Calling All Recovering Brown Thumbs!
Ever feel like you're totally cursed when it comes to houseplants? If your fingers are more Grim Reaper than green, it's time to do yourself a favor and bring out the big guns of the house plant world. Check out these bad boys which can outlast almost anything, including your own touch!
No time to water or give any attention to your plants? No worries! Behold your plant soulmate -- aloe vera. This bold and quirky spiky succulent gets extra brownie points for its air-cleaning properties (it clears formaldehyde and benzene, frequent byproducts of chemical-based cleaners) and is also pretty handy to have around the house as its sap can be used for healing burns (including sunburn) and cuts.
One of the easiest and most adaptable houseplants to have around and as durable as can be, the spider plant is rather magnificent with their long-arching stems. Those stems eventually bud into small white flowers and transform into baby spider plants. If you are houseplant challenged, then their combination of a desire for minimal water and a fuss-free attitude to lighting make them super reliable even for the most forgetful of waterers, and could signify the end of your house plant touch-of-death.
Sometimes known as the friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree, if it means they won't die on us, then we would have to agree that yes, not only are jade plants our friends, but we are also lucky and they save us money in continuous plant replacements! A low-maintenance plant friend if ever there was one, requiring not much in the way of anything. Indeed, we love the fact that this plant can go on for decades with the right amount of care (read: neglect) because it holds much of the moisture it needs in its own leaves.
Holy moly! Do our eyes deceive us? What is an orchid doing on this list?! Is it at all possible to have a beautiful, fragrant orchid in the house when missing the green-thumb gene? In return for being neglected with low light and minimal water (an ice cube a week will do the trick), this plant will thank you with gorgeous flowers!
Need an indoor tree that won't end up looking like you took an axe to it? Whilst this tree - otherwise known as a money tree -- might look like a total prima donna, don't be fooled! If your number one reason for plant killing is over-watering then this indoor tree wouldn't bat an eyelid at any over-watering impulses you might have. It's quite used to living in a tropical swamp, even if you're the one who created it!
Much like its namesake - your mother-in-law's tongue - the otherwise known snake plant (or sansevieria) is very difficult to kill off. If you are currently in brown-thumb recovery, this is a good plant to dip your toe back into the world of houseplants. If the name alone and its bold architectural lines are not enough to tempt you then perhaps the fact they are not fussy about the amount of light, moisture or temperature bestowed on them, will be. It's truly the perfect lazy or time-starved person's plant. Neglect was never so rewarding.
The godfather of indestructible plants, there's a reason why the ZZ plant (also known as the eternity plant) has been a firm favourite in malls and office blocks of late - it can take literally months and months of neglect! All a ZZ plant needs to survive is a healthy dose of little effort and you could wager that it will eventually outlive you! If you can lay your hands on one of these babies, they will reward you with unfettered longevity.
Incredibly, so easy is the air plant that it does not even require soil because yes, you guessed it -- it quite literally lives on air! They are pretty much self-sufficient owing to the fact they get all the water and nutrients they need through their leaves, and can be grown basically anywhere -- in a glass vase, in a shell, on top of some rocks...now THAT is our kind of plant. Extra bonus: with over 500 species, you're bound to find one with the look you desire.
Something you can grow, eat, and not kill? Does that combination even exist? Yes it does -- in the form of the herb thyme. Thyme is supremely hardy, couldn't give a hoot about water or light, grows like a weed, produces pretty little flowers, and will also repay you generously by being extra handy for your cooking needs. If you fancy creating a little herb garden on your windowsill or growing a full-on bush, thyme is a solid bet.
If you're looking for a toughie plant that produces oodles of pretty flowers then the kalanchoe has your name on it. Native to arid lands, this succulent produces a plethora of cute-as-a-button bell-shaped pink flowers and can make the brownest thumbs amongst us look like plant supremos! It will tolerate poor light, dry air, and drought, and in return, will perk up any windowsill.
Hmmm what's that we see? Your brown thumb is beginning to turn ever-so-slightly green under the guidance of these plants!