House Plants: How Hard are They to Kill?

Spring is upon us, the time for rebirth, regrowth and new plants.

Having house plants can give your life purpose. You’ll become invested in their growth, their success and you’ll be responsible for whether they live or die.

Unfortunately, that can be a lot of pressure. Especially when you invest yourself in a plant that’s hard to keep alive. That’s why I’ve made this helpful list: it’s a general breakdown of common houseplants that you can keep in a student house or dorm, ranked by how easy or hard they are to keep alive.

Annuals: very hard

Annuals are plants that you put in a garden or outdoor display, and only last a season (hence the name). They’re very hard to keep alive because they literally only live for one summer. Keeping one inside can give it the chance to live a little longer, but there’s no guarantee that it will thrive. It’s best to stay away from these unless you’re aware of their short lifespan.

Aloe Vera: hard

Aloe is a super popular and beautiful plant, but it has very specific needs in order to thrive. First, the plant grows incredibly fast, so unlike a lot of houseplants it needs to be replanted regularly in order for it to continue to grow. It has very specific water needs: the plant needs to be watered once every two or three weeks, completely soaking the soil and then letting it dry out completely before watering again. But, sometimes they need more. It also has very specific sunlight requirements. Unlike a number of household plants, aloe requires at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. But some aloe prefers to be in the shade.

Do you see what I’m saying? Aloe is very temperamental and it takes trial and error to make sure it is being properly cared for. If you consider getting this plant, make sure you have a spot where it can have full sunlight, but watch the plant and figure out its specific needs in order to find a routine that helps it thrive.

Window Sun Curtains Plants Apartment

Tropical plants: medium

These include any vibrant, leafy plants that are not native to Canada. They can’t survive for too long outside because of the supreme colds of winter. If kept inside, they do well in moderate temperatures.

Tropical plants have a variety of needs and restrictions: they can require full, partial, or low light and can need water anywhere from multiple times a week, to once every few weeks. They tend to show the same symptoms when they’re over or under watered, which can make it hard to understand what they need.

Tropical plants are hard to keep alive just because there are no set rules. You will need to research the specific plant you’re buying to understand it’s specific needs, and then take into account things like: the level of humidity in your room, the size of the pot and the amount of sunlight in order to figure out how much water your plant needs.

Tropical plants can thrive in a student house, but they take some work.

Succulents: easy

Succulents are desert plants, which means that if you neglect them, they’ll be happy. Succulents like sun, and they actually enjoy abuse (kinky little plants), so your best bet for caring for them is to actually wait until they’re showing signs of dehydration before watering them. A good rule is to water them every two weeks, but I tend to wait until the bottom leaves are getting soft and wrinkly, like they are deflating. The biggest risk is that you might over water them, but if you follow my little tip, you should be okay. When in doubt, just leave it alone.

*Keep in mind that you want to avoid touching succulents as much as possible. That powdery look that they have is actually a form of protection against the sun, and touching the leaves and rubbing that off can be damaging to them.

Snake plant: literally unkillable

If you kill a snake plant, you are no longer allowed to care for any living thing ever. I mean it.

These assholes thrive in high, medium, or low sun. They can be watered anywhere from every two weeks to every six weeks. They are literally the lowest maintenance plants ever. The only thing to be careful of is if you get a cute little one, it might grow fast and need to be repotted pretty quickly.

They are for real the easiest things ever to keep alive.