6 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants
This winter, we’re keeping things simple and bright with a low-maintenance indoor garden and foliage options that require minimal care. With that in mind, we asked Amelia B., the newest member of our plant team, for hard-to-kill houseplants that can thrive without a green thumb. She shares her thoughts on six favorites, below.
1. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica): "Very easy to care for, this ornamental specimen is low-light and low-maintenance. Rubber plants should only be watered when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch; be sure you don't over-water. Keep your rubber plant in a warm location, and avoid exposing it to any sudden temperature changes, which can cause leaf drop. Not only are rubber plants beautiful, they're also excellent air purifiers. They emit high levels of oxygen, and remove toxins like formaldehyde and airborne mold from a room."
2. Stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea): "The 'Tricolor' variety of Stromanthe is one of my current favorites. I love the variegated leaves! This plant will thrive in humid environments like a bathroom, but doesn't need too much water; be sure to let the soil dry out between waterings."
3. Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyersii'): "Lush and easy to care for, this plant is perfectly suited for bright, sunny rooms. Though the dense leaf plumes look fragile, the foxtail fern is actually a very hardy house plant. It should be watered when the top layer of soil is dry, and will grow up to three feet tall. If any leaves turn brown, clip them out to promote new growth."
4. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa): "Lady Palm offers a nice, tropical feel and bold scale for indoor gardens, growing from five to eight feet tall. It prefers bright, indirect light and minimal watering -- only when its soil becomes dry. Like rubber plants, it's also a great air purifier!"
5. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): "A great choice for novice gardeners, this vining plant can be trained to climb around windowsills, doorways, or even a headboard. It can thrive even in low light, and won't suffer if it goes a bit too long without water."
6. Bromeliad (Vriesea, Neoregelia, or Aechmea): "There are more than 3,000 known species of bromeliads, but the three varieties listed are some of my favorites. They offer an interesting, architectural shape and bright, beautiful flower stalks. Bromeliads can withstand drought, but aren't tolerant of excess watering. They can thrive in a variety of light situations, but most prefer brighter environments with some protection from direct sun."
Image credits: 1. Timothy Vollmer; 2. Javier Alejandro; 3. Sean Munson; 4. Forest and Kim Star; 5. Probuild Garden Center; 6. Terrain