Having plants in your home or apartment can bring it to life. Some even clean the air for you. But perhaps you don’t have a green thumb, your living space doesn’t get a lot of light, or you travel a lot and don’t have time to care for plants.
Don’t worry! We’ve put together a guide that lists ten hard to kill houseplants and how to care for them so you can buy the right plants to suit your needs.
Sansevieria (Snake Plant)
One of the most hearty plants you can buy, the Sansevieria (also called Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) is perfect for anyone who knows they have a history of killing plants. It’s also one of the best air-cleaning plants you can buy.
They have a bold appearance with pointed leaves. They come in many different varieties, some with short leaves and others with tall leaves. And with the variegated colors like dark green and yellow, they can add a nice touch to your home.
If you tend to overwater your plants, you may want to pass on this plant. If you are someone who forgets to water your plants, or if you travel frequently, then the Snake Plant is for you. It can go for 2 to 6 weeks without water.
As for light, they prefer medium levels. But they do well in both high and low lights. Direct sunlight will burn them, so be sure to keep them out of it.
Note that the Snake Plant is mildly toxic to cats and dogs, so if you want to be on the safe side, perhaps look for another type of plant or keep it out of reach.
This tropical plant is very forgiving. It does well in poor light conditions, dry air, and drought. It also comes in a ton of varieties including variegated forms if you want something besides green. Older plants will produce flowers that look like calla or peace lilies.
While it can withstand neglect, if you really want your Chinese Evergreen to thrive, make sure you use soil that drains well. A mix of potting soil, perlite, and sand will make for a happy plant. And try not to overwater it. Let the soil dry out a little before you water it again.
Another hard to kill houseplant is the aloe plant. Not only is it an attractive houseplant, but it also has healing properties. The aloe plant’s sap soothes skin burns, scrapes, and irritation as well as helps digestive issues in people with IBD.
Sometimes mistaken for a cactus plant, the aloe plant is actually a semi-tropical succulent that’s a member of the lily family. Because it is a succulent, it doesn’t require much water, making it an easy plant to care for.
You should plant it in soil that drains quickly and make sure it’s in a sunny, warm location. Allow the aloe plant to completely dry out by waiting a few weeks before watering it again. Aloe plants also do well in bathrooms that are bright and sunny, because they can get a lot of the moisture they need from shower steam.
Note that if you have pets, keep your aloe plant out of reach. It is toxic to cats and dogs.
If you work in an office environment, you’ve probably seen the Pothos plant. That’s because it is one of the easiest plants to care for. It also is one of the top-rated plants for removing indoor air chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene.
It is a trailing vine plant with heart-shaped green leaves (sometimes with white, yellow, or pale green variegations). While it technically likes bright, indirect light, it also does well in low light and even fluorescent light.
Even though Pothos plants like to have their soil dry out between waterings, they do not need any special type of soil. If you notice black spots on the leaves, that means you probably overwatered it. If you wait too long to water it, you’ll notice brown edges on some of the leaves.
Note that this plant is also toxic to cats and dogs, so keep it out of reach and be sure to trim the vines back before they get too long.
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum)
While the name might frighten you, don’t be afraid to buy and care for a spider plant. If you’re looking for a hanging houseplant that’s easy to care for, then the spider plant should be at the top of your list. It’s also another plant rated highly for its air-cleaning abilities.
First, they don’t require direct sunlight and in fact will burn if left in direct sunlight. They do okay in bright light but flourish in semi-shady areas.
As for watering, you should give them a lot of water in the summer as well as mist them. You can back off in the winter, however. To keep root rot from forming, you should use fast-draining soil such as soil that’s used for succulents.
If you want to have more than one spider plant, all you need to do is wait for the plantlets to appear. They are vines about three feet in length with little clusters of white flowers, and miniature spider plant leaves at the end. You can take these plantlets and replant them.
If you have pets, you’ll be happy to know spider plants aren’t toxic. If they eat too much, however, it may cause stomach upset. But it is not a toxic reaction.
The Eternity Plant
Also known as the ZZ plant (which may conjure up memories of ZZ Top if you were born in the 1970s or 1980s), the eternity plant is a worthy addition to our list of hard to kill houseplants. Some plant experts say it’s almost impossible to kill.
