Houseplant: Any plant that experts have deemed to be absolutely bulletproof and able to tolerate the ultimate neglect—hot, dry air; lower-than-low humidity; imperfect light conditions; too much water; too little water; and anything else humans can muster to cause plant death.
Here are my three favorite easy-care houseplants:
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): It’s lovely. It vines beautifully, but can be kept bushy (see photo, above). It can be easily propagated simply by plopping a cutting in water (see exhibit A, below, for an example). After a few weeks, you plunk it in soil and, voila, a new houseplant.
But pothos is so … boring!
So, once you’ve mastered pothos (consider it done!), get yourself a …
Dracaena (above): These gorgeous, single-stem plants come in a wide variety of colors and styles and many are marketed as part of the Plant of Steel line at garden centers and even grocery store floral departments. That means they’re easy to grow (hard to kill).
You can’t miss with ‘Limelight’ dracaena, but my absolute favorite is ‘Lemon Lime’, a variegated beauty featuring emerald and chartreuse green leaves striped with white (above). I’ve had one for more than a year in my office and it’s only grown taller and happier. I have one at home, too, and it’s thriving, despite neglect and low light.
ZZ plant: Finally, if you’re looking to make more of a statement in terms of decor and personal style, the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is the best houseplant of all. It’s big, beautiful, glossy and tough, needing (according to the plant tag) 1 cup of water a week.
You can find ZZs planted in masses inside shopping malls (along with pothos and dracaena), but this plant, also known as Zanzibar gem, is far more impactful in the home.
Mine (still in the pot I purchased it in, nested in another pot that serves as a drip tray) sits near a north-facing window 5 feet from a forced-air heat vent. It puts up new shoots regularly—and that, among houseplants, is a very good sign! (Warning: If you have a pet or child in your home that might chew plants, don’t get a ZZ. Its parts are poisonous.)
I love its wild whorls of leaves when viewed from above!
What’s your favorite houseplant?