3 Houseplants for Water Conservationists

Water conservation isnít just a concern for outdoor gardeners. If you want to do your part in conserving water, but donít have a garden, you can elect to grow houseplants that donít need as frequent watering. Plantscaping your home, office, dorm, or apartment with succulent plants will not only brighten up your living quarters, but youíll grow plants that donít mind being grown a little on the dry side.

1. Desert Rose

Adenium obesum is one of my all-time favorite succulent houseplants. When grown to highlight the fat bottom, the stems emerging from the caudex give this plant the appearance of a miniature tree. The many hybrid and grafted forms of this plant produce trumpet-shaped blooms in red, pink, white. You can also find some where all three colors are grafted onto one plant.

Main image Photo Credit: NgŰ Trung (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: User:WeFt [CC-BY-SA-3.0],†via Wikimedia Commons

2. ZZ Plant

Zamioculcas zamiifolia may seem hard to pronounce, but itís extremely easy to grow. If youíve been in a mall or office, you may have seen these planted in mass and never noticed them. Their structural form is accentuated when grown as a single plant in modern containers like the one Suzanne chose for her plant. However, I like to grow them a little higher in a container to accentuate the caudex the stems emerge from.


Photo Credit:†Maja Dumat, flickr.com

3. Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata is not a true palm, but it does look like a ponytail on steroids. When the top isnít cut, the single stem can reach several feet in height like Christaís 4-foot-tall plant. The caudex, resembling the foot of a pachyderm, takes on an interesting, crackled texture.

Did you spot what all three of these plants have in common? Theyíre caudiciform plants, also known as Fat Plants. A caudex is a short, thick, stem that may be swollen because thatís where it stores water. These are just three examples, but there are many more interesting caudiciform plants that you can grow. Plants that normally store water in a caudex donít need as frequent watering, and are likely to survive prolonged periods of dryness when you go on vacation, or just simply forget to water.

What houseplants do you recommend for indoor gardeners who donít want to waste water?

By Ramon Gonzalez, TreeHugger


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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

William C
William Cabout a year ago


Jo S.
Jo S3 years ago

Thank you Megan.

Jo Recovering
Jo S3 years ago

Thank you Megan.

Lynn Rubal
Lynn Rubal4 years ago

Love plants!!!!!

Elena P.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

Alan Lambert
Alan Lambert4 years ago

Sent to those who can use it. Thanks for posting

Val M.
Val M4 years ago


Erin H.
Erin H4 years ago

Interesting article, thank you! I need to go out and buy some more plants for my desk at work.

Edo R.
Edo R4 years ago

Thanks for sharing