Top 5 Houseplants with Nine Lives – Tough to kill plants for your home
Nobody has a perfect track record with plants, especially indoor houseplants. Life keeps us busy and remembering to water a plant is often on the bottom of a long to-do list. Checking light requirements, misting, keeping drafts away and looking for pests are even lower on the to-do list and sometimes fall off entirely. Sometimes it’s not until we notice the pot in the corner full of dried up “used-to-be-a-plant” cobwebs and a general aura of death surrounding it that we remember our parental plant duties.
If only plants were more like cats, who constantly remind us that they’re around and need food, treats and belly scratching. It may be slightly annoying at five in the morning, but it’s also effective! Well don’t worry, we’ve put together the top 5 fur-giving and tough to kill houseplants that stand the best chance in any home. (Even if they don’t meow and scratch your ankles).
Spider Plants (chlorophytum comosum)
A classic houseplant, these delightful green and white plants live up to their name with spidery tendrils that hang over your pot and create a jungle style. Unlike your feline friends, these guys don’t enjoy hanging out in sunbeams and pre-fur indirect light. A bedroom, bathroom or hallway can make a good home for a Spider Plant. They like their soil to dry out between waterings so if you fur-get for a week, you won’t hear any complaints.
Well loved because of their brightly coloured blooms, Anthurium are also tenacious home dwelling plants. They are also fans of indirect light, although a dark room will stunt their growth so they do need to be in sight of a window. (They probably want to watch pedestrians and pigeons all day long). As Anthurium like to dry out between waterings you only have to remember ‘meowand then’ to get their soil wet. If you’ve forgotten for more than a week or two, you might want to run water through their pot in the sink to thoroughly soak their root balls so they can recover.
Just like your cat, the Philodendron is often called sweetheart (Sweetheart Vine) because of its heart shaped leaves. Before you get all cuddly with it though, remember this houseplant will grow long vines and should be hung (or placed on top of a tall bookcase or shelf) to live. They are com-fur-table with low light conditions and diffused sunlight, or even fluorescent lighting. A bright green colour, sometimes with glossy leaves, the Philodendron add a natural accent to your home. If the leaves start to turn yellow that is an indication that you are being a bit too rambunctious with the water and need to cut back.
Your window sill may be a little empty at this point, with all our admonitions to keep plants away from direct sunlight. But when it comes to succulents, you can fill up that window! Like a cat on a hot tin roof, these desert dwelling plants enjoy at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Used to dry conditions, it’s alright if they are only watered once every other week, if paw-sible. A sure sign that they aren’t getting enough sun is if they start to get super tall and lanky, “reaching” for the light. Dried up leaves that fall off are a warning that you’re watering schedule may be a bit too lax and needs to be changed.
Create your own succulent terrarium for the home with this easy DIY video!
Zee Zee Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
Just like a cat with an ambitious name (who’s idea was it to name her Cindy Clawford?) that needs a shorter nickname to yell out when they drag their claws through your new nylons; the Zee Zee plant remedies a mouthful of a plant name. This plant is sometimes confused with faux foliage because of its natural glossy thick leaves. Easy to care for, and a lover of low lighting, you can stick it in a corner and ignore it. One word of warning – the sap from this plant can cause skin irritation, so wash your hands after handling.
Not all houseplants are needy, these five will be easy-going house guests, but will give your home a natural atmosphere with their lush green foliage. Don’t be afraid to adopt one or two, we promise they won’t bite!