More often than not I hear people confess that they don’t have plants in their home because they always manage to kill their plants. And I always find myself wondering what kind of a plant it was… Because killing plants is easy (believe me!), and the best way to get started is to stick with plants that are simple to care for.
Think of it this way. If you were learning to bake, would you start off by making a complicated soufflé? Of course not. You’d probably begin with a nice and simple cookie recipe! Same goes for plants… So here it is:
My fool-proof list of the 5 easiest plants to keep alive:
PLANT 1: POTHOS
Other Common Name: Devil’s Ivy
Botanical Name: Epipremnum aureum
The Look: Pothos have long growing leafy vines and come in a variety of green-shades which can often be variegated and adds to their beauty. A mature, healthy plant will be both full and leggy. If you’re not into the vine-look, or lack the space, they can easily be controlled by pruning them when they get too long. From there, it’s pretty easy to propagated the cuttings and make more plants. Hence, why I have so many!
Care: Definitely one of the easiest plants to care for! They are very resilient and can easily survive a little bit of neglect. Pothos actually prefer to have their soil dry out between watering, so make sure to feel the soil beforehand as overwatering can lead to root-rot. The leaves will go limp when they are thirsty, letting you know it’s time for that H2O. Pothos prefer bright indirect light (this means they like to be in a bright room, but don’t need direct sun exposure), and can tolerate low light as well.
PLANT 2: SNAKE PLANT
Other Common Name: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
The Look: I often notice snake plants in office buildings and doctor’s offices. I assume this is because of their unique appearance and ease of care. They have long, upright leaves that offer an interesting shape, which usually have attractive patterns on them. The leaves can typically grow up to 4 feet tall (but can sometimes grow even higher in the right conditions!).
Care: These plants are so forgiving, which makes them super easy to keep alive. They can withstand low-light and neglect. They prefer dry conditions, so it’s best to let the soil get dry in between watering – perfect for those of you who forget to water your plants! During the winter months, limit watering to every few weeks. The only real way to kill this plant is to over-water it. I call this, killing a plant with love (and do it more often than I’d like to admit). Remember, sometimes less is more.
PLANT 3: DRACENA
Other Common Name: Janet Craig (pictured above), Warneckii
Botanical Name: Dracena fragrans & Dracena deremensis
The Look: There are two common varieties (listed above) and both have a fun, spiky look. Janet Craig, pictured above, almost looks like the top of a pineapple. Sadly, there is no fruit under the soil. Eventually it will grow tall.
Care: This plant is SO easy to care for. It is maybe my most resilient of the bunch. I have never once had a problem with it. This is a great plant for lower light conditions, though low light will cause the leaves to grow thin. They prefer their surroundings a little bit more humid, so misting every once in a while will help them flourish. Dracena also prefer a moist soil, but will definitely survive if occasionally neglected.
Note to self: Purchase another Dracena ASAP!
PLANT 4: SPIDER PLANT
Other Common Name: Airplane Plants
Botanical Name: Chlorophytum Comosum
The Look: I kinda always thought these plants looked like unruly heads of hair. They are lush when mature and can often put out shoots of baby spider plants (see picture above). These can be propagated to create new plants if you want! They grow fairly quickly if given the optimal conditions.
Care: These plants are hard to kill! While they prefer a bright indirect light, they can survive in partial shade. They like their soil moist and enjoy an occasional misting, but less so in the winter. If they go without water for too long, their tips will turn brown.
PLANT 5: PEPEROMIA
Botanical Name: Peperomia obtusifolia &Peperomia argyreia (are the two pictured above)
The Look: There are over a 1,000 varieties of Peperomia, and they all look a little bit different. They are all relatively compact, which makes them create for smaller spaces. Their leaves are attractive and feel similar to a succulents, but they are in fact the opposite as they love humid conditions.
Care: Peperomia plants enjoy light to moderate-light conditions, so they are more flexible than other tropical plants. They require humidity, so do well with moist soil and some weekly misting with a spray bottle. If you happen to over-water them they will show signs by wilting, so keep an eye out. Overall they are happy and easy to care for, and it’s a wonder why I only have two?!
BONUS PLANT: ENGLISH IVY
Botanical Name: Hedera helix
The Look: English Ivy is a very attractive trailing plant. They have a delicate appearance with fairly long growing vines that can climb if permitted. They also look great in a hanging basket.
Care: This plant loves evenly moist soil, so it’s important not to let it dry out while it’s still young (more mature plants can tolerate dryer soil). English Ivy does not require a ton of direct sunlight, and depending on how much sun they receive, they might only need to be watered every other week. Because they thrive in more humid conditions, it’s not a bad idea to spray them with water every now and again.
There are mixed reviews on the world wide web as to whether or not Ivy is easy to care for, hence why I’ve made it a *bonus plant*. I’ve had great success and do not consider these plants difficult or high maintenance and would recommend them to anyone looking for a low maintenance house plants!