15 Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants That Can Survive in Low Water

15 Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants That Can Survive in Low Water

Are you someone who loves plants but forgets to water them regularly? If yes, then you need to note down the below-mentioned drought tolerant indoor plants that can survive even in neglect. These low-watered houseplants will help get you going with your plantation hobby and the busy lifestyle. Watering them late or not at all for days will no longer be a big deal. Moreover, you can get the greenery with zero guilt of being negligent, forgetful, and busy plant parents.

Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants, low water plant, hard to kill plants, indoor plants

What are Drought Tolerant Plants?

Plants that can withstand harsh conditions without water for weeks to a month are known as drought tolerant plants. So if you have a work schedule that demands too much traveling, you can take your trip without worrying about the fate of your indoor plants. Or you can also go on a vacation even if your neighbors are not friendly enough to water the plants in your absence. Because these drought tolerant plants can survive on very low water.

However, that doesn’t mean that drought tolerant plants do not need water at all. Because that is a feature of drought-resistant plants that can go years without supplemental water. Drought tolerant plants can survive for short periods without water, but they need a good watering session after the dry spell.

Characteristics of Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants

You can identify drought tolerant plants by some distinct features all of these plants have. The few characteristics of drought tolerant plants are below.

  • Reduced leaf areas: Drought tolerant plants can minimize water loss. Therefore, these plants have small and thin leaves to reduce the chances of transpiration.
  • Hairy leaves: Some low-water plants have tiny hair-like needles on the leaves. These hairs can protect the leaves from dry air. Moreover, they also entrap moisture which is later absorbed by the leaves.
  • Deep roots: The drought tolerant plants have deep roots that can pull water well below the soil surface.
  • Night time activity: These plants close their leaf pores in the daytime when the sun is hot. In this way, the water loss is minimized. Instead, they open their pores at night and get CO2 for photosynthesis.

List of Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants

Here’s a list of some Drought Tolerant Indoor plants you can grow without worrying much about their watering needs!

1. Aloe Vera

Botanical Name: Aloe barbadensis miller

Do you know why it is on the top of our list? These succulent, spiky, and gray-green toothed leaves are famous for their low maintenance and numerous benefits for the plant owners. It remains a favorite for the husky and forgetful people. Too much care is the beginning of its demise.

Being one of the most tolerant plants, all you need to do is place it under a bright place, and it may grow up to 3 feet wide and tall on its own. Direct sunlight can cause sunburn. You can enjoy its medicinal properties of healing burns, irritations, and wounds.

aloe vera, Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants, low water plant


Aloe Vera can survive in arid conditions pretty well. Therefore, overwatering can cause roots to rot.

Water: When the soil dries out, it is the right time to water Aloe Vera. Water it deeply but infrequently.

Sunlight: 6-8 hours of bright and indirect light in the morning.

2. Burro’s Tail

Botanical Name: Sedum morganianum

Donkey tail is the other name of this gray-gree, jelly bean-shaped leaves succulent plant. It is a very beautiful plant with its leaves overlapping on the trail stems. Its tiny succulent leaves fall off easily. However, potting the new plants can get your hands on them. Water the plant occasionally, but make sure before the soil dries out.

It is the Sedum Genus’s member. Place it carefree in the hanging basket to see it growing to a few feet. Enjoy the plump and attractive leaves. Repotting it once a year is also enough. So, with less water and low sunlight, Burro’s Tail is an excellent indoor plant.

Burro's tail, Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants, low water palnt


Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot, which is the most common issue. Therefore, choose a pot that has a drainage hole. Moreover, the potting mix must be well draining, so you use the soil mix, which is suitable for cacti.

Water: Watering after the complete drying of the soil.

Sunlight: Minimum of four hours of bright light in the morning

3. Snake Plant

Botanical Name: Dracaena trifasciata

Is there a plant that doesn’t need water regularly? Yes, you got another choice of plant, named snake plant. The dark green and sword-like leaves with a blend of yellow, silver, white, and cream variegation give an aesthetically appealing and bold look.

