8 Hard to Kill Houseplants
By Marissa Ross, Intent
Ah, yes, spring. Makes me want to go outside and frolic in some flowers and enjoy some sunshine. You know, all the things our daydreams are made of! But more so than not, I am stuck inside my apartment staring at a computer screen or cleaning up after my kid (‘kid’, ‘dog’- same thing in this house!).
I am probably the least domestic person anyone I know knows. Famous for only eating frozen veggie corn dogs or blocks of cheese when left to my own devices, it’s also not uncommon to hear about me shrinking my boyfriend’s shirts or killing off my roommate’s hydrangeas. But this Spring, I decided it was high time I get some foliage to brighten up my space! So, what does the girl that can barely remember to turn in her Netflix plant in her house?
Here are some low maintenance and highly rewarding houseplants to consider:
Mother-In-Law Plant: “The plant that never leaves!” is known for its incredible life spans and its sharp, pointed tongue-like leaves. The Mother-In-Law plant is tolerant of very low light environments and actually will rot if you love it too much — only one to two waterings a week!
Christmas Cactus: This plant just loves to give, apparently more the less you give! The Christmas Cactus does well in just about any light environment although bright, indirect sunlight will give you the brightest flower blooms. Also like the Mother-In-Law, too much watering is the one way to kill this guy. You should only water it when the top third of the soil is dry.
Pothos: I like these guys because they’re great for hanging! Pathos need low to medium light and only need to be watered once a week. The only set back to this plant is having to groom them. Just give them a trim when you’re cleaning up your bangs and you’ll be fine.
Dragon Tree: For those of us Black Thumbs with a predilection to the Palm Springs motif, the Dragon Tree resembles a Palm Tree but can be trained to grow into braids or knots. They do well in bright sun and best if they actually dry out completely between waterings. And if you really are a Black Thumb and even let this resilient plant wilt, just some water will make it perk right back up again.
Bromeliads: The Bromeliad really gives you a chance to play hard to get with your household plants. You can ignore it for days on end and it will still give you glorious blooms that last up to three months. The Bromeliad is a tropical plant; it does best in warm rooms with plenty of indirect sunlight and is one of the most tolerant of infrequent waterings.
ZZ Plant: The name Zamioculcas zamiifolia is about as complicated as the plant gets. This plant likes low light (it actually does better in shade) and needs little water because it stores water for months in its tuber leaves and thick roots.
African Violet: This is one of the more high maintenance plants listed which I blame on its lovely flowers. These pretty purple bushels of blooms require bright indirect light as well as more moderating waterings- soil needs to be kept moist while the roots should be dried between waterings. Another quirk of the African Violet: getting water on the leaves will cause white spots.
Peace Lily: The Peace Lily, like the African Violet, requires more watering than the first half of the list. The soil must be kept moist but the roots should be dry before watering. It does well in low lights and does not do well with curious cats or children who eat things they shouldn’t (Peace Lillies are poisonous if ingested!).
Orchids: I’m just going off my own houseplant know-how I have with this one, which is very limited (to Orchids). Every Orchid I’ve ever had, I’ve placed in medium in direct light without realizing I’m putting it in medium in direct light, water it every couple days (or when I’m writing an article on house plants) and it just keeps blooming! And if I can make a houseplant last and thrive, so can you. Promise.
All of these plants all have the option to be soil planted so ask your local garden guy or Google which soil will fit your plant’s best needs.