The Best House Plants for Self-Confessed Plant-Killers

Today is International Plant Appreciation Day (13 April). I am a great appreciator of plants, unfortunately, plants don’t seem to appreciate me and tend to die as soon as I look at them.

This has not deterred me from my love, however, and I am constantly on the look out for tips on how I might be less successful at killing my leafy housemates.

Here’s a handful of hardy house plants that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate:

ZZ Plant

“ZZ plant” (the shorthand of its scientific name Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is the perfect ‘gateway plant’ with its beautiful, waxy, dark green leaves that can withstand plenty of neglect. This is a very relaxed plant that is happy in low-light conditions with little watering.

*Warning* Every part of the ZZ plant is poisonous if ingested, so it’s probably not suitable if you have inquisitive pets or children who may want a nibble.

Quick tip: The ZZ thrives best in low to bright indirect light, and water only when the dirt is fully dry.

Asparagus Fern

The fuzzy, bright foliage of the Asparagus Fern adds diversity to what is hopefully a plethora of flourishing flora in your home and is a great plant to hang in baskets and containers. Overall, it can tolerate a bit of abuse (like forgetting to water it—oops).

Quick tip: Asparagus Ferns are most happy in bright, indirect sunlight and prefer humidity, especially during the winter months.

Snake Plant

You’ve probably seen the super popular snake plant on Instagram or at your local coffee shops and restaurants. Their vertical, spear-like leaves make them stand out in a sea of green. Other than exposing them to direct sunlight and frigid temperatures, snake plants are virtually indestructible.

Snake plants can come in a number of varietals: tall or short, with different leaf and colour patterns. (Like the ZZ Plant, don’t eat it)

Quick tip: Make sure it is thoroughly dry before you water it, which could be once every 7 to 14 days.

Rubber Plant

If you want an indoor tree-like plant that grows tall and has large, deep green leaves, look no further than the rubber plant. The rubber plant thrives best in medium to very brightly lit environments.

Quick tip: During the summer or when the air is dry, use a mister or a damp cloth to keep the plant moist. In the winter months, you may only need to water it once or twice a month. Leaves that start to droop may mean that you are not watering it enough, whereas leaves that turn yellow or brown are screaming for you to stop watering them so darn much.

Lucky Bamboo

If you, like me, are looking for the one plant that is almost impossible to kill, Lucky Bamboo (or dracaenas) is it. There isn’t even any soil required (at least until substantial roots have grown, then you would put it in soil), and it can tolerate low light. The stems can be “directed” to bend in cool shapes and arrangements, too.

Quick tip: It grows best in bright light and with tap water that doesn’t contain many minerals. If you notice it’s developing brown tips, try switching to distilled water. You’ll need to change out the water every so often (about two months) so it’s not gross. Make sure the water completely covers the roots.