and they can come in a variety of colors.

Rubber plants like to be misted every now and then and provided with a little fertilizer, but it’s not crucial to their survival.

Find out how important misting can be for plants and how to do it correctly in this article.

9. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-zz-plantZZ plants are tropical perennials, which are fairly new houseplants, but increasingly common because they have all the characteristics of a long-living, unfussy plant.

Their foliage is extremely unique, showcasing almost symmetrical green leaves that grow up longer stems.

It starts growing more upright and can grow outwards a few feet with age.

The leaves make up 91% of this plant and each leaf can last up to 6 months in poor conditions, which is why the ZZ plant can live up to 4 months in low light, without water.

Since this plant is still fairly new to house plant owners, the plant is mostly seen to live for 5-10 years, although it is suspected to have much more longevity than that.

These plants like to dry out in between waterings so they usually need water only once every 1-2 weeks.

Also, it requires little to no maintenance but may benefit from fertilizing every now and then.

10. Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa)

10-longest-living-indoor-plants-hoya-wax-plantAttractive for its waxy foliage and sweetly scented flowers, the Wax plant (Hoya plant or porcelain flower) is another great long-living houseplant that truly gets better with age.

They originally come from Eastern Asia and Australia and are one of the many species of Hoya.

This plant features waxy leaves that trail away on sporadic vines and are known to have fragrant flowers.

Hoyas have been seen to live for 30+ years, however, most owners keep them for up to 5 years.

Hoyas like warm weather and don’t like the temperature to drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Average indoor temperatures are best.

Some pruning will need to be done on this Hoya as the plant trails out over time and fertilizer is important to include as well.

Therefore, prune once or twice during the growing season and fertilize once a month from April to August.

Related Posts