Bring out your inner green thumb with these fool-proof plants for any room.
Posted by Joelene
Mon 22 March 2021
Think those apartment jungles and indoor gardens you see all over Instagram are only a reality for plant pros?
They’re more attainable than you think.
Turns out all you need is the right hardy plants to get you to professional gardener status.
To save you from wandering the aisles of Home Depot and paying good money for plants you’ll take home and murder, we rounded up the best leaves to survive in even the darkest of spots.
If your home’s on the dark side.
Not all of us live in huge, sunny places that plants love and thrive in.
A lot of apartments have limited windows, and even more limited spots for your plant friends. But these picks thrive in even the shadiest spots.
> What’s so good about them? Devil’s Ivy is justly named as it truly can survive and grow anywhere, no matter what. They thrive in partial or even low light so you can trust them to do well in any spot in your house.
> How to keep them alive. If you can boil an egg, you can keep Devils Ivy alive. They’ll do fine with any potting mix and don’t need direct sunlight. Just water them once a week and you’ll have your own jungle vine in no time.
ZZ (Zanzibar) Plant
> What’s so good about them? ZZ plants aren’t just ridiculously green and fancy-looking. They also go with the flow no matter where you put them in your home. They love even the shadiest spots, so if your place is lacking light you can still trust them to brighten it up.
> How to keep them alive. ZZ’s are tough as nails, so you only need to water them every 1-2 weeks. They’ll grow a little slower without lots of light but that won’t mean they’ll be any less impressive.
> What’s so good about them? Peace lilies are infamous for being one of the hardiest plants out. So tough that they can survive even the most neglectful of plant parents or dark rooms.
> How to keep them alive. Peace lilies let you know when they’re unhappy by drooping a little, but once you water them they’ll pop right back up. They’ll bloom less in the shade, but it’s worth forgoing flowers for a plant you know is in for the long run.
If your home’s on the sunny side up.
So you’re one of the lucky jerks who have the sun-drenched rooms and catch the afternoon light.
All bragging aside, not all plants love the harsh rays of the sun. But these picks can get a prime spot in the sunroom without getting burnt.
> What’s so good about them? These guys LOVE sunlight and don’t just love it — they need it to survive. Plus they’re drought-tolerant to suit the more forgetful of plant owners out there.
> How to keep them alive. Like we mentioned above, Aloe can withstand a bit of neglect. In fact, as long as you pop them on a windowsill and water them every 2-3 weeks, they’ll be happy.
> What’s so good about them? We’re talking sun-drenched spots so of course cacti made the list. If cacti can thrive in the desert, you can trust them to thrive in your living room. And they’re space-friendly too. Whether you have room for a 6ft beast, or a small terracotta pot on your coffee table, you’re bound to find a cactus to suit.
> How to keep them alive. It’s not a surprise that cacti can survive a long time without water, but if you’re a good schedule-keeper, try watering them weekly in the hotter months, and cut it down to every few weeks in Winter.
String of Pearls
> What’s so good about them? These delicate plants look particularly great hanging from a wall or ceiling, with their tendency to grow out of their pots and hang down like, well, a string of pearls. And as a succulent, they love a sunny spot to hang around in.
> How do I keep them alive? Succulents love drier environments, so they can hold up with infrequent watering. Put them in sandy soil, give them water now and again and let them do their thing.
If you’re wanting to liven up a humid bathroom.
Bathrooms aren’t your typical plant-filled zones, but man do they look 100x times better filled with a few leafy greens.
But sans a lot of windows, airflow, and adding in hot showers, your teeth brushing buddies need to be able to withstand the heat.
> What’s so great about them? Of course Monsteras had to make the list. Not only can they survive in any kind of light and love humidity, but with those big swiss cheese leaves that grow at every angle, they’ll make your bathroom the new favorite room in the house.
> How to keep them alive. They’ll grow slower in a low-light spot like a bathroom, but you’ll still only need to water them weekly. Woop!
> What’s so great about them? Bathroom low on windows, or have none at all? Then Bamboo is your answer. Given they naturally grow in water and low humidity, the bathroom is the best place for them to be.
