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5 Truly Death-Resistant Houseplants

January 28, 2013

Hello, my name is Jillian, and I am a houseplant killer.

All spring and summer long, I maintain a backyard filled with all sorts of flora.  From our gigantic peonies to the yearly tomato plants which still produce decent fruit in October, we know how to make and keep an outdoor garden.  Unfortunately, that does not translate to houseplants at all.  I have managed to kill all the plants that are “impossible to kill” and am now left with one, lone potted plant, which I’ve had for a couple years now, and which has suffered through all sorts of torture, including extreme drought, over-watering, and total root bound-ness (I have never changed its pot).  If you are a plant-murderer like me, here is a list of the specimens that I’ve found to be the most long-suffering, including my lone survivor, last in the list.

Succulents have been enjoying a lot of attention lately because they are so beautiful, and can survive a lot of neglect.  Stick it in a terrarium and you are one step closer to being featured in a hipster design magazine.  These are fleshy and textural plants and come in all sorts of hues, from bright yellow greens to deep purples.  Cacti and aloe vera both belong to this group.

Pictured: Hanging Terrarium with Succulents, $23.00

These hanging air plants give me the heebie jeebies.  I can’t decide if it’s the good kind or not, but maybe you have a stronger constitution than I do when it comes to floating jellyfish in your house.  They like to be misted, but I’ve figured out a work-around for that: hang it right over the kitchen sink.  I think the steam from the sink counts as mist, and if not, you can just flick some water at it while you’re doing the dishes (…and this is why my plants are all dead now).

Pictured: Tillandsia Air Plant Hanging Sea Urchin, $7.50

My mother (whose houseplant death-toll may be even higher than mine) kept a Croton Petra going for a few years.  Although they don’t flower, the foliage on these guys is quite striking.  There are lots of different varieties, but this one seems to be the easiest to come by.

Pictured: Croton Petra from Home Depot, $15

Orchids. Okay, hear me out on this one.  David got me one of these “Just Add Ice” orchids from Kroger a few weeks ago and it’s still flourishing, and even adding more blooms! The only rules are to keep it in indirect sunlight and to put 3 ice cubes on it once a week.  The lifesaver for me is that they send me a weekly text message telling me when to water it, so I never forget and I never over-water.  Genius.  And this is not the kind of plant you can ignore, anyway.

Pictured: Just Add Ice Orchid, $14 at Kroger

If the Apocalypse happened tomorrow, all that would be left on this earth would be cockroaches and Sansevieria.  This is the only plant that has thrived under my complete and total neglect.  Dust? Darkness? Drought? Deluge? Bring it on.  This guy sits on my kitchen windowsill and every so often (once a week? once a month? once a fiscal quarter? who really knows), someone sticks it under the faucet and drenches it, and then returns it to the sill.  And there is nary a brown spot, nor a drooping leaf.  With a nickname like “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”, though, you know it will be tough.

Pictured, Sansevieria from Home Depot, $17

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    January 28, 2013 8:20 am

    Plants are just around to make you have another thing to beat yourself up about. If they could come up with a game like getting a dollar for each day the plant lives, i’m in I have a cactus in the other room that I refuse to believe is dead. There is no soill left in the pot, I don’t ever water it and still it looks like a cactus.

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