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5 Plants That Don’t Need Much Water (Slideshow)

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5 Plants That Don’t Need Much Water (Slideshow)


Whether you’re a diehard water conservationist or you just, well, forget sometimes, there are plenty of advantages to owning plants that don’t need a lot of watering. You save time, you save resources, and you save yourself the heartbreak of coming home to a dead houseplant. These five unique plants are perfect for your home or office, and they won’t mind if you forget to water them every now and then.


1. Snake Plant.

Native to West Africa, the Snake Plant gets its name from its long, slender leaves, and is also sometimes referred to as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” because of the leaves’ sharpness. The super adaptable Snake Plant can get by with minimal sunlight and minimal water, making it a very forgiving plant indeed. An added bonus: one study by NASA found that Snake Plants are especially good at improving indoor air quality.

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2. Desert Rose.

As you might expect from its name, the Desert Rose gets along great in drier climates, and can go long periods of time without water. This popular houseplant does need plenty of sunlight, and it can’t survive cold climates, but otherwise it’s very low-maintenance. One important warning: the Desert Rose’s sap is poisonous, so keep it out of reach of pets and children, and wash your hands if you get sap on them.

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


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5:42AM PST on Feb 17, 2015

Thank you for the info.

1:01PM PDT on Oct 22, 2014

I'm a teacher and my students are researching drought tolerant plants. The "recommendations from" are not related one bit to the topic on this page. My students should not have to see recommendations for a site that teaches tantric sex. It would be extremely helpful if you could make recommendations for your readers that relate to the topic on the page. Thank you.

12:31PM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

Thank you

1:46AM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

I had a Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Snake Plant) for over 40 years. It gets so thick, I've divided it several times and given it away!
The Desert Rose is beautiful, but I don't live in a dry climate and I sure don't want my cats to be exposed to it.
As for the Tillandsias, ZZ Plant, and the Ponytail Palm - I'm going to start looking for them!

6:30PM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

All good choices, the desert rose is a really beautiful plant but very cold sensitive. Sansevaria's are a great dramatic vertical accent and there are several types available.

9:05AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

I never knew that snake plant was another name for the sansevaria. I've got several and one flowered last year. Tillandsias need misting a bit too often for me.

Otherwise, lavender and sedums outside, yuccas, orchids and aloe vera inside. Yes, I did mention orchids. The modern hybrids just need to stand in water once a week, then drain properly.

Generally speaking, big plants in large pots dry out far more slowly than small ones.

7:09PM PDT on Jul 21, 2013

This is really good info... save on watering but enjoy the beauty of plants as well!

12:34PM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

When I was growing up, we had some of the snake plant but knew it as tiger tail because of the tiger stripes on the leaves. Anyway, when other plants in the house died, it remained. Would love to find where I can get the desert rose.

7:47AM PDT on Jul 17, 2013

Great to know, especially now! Thanks Katie.

7:04PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

great info

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