“You’re a cactus, I thought you couldn’t die?!” Sound familiar…?
To all the urban dwellers out there who wants cute plants, but are struggling to figure out why they suspiciously die on you each time, this is for you 🙂 We can all agree that plants do wonders in freshening the air and adding color to a space, but when they start to wilt and droop, it will look worse than not having any plants in the first place. Don’t take it personally, sometimes it’s the conditions of our home or office that aren’t fitting for particular plants – no matter how easy to care for they claim to be. Plants, like us, have their preferences on living conditions. We’ve put together and broken down 8 household plants that require so little care, you’d forget you even had the little guy.
The air plant is the lowest-maintenance plant, ever. It doesn’t even need soil to stay alive – there is no way this could die (hmm, is it even alive to begin with….) 😛 Each leaf on the air plant is covered in specialized scales known as trichomes that absorb water and nutrients.
Air plants only take up as much water as they need, so you don’t have to swear over potentially overwatering them. The best way to water these plants is to submerge them in a dish of room temperature water for about 20-30 minutes. When you remove them from the water, gently shake them upside down a few times to make sure there isn’t any residual water stuck in the center. That’s pretty much it, you won’t need to think about watering them for another 10-14 days.
The air plant enjoys adequate sunlight away from direct light, which could be too strong.
The rubber plant has a beautiful dark green, sometimes even with a tint of purple hue on the leaves. They can grow to be quite tall, and also don’t need much pruning to maintain its shape.
They love indirect sunlight so having this near a window with soft light will make the rubber plant giddy inside. If you have harsh light coming through the window, you could think about hanging a sheer curtain to soften the light coming in.
During the growing season, the soil should be kept moist. In Winter, the rubber plant may only need to be watered once or twice a month. It’s quite easy to tell how the rubber plant is feeling as its leaves will turn yellowish brown when you’re overwatering it. If you see the lower leaves starting to droop, this means it’s feeling a little thirsty.
Aloe Vera is well known for its magical medicinal capabilities, especially when it comes to wound care. From treating sun burns and most other skin irritation issues, to even being a delicious drink – this is one multi purpose plant.
If you use a lot of household cleaning agents that leave pollutants and chemicals in the air, the aloe vera plant will help in clearing and detoxify the air. They will also show signs of brown spotting on the leaves if there is an over-abundance of harmful chemicals.
Aloe Vera is in the succulent family and so does best in dry and well-lit areas. When watering, make sure the pot has plenty of draining holes as the plant does not tolerate standing in water, you’ll most likely kill it by overwatering. The soil should be completely dry before watering it again.
The jade plant is another succulent and is also known as the ‘money plant’ or the ‘dollar plant’. They were thought to bring good luck to its owners so it is a popular housewarming gift.
They enjoy sunlight and need around four hours of indirect sunlight per day. Kitchens or offices with a south facing window are great spots to place the jade plant as it catches bright sunlight without being too harsh. If you see that brown spots start to appear on the leaves, this can be an indication that it needs a little more water.
Regrowing and repotting this plant is easy. You can take the leaves from mature plants, stick it into the soil with the stem side down and new roots will begin to grow.
Snake plants are very sturdy and tolerant indoor plants. It is also part of the succulent family and can survive with very minimal care. They thrive in sunlight but will also tolerate low light conditions and can be neglected for weeks while still looking fresh – in short, they are the perfect house plant. If the long straight leaves start to droop, this is a sign that it’s getting too much water.
When watering, try to avoid getting the center area of the leaves wet. If they stay too damp the plant could develop root rot. When they get too crowded, the leaves can be cut off and repotted.
Heart Leaf Philodendron
The heart leaf philodendron is also known as the ‘sweetheart plant’. When translated into Greek it literally means ‘love tree’. This is most probably because of the shape of the leaves forms a love heart shape.
The philodendron is an evergreen, meaning it will retain its green leave throughout the year. It prefers indirect sunlight but will survive almost any lighting condition. Even in areas of low light are fine, although the leaves tend to spread out more and the colors of the lead won’t be as vibrant and glossy.
It’s easy to tell when you’re not watering the plant correctly. Yellow leaves are caused by overwatering, and browning of the leaf tips are a symptom of too little water or even dry air.
As they mature, the philodendron takes on the identity of a small child at a playground; they love to climb. So try placing your pot on a shelf or bookshelf and let the stem cascade down.
It should be noted that the philodendron contains calcium oxalate which can cause issues like inflammation and itching if ingested by humans or animals. So keep your pets away if they have a tendency to eat plants…
Cast Iron Plant
Cast iron plants are especially favored by those who don’t have a lot of time to care for plants. These species can survive the most extreme conditions where other ones would give up on life, shrivel and die out. They can thrive in very hot and dry Summers, through to harsh Winters and come out triumphant. Needless to say growing a cast iron plant is extremely easy and rewarding.
They can thrive in those awkward corners of the house or apartment where you want to fill space but don’t know what with. Even though they are not as fancy and glitzy as other plants, they make up for it with robust and dark elongated leaves.
The mature height can reach around two feet and they are a slow growly, living for many years.
The Golden Pothos is also called Devil’s Ivy. Another easy and undemanding houseplant, the pothos plant has crisp, shiny leaves with gold, white and yellow markings.
These plants enjoy a wide range of environments, in the bright indirect light as well as low light.
They can also grow in both soil and water. When thinking of repotting, the cuttings can be taken from a mother plant and rooted and grown in water as a houseplant. Similarly, the pothos can be repotted in the soil and will tolerate moderate periods of dry soil. Keep in mind that the cuttings started in one growing medium will have a hard time switching to another (i.e the cuttings from a pothos started in soil will have a hard time thriving if moved to water, and vice versa) – they have a hard time adjusting.
Like the philodendron, the pothos also contains calcium oxalates and is toxic to animals and humans if ingested.