6 Best Desert Plants for Indoor Gardening

desert plant indoor garden

Adding greenery to your space is an easy way to brighten up an area, purify the air, and have mood-boosting capabilities. Indoor plants are capable of providing many benefits for your health and well-being. Desert plants are one of the easiest plants to grow and keep indoors because they are drought tolerant and hard to kill. Once you discover the basics of caring for desert plants like cacti, you will be confident in adding greenery to every space possible.

Green thumbs are not everyone’s forte, so check out this list of the 6 best indoor desert plants to spruce up your space without a ton of work.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Desert Plants

Aloe Vera is an attractive medicinal succulent that can be found in most homes. These plant juice can be used to reduce pain from burns and scrapes, takes the sting out of bug bites, and encourages healing when applied topically.

Aloe plants have thick, fleshy, green leaves that are serrated with tiny teeth-like needles.

Direct sunlight is not ideal for Aloe plants. Aloe needs indirect sunlight or even low light to flourish properly. Too much sunlight can cause your aloe leaves to turn yellow and start dying. If you can only place your plant in the direct sun, consider adding water more frequently to help keep it happy and healthy.

Aloe plants are very resilient and do not like to be over-saturated with water. Only water when your plant’s soil feels dry a few inches beneath the surface.

Make sure you provide your Aloe plant with well-draining soil and, even better, a pot or container made from terra-cotta type porous material to allow the soil to dry thoroughly between watering’s.

Jade Plant

Jade Plant Desert Plants

Jade plants are long-living succulents that are easy to care for and will thrive indoors. Also have thick oval-shaped leaves and woody stems, giving them a tree-like appearance.

These plants can grow upwards of three feet in height and survive long enough to be handed down throughout generations. Jade plants do well indoors since they adapt to warm and dry conditions with ease.

Growing seasons for Jade plants are during Spring and Summer; they do need more frequent watering for optimal growth during these times but are fine to become dry during dormant seasons of Fall and Winter.

Choose a soil that allows proper drainage when watering to prevent root rot and pest. Perlite is a great option to use as a base for your Jade plants soil mixture.


Pothos Desert Plants

Pathos are considered to be a gateway plant. A doorway to caring for house plants.

Pathos can do well in bright or low indirect sunlight, they can grow in nutrient-rich soil and thrive in poor soil conditions, and Pathos can be grown in water or even in dry soil. Pathos plants are versatile and can survive under many conditions, good and poor.

Even though pathos can live and grow in poor conditions, it is a good idea to keep them up and provide them the proper water and nutrients they prefer. Poor conditions can cause stunted growth, so if you want to see your plant’s full potential try to water when your plant soil is dry two inches beneath the soil, add fertilizer every 3 months, and keep temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm Desert Plants

Sago Palms, even though called palms, are not genuine palms. Instead, they resemble palms due to their feather-like fronds.

Sago Palms are slow-growing plants, take over 5 years to reach their maximum mature height. These plants prefer average room temperatures between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit but no lower than 55 degrees. Sago’s need bright indirect sunlight, and they like to have their soil kept moist but not soaked.

The Sago Palm is a great indoor plant but not necessarily the best for beginners because it does require some work.

Ponytail Palm

Ponytail Palm

The Ponytail palm is also known as an Elephant’s foot. Ponytail palms are slow-growing, drought-tolerant, long-living plants that require little care. These plants are ideal for individuals with hectic lives and little time to spare but still want to add greenery to their homes.

Ponytail palms love soaking up indirect sunlight and do not need to be watered often. They are happiest when watered every few weeks. Ponytail palms are okay drying out because they have bulb-like trunks at their stem bases that allow them to harbor water releasing when needed.

Ponytail palms can grow upwards of 10 feet tall, but they usually do not surpass 4 feet indoors. These palms need well-draining soil, soil types catered to cacti and other desert plants is best.

Ponytail palms get their names from their long leaves that resemble ponytails. A common saying is ponytails are succulents that thrive off neglect due to their low maintenance needs.

Desert Plants – Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus or known to some as a Schlumbergera, is a loved plant among many. This plant is a great gifting plant during holidays and special occasions.

Christmas Cactus’s are low-maintenance succulents that are easy to maintain. Christmas cacti have unique stems that they use to store water. The stems are often mistaken for leaves due to their shapes and ability to produce beautiful flowers. Christmas cactus’ like to be watered using the soak and dry method. Soak the plant every two to three weeks, allowing the plant to dry out before watering again.

As far as sunlight and temperature settings for Christmas Cacti. These plants thrive with typical indoor temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees and live-in low light conditions.

However, Christmas cacti need much humidity, especially being plants that commonly bloom in Fall and Winter seasons. A good way to provide this without much worry is by adding a humidity tray beneath your flower.


The above are the 6 best desert plants for indoor gardening, and no matter which one you choose, it will be a good choice to add to your indoor aesthetic.

Keep in mind when making your pick, some will require a little more work than others, and you should decide based on the time you can provide and put into the upkeep.

Another deciding factor should be whether you have pets or not. If ingested, a good bit of desert plants and thriving desert-type plants are toxic to cats and dogs, even humans, so be sure to do your research.


Hands down, if you are a beginner plant caretaker with little to no time, and want an easy plant, go for a Pathos.

Pathos thrives off neglect. They can live with old soil and minimal watering; even though not ideal, they survive.

The best thing about desert plants is that they can a lot of times thrive off neglect. All plants need sunlight, but desert plants are the best to thrive indoors because they can grow in less than perfect conditions, including low light

Yes, a Schlumbergera is the proper name for a Christmas Cactus. These plants can go by other names as well, Thanksgiving Cactus, Holiday Cactus, and Easter Cactus. When searching for the Christmas Cactus at your local greenhouse, you may find them going by the other names. While they are similar their all slightly different the most significant difference is their blooming seasons. For example, Easter Cactus usually bloom closer to Spring, and Christmas Cacti bloom close to Christmas.

Yes, a lot of them are, but some aren’t. When bringing a new plant indoors, research if your plant could harm your animals or kids.

Aloe Vera plants, for instance, are very commonly found indoors due to their usefulness and medicinal properties but little do most people know Aloe plants are highly toxic if ingested.

Desert plants need well-draining porous soil. If creating your own mixture, the good idea is to add perlite, but if purchasing a store-bought soil mixture, go for a type for cactus, palms, and citrus plants.

There are a few good over-the-counter ones like Miracle-Gro cactus, palm, citrus potting, and Hoffman Succulent and Cactus soil mix.


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