Native to eastern Africa, the eternity plant thrives in dry conditions. It stores energy and moisture in something called the rhizome, which lies beneath the soil’s surface.
You only need to water it every one or two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out completely. If you notice yellow leaves, it means you’re overwatering it, and the rhizome might be rotting. It’s best to use soil that drains rapidly.
As for light, it can survive in low light areas. However, it will do best in indirect sunlight. You should avoid putting the eternity plant in direct sunlight because its leaves will burn.
This plant is poisonous to pets, so exercise caution and place them out of reach of your cats and dogs.
Another plant that’s native to Africa, the Dracaena limelight is another plant that’s hard to kill. It’s also another plant that’s known for removing indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde.
It does extremely well in low light environments, and like the pothos plant, it adapts to fluorescent lighting.
As for water, let the top inch or so of the soil dry out before adding more water to it, and remove any excess water from its drainage pan. This plant also enjoys a good misting.
Because it is a tropical plant, it does best in temperatures ranging from 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, putting it in a sunroom where the sun provides extra warmth will help it thrive.
While it is slow-growing, it can reach heights of up to 10 feet tall. Be sure you have ceilings that can accommodate its height.
And if you have cats, this plant can cause them to vomit and have diarrhea. It isn’t poisonous, but you should still call your vet if you notice your cat has munched on your dracaena limelight plant.
Rubber Plant (or Tree)
Also called the “fiddle leaf” fig plant, the rubber plant is another plant that’s easy to care for. It does require a little more care than the pothos or the eternity plant, but it’s not high-maintenance.
Native to Southeast Asia, this plant has big, soft leaves with a purple tinge to them. In the wild, they can grow up to 50 feet! But don’t worry. They will not get that big in your house.
The rubber plant does require bright, filtered light and can tolerate some direct sunlight. If it doesn’t get enough light, you’ll notice the lower leaves falling off, and the color becoming less vibrant.
As for water, the rubber plant needs lots of it. You must keep the soil moist. Potting soil that drains quickly is the best type of soil. And be sure to fertilize your rubber plant on a regular basis.
The sap of the rubber plant is toxic to dogs, so this may not be suitable for your house if you have dogs that like to munch on plants.
Another plant that is fairly easy to grow and care for is the peperomia plant. It also happens to be one of the few houseplants that isn’t toxic to animals.
The peperomia plant is native to Central and South America and is a semi-succulent plant that comes in a number of varieties. It does well in bright, indirect sunlight, but it can also grow under fluorescent lights. Direct sunlight will burn its leaves, and insufficient light will cause it to stop growing altogether.
How much you water your peperomia will depend on the season. In the spring and summer, keep the soil moist. And in the fall and winter, wait to water it until the top two inches of the soil have dried out.
Misting it in low humidity environments will keep your peperomia happy. You can also try watering it by watering from the bottom or placing the plant in a drain pan with water in it.
The Cast-Iron Plant
Surely, a plant with the words “cast iron” in it deserves a spot on our list of hard to kill plants.
The cast-iron plant can survive under fairly harsh conditions for plants such as low light, poor watering, low humidity, and wild temperature fluctuations. It’s also not toxic to dogs and cats, so don’t worry if Fluffy or Fido love to eat your plants.
Native to the forests of Japan and Taiwan, this evergreen plant grows up to three feet tall. It does best in indirect sunlight, but it can survive in a room with very little light. As far as temperatures go, the cast-iron plant does well in temperatures ranging from 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for water, the cast-iron plant isn’t picky. Overwatering can cause root-rot, so let the soil dry out between waterings. There’s no need to mist it, however, and it does best with well-draining potting soil.
image source: Pexels
In this guide, we have covered ten different hard to kill houseplants and what it takes to care for them, such as how much light they need, how often you should water them, and the most optimal temperatures.
We also discussed their toxicity levels to pets so that you can take the necessary precautions if you have furry friends in your household. You should now feel confident in choosing the best houseplants to spruce up your home that you won’t have to worry too much about caring for.
Featured photo via Pexels