11 Best Beginner Plants To Buy To Kickstart Your Home Jungle

9 July 2023 | BY

Being a plant parent is much less daunting when you start your journey with these 11 low-maintenance beginner plants.

11 Best Beginner Plants To Buy To Kickstart Your Home Jungle

With much of our lives spent amidst Singapore’s concrete jungle, it’s no wonder that many homeowners are looking to bring a touch of nature’s greenery into their living spaces. However, while the dream of an expansive indoor home jungle may seem enticing, nurturing plants takes both time and effort – making the initial leap into cultivating a green thumb seem daunting. 

That being said, aspiring plant-parents need not fret. From sun-loving olive trees to virtually indestructible snake plants, these 11 best beginner plants are perfect for homeowners looking for hardy and low-maintenance plants to kickstart their home jungle.

1. Ficus elastica – Rubber fig plant that only needs watering once a week

Ficus elastica, rubber fig plantImage credit: Rooted, Rooted

Sturdy and low maintenance, the rubber fig plant is an excellent choice for beginners. Apart from daily sunlight and weekly watering, the only form of upkeep you’ll need to do is an occasional quick wipe of the leaves using a clean cloth – just to ensure its leaf pores aren’t clogged by dust.

With varieties sporting green, burgundy, or variegated leaves, plant parents have the option of selecting the type of rubber fig that best suits their home. However, it’s important to note that the sap produced by the plant is unsafe for those with latex allergies.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the Ficus elastica online from Rooted.

2. Olive tree – Sun-loving plant

Best beginner plants - Olive treeImage credit: @soilboy, @soilboy

Though not as commonly found in Singapore homes, olive trees are a sun-loving plant that flourishes in well-lit environments. Their slender figure adds a touch of sophistication to any space, making them a great choice for homes with elegant and classy interiors. 

Relatively low-maintenance, olive trees require watering roughly once a week, when a toothpick inserted into the soil comes out dry. Additionally, olive trees are non-toxic, allowing you to enjoy their beauty worry-free.

Safe for pets: Yes

Purchase the olive tree online from Soilboy.

3. Pothos plant – Fast-growing tropical vine plant

Pothos plant, Devil's ivyImage credit: Pine Singapore, Pine Singapore

Nicknamed ‘Devil’s ivy’, pothos plants are notoriously hard to kill. These fast growing tropical vines are hardy and highly versatile – they can grow under bright, low, or fluorescent light, and are well-suited for Singapore’s hot and humid weather.

Moreover, homeowners who have difficulty remembering a watering schedule will be glad to hear that pothos plants have a clear external indicator of their watering needs. Drooping leaves signal that it’s time to water the plant, after which the pothos quickly regains its full, lush splendour. 

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the pothos plant online from Pine Singapore.

4. Monstera plant – Aesthetic “jungle-vibe” plant

Best beginner plants - Monstera plantImage credit: Tumbleweed Plants, @pluviasilvasg

With wide Swiss-cheese-esque leaves sporting unique ridges and holes, the monstera plant is the epitome of a jungle vibe. Thriving in hot and humid environments, this aesthetic plant is well-suited for indoor spots that receive lots of bright indirect sunlight.

Another plus point of the monstera plant is its ease of propagation. A healthy stalk placed in water will typically grow roots after 2-3 weeks, after which it can be replanted and left to flourish.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the monstera plant online from The Green Corner.

5. Snake plant – Almost impossible to kill

Best beginner plants - Snake plantImage credit: Tumbleweed Plants, @plantlife50

If you’ve got a black thumb instead of a green one, getting a snake plant to start your home jungle is probably your best bet. Only needing a watering once every few weeks, these long leafed plants thrive on neglect and are almost impossible to kill. They aren’t picky with lighting conditions either, and tend to adapt to whichever spot in your house you choose to place them.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the snake plant online from Tumbleweed Plants.

