Unfortunately, though indoor plants are very convenient and aesthetically pleasing, they don’t live forever. No matter how much you care for the plant, it will inevitably die. But, how long do indoor plants live?
Indoor plants live for around two to five years. However, many factors determine how long indoor plants can live, including the type of plant (annuals or perennials) and the kind of care you afford your plant. Some indoor plants can live for decades with the proper care.
The rest of this article will go over the various factors that determine how long indoor plants live and give seven examples of the most popular indoor plants and how long they live.
7 Examples of Popular Indoor Plants’ Lifespans
As each plant species is different, it is difficult to say precisely how long your indoor plant will live. How you care for your plant also contributes significantly to your plant’s longevity (which we will discuss later).
Although indoor plants have always been a thing, they’ve been increasing in popularity. Therefore, more and more people are looking for ways to ensure that they’re caring for their plants properly and keeping them alive as long as possible.
I’ll go over 7 of the most popular indoor plants, how long they typically live, and some general care tips for each. Let’s get started!
1. Snake Plant
Despite what its name might suggest, the snake plant is a beautiful (and widespread) house plant. This plant got its name from the shape of its leaves, which closely resemble the shape of snakes.
However, the reason the snake plant is one of the most popular indoor plants isn’t because of its looks but because of how easy it is to care for and even how long it lives.
Snake plants can live indoors for up to 25 years or more in the proper conditions. However, snake plants can still live for around 5-10 years without perfect conditions, depending on how well you care for them.
General Care Tips for a Snake Plant
If you have a snake plant and want to keep it alive as long as possible, consider some of these care tips:
- Look for dark leaves. A good sign of a healthy snake plant is dark leaves, so looking at the leaves is a great way to start if you’re wondering if your plant is healthy.
- Water the snake plant when the soil has completely dried. Snake plants only need to be watered once every two weeks, and the soil should be dry before watering it again. Overwatering can easily cause rot, so keeping the plant on the drier side is best.
- Give the snake plant indirect sunlight. Although the plant is hardy and can still survive in darker or brighter areas, it prefers indirect sunlight and will live longer in those conditions.
2. Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plants are another everyday staple in many households. Not only are these plants fun to look at and easy to care for, but you can use their sap to heal burns or wounds or as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent making them excellent to have around the house.
Indoor aloe vera plants can live around 10-12 years indoors, depending on their care. While aloe vera plants can live indoors for a long time, outdoor varieties tend to live much longer—even decades. However, this depends on the plant’s environment and how well you care for your plant.
Luckily, aloe vera plants are relatively easy to care for, as long as the temperature is ideal. Next, I’ll review some more care tips for an aloe vera plant.
General Care Tips for an Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe vera plants are excellent houseplants, as they’re easy to care for and can even be helpful in times of need. However, to keep an aloe vera plant alive year after year, you must know some general care tips:
- Ensure the aloe vera plant’s pot has good drainage. An adequate-sized pot with excellent drainage is ideal, as too much moisture can cause rot.
- Give your aloe vera plant bright, indirect sunlight. Too much or too little sunlight might not immediately kill the plant, but it won’t allow it to thrive.
- Check for signs that indicate the plant is dying. Catching signs, such as brown or yellow leaves early on, can allow you to save the plant.
- Keep the aloe vera plant at a consistent temperature. Temperature fluctuations can cause the plant to die.
- Allow the soil to dry before watering it again thoroughly. It’s best to always test the soil before watering it to ensure you don’t overwater the plant.
3. Monstera Plant
Monstera plants are another popular indoor plant option. However, unlike the snake or aloe vera plant, monstera plants grow very large—sometimes even monstrously.
However, despite their impressive size, these plants aren’t too difficult to maintain. Which is excellent, considering they can live up to 40 years or more in the proper conditions.
Despite this, various factors contribute to how long a monstera plant can live, including where you live and where you locate the plant. In the following section, I’ll get more into the general care of a monstera plant.
