EVEN THE toughest plant is not indestructible – give a potted friend too much sun, or too much H2O and the roots won’t be able to handle the absorption and will start to rot, but with a few expert tips you can beat the odds.
Your best bet: Setting plants in gravel-filled saucers so they’re not sitting in extra drainage water and built-up salt.
Peace lilies can grow between 1 and 6 feet tall, so check the variety’s estimated height before you buy. Bonus: These powerful plants can also filter toxins from the air, according to NASA.
What’s better than one spider plant? Lots of spider plants. The fast-growing shoots actually produce little ‘babies’ you can repot for added greenery elsewhere. Just stick to well-lit spots and don’t forget weekly watering.
Those spiraling leaves certainly look cool and they’ll really thrive on your desk or bedside table. Aloe loves indirect light, plus a good soak every week or two.
Native to South Africa, jade plants are succulents that retain water in their round, green leaves. Desert and succulent plants ‘go dormant’ if they don’t get enough water. If they do get water, they start to rehydrate and grow. Be mindful of the shallow roots, which can rot easily or fall out of the pot.
Save some room on your windowsill and tuck this low-light variety in an unloved corner. Just be warned: Dracaena marginata is toxic to both dogs and cats, so keep pets far away.
Rubber trees can measure over 100 feet tall in their native Asia, but regular pruning can keep the ornamental variety in check. If the broad leaves get a little dusty, bring out the mayo for a florist-approved polishing trick.
Like the pineapple, the bromeliad belongs to the bromeliaceae family. This plants lasts a long time and produces pups or side shoots that will replace the original plant – just like a pineapple. Its favourite temperature is around 70 degrees, which makes it home friendly – just make sure to keep the plant away from cold drafts.
‘Peacock plants’ are grown for their foliage alone and it’s easy to see why. The purple, green pink and red leaves put on quite the show. For the best display, keep the plant moist (not drenched) and avoid bright light.
The sturdy cast-iron plant lives up to its name, surviving low light, poor-quality soil, spotty watering and a wide range of temperatures. Aspidistra elatior is the scientific name; elatior is Latin for ‘taller,’ which is apropos thanks to foliage that grows up to two feet high. The dark-leaved stunner likes to be left alone, so don’t be too attentive.