In the words of the great gardener and landscape architect Russell Page, “‘green fingers’ are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed.” This sentiment may strike a chord if you happen to fall into the “unpracticed” part of this maxim. While some of us struggle to keep many houseplants alive, there are thankfully several beautiful varieties that will thrive, no matter how much or how little love they receive. Here are some of the easiest plants to look after.
There are some plants that are so resilient they won’t mind whether left completely unattended or shown too much attention with excessive watering. The toughest of all the houseplants is the aptly named Cast Iron plant. This hardy plant will withstand low light, low humidity, all sorts of temperatures as well as complete neglect and will continue to prosper. Other varieties that are happy to be put in a corner and ignored are Wandering Jew, with its striped purple foliage, Chinese Evergreen, which needs no sunlight at all, and the shade-loving Dieffenbachia or ‘Leopard Lily’. The elegant Peace Lily will also thank you for a shaded position and will happily take up residence in your bathroom.
The ability to go without water for long stretches is a quality that the succulents that thrive in arid areas have honed over millennia of evolution, so these are a good choice for hands-off owners. Aloe Vera is a spiky and spotted plant which may reward you with flowers. It also has medicinal value – snap the leaves to release the rich sap with its skin-soothing qualities. Jade trees are popular in offices because they can go for long periods with no water and are well deserving of their reputation for being practically impossible to destroy. The Kalanchoe, with its large pink bloom, blends floral prettiness and the toughness of a desert succulent.
Familiar and dependable
Some plants may not be the height of fashion but they are have always been and still are stalwarts when it comes to easy care. Top of this list is the Spider Plant. Easy to propagate with its trailing fronds of spiderlings, this two-tone classic surely deserves a comeback. Rubber Plants, sometimes called Cheese Plants because of the holes in their leaves, are also due a revival. They are striking, grow tall, and have flourished in many a student's halls of residence.
Striking yet low maintenance
The Bromeliad bears a handsome flame-coloured flowerhead, which owes a lot in looks to its cousin – the pineapple. This plant appears as if it has been cultivated with great care in a greenhouse but will in fact thrive in all sorts of temperatures, and bloom with just a weekly watering. Another flowering plant is the Hoya, it doesn’t need much sunlight or water, sports attractive heart-shaped leaves and, as with all of the examples above, should cope well with life in a home where nobody is particularly green-fingered.
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