Bringing nature into our homes has so many benefits. Not only does it bring joy but it is also believed that they improve the air quality, actually have a positive effect on our mental health and increase creativity. Perhaps encompassing role of nurturer for these plants is part of what has such a grounding and uplifting effect on us. However, for those who are already spinning a considerable number of plates, in other words – most of us, low maintenance houseplants are an absolute must.
Now, I’ve been recommended apparently low-maintenance houseplants before, by gardeners and gardening enthusiasts. Clearly, the naturally green-fingered were not the most reliable to go to as their idea of low-maintenance differs from my own. Therefore, we asked a range of unintentional but prevalent plant-murderers which low-maintenance houseplants had survived their homes.
Here are our top 5 best low-maintenance houseplants for busy people:
Pilea Peperomioides, AKA Chinese Money Plant
The Pilea Peperomioides, more commonly known as the Chinese Money plant, will have you going from clueless to green-fingered extraordinaire. Not only because they are so easy to keep alive but because they breed like crazy. It’s not unusual for the Pilea Peperomioides to have three babies growing around it every spring. Some choose to leave the babies in the pot to fill out the parent plant. However, they can be easily removed and repotted where they tend to grow so quickly it’s difficult to tell parent from child.
Aside from how easy these plants are to care for, they are also stunning with rich thick almost heart-shaped leaves and proud outreaching stems. The Chinese Money Plant is distinctive due to its leaves and yet they are remarkably unique from one another as they grow in so many different shapes and sizes. From short and wide to tall and slim, the silhouette of each plant can be encouraged into a desired shape though it’s wise to watch and see how each plant flourishes first. After all, nature often knows best.
Ceropegia Woodii, AKA String Of Hearts
I once forgot I had a String Of Hearts plant for nearly 6 months and, 3 years later, it’s still alive. Ok, perhaps it would be healthier if I had given it a little more TLC but, it has proved impossible to kill.
Aside from their endurability, they’re also incredibly pretty, with delicate heart-shaped paper-thin leaves cascading down on string stems. Allow them to hang down from bookshelves, draping when they get too long. Or wrap them around a shaped structure as pictured below.
In summertime this plant will require watering on average once per week but do not allow them to sit for too long in water as they are predisposed to root rot. In winter months they become dormant and require water only once every three weeks. They also love bright light but will scorch in direct sunlight.
Aloe Vera may well be one of the best low-maintenance houseplants since it wants for almost nothing. It requires watering only once every two-to-three weeks and will grow in a fairly compact pot as its roots have little desire to spread too far.
The one thing we do recommend is investing in a sturdy, reasonably heavy pot, as the Aloe Vera is top heavy and inclined to topple. They are also not fans of direct sunlight or being too close to a well-lit window.
Most people will be familiar with Aloe Vera since it is commonly used in medicines as well as in skin care products. Inside each leaf is a gel-like substance and you don’t need to be a botanist to harness its natural healing powers. Simply slice the leaves lengthways to expose the gel and apply directly to dry, sunburnt or otherwise burnt skin. Find out more about these healing low-maintenance houseplants and how to use them in this video.
The Spider Plant is another one that, well maintained, will give you additional plants.
Preferring indirect sunlight and able to survive in low lights, these are unlikely to thrive on window sills. However, they do well in bathrooms with frosted glass windows. They’re also another one that looks great in a plant hanger as the leaves will burst through the ropes and drape down beautifully. It’s also a good way to keep them exposed to the sun but not in the path of the most direct rays. Beware though, these plants grow fast and get heavy quickly, so hang well.
Spider Plant babies grow along a stem and are usually very easy to spot. Cutting and repotting these sprouts is very simple. Some growers advise allowing the roots to develop by placing the plants in a small glass of water for a week or two, but even this is delightfully easy. Here’s a helpful video tutorial for looking after and propagating your spider plants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIAP297R-NA
Aspidistra Elatior, AKA The Cast Iron Plant
If you’re looking for a statement plant that will grow taller and be at home in a pot on the floor, then you may want to consider Aspidistra Elatior.
This elegant flushed green forest plant exudes health with very little care actually required. Low light, low humidity and lax care are not typically an issue for this foliage plant. For this reason, they are suited to a range of environments and are popular in bars and offices as well as homes.
What we love about the Cast Iron Plant, aside from the fact that it lives up to its hardened nature, is how it injects a lush green flush of colour into any room. It’s a wonderful example of how plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also appear to lift the moods of those in their presence.
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