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House Plants for Notorious Plant Killers

Plants are not only beautiful, but can also help with stress reduction, decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost your immune system, and help with productivity. Ever since I could remember my family has grown plants throughout our house, but now that I live alone I discovered raising plants is more difficult than you think. But, fear not, because here are five low-maintenance houseplants even the most notorious plant killers can raise. 

  1. Bamboo

Bamboo is the perfect plant for all flora fans. Unlike many plants, bamboo can grow hydroponically, meaning just in water, or in soil. Bamboo likes sunlight but doesn’t need to be sitting on a bright windowsill in order to thrive. Similarly, this cane-like plant thrives in 60-70℉, so no need to buy a heat lamp!

  1. Christmas Cactus

Another popular house plant is a Christmas cactus, which unlike its desert cacti cousins, blooms in the winter months instead of during warmer, drier seasons. Christmas cacti love lots of humidity and sunlight, so most people keep them in their bathrooms. These plants don’t require much water: they only need to be watered about every two to three weeks. If you love a bright, flowered plant but have a tendency to raise browning greenery, the Christmas cactus is your friend. 

  1. Devil’s Ivy

My personal favorite, pothos, or devil’s ivy, also thrives both in water and soil. This extremely low-maintenance plant is also a great way to practice propagation: taking plant cuttings to grow new, separate plants. I highly recommend devil’s ivy to anyone who loves a pop of greenery but is afraid of improperly taking care of plants. 

  1. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, also known as a snake plant, is another low-maintenance and awesome-looking house plant. This fast growing flora grows best in room temperature, indirect sunlight, and only needs to be watered about once a month. According to the plant website, dengarden, mother-in-law’s tongue “thrives on neglect,” so there’s no excuse not to get one. 

  1. Happy Bean

The pincushion peperomia, or happy bean, is a fast growing plant that looks like green beans. Perfect for cool Colorado weather, happy beans thrive in about 50℉, like lots of sun, and only need about ½ cup of water a week. My pincushion at home sits in the windowsill and even during the most intense winter months, continues to grow at an incredible rate. 

Houseplant Tips and Tricks

  • If the soil is moist, don’t water it. Overwatering is almost as dangerous as underwatering.
  • Hydroponic plants are not only easy to take care of (they literally soak in water 24/7), but the exposed roots are super cool-looking. 
  • Most houseplants require little to no fertilizer, so only use it if absolutely necessary. 
  • Sometimes when branches and vines grow super tall they become heavy and the added weight can cause leaves to tear or stems to break. Fix this by leaning a stem on a wooden chopstick, zip tying a leaf in place, or look into propagation.
  • Make sure to remove any dead leaves or fallen petals to keep the soil clean with plenty of room to grow. 
  • Google is your friend! If you’re not sure how often to water your plant, what temperature to keep it in, or how much sunlight it needs, there are plenty of articles online to help kick start your gardening hobby.  

Sometimes the aesthetic of growing plants is inaccessible because taking care of another living thing is easier said than done. However, with a little bit of research, anyone can become a houseplant expert. If you haven’t already, go to your nearest greenhouse and pick out a plant like the ones on this list which will brighten your space with only a little water and some sunlight.

Lanaya Oliver

CU Boulder '24

Lanaya is originally from Colorado but has lived all over the world. She loves to play sports, paint, write, and bake. She is double majoring in Psychology and Spanish and dreams of becoming a sports psychologist!
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