General Care Tips for a Monstera Plant
While monstera plants can live for a very long time, they require some regular maintenance and adequate growing conditions to survive. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when caring for a monstera plant:
- Ensure the monstera plant receives bright, indirect light. Like many hardy plants, monstera can survive in low-light or too-bright conditions. However, they’ll thrive in bright, indirect light. So, if you want your plant to live as long as possible, it’s best to follow the recommended lighting.
- Stake the monstera plant. Monstera grows large and, in turn, begins to grow sideways. Therefore, to keep it growing upright (as it’s intended to do in the wild). Stakes are a great option to offer your monstera support to cling around.
- Before you water your monstera again—allow the soil to completely dry. Doing this helps prevent possible root rot, which can kill the plant prematurely.
- Check the monstera plant regularly for browning leaves. Browning or yellowing leaves is a sign the plant is unhealthy. Therefore, it’s essential to cut these leaves off and figure out the reason why the leaves are turning colors.
4. Philodendron Plant
Philodendron plants are one of the most common indoor plants because they can thrive in almost any condition. These plants adapt to their surroundings very well—making them easy to care for and grow.
Additionally, with the proper care, philodendron plants can live up to 20 years or more indoors and even longer outdoors (depending on the variety). Therefore, you can expect this lovely indoor plant to live a long, happy life, provided you supply it with the proper care, which I’ll get into next.
General Care Tips for a Philodendron Plant
Although hardy and easily adaptable to their environment, Philodendron plants still need general care to survive. So, while it can be challenging to kill this plant for it to live for a long time, it needs some TLC. Here are general care tips to consider for philodendrons:
- Only water the philodendron when the soil’s top two inches (5.08 cm) has dried. Under or overwatering is a common reason these plants don’t live as long as they could, so keeping a close eye on the watering schedule is critical.
- Ensure you keep the philodendron above 60°F (15.6°C). Between 65-70°F (18.3-21.2°C) at night and 75-85°F (23.8-29.4°C) during the day are the ideal temperatures.
- Provide the philodendron with indirect sunlight. Although philodendrons can adapt to different lighting conditions, indirect sunlight is ideal and will encourage the plant to live longer.
5. Peace Lily Plant
Peace lily plants are beautiful indoor plants with many benefits besides being aesthetically pleasing. Peace lilies are known for purifying the air, which includes removing toxic pollutants, such as the following:
- Carbon monoxide
Not only this, but peace lily plants are very low-maintenance—making it an excellent choice for those wanting a houseplant but not wanting to go overboard with the care.
Unfortunately, peace lilies fall into the average lifespan category for indoor plants: two to five years. Even when properly cared for, peace lilies don’t live as long as some popular indoor plants do. But, if you want to ensure the most extended life possible for your plant, you need to know all the tips to care for it, which I’ll cover in the following section.
General Care Tips for a Peace Lily Plant
Despite being low-maintenance plants, peace lilies do need general care. Here are some tips to keep in mind when caring for a peace lily plant:
- Water your peace lily every week. During the winter months, watering every two weeks will suffice. You’ll know your plant needs more water when the leaves begin to droop.
- Place your peace lily plant at an east-facing window. Peace lilies shouldn’t be in an area where they receive direct sunlight, so an east-facing window is ideal.
- Check your peace lily plant for wilting. While wilting can signify that your plant needs water, it also represents overcrowded roots. Therefore, wilting leaves can mean that it’s time to repot.
6. Laceleaf Plant
Laceleaf plants, also known as anthuriums, are excellent indoor plants. They are reasonably easy to care for and add a beautiful pop of color to any room.
However, like the peace lily, a laceleaf plant has an average lifespan of around five years. They can live a little longer with the proper care, and the variety of laceleaf is a significant factor in its lifespan.
Let’s get into some general care tips for the laceleaf plant below.
General Care Tips for a Laceleaf Plant
A laceleaf plant is easy to care for, provided you do the following:
- Provide the laceleaf plant with bright, indirect light. While the plant won’t die in other lighting conditions, indirect light is ideal.
- Before watering your laceleaf again—allow the soil to dry out partially. Doing this will ensure the growing medium doesn’t cause any rotting, leading to premature plant death.
7. Jade Plant
Jade plants are considered succulents, which makes them relatively durable and long-lasting. Therefore, this is an excellent indoor plant option—which many people lean toward when choosing plants for their home.
