10 House Plants Even You Can't Kill

BY NANCY MATTIA ON AUGUST 25TH, 2016

Even if you weren’t born with a green thumb, there's no reason to give up on filling your interior space with real, live plants. The benefits to your health and home are too valuable - plants can reduce stress levels, rid the air of certain toxins and add vitality to your decor. You can have a green home by picking hearty plants that will thrive for years to come even if you neglect them.

One essential move that will keep your plants alive: "Don’t overwater them," says Tovah Martin, a horticulturist and author of "The Indestructible Houseplant (Timber Press 2015). "Monitor a plant's soil to see if it's dry to the touch." If it's dry, water it; if it's not dry, step away from the plant.

Before buying any plant, though, "It's important to read the plant label and its light requirements," says Sylvia Schmeichel, a horticulturist with the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, Virginia.

Check out our list of some of the most popular, indestructible plant varieties available at most local nurseries and plant shops. Green thumb's up!

1. Succulent

"They don't need much care," says Martin, who also wrote "The Unexpected Houseplant". "You can forget to water them and they'll be fine." Jade and crown of thorns are two popular varieties.

2. Pothos

This plant with glossy heart-shaped leaves is one of Schmeichel's top picks. It can stand up to low light and iffy watering. Pothos looks gorgeous on a table or the floor or hanging in a basket.

3. Mother-in-law's tongue

No joke - this plant, originally from South Africa and also called a snake plant, is self-sufficient and doesn't ask for much attention. The most common variety has stiff, thick leaves.

4. Spider plant

Also called an airplane plant, this easygoing beauty grows quickly and produces leaves that are green or green and white. They dangle from the center likes spiders on a web.

5. Philodendron

This plant, best known for the variety that has heart-shaped leaves, thrives even in low light; it also removes formaldehyde and other air-borne toxins. "Some new varieties are pretty exciting looking," Martin says, "with red leaves and others with serrated leaves. This is not a boring plant!"

6. Ferns

This low-maintenance plant doesn't need much sun and thrives in low light, Martin says. Of the many varieties, including asparagus fern and rabbit's foot fern, avoid Boston fern, which needs some TLC.

7. Fishtail palm

Fan-shaped leaves with jagged edges that are shaped like a giant fishtail are characteristics of this exotic palm that originated in the South Pacific. If you're looking for a non-finicky palm that will grows dense and full, this is it.

8. Geranium

Though this flowering stunner is best known as an outdoor plant, Martin says it blooms well inside too, though it needs a bit more sunlight than the typical houseplant. The color varieties are many, including salmon, fuchsia, and lavender.

9. Ficus

Once grown for the rubber its sap produced - hence, its nickname, "rubber tree" - this variety, which Schmeichel suggests, grows leaves that vary from red to gray-green with touches of pink and cream.

10. Schefflera

With large, shiny, dark green leaves that hang down like spokes, it's no surprise that this popular plant from Australia also answers to the name "umbrella tree."

 

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