Thursday, 21st September 2023

House plants for lazy gardeners

By Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer
12 November 2016   |   3:39 am
Houseplants are a great way to bring a touch of greenery to home. Do you want to green your space but always forget to water and take care of your plants and end up browning your space instead.

Houseplants are a great way to bring a touch of greenery to home. Do you want to green your space but always forget to water and take care of your plants and end up browning your space instead.

We hear it all: too much water, not enough water, too much water, not enough light. One gets it; it not easy to understand the needs of plants. There some indoor plants that will survive neglect, darkness and a lack of water. In short they will survive your laziness and forgetfulness. They are forgiving and let you forget. So if you are one of those who say, ‘I can’t grow those plants; always kill them. I’ll let you in on a little secret that all pros know, and then you can look like you have a green thumb by simply choosing plants that you cannot kill, no matter how hard you try! While most plants require at least a weekly watering, never fear, there are some plants, which can tolerate drought very well.

Fortunately there are plenty of beautiful house plants that bring fresh bright colors into any home and are ready to live with a forgetful, lazy gardener like these examples given (and easy indoor gardening tips that will turn anyone’s brown thumb green!) so if you forgot to water your plants again, those beauties won’t hold a grudge. Take a look at these you-can’t- kills plants and take a deep breathe and go for it. They highly recommended. They lift your mood even on the gloomiest day, and they don’t ask for much in return. Houseplants don’t get easier than this. These options are lovely and will fare well even if watering is always the forgotten to-do item on your list.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a good choice because it does not require much water, but has numerous medicinal uses. You can use the gel inside the prickly leaves for treating burnt skin and rashes, as a mouthwash, as a natural make-up remover, or as a diabetes/ghting supplement. You should water your aloe plant about once a week. But, if you forget, don’t fret. Aloe Vera stores water in its leaves, so it can go for extended periods without watering. In fact the leading cause of death for aloe houseplants is over watering! If the leaves are thin and curdled, it means that you are probably not watering enough.

Jade; Money Tree (Crassula argenta) is one of the most popular houseplants, particularly because it is so tough and can withstand a bit of neglect. You will need a sunny spot, this beautiful plant loves sunlight dry air, dry soil to survive, but there is no need to fret if you forget watering. Water about once or twice a month, making sure it never dries out completely. You will know your jade plant needs more watering if you see shedding leaves, brown spots on leaves, or the leaves start to wrinkle. The jade green leaves often develop a red tinge around the edge when exposed to bright light. Some varieties produce small, pale flowers.

Ferns You will love this family of plants, with their lush green tropical growth. If you wind up almost killing your fern, simply cut it back; and you will see renewed growth fairly soon. Remember these plants in nature are rainforest plants, try to duplicate those conditions by giving regular watering once a week.

They thrive in bright but indirect light and weekly misting with a mister to imitate the humid conditions they love. Look for popular species like the Classic Boston Fern(Nephrolepsis Cordifolia), Foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’) Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorns)

Pothos or Devils Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
This leafy vine is most popular, since its quite hardy and pretty, people like it a lot. It grows in bright indirect light, and won’t be bothered if you let the soil dry out. There is a reason people have grown this plant for so many years (some plant have survived for decades): you can forget you even have it, and somehow it still keeps on growing. This leafy plant vine can grow up to 40 feet long out in the wild or open, but in your living room, you can expect it to grow several feet with trailing stem, that can grow really long. Keep it full and bushy by periodically trimming the longer leggy vines, and deep watering it twice a month. It’s a unique plant in that you can grow it in water or soil, but it cannot be interchangeable – so don’t try to switch it for better growth.

If you forget to water, this plant will wilt. If this happens, thoroughly soak it and remove any dry or dead leaves, and it should revive fairly quickly.
Pothos is often used to clean indoor air by removing pollutants, but can be toxic for pets if ingested.

These pretty delicate flowering plants need air in the soil to survive. They need to dry out before another watering. Over watering prevents air pockets to develop in the soil. So only water this plant once a month or when the top inch of the soil is dry. Begonias do well growing in shade, so use it to brighten up the dim corners of your home. A begonia is other plus, apart from the blooms is that they come in many different foliage color and patterns.

They are popular ‘can’t- kill- houseplants’ that are native to arid regions and need very little water. They are robust plants with bright beautiful long lasting flowers, which require very little maintenance – In fact over watering is number one killer. They grow best in partial sun and produce profusions of pretty flowers. They grow well when repotted and they continue to bloom over and over with little to no water.

Cacti (Cactaceae spp.)
Cacti houseplants don’t need watering often. Cacti hardly need watering, and they come in such a variety of sizes, shapes and texture. This large family of plants is so drought tolerant that watering once a month is usually sufficient. All cacti are succulents with spines some have spine cushion. There are so many forms to choose from- taller form like Mexican fence root (Pachycereus Marginatus), rounded shapes like golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) or diminutive spinystar (Corypantha vivipara). Most prefer indirect light or light by a bright window. They look best when you can create a deserts cape on a sunny window or an indoor spot that get bright light. Allow the soil to dry out in between watering’s and use a weak fertilizer once a month to encourage steady growth.

To plant prickly plants like cacti, fold newspaper into a long strap and gently wrap it around the cactus. This will protect your hands from being pierced as you move it into its pot.

Succulents are quiet popular this days for their diverse beauty and also for their drought-resistant qualities, and they are a must –have for just about anyone. They are low-maintenance plants requires little watering, as they don’t like continually moist soil. Keep your succulents in bright, indirect light, and water whenever the soil looks completely dry.

These cute succulents-in-pots houseplant store water in their fleshy leaves, so don’t need much care. Their small sizes means they are perfect if you are short of space. Brighten your tabletop and windowsill with a selection of succulents in different colors and patterns.

Palm Trees are dramatic vertical elements with tropical air. Not all palms do well indoors so you should know which ones. The best indoor palms are Kentia palms (Howea Forsteriana), Sentry palm (Howea belmoreana), Lady palm (Rhapis excels) and parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans). Most indoor palms will enjoy steady supply of water, light fertilizer once a month and bright but indirect light.

Trim off old, brown leaves once or twice a year, or as you see them appearing. The old foliage of many palms need to be periodically removed and doesn’t mean the plant is struggling.

ZZ plants (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)
ZZ houseplant Zamoculas Zamifolia indoor variety is a very popular houseplant. ZZ plant practically thrives on neglect. It can handle bright to low light, it waxy leaves means it retain water and can go extended periods of time without watering. It is a recent addition to the lazy gardener’s book of tricks, and blend in well with traditional and contemporary styles. This easy-to-please indoor plant is extremely hardy and will survive even if you keep it in a dark spot and regularly forget to water it.

Lucky bamboo can grow in just a vase filled with water or in a pot of soil. To grow in water, put pebbles in on the bottom of the vase for support and change the water every few weeks. Lucky bamboo requires very little light, making it a perfect indoor houseplant or office plant. Plus, it helps up your Feng shui.

Ivy – Variegated
Not many people think of ivy as houseplant, but it’s great for trailing from high shelves and ledges. It is not as drought tolerant as some of the others, but its stunning evergreen foliage makes up for this. The most important thing is to give Ivy plants is bright light, variegated cultivars will cope better with shade, but they too prefer higher light levels.