Hard-To-Kill Houseplants For Beginners
Are you new to houseplants? Or do you like what live plants add to your household, but are often too busy to tend to meticulous or needy plants? Don't worry, you aren't the only one, and there are plants that will fit your lifestyle, no matter what it entails!
We've put together a list of plants that are difficult to kill and easy to love. These plants are not needy, and most of them even prefer to be overlooked. The biggest factor in caring for the plants below will be to NOT OVERWATER THEM! Most of these plants require that their soil drys out completely in between waterings. If this is not allowed (by watering the plant too much or too often), the plant will likely develop root rot and die.
Below we have included a couple of tips for each plant.
Don’t overwater! These are desert plants, so they are used to hot and dry environments. Make sure pots and soil have good drainage, and place in direct sun for optimal growth. With so many different varieties, cacti make a great way to add character to any room!
Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
These plants do like moist soil, so it is not recommended to let their soil dry out completely. If you can stick your finger two inches down into the soil and feel no moisture, it is time to water! Never let the soil become soggy, as this will lead to the plant rotting. Read more about correct watering habits!
These beauties are very drought tolerant. Letting the soil dry out thoroughly in between waterings will be the key to keeping this plant happy and healthy, as over-watering is one of the most common reasons a Dracaena will die. Once the soil has had a chance to completely dry out, water thoroughly until water begins to drain from the bottom of the container. Depending on conditions, it can take up to 3 weeks before the plant will need to be watered again. Learn more about how to avoid overwatering your plants!
These houseplants come in a large variety of unique shapes, sizes, and colors, and are very popular as houseplants. Some are more temperamental than others, but most will do just fine with bright indirect light. Rubber Plants (aka Ficus elastica) are lovely options for any home. Let the soil dry out almost completely before watering again! If you can feel moisture when you put your fingers two inches in the soil, wait another week before watering! Find more information on light requirements and watering habits for houseplants.
Sansevieria (aka Mother in Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant)
These unique and beautiful plants are very independent and can survive on little to no natural light and very little water. They will grow anywhere and love to be ignored, so DON’T OVER WATER! They grow very slowly, so don't expect to see much change with these plants. For additional care instructions for Snake Plants, read this blog!
Some varieties are trailing and make for beautiful hanging baskets, while others are upright and add a lovely, tropical touch to any room. Let these plants dry out before watering again. Test if they are ready for a drink by sticking your finger into the soil. If the soil feels completely dry and dusty a couple of inches down, it's time to water. If the soil feels slightly moist two inches down, hold off for another week! Click here for more houseplant watering tips!
Ponytail Palm (aka Beaucarnea recurvate)
These interesting plants are very drought tolerant. Like Snake Plants, they love to be ignored, so DON'T OVERWATER THEM. It is all too easy to kill them with kindness. Just make sure the soil has a chance to dry out completely in between waterings, and you should be fine! Have more questions about how to water your houseplants? Find more info here!
Pothos are excellent trailing plants for hanging baskets. Place them on top of a bookshelf and let their lovely leaves drape to the floor, or keep them trimmed back for a more full, bushy appearance. You can literally place these plants anywhere. They will grow better with light, but they aren't overly picky. It is best to let the soil dry out in between waterings. If their leaves start to droop, you will know they need a drink!
Umbrella Plants (Schefflera)
These are great plants if you have an empty spot in your house that needs filling. They do tend to get "leggy" if they do not get enough sunlight, so it is best to keep them in a spot where they will receive bright, indirect light. Overwatering these plants will easily kill them, so be sure to allow the soil to dry thoroughly before watering additionally. For more tips on making sure your houseplants get adequate light, read this blog!
Spider Plant (aka Chlorophytum comosum)
These plants are just about as easy to care for as Snake Plants too. They have lots of character and need very little attention. They can survive just fine with limited light and do not need to be watered very often. If the leaves of your plant begin to turn brown and crunchy at the tips, this means that it is being overwatered. They are very easy to propagate too, so have some fun growing some Spider babies! (More information on overwatering your houseplants can be found here.)
Just like cacti, these are desert plants, so they are used to hot and dry environments where they do not get a lot of water. It is so easy to kill succulents by overwatering them, so be sparing! Make sure the pots and soil you use have good drainage. This will make sure the soil is able to dry out well and will keep the plant's roots from rotting in moist, soggy soil. Also, make sure that they get a lot of direct sun. If they do not, your succulents will grow tall and leggy instead of remaining short, fat, and cute. Not to mention there are countless adorable and interesting varieties to choose from!
Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plant
These plants are popular for their big, tropical, floppy leaves. They grow best with bright indirect light but can do fine with limited light as well. Be sure to allow the soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root rot. This plant is easy to care for and has big, beautiful, and exotic leaves, making it an envied houseplant everywhere! Read more about light requirements for houseplants.
ZZ Plant (aka Zamioculcas or Zanzibar Gem)
Also having a very beautiful and unique appearance, these plants are easy to have around the house. Like several of the above plants, they grow best with bright indirect light, though they will make do with more limited light exposure. Make sure to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. You will know if you are overwatering because the leaves of your plant will begin to turn yellow. If this happens, simply cut back on watering and the plant will recover just fine. Read more about watering guidelines for your various houseplants!
We know this is a very brief overview of each of these plants, so if you have any questions or concerns that were not addressed above, please let us know! Give us a call, leave a comment, reach out through social media, fill out a contact form, or come visit us in-store! We are always happy to help!