I’ll Let You in on a Secret: I Turn to Amazon for the Best Indoor Plants
Greenery that doesn’t cost a lot of green.
Published Apr 28, 2021 1:00 AM
I love plants, but they don’t always love me. I have killed many from time to time, either due to overwatering (or as I like to call it: killing with kindness) or a bit of neglect. For this reason, I set price restrictions on how much I’ll allow myself to spend. Until I can financially handle the loss of a $100 plant—or my horticultural skills improve—I get my greenery for $50 or less. My secret? The best indoor plants can be found on Amazon.
Now I’ve picked up my fair share of greenery at farmers’ markets and the many shops in my Brooklyn neighborhood, but quite often I’ve turned to the online retailer to satisfy a very distinct plant need that otherwise can be quite expensive. When it comes to big plants in particular—from peace lilies to palms—the site has never led me astray.
I’ve bought a wide variety of large (at least 3 feet tall) plants on Amazon, and each arrived neatly and in good health. As I mature further into my plant parenthood, I can’t help but notice that each one I order seems to do just a bit better under my care than the previous one. When you’re trying to get yourself a green thumb, sometimes the best thing to do is to try and try and try again. For me, a positive attitude and a Prime account have made all the difference. Shop my favorite picks, below.
The Short List
- Best for beginners: Snake Plant, Costa Farms
- Best for humid environments: Benjamina Ficus Tree, Brighter Blooms
- Best for sun-drenched rooms: Fiddle-Leaf Fig, Costa Farms
- Best for dinner prep: Meyer Lemon Tree, Brighter Blooms
- Best for black thumbs: Devil’s Ivy Pothos, Leaf & Linen
- Best for turning heads: Burgundy Rubber, Hirt’s Gardens
- Best for tropical vibes: Majesty Palm Tree, Costa Farms
- Best for air purification: Peace Lily, American Plant Exchange
- Best for your Instagram feed: Monstera Deliciosa, Tropical Plants of Florida
- Best for low-light rooms: ZZ Plant, Costa Farms
Best for Beginners: Snake Plant
There’s a reason why snake plants are known as the perfect pick for black thumbs: They almost thrive on neglect and can tolerate bright or indirect sunlight, as well as shady corners. Although you can find this popular variety at most gardening stores, this 4.5-star option from Costa Farms, one of the largest plant growers in the world, arrives complete in a recyclable white-rimmed planter and comes in three sizes: 8 inches, 12 inches, and 2 feet tall. To top it off, it has more than 5,000 ratings, with 79 percent giving 5 stars.
Pro tip: Snake plants are prone to root rot, so transfer your greenery into a new planter as soon as it arrives. Opt for a terracotta vessel with a drainage hole and saucer, and make sure the soil is completely dry before giving it a soak.
Best for Humid Environments: Benjamina Ficus Tree
These single-trunk cuties do best in areas with high humidity, so give them a spritz every now and then to keep them quenched. Brighter Blooms, which only carries plants with well-developed root systems, offers two sizes: 2- to 3-feet and 3- to 4-feet-tall. One reviewer even said, “I’m very happy with my new ficus. It is very healthy, with new foliage sprouting on top. It was boxed nicely, and I was impressed with how quickly I received it.”
Pro tip: Try placing your ficus in a pebble tray filled with water for 24-7 hydration.
Best for Sun-Drenched Rooms: Fiddle-Leaf Fig
It couldn’t be easier to get a fiddle-leaf fig tree to pose for a photo (they’re naturally photogenic), but taking care of one is a bit more difficult. Costa Farms’s highly rated option (4.1 stars) is 3 feet tall and arrives in a chic recyclable planter. Just beware—the planter doesn’t have holes, so make sure you don’t overwater it!
Pro tip: These tropical plants are finicky—only transport them in warmer weather (over 65 degrees) and make sure to hydrate them once a week.
Best for Dinner Prep: Meyer Lemon
What could be more exciting than homegrown fruit? A Meyer lemon tree not only provides a garden-like feel indoors, but it will supply plenty of flavor right from your living room. Brighter Blooms’s self-pollinating tree will arrive standing 3 to 4 feet tall and promises year-around fruit in one to two years’ time. One reviewer reported that theirs grew “7 inches in just one month!” Just keep in mind, due to federal agriculture restrictions, they can’t be shipped to Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona.
