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7 Hardy Houseplants That Are Perfect for Travelers

Don’t worry about a plant-sitter next time you go on vacation. These hardy indoor plants will survive extended trips, forgetfulness, and general neglect.

Sansevieria

Sansevieria plant in pot.

Bloomscape’s “Plant Mom” Joyce Mast has spent her whole life in the floral business and now provides support to nervous plant parents at the online plant retailer’s website. For frequent travelers, Joyce recommends the sansevieria, a “drought-tolerant plant that is able to survive with minimal water. You can leave this plant for four weeks without additional water. Another benefit to owning this versatile and striking plant is that it can handle both the bright full sun as well as a lower light area.”

Worried about buying a plant online? Bloomscape ships plants directly from its greenhouse, arriving at your door in about three days. The packaging is designed to keep the plants at the right temperature, prevent dirt spills, and protect their roots. Plants arrive pre-potted and ready to display.

Zanzibar Gem

Zanzibar gem plant in pot.

Leon & George’s website allows you to search “easy-care plants” to find some greenery that won’t turn brown on you no matter how much you neglect it. Here you’ll find hardy houseplants like the Zanzibar Gem, which is billed as a “near-indestructible indoor plant” that can “handle long periods of neglect” and is very tolerant of all light levels. The plants arrive pre-potted in gorgeous ceramic pots and come with a 30-day guarantee. Concerned about keeping your plant alive? Leon & George also offers a lifetime of plant care support for free. For every plant sold, the site will donate to plant a tree in a U.S. National Forest.

Peace Lily

Peace lily

The peace lily is one of the hardest flowering plants to kill. It can handle low light and doesn’t need to be watered too often. If you have kids or pets, you may want to give this one a miss, however, as the peace lily can be toxic if ingested. Want that peace lily fast? Check out Costa Farms on Amazon, which offers free Prime delivery of a wide variety of plants, including ones that arrive pre-potted.

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Basil

Basil grow kit.

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors, but it requires more water than a frequent traveler might be able to give it. Enter the Tapered Tumbler Grow Kit from Modern Sprout, which uses a passive hydroponic system to wick water and nutrients up to the basil’s roots—no human intervention required. The kit comes with everything you need (including seeds, instructions, plant food, the wicking system, and a glass planter) so you can be feasting on fresh basil in no time.

Bamboo

Bamboo in red pot.

Bamboo is very easy to grow—it just needs a few hours of natural light per day and some water about once a week. The Lucky Bamboo Plant from Plants.com is purported to bring positive energy into your home, according to feng shui principles. Bamboo not your style? Plants.com lets you search for “plants for beginners” (you know who you are) for plants that are “forgiving when it comes to irregular watering, lighting, and spaces.”

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Pothos

Want a lot of plants but don’t want to pay a lot of money? Start with a pothos. This hardy indoor plant grows trailing vines, which you can cut off and root in water to create even more plants—without spending any more money. Pothos will tolerate a lot, including fluorescent lights, so you can even keep this one alive in your office. Find it on Amazon, where you can get pothos in plastic pots at a really low price.

Aloe

three aloe plants in pot.

As a desert species, aloe can go for weeks without water. Grab a three-pack of “Easy to Grow/Hard to Kill” aloe from Home Depot. These succulents ship fresh daily and come with care instructions to help you nurture them.

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo, Boston.com, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle (when the first class private suite isn't available)."

E-mail her at cmorse@smartertravel.com.

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