By Erica Young
Do all your houseplants die sad and slow deaths? Plant care skills do not come naturally to everyone, and I know it can be frustrating to constantly find your plants drooping and dying despite your best efforts.
But don’t worry. There’s hope for all you plant-challenged folks out there. The secret is buying the correct plants — low-maintenance plants to be specific. There are a few hardy varieties out there that even the most incompetent gardener can care for with success. Here are my five favorite plants for black thumbs.
1. Snake Plant
The snake plant has long tall leaves and adds a beautiful structural element to your space. It can grow almost anywhere in your home because it thrives in both low and bright light. Give it a drink when the top inch of soil is dried out.
2. ZZ Plant
You’ll notice ZZ plants in a lot of offices and malls because they can basically be completely ignored and they’ll still live. Their beautiful shiny leaves and thick stems make these plants look almost artificial. If you have a bathroom with no windows, the ZZ plant is a perfect choice. They grow great in low light and only need to be watered when their soil is completely dry from top to bottom.
3. Pothos Plant
The pothos plant is another variety that does well in low light and doesn’t need a lot of attention. Let the soil dry out between waterings because if you water it too much, the roots will rot. This a great plant to place on top of a bookshelf because its long vines will eventually extend down the shelf, making for a gorgeous scene. The pothos is also known for purifying the air by removing indoor toxins. What’s not to love about this easy plant?
4. Dracaena Janet Craig
Another clean air plant is the Dracaena Janet Craig. It has shiny, dark, sword-shaped leaves and looks great with almost any décor. The Dracaena Janet Craig can grow in low light, but prefers medium to bright light. It’s a great choice for forgetful gardeners because it doesn’t need frequent watering.
5. Heartleaf Philodendron
The Heartleaf Philodendron also goes by the cutesy name “sweetheart plant.” It’s rich green heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines make it a beautiful and delicate specimen. Allow the surface of the soil to dry out between waterings. If you see yellow leaves, you’re overwatering.
Here are a few other general tips to help you avoid turning your home into another shriveled plant graveyard.
- Use properly draining pots. We recommend keeping the plants in the plastic nursery pot with holes – then placing the whole thing in a cache plant so it can drain. You can elevate the plastic pot on pebbles so it’s not sitting in the drained water.
- Leave the plant where it is. If your plant is doing well, don’t move it around to different locations. Plants acclimate to their surroundings and like to be left where they are.
- Avoid drafts. Plants are sensitive to drafty conditions so ensure they’re not next to a heater or air conditioner vent, or a drafty window in the winter.
Get your plant-care confidence back by trying these plants and following these easy tips. You may find that your green thumb was just a late-bloomer!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Erica Young