14 Plants That Don’t Need Water (At Least Not Very Often, Anyway)

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You love the idea of houseplants surrounding you and creating an indoor garden. And you’ve heard there are plenty of studies that prove spending time around flowers and plants has both mental and physical benefits. But, sadly, you’ve discovered you’re a tiny bit, well, let’s say inattentive to your plant babies. The good news for plant parents who aren’t the best at remembering to water is that there actually are many houseplants that will put up with your forgetfulness. So, if you travel for work or sometimes let weeks pass without watering, these plants will bounce back or use their own reserves to survive.

But just a heads up: Low water doesn’t mean no water. If you’re really bad about remembering to water, set a weekly reminder on your phone. While there are generalizations about how often a plant needs water, that can change from season to season so you need to get a feel for your own home. For example, plants may need to be watered more often in winter when humidity is low indoors. And one more bit of advice: Poke your finger in the soil to feel the moisture level before giving any plant a drink; most houseplants die from overwatering rather than under watering, and no plant (especially the ones listed here!) likes to stay sopping wet. Got it? Good. Now here are 14 plants that barely need any water.

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plants that dont need water snake plant
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1. Snake Plant

With their striking architectural form and sturdy build, snake plants look great in any room of your house. And they do not like to be wet. Stick your finger in and see if it’s dry. If so, hold off another day or so. They typically need water about every 10 days but will survive a month (sometimes more!) if you forget about them.

plants that dont need water zz plant
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2. Zz Plant

Here’s another tough-as-nails houseplant: ZZ plant, short for Zamioculcus zamiifolia, which likes to dry out completely between waterings. That means it can typically go about two to three weeks between drinks.

plants that dont need water pothos
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3. Pothos

If you’re looking for more of a trailing plant, pothos is the one for you. This plant comes in many different varieties, and it likes to dry out completely between waterings. It’s typically fine if you water every week to 10 days.

plants that dont need water philodendron
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4. Philodendron

With more than 400 different species and dozens of different varieties within each species, there’s one that you’ll absolutely love. They come in trailing and more upright types, and they like to stay a little on the dry side. Check every week to 10 days.

plants that dont need water string of pearls

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5. String Of Pearls

This adorable succulent, which means it holds water in its stems and leaves, can go a couple of weeks without watering. Find a spot for it, and keep it there (out of your pet’s or kid’s reach!) because the delicate stems break easily.

plants that dont need water ponytail palm
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6. Ponytail Palm

This cute plant looks, yep, just like a sassy ponytail! It is drought-tolerant (it’s actually a member of the agave family) so it can go a couple of weeks between waterings.

plants that dont need water yucca plant
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7. Yucca Plant

This is an eye-catching floor plant that’s great for beginners because it’s quite forgiving. Its native environment is desert, so let the pot dry out almost completely before watering. Hint: Push a chopstick way down into the pot; if soil clings to it, wait a few days and check again. Check every 10 days to two weeks until you get a feel for how often your plant will need watered.

plants that dont need water echeveria
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8. Echeveria

Like its other succulent relatives, Echeveria holds onto water in its leaves, so it can go for weeks without watering. In fact, too much water will cause the leaves to become mushy and drop off. Its pretty rose-shaped forms are delightful when lined up along a windowsill in several small pots.

plants that dont need water haworthia
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9. Haworthia

This is the most adorable little succulent with upright growth and dark green leaves striped with white. It’s drought tolerant, like most succulents, so only give it a drink every two to three weeks as needed.

plants that dont need water jade plant
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10. Jade Plant

Jade plants, which resemble tiny trees, are another type of succulent that doesn’t mind being neglected! Because it’s fat, shiny leaves act as water reservoirs, you won’t need to water for two or more weeks.

plants that dont need water aglaonema
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11. Aglaonema

These attractive plants have a nice upright form and pretty red or white accented foliage. They like to dry out between waterings, so you only need to check them once every week to 10 days. They’re the perfect plant for newbies because they’re not fussy.

plants that dont need water pilea
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12. Pilea

These plants have adorable coin-shaped leaves, which some people say look like flying saucers! They are fast growers, too, but only need watered when the top 75 percent of the pot is dry. Try the chopstick trick again to tell when to water, which is typically every two to three weeks.

plants that dont need water aloe plant
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13. Aloe Plant

This succulent grows outdoors in warm climates, but it’s a great houseplant for beginners. Like its relatives, it retains water in its leaves and stems so you only need to water when mostly dry, about every two to three weeks. It’s also handy to have on hand for mild burns. Break open one of the outer leaves and dab the gel-like substance on the affected area.

plants that dont need water bromeliad

14. Bromeliad

These exotic-looking plants have become more popular in recent years because of their attractive foliage and interesting colored bracts, which are a sort of modified leaf. Their leaves have water-holding cups, or urns; add a few tablespoons of water to the cup occasionally. They don’t like to be wet, so stick your finger in the soil before you give it a drink, about every two to three weeks.

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Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...