Home: Top 5 Hard to Kill House Plants
When there seems barely enough time to complete essential daily tasks, any additional duty may seem like a heavy burden. If taking care of houseplants is one of those troublesome responsibilities, then try to find plants that are easy to grow and won’t need much attention. Local florists recommend five durable plants that look pretty without much care.
1. Peace Lily
The Peace Lily is one of the most popular houseplants. It has long, dark green leaves and flowers that have a yellowish spadix, surrounded by a white, yellow or light green spathe. “It’s a beautiful plant, it’s easy care and looks pretty all the time,” said Barbara Bilke, owner of Madeline’s Flower Shop & Nursery in Edmond. “It’s a medium light plant for the indoors,” added Linda Shackelford, co-owner of TLC Florist & Greenhouses. That means it can be placed almost anywhere in the home. The Peace Lily also cleans the air by filtering pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde.
The only drawback is that it needs a little more water than other plants. At the same time, one of the most common problems is that people often overwater it. “I like to see a container that has good drainage. It’s a plant that likes to stay evenly moist,” said Shackelford.
2. Pothos Ivy
“Pothos Ivy is another very durable plant,” said Bilke. “It’s a good choice when people want to have something they don’t have the time to take care of.” The Pothos Ivy also is called Heart Shape, because of the shape of its leaves, marked with sparkles of white, yellow, or lighter green. It tolerates low light and shady areas and it can survive longer periods if the owner forgets to water it. The Pothos Ivy produces trailing stems that climb up trees as well as furniture, and can be arranged in many creative ways throughout the home. “It’s just an excellent house plant,” said Shackelford.
The Pothos Ivy doesn’t have a deep root system and can easily be overwatered. Always check the root before you buy the plant to make sure it’s healthy.
The Dracaena is a taller plant with slender stems and elongated pointed leaves. Hardy and pretty, the Draceana often is used in living rooms, offices or more spacious interiors. It doesn’t need a lot of maintenance and is not sensitive to drought or air from heating or cooling fans. “They do pretty well in all types of situations,” said Bilke.
Dracaenas need good drainage. “Overwater them and you’ll get dark spots on the ends of the leaves,” said Shackelford. The leaves are relatively wide and tend to accumulate dust. Occasionally wipe them with a damp cloth to remove the dust.
The Kalanchoe is a popular flowering plant because of its bright colors and durability. It has little clusters of yellow, red or hot-pink star-like flowers strutting above the thick green leaves. Owners can preserve the flowers longer if the plant is placed in a cooler location and is closer to natural light, advises Shackelford.
“They’ll bloom a long, long time,” added Bilke. Even after they go dormant, they can re-bloom in a few months with a little boost of plant food. “But even if the flowers are gone, it’s still a very pretty green plant,” she said.
5. Airplane Plant
The Airplane Plant, also called the Spider Plant, is usually planted in a hanging basket or a tall stand. It has slender, dark green leaves with creamy white stripes. “It’s called Airplane Plant because it shoots out and produces a new plant on the tip of the runner,” explained Shackelford.
It is another great air filtering plant. It tolerates the average home temperature well and propagates easily. “If I had schoolchildren, that’s the plant that I would grow because it’s fun. It’s interesting with the shoots coming off the ends,” she said.
To find out which plant best suites your taste and home, visit Madeline’s Flower Shop & Nursery at 1030 S. Broadway in Edmond or TLC Florist & Greenhouses at 105 W. Memorial in Oklahoma City. Madeline’s can be reached at 341-2530 and TLC at 751-0630.