If you are one of those people who have trouble keeping even a cactus alive, know that this is no reason to give up your love of houseplants. Indeed, some plants are more resistant than others, and with the help of some neat tricks, you can take care of them without too much difficulty. According to Sharon Nejman, chief horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden: “Roots can’t stand the absorption of too much water and can start to rot,” so you’d better avoid giving them too much water and too much sun. Here are 15 indoor plants you can’t kill.
1. African violets
This is one of the most popular indoor plants in the world. This beautiful plant flowers many times a year. To ensure you have a pretty African violet, place it somewhere with a lot of sunlight, but indirectly from the sun and make sure the soil is humid. A good drainage and adding some administered fertilizer every two weeks can also help to grow.
These waxy plants grow well in humid areas, a bit like succulents. You can place them under fluorescent lights to make them really happy.
Tillandsias are really easy to maintain. According to Tovah Martin, gardener and author of The Indestructible Houseplant: All you have to do is soak them in water for 2-3 hours every 10 days.
4. Spider plant
What’s better than a spider plant? They grow quickly and produce little “babies” that you can transplant to add even more greenery to your house. All you have to do is make sure they are in well-lit areas, and to water them weekly.
5. Peace lily
Peace lilies can grow from 1 to 6 feet, so verify the estimated height of the variety you choose before buying it. Bonus: These powerful plants can also filter out toxins that are in the air according to NASA.
Not only is aloe a practical and pretty plant, but, you can also have it grow on your office desk or on your bedside table. It loves indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered every week or two weeks.
7. Dragon tree
Save space on your windowsill and place this variety that doesn’t require a lot of light so you can place it in an unloved corner. Be careful though, the dragon tree is toxic to dogs and cats, so keep your pets away from your plant.
Calatheas are grown only for their foliage, and it is easy to see why. The purple, green, pink and red leaves are sublime. To make them happy, make sure your plant is humid (but avoid submerging it in water) and avoid bright lights.
These bright flowers require only occasional watering, even less in winter. “In addition, they come in different colours and foliage patterns,” says Kathie Hayden, Director of information services at the Chicago Botanical Garden.
Bromeliads belong to the same family as pineapples. This plant “lasts a long time”, according to Nejman. “It produces lateral shoots that will replace the original plant.” Its favourite temperature is about 70 degrees, “which makes it house friendly,” she says. Keep it away from cold drafts.
11. Jade tree
Originally from South Africa, jade trees are succulent plants that retain water in their round, green leaves. They are easy to keep alive because these succulent plants “go dormant” if they don’t get enough water. “If they get water, they start to rehydrate and grow,” says Neil Mattson, Associate professor in the horticulture department at Cornell University. Be aware of shallow roots, which can rot easily or fall out of the pot.
These succulents that retain water produce colourful flowers in the shape of bells. “They don’t need to be looked after a lot”, says Nejman. The widow’s-thrill can grow in dry climates and in varied temperatures.
13. Ponytail palm
Officially called the beaucarnea recurvata. the ponytail palm grows slowly and likes to be in front of a sunny window. Be careful not to water it too much.
14. Moth orchids
Originating from tropical Asian countries, phalaenopsis doesn’t like a lot of light. But think twice if you live in a dry climate because orchids are more likely to thrive in more humid areas. “Most orchids are very tolerant,” Nejman says. “If they’re lucky, I water them every week or a week and a half.”
Hundreds of species of broad-leaved philodendrons grow in the Antilles, Mexico and Brazil. This plant likes weak light. But be careful not to water it more than once a week if you want it to survive.