Pro tip: Meyer lemon trees prefer a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Add lime to increase the soil pH or sulfur to lower it if need be.
Best for Black Thumbs: Devil’s Ivy Pothos
You can’t go wrong with a pothos. Seriously these easy-to-grow plants are nearly impossible to kill. Just place ’em near a window so they can drink up plenty of sunlight. Leaf & Linen’s hand-selected option arrives in a 6-inch ceramic pot and only requires watering every one to two weeks. Reviewers across the board report the plant arriving in great condition, ready to brighten up homes in no time with its heart-shaped leaves.
Pro tip: A golden pothos don’t need fertilizer to thrive, but if you want to see growth quickly, it doesn’t hurt to throw some in from time to time.
Best for Turning Heads: Burgundy Rubber
A rubber tree makes for a dramatic houseplant. Just make sure not to overwater it—its soil should dry out completely between waterings, and it appreciates sitting in bright, indirect light. Amazon recommends this pick from Hirt’s Garden Store for any users searching for a “live plant.” The plant arrives in a 6-inch pot and has 4.1 stars from almost 2,000 ratings (more than half of them are 5 stars). Reviewers report great customer service and healthy plants upon delivery.
Pro tip: If your rubber tree plant starts losing its leaf color, it requires more sunlight, and if its leaves begin curling inward, it’s telling you it’s thirsty and needs water.
Best for Tropical Vibes: Majesty Palm Tree
A palm is a pretty easy (and substantially sized) plant to care for. Just be sure not to relegate it to the shade and keep the soil moist but not too saturated. Costa Farms’s Majesty Palm Tree is one of Amazon’s best-sellers, with more than 5,000 ratings, 66 percent of which earned 5 stars. It stands 3 feet tall when shipped and arrives in a 10-inch decor planter, ready to be placed in your living room or kitchen or on your patio.
Pro tip: If yours is looking a little sad, Bloomscape recommends turning on a humidifier or lightly misting to help turn things around.
Best for Air Purification: Peace Lily
Peace lilies are, well, perfectly peaceful additions to any interior. They’ll fare all right in lower-light situations, and best of all, they’ll let you know when they’re thirsty by wilting a bit, only to perk up quickly after getting a good pour of water. American Plant Exchange Store’s option measures 18 to 20 inches tall and comes in a 6-inch pot. It has 4.1 stars, with reviewers praising the company’s healthy, well-packaged plants.
Pro tip: Never water these blooms on a schedule; rather, water only when the soil is dry to the touch.
Best for Your Instagram Feed: Monstera Deliciosa
We love the look of the Instagram-famous monstera plant. As long as you have a good amount of natural light in your space, it should do just fine. Tropical Plants of Florida’s choice has a whopping 4.6 stars, with almost every review speaking to the plant’s healthy appearance upon delivery. The monstera arrives at 24 to 28 inches tall in a 10-inch planter ideal for watering and beyond.
Pro tip: Keep the temperature above 60 degrees to make this tropical variety feel at home.
Best for Low-Light Rooms: ZZ Plant
The ZZ plant can live well in shady spots, so don’t stress if natural light is limited. Costa Farms’s award winner has 4.5 stars and measures 12 feet tall, the perfect size for a beginner.
Pro tip: Mix in ingredients such as perlite and/or lava rocks to increase soil aeration to allow more nutrients to reach your plant.
Pro Tips for Finding the Best Indoor Plants Online
- Check the reviews. “I like to read the comments before purchasing,” says Domino’s resident plant parent and chief creative officer, Kate Berry. “It’s usually a good sign when a vendor has a lot of favorable reviews; you have more assurance that the plant will arrive in good condition.”
- Variety packs are key. “My brother buys the little terrarium pack plants that are in the tiny 2-inch pots and individually plants them in larger 4- or 6-inch pots, and they just take off and grow very fast,” says Berry. “It’s a great way to get a variety of special buds, like herbs and succulents, that are harder to find as larger plants.”
- When in doubt, ship small. “I often buy plants when they are 4 to 6 inches; they ship well and are less likely to get damaged because it’s easier to compactly pack them,” says Berry.
Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.