At Gardenista, we appreciate hearing about new plants we should try next. From the members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, here are the experts’ favorite, easiest-to-grow houseplants:
1. Oxalis Triangularis
Photograph (above) via Easy to Grow Bulbs.
Allison Koll at Gunn Landscape Architecture recommends oxalis triangularis, or purple shamrock. She loves its beautiful triangular leaves and deep purple shade, and because it stays alive while her other plants have not. She suggests keeping oxalis in indirect sunlight—its leaves open and close to the sun—and watering every few days or if the soil is dry. It becomes dormant during winter, she says, “So just when it seems like you’ve killed it, it comes back to life.”
2. Fiddle Leaf Fig
Neither Leslie Bennett nor Stefani Bittner of Star Apple Edible Gardens is an admirer of houseplants in general, but both have grown fond of the Fiddle Leaf Fig for its big, beautiful leaves and retro-chic look. They’ve also found that it’s hard to kill. “If things go wrong,” says Bennett, “I just cut mine way back and it comes back beautifully.” Photograph via The Marion House Book.
Want your own? See The Fig and I: Tips for Buying and Caring for a Fiddle Leaf Fig.
3. Snake Plant
Beth Mullins of Growsgreen Landscape Design is fond of sansevieria, snake plant, or mother-in-law’s tongue, especially the cylindrica variety. Says Mullins, “They are retro and easy and can handle dark corners with very little water.” Photograph via The Simple Green Frugal Co-op.
For more information and sources, see A Houseplant You Can’t Kill: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.
4. Magic Bells Plant
Gunn Landscape Architecture senior designer Aaron McIntire recommends kalanchoe, or magic bells plant, for its striking shapes, color, and texture. He notes that it blooms from late fall into winter, and as a member of the succulent family, it’s resilient and easy to care for. McIntire says, “I like this plant because after it blooms, you only have to cut it back and the process of growth starts again.” Photograph via Das Pflanzen Forum.
5. Staghorn Fern
Gunn Landscapes designer Cat Rha recommends Platycerium bifurcatum, or staghorn fern, “as a great sculptural centerpiece for mounting onto a wall. I love the idea of using plants as a piece of living art.” She notes that they can be finicky to care for, since they prefer tropical environments—high humidity and indirect sunlight. She suggests soaking them in water once a week and misting in between waterings. Photograph via Terrain.
Have you ever considered hanging a staghorn fern in your shower? See Steal This Look: Hooked on Houseplants.
6. Cast Iron Plant
Pedersen Associates in San Francisco recommends Aspidistra elatior, or the cast iron plant, for enduring hardiness. Photograph via Jacksonville.
7. ZZ Plant
Gunn Landscapes horticulturist Lauren Pucciarelli recommends the ZZ plant, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, for its beautiful foliage that is highly resistant to pests and can tolerate low light. However, she warns that “all parts of the plant are toxic so be careful around children and pets.” Photograph by Helen McCauslin.
8. Silver Queen Chinese Evergreen
Along with the ZZ plant, Joel Lichtenwalter of Grow Outdoor Design recommends aglaonema ”Silver Queen,” or Chinese evergreen. He says that despite minimal watering, “These are the two plants that have survived at least a decade in medium/low light exposure in my condo in West Hollywood.” Just as easy, he says, is “a centerpiece of three different tillandsias arranged on a metal base on the dining room table.” Photograph via Eco|Stems.