 Mother-in-law’s tongue is another name. It turns out to be a blissful treat for the forgetful gardeners because snake plants can easily survive without water for weeks, and just a moisture drizzle can suffice its need. You can experience its growth up to 4 feet with low-bright light. Feel free to place it in the bathrooms with no windows or less lighting.

snake plant, air purifier, Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants, hard to kill plant


Snake plants are the hardiest plants that don’t require much care. You can place it in sunlight or shady corner, and it will survive. However, if your snake plant is in a low-light area, don’t move it too quickly to the direct sunlight as it will cause your plant to go in shock.

Water: Water after complete drying of the soil.

Sunlight: Medium-bright and indirect light.

4. Sago Palm

Botanical Name: Cycas revoluta

Get ready to add a tropical touch to your indoor environment with a durable and slow-growing plant. The dark green and leathery fronds like dry soil. You can enjoy its growth without pouring effort and spending much time into its growth.

Being a frequent traveler and occasional gardener, you can still enjoy the green beauty inside growing up to 3 feet long. However, the medium-bright light exposure can make it 5 feet tall.

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Despite being one of the drought tolerant indoor plants, its soil requires a moderate quantity of moisture. When you touch and feel the soil is dry, then water it. And protect it against harsh sunlight.

Water: Water deeply once or twice a week in the dry season.

Sunlight: Partially shaded places for it

5. Pothos

Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum

Being a good forgiver, air purifier, and beautiful, low-maintenance vine, grow it anywhere with indirect and bright sunlight. However, it can survive in darker conditions as well. It is much easier to keep the Pothos alive than the succulent plants.

Splashes of yellow, white, and cream on the dark green shaded leaves make the Pothos one of the best and most appealing indoor plants. It requires less water and needs water only when the soil dries out. Feel free to grow it separately or mix it with the other houseplants.

pothos, low water plant


Keep away from pets and children. Pothos are toxic if ingested by pets and kids. Therefore, keep them out of reach of pets and children. You can hang or place it near the window.

Water: Avoid overwatering. It only needs moist soil.

Sunlight: Grows well in medium- high light places but tolerates low light.

Related Article: 18 Non-Toxic Indoor Houseplants Safe for Cats and Dogs

6. Ponytail Palm

Botanical Name: Beaucarnea recurvata

Benign neglect is not an issue with this drought tolerant indoor plant. The thick stem-like trunk stores moisture for a long time. So, it can tolerate negligence of once or twice watering. Like every other drought tolerant indoor plant, you need to water it after completely drying soil or once in 2-3 weeks.

pony tail palm, low maintenance plant, low water plant


Tolerates negligence because it survives without water. However, use a cacti potting mix for adequate moisture retention and drainage. 

Water: Dry soil between waterings.

Sunlight: Ideal temperature of more than 45° F with full sunlight or indirect and bright light.

7. Jade Plant

Botanical Name: Crassula ovata

The succulent leaves plant is famous for good fortune and as a symbol of fate. Being a drought tolerant plant, it needs indirect sunlight and less watered soil. Moreover, even with the least care, you can pass it on to the upcoming generations. Indeed, it is good news for the busy plant parents.

jade plant, succulent, low water plant


The Jade plant is not fussy but needs a certain level of water to store in its leaves. Use a spray bottle to mist it and avoid overwatering

Water: Needs watering once a week or complete dry soil

Sunlight: Minimum 4 hours of direct sunlight to grow

8. ZZ Plant

Botanical Name: Zamioculcas

The ZZ plant has leathery leaves that resemble plastic because of their shiny surface and stiff structure. They require a little more care than their faux counterparts, so the seldom watering is enough to keep them going. This drought-resistant plant is happiest in good light areas, but it can also stand in dimly lit areas in your house. All varieties of ZZ plants are extremely slow-growing, but they can eventually grow up to three feet in length and width with time.

zz plant, low maintenance plant, Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants


Underwatering is better than overwatering. ZZ plant has excellent water retention ability; therefore, avoid overwatering.

They have an extremely efficient water retention mechanism, so you shouldn’t water this plant. 

Water: Let the soil dry while watering.

Sunlight: Indirect and bright light, tolerant to dim light as well

9. Spider Plant

Botanical Name: Chlorophytum comosum

Add another drought tolerant indoor plant to the list that can afford your negligence to water it occasionally. However, it may survive well, purify the air around it, and remove xylene, carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.

spider plant, air purifier


When indoor, keep the spider plant in a room that has a temperature that is comfortable for everyone.

