Houseplants are lovely. They detoxify the air and provide a piece of the outdoors that can brighten up even the dullest of rooms.
Unless they keep dying. The opposite of a vibrant, air cleansing, piece of living art is a sad, browning plant that keeps shedding pieces of itself.
I have a black thumb when it comes to most house plants.
Luckily not all plants are as finicky as an African Violet or anything of the fern family. Today I present to you 5 plants that I and several fellow members of the houseplant killers club have come to depend on.
No matter if you over water, under water, forget to place near a window or occasionally forget you have houseplants- these are your perfect matches:
- Air Plants – Tillandsia
The ultimate in low maintenance. Air plants come in a variety of flavors. From spiky deep green to vibrant, wavy tendrils of hot pink and purple. They are usually are the small side and grow slowly with minimal care.
Air plants, as the name suggests, thrive on air. Of course, like any other plant, they need water too. Watering an air plant couldn’t be easier (and you can’t get the amount wrong). Just soak the plant for a couple of hours or overnight. Dry it in a sunny spot for 3 to 4 hours or until it’s dry to the touch. Your plant can be watered like this twice a week or every 2 weeks and will still be just fine.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a plant with spiky “leaves”. The leaves can be split open and placed on sunburns and cold sores to offer relief from pain and speed healing.
When it comes to easy growing all you have to remember is to water it a lot, keep it in the sun, and let it get really dry before you water it again. It’s a good idea to put aloe vera in a pot with a drain hole in the bottom. This also prevents over watering.
An easy way to tell if your plant is drying out is if the leaves start to get flat. Full leaves are round and puffy. Empty leaves look empty.
- Jade Plant – Crassula argentea
With bright green leaves and occasional lavender blooms the jade plant is another easy to grow succulent. Succulents have the ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. Similar to aloe, you can tell when your jade plant needs some water by checking how full the leaves look.
Do remember to keep this plant near a window. Natural light can help encourage blooms.
- Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
A large flowering plant with glossy dark green leaves and white “blooms”. Peace lilies earn a spot on the list for being able to take a lot of abuse without dying off.
Peace lilies don’t need to be placed directly in front of a window and do best in a drainage pot. It well watered all you need to do if mist with a spray bottle 2 or 3 times a week. If it starts looking a little droopy you can soak it and then go back to misting.
- Devil’s Backbone or Jacob’s Ladder – Pedilanthus tithymaloides
A plant with dozens of descriptive names because of it’s unique looks. This plant has variegated (may be white, pink and green) leaves, long stems that grow in a zigzag, and colorful bracts (leaves that look a bit like flowers).
Jacob’s Ladder likes to be placed in a sunny room but not on a windowsill. In a typical house it can go 10 – 14 days before needing to be watered. If it loses a couple leaves it might be telling you to water it again.
*Special Note: Not for people with pets (especially cats) that like to chew on houseplants. The sap from the stem can cause irritation and severe stomach upset.