Additionally, jade plants can live for a very long time with the proper care—even up to 100 years. Of course, how long these plants can live is determined by the care they receive and the overall conditions in which they live. So, let’s look at some general care tips that will assist in keeping a jade plant alive for years.
General Care Tips for a Jade Plant
While jade plants can live for years, they need some assistance. Here are some general care tips to keep in mind for those trying to get their jade plant to 100 years old:
- Ensure the jade plant has access to very bright light. Bright light is essential for this plant to thrive indoors.
- Only water the plant when the top two inches (5.08 cm) of soil are dry. Overwatering can lead to premature plant death.
- Prune the plant regularly. Pruning off dead or weak branches is ideal, as they do nothing for your plant.
- Give the jade plant fertilizer every month. This feeding will encourage the plant to grow and stay as healthy as possible.
Factors That Determine How Long Indoor Plants Live
Although indoor plants typically live around two to five years, this usually isn’t because that’s the plant’s lifespan. Indoor plants can live much longer if they have the proper care.
However, although many plants can technically live for several years, others won’t live as long. In the following sections, I’ll review the factors affecting indoor plants’ longevity.
Annuals vs. Biennials vs. Perennials
The difference between annuals and perennial plants is crucial when determining how long your indoor plant will live. There are three types of plants: annuals, perennials, and biennials. I’ll go over each of these types of plants, what they mean, and some examples below.
If you have an annual plant, don’t expect it to live for years; annuals only live for one year, and then they die.
Annual plants will complete their entire life cycle in just one season. This process includes going from a seed to a flower to seed again within a few months. And unfortunately, the plant will die at the end of the season.
Some indoor annuals plants include:
- Paper plant
- Glory bower.
Biennials differ from annuals in that they live for around two years or two seasons. During the first season, you’ll notice this plant grows from a seed into small leaves near the soil. Then, the stems will elongate during the second season, and flowers will sprout. And the plant will die during the second season.
Some indoor biennial plants include:
Lastly, there are perennial plants. Unlike annuals or biennials, perennial plants come back every year, and most indoor plants are perennials, as many can continue to thrive year-round with the proper care.
Some indoor perennial plants include:
- Spider plants
- Aloe vera plants
- Peace Lilies
- Golden pothos.
Type of Plant Species
Although the type of plant is essential when determining how long a plant will live, the species of the plant is just as important. Some plant species are genetically predisposed to have shorter lives than others—it’s just in their makeup. However, the type of plant (annual, perennial, etc.) goes hand-in-hand with this.
For example, some of the longest-living indoor plants include:
- Cacti or succulent plants
- Devil’s ivy
- Air plant
So, if you’re looking for an indoor plant that should live for a very long time, you must research and ensure the plant you choose has a longer lifespan.
Keeping up with the general care of your plant is necessary when it comes to prolonging your plant’s life. Without the proper maintenance, your indoor plant won’t live long. Some general maintenance that’s essential for your plant includes:
- Adequate sunlight
- Proper watering
- Consistent fertilization
- Frequent pruning or trimming.
If you are consistent with your plant’s general care—it will prolong its life significantly—even years. Indoor plants typically only live around two to five years because not every plant owner will provide the plant with extra care, such as frequent trimming or fertilizing.
However, with the proper care, the plant’s life expectancy can double or even triple.
Lastly, the location of your plant can make or break how long it lives. Not only does the site where you keep your indoor plant (i.e., near a window, far from a window, etc.) matter, but the area where you live matters.
Places with less sunlight or colder climates won’t be able to keep specific plants alive as long as areas with warmer, sunnier environments, even if they’re indoors.
So if you put your indoor plant too far away from a window when it needs direct sunlight, or you live in an area with less-than-ideal sunlight conditions, it most likely won’t live as long.
Depending on the type of plant, indoor plants can live for a very long time—even hundreds of years! However, they won’t live long just because they’re a species of plant that can. They still require general care and maintenance, including proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, and sun conditions to thrive for a long time.
So, before purchasing an indoor plant with the hope of keeping it alive forever, do your research on the plant and ensure you can care for it properly.