> How to keep them alive. Bamboo starts in water, so naturally keeping them well-watered will keep them happy. Other than that you can sit back and pretend you’re in a day spa.
> What’s so great about them? Majesty Palms stand tall, and by tall we mean they can grow up to 10 feet indoors if they’re happy enough. And one thing that makes them happy is humidity, making them perfect for bathrooms that deal with a lot of hot showers and dryer steam.
> How to keep them alive. The answer here is in the leaves. If your Majesty Palm has brown tips; it’s too dry. Yellow tips? Too moist. Green? Juuuuust right.
If you’re an allergy-prone plant lover.
We get it. You want to own all the plants and flowers in the world, but you’re also trying to avoid itchy hands, eyes, ears — the list goes on.
You don’t have to cross an indoor greenhouse off your list of renovations just because of annoying allergies. You just need to pick the sniffle-free ones.
Mother In Law’s Tongue
> What’s so great about them? Apart from their unique and chuckle-inducing name, they are sturdy, can survive in indirect sunlight and low-light and work to purify your home. Yup, not only will they absorb allergens, but they’ll release moisture into the air, acting as your own personal humidifier.
> How to keep them alive. MIL’s Tongue is possibly the easiest of all plants to keep around. They only need watering every 2-6 weeks, so you can sit back and let them do their thing
> What’s so great about them? Apart from looking awesome with their striped leaves design, Chinese Evergreens act as an air purifier. They suck out all the dust and nasties in your home and stop any allergen-causing eye itches forevermore.
> How to keep them alive. These guys love low light so pop them in any room you get the sniffles in and water them whenever their soil gets dry and you’re set.
> What’s so great about them? Palms are great in general for their air-purifying, but this tropical-looking plant takes the cake. They effectively clear out chloroform, carbon monoxide, xylene, formaldehyde and have powerful insect-repellent properties. That’s some damn clean air.
> How to keep them alive. Palms like indirect light and frequent watering, just be careful not to overwater or leave water in their bowl or you can risk root rot.
If you have mischievous pets who love to chew on a leaf.
Our pets might be angels in our eyes, but boy do they have a destructive streak in them.
Whether it’s your cat who wants to take a swipe at every plant/cord/ankle it sees or your dog who’s happy to just rip up everything. Hell, maybe it’s your turtle who sees your new plant as lunch.
Either way, making sure your plants are both swipe and chew-friendly is pretty important.
> What’s so good about it? For one it’s a super cool, shaggy-looking plant, so you can’t blame even the most well-behaved pup for having a chew. Luckily they are completely non-toxic and quick growing, so both your fern and your pups will stay happy.
> How to keep them alive. Boston Ferns look and act their best in indirect sunlight, so if they’re near a window they’ll be happy. They only need occasional watering when their soil is dry too. Double-win.
> What’s so good about it? These guys get their name from their long, hair-like leaves that drop down, tempting any cat to give them a swat. Being non-toxic they are swat and chew-friendly, so can become your cat’s new favorite toy.
> How to keep them alive. Ponytails like a bright, sunny spot near a window and don’t like being watered. So basically, treat them like the independent cool cat who will be hanging around.
> What’s so good about them? Thick, luscious, and with a tendency to grow out of its pot and hang down the sides, Baby’s Tears can attract any cat — but won’t cause a single tear to be shed from a nasty taste. They’re completely non-toxic and can be planted around the perimeter of your more loved houseplants to keep hungry pets at bay.
> How to keep them alive. They like to always have moist soil so water them weekly to keep them happy, then sit back to admire how cute (and apparently tasty) they look.
Note: Not all plants are chew-friendly. Some are pretty toxic to pets so keep that in mind when you’re stocking up your indoor jungle. Here are some main ones we mentioned that are no-gos for your furry friends:
> Aloe Vera
> Devil’s Ivy
> Chinese Evergreen
> Mother In Law’s Tongue
> Peace Lily
And if you’re not too sure, here’s the complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets.
Now get out there and get your green thumb on.