When it comes to caring for houseplants, some people seem to have that magic touch. Others struggle to keep anything that crosses their threshold living. The following will explore some plants that are easy to care for that even the most sporadic plant-mommy or daddy can keep living.
When it comes to low-maintenance, hard-to-kill plants, the spider plant is many people’s best friend. One of the common misconceptions about house plants is that people forget to water them enough, and they wilt away slowly till death. The actual truth is that most people who kill their houseplants do so by overwatering them, leaving their soil soggy and ripe for mold (brown spots on leaves are an excellent indicator that a plant is getting too much water). Spider plants can take a lot of water. They’re big fans of moisture (and so especially love chilling in bathrooms that get steamy). Spider plants also fill out their containers quickly, and much like goldfish will get bigger if you give them the space to get bigger. Be wary, however, that pets should not be allowed to eat spider plant leaves.
The philodendron is another beloved house plant. It has adorable heart-shaped leaves and produces trailing vines quickly. It prefers medium to bright indirect light but has made it onto this list because it can tolerate low light better than most other house plants. You do need to be cautious when being told a plant can withstand low light, however. People can err on the side of darkness when they read that, and their plants might suffer for it.
If you’ve got a north-facing window that just doesn’t seem to get enough light in the winter to keep a plant alive, a philodendron might be what you need. Watering every one to two weeks is probably ideal. Read up on a few simple gardening tips so you can identify the signs of underwatering, overwatering, too little light, and too much light. Once you learn the way plants communicate their needs, caring for them becomes easy.
Snake plants have a distinct appearance, something like seaweed that grows on land and can handle two or three weeks without water, making it an excellent choice for someone who has a less than stable schedule. The wonderful bonus of snake plants is that, in addition to looking fantastic, they filter the air in your home. Things like formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and other toxins get filtered out of the air when a snake plant is near. Having purified air in your home can result in increased mood, lower levels of anxiety, improved concentration, and boosted creativity. That’s a lot of wonderful bonuses for a pretty plant that only needs watering twice a month.
If you want something that can handle seriously minimal water, consider the ZZ plant. These hardy and gorgeous houseplants can store water themselves making them able to handle environments where droughts are common. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering and keep them in medium indirect light. ZZs can grow tall pretty quickly as well, so they are an excellent choice for a plant that you’ll keep in a large container on the floor and fill out any empty spaces in your home’s decor. This is one of those plants that tend to do better if it is left alone, so always err on the side of under care.
Because ferns typically grow on forest floors where the taller trees keep them in the shade, ferns are excellent at handling low lighting. If lack of light is your problem, ferns might be the right choice for you, and maidenhair ferns are especially gorgeous, so would make an excellent choice. This being said, they do require lots of moisture with soil that is kept damp. If you want to give them a little extra love, they also adore being misted to keep their leaves moist.
Sometimes lack of light or poor watering schedules isn’t what your house plants in. Sometimes it’s a cooler temperature. If you have a room that gets drafty or cold and doesn’t have much sunlight to spare, you might want to consider a clivia. These gorgeous plants actually bloom big orange flowers in cooler weather, meaning not only will they thrive in your colder room, but they might be able to bring some cheery warmth in with their blossoms. Clivia likes to be a bit on the drier side as well, so you don’t need to worry about watering them daily.
The above list should have given you a few ideas of plants you can easily keep alive in your home. If you have specific issues where you are trying to grow your plants, you might want to ask a local garden professional what they recommend. They’ll know what plants thrive in your local climate.