6. Aloe vera – Easily propagated edible succulent

Best beginner plants - Aloe veraImage credit: Tumbleweed Plants, Tumbleweed Plants

A succulent that requires minimal watering and can be grown both indoors and outdoors, aloe vera is a low-maintenance beginner plant. Non-toxic and edible, it can be harvested for aloe vera gel – a soothing natural balm that calms inflamed skin and soothes irritation from sunburns. 

Moreover, aloe vera plants can be easily propagated by growing new plants from leaf cuttings, allowing you to expand your collection of these edible succulents while enjoying the benefits of their healing gel.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the aloe vera plant online from The Garden Store.

7. Ferns – Thrive in a humid & shady environment

Asparagus fern and bird's nest fernAsparagus fern, Bird’s nest fern.
Image credit: Rooted, Rooted

While Singapore’s humid weather is a regular source of discomfort for most of us, fern plants thrive in a moist climate. Lush and leafy, ferns will flourish when placed in a cool corner with gentle sunlight. Alternatively, they also thrive under artificial light such as fluorescent strip lighting, making them versatile and adaptable to various indoor environments.

With dozens of fern varieties available, there are plenty of options for homeowners to choose their beginner-friendly fern plant. Different varieties have varying levels of toxicity, so it’s advisable to do your research before bringing your starter plant home.

Safe for pets: Depends on variety

Purchase fern plants online from Rooted.

8. Peace lily – Absorbs moisture & reduces humidity

Best beginner plants - Peace lilyImage credit: Rooted, Rooted

Known for its ability to absorb moisture and purify air, the peace lily is ideal for humid environments such as bathrooms, where it can reduce mildew growth and brighten up the space. This low-maintenance plant thrives even in low-light conditions, and adds a touch of natural beauty with its distinctive curved bract and lush foliage.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the peace lily online from The Garden Store.

9. ZZ plant – Only needs watering once every few weeks

Best beginner plants - ZZ plantImage credit: Rooted, Rooted

Also referred to as Zanzibar gems, these versatile plants are native to South Africa and are as low-maintenance as it gets. In addition to only needing watering once every few weeks, ZZ plants are not overly sensitive to changes in light intensity – while they prefer a brightly lit environment, they can also grow in low light conditions.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the ZZ plant online from Rooted.

10. Dragon tree – Grows well in warm temperatures

Best beginner plants - Dragon treeImage credit: Tumbleweed Plants, Tumbleweed Plants

Drought-tolerant and easy to care for, dragon trees welcome Singapore’s humid heat and are forgiving starter plants for new plant parents. Although they flourish the fastest in bright indirect light, dragon trees can also grow in partially shaded areas

It’s worth taking note that dragon trees naturally shed their dead leaves, so discovering fallen yellow or brown leaves is not a cause for concern, as long as the rest of the plant appears healthy and green.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the dragon tree online from Tumbleweed Plants.

11. Bougainvillea – Hardy plant with gorgeous blooms

Best beginner plants - BougainvilleaImage credit: @bougainvillea__olga, Teo Joo Guan

Lastly, bougainvillea plants are a great choice for homeowners looking to add a natural pop of colour to their living space. Their widespread presence in roadside plant beds and along overhead bridges in Singapore serves as a testament to both their popularity and resilience. While their pretty blooms may seem intimidating, bougainvillea plants are surprisingly easy to cultivate and grow – they simply require a deep watering once every 3-4 weeks.

Safe for pets: No

Purchase the bougainvillea plant online from The Garden Store.

Best beginner plants to kickstart your home jungle

While every plant has unique growth requirements, these 11 low-maintenance beginner plants are sure to thrive under patience and care, and are perfect for new plant parents looking to kickstart their green thumb journey.

Plant corner to HDB indoor jungleFrom a plant corner to a HDB home jungle – before & after 1 year of progress.
Image credit: @ho_me_space

From lush leafy greens to edible succulents and plants with colourful blooms, these green companions are sure to flourish in your indoor space, forming an ideal starting point for a cultivating lush oasis of natural beauty and fresh air.

Check out these plant-filled HDB homes:

Cover image adapted from: Tumbleweed Plants, @soilboy, Rooted

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