Water: Remove excessive water from the pot. Give less water.

Sunlight: Bright-moderate light.

Related Article: How to Save a Dying Spider Plant?

10. Golden Barrel Cactus

Botanical Name: Echinocactus grusonii

Let this mother-in-law cushion be an aesthetically appealing indoor plant. It is different from other cacti due to its golden-yellow and long spines. It grows slowly. However, plenty of bright light can let it grow to one foot. Grow it indoors on the patios or glass doors wherever you want.

golden barrel cactus, Drought Tolerant Indoor Plants, low water plant, low maintenance plant


The spines are hurtful. Therefore, handle it with care. And keep it out of reach of children.

Water: Water your indoor cactus every two to three weeks.

Sunlight: It needs much sunlight and more shade to avoid sunburn.

11. Ox Tongue

Botanical Name: Gasteria obliqua

Let the drought tolerant indoor plant with gray and greenish leaves beautify your room. Undoubtedly, you have to provide ample brightness to let it grow. When it gets enough of it, the Ox Tongue produces red-pinkish flower spikes in the spring season. It may grow up to 3 feet tall in the right environment.

ox tongue, low maintenance plant, low water plant, succulent


Don’t put water on leaves as water lingering on the leaves can create a perfect environment for fungi growth which can be harmful to the plant.

Water: Soil must be moist in fall and dry in winter.

Sunlight: When placed indoors, indirect bright sunlight is enough for gasteria. In direct sunlight, its leaves will turn red.

12. Cast Iron Plant

Botanical Name: Aspidistra elatior

You may guess from the name that Killing this drought-tolerant indoor plant is tough. The plant strives to be part of your home and grows to two feet in width and length, despite your minimal care in light, watering, and humidity.

cast iron plant, indoor plant


This is a plant tough to kill. Although it does need some water, ensure you don’t overwater as it can cause the death of plants due to root rot.

Water: Infrequent watering

Sunlight: Low light

13. Haworthia

Botanical Name: Haworthia

You may come across another Zebra plant. The white stripe foliage earned this name for the Haworthia fasciata. You may love to decorate your windowsill with this succulent. The plant may tolerate your negligence and minimum care. So, you must not worry if you see its compact look of less than one-foot width and length. Moreover, it can complement the contemporary looks well enough with its unique stripe and spikes colors.

haworthia, zebra plant, succulent,


Avoid overwatering.

Water: Let the soil dry out between waterings

Sunlight: Needs bright light

Related Article: How to Keep Succulents Alive Indoors? Beginner’s Guide

14. Bunny Ear Cactus

Botanical Name: Opuntia microdasys

Another cactus that needs your least attention and care is the bunny ear cactus. You will love to see its yellowish lemon flowers on the 2 feet tall plant if you keep it in enough light. Move around frequently worry-free because you don’t need to weather it frequently. Above all, it does not carry sharp spines. However, it has hairy barbs dot on the pads. Don’t brush them else; it may irritate the skin.

bunny ear cactus, succulent, low water plant


Don’t touch the hairy barbs.

Water: When one inch of soil is dry, water it.

Sunlight: Bright light.

15. Corn Plant

Botanical Name: Dracaena fragrans

Don’t confuse yourself about these Dracaena fragrans with the food crop. The plant got this name because of its corn-like strap leaves. You may come across other varieties of Chartreuse and silver varieties as well. A negligent gardener needs to provide bright light to let it grow to 3 feet. However, it can withstand low-lit places too.

corn plant


Use mist to spray and maintain the humidity.

Water: Watering is must once after 7-10 days. Also, if the soil is dry to one inch, water it.

Sunlight: Bright light is preferable. However, dim light is also normal.


In a nutshell, here is a list of 15 drought tolerant indoor plants that are a must to buy if you are a frequent traveler or a negligent gardener. You don’t need to be conscious of these drought-resistant indoor plants because your minimum efforts and care will not adversely affect them. Instead, it will keep growing, beautifying your indoor environment, and benefit you.

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