I have great news for all of you who think you shouldn’t own any living thing in your home other than your kiddos and fur babies. If the vision of all your dead succulents has popped into your head or if you’re looking down to take a peek at your black thumb…I’m speaking to you!
If you’ve hung around me long enough, you know that one of my recommendations for turning your house into a home you love is bringing the outdoors in. That’s way easier said than done if you’re a green thumb, but harder to wrap your head around if you’ve killed every living green thing that’s entered your home. “But Dani, I’ve seen your house. You have plants growing everywhere and they’re always alive. Or they’re really great fakes and I can’t tell the difference.” Ha. It’s true – I’ve inherited a little bit of a green thumb from my mama, but I promise you I have (sadly) killed my fair share of plants in my time. In fact, as I write this I have one plant that is in need of some TLC and another that I am doing my darndest to keep alive. It’s my personal mission to figure this bad boy out. It’s a feisty plant, a bit of a diva and should definitely be put on the list of ‘Don‘t you dare ever purchase this living plant if you’re dipping your toes into plant ownership and want to be successful at it.’ I’ll include a couple more on that list too, but hang tight. We’re talking success stories here. The ones you should buy that you CAN keep alive. Get your tennies on, because you’re going to want to head to the plant store once you know it takes more effort to kill these guys than keep them alive.
AKA The Lucky Plant, The Friendship Plant or The Money Tree Plant
If you’re stepping into plant parenthood with a lot of trepidation and skepticism, try the Jade plant. It’s native to dry climates and is drought resistant. Basically you need to leave on vacation for five months if you want to kill this thing. If you happen to kill it you probably drowned the poor fella. Really - leave it alone and water ‘eh whenever you think about it (like once every couple of weeks).
AKA Mother-In-Law's Tongue or The Snake Plant
Similar to the Jade plant, the Sansevieria is native to drier climates meaning it doesn’t require a whole lot of water. It comes in several varieties. My oldest son has one in his room and it looks FANTASTIC and I have no idea when he last watered it. Maybe the last time we had a guest use the room?…Six months ago. Truly. You have to work awfully hard if you want to kill one of these things.
AKA Madagascar Dragon Plant
Rumor has it this is a relative of the Sansevieria plant, but there were a lot of big plant-ish words explaining why that is and quite honestly lost my attention after the first sentence. Basically what you need to know is that lucky you, you new plant parent, this is another one that is hard to kill because of it’s native roots in drought land. Like other plant babies they start small, but this one has legs (or leg) for days and I like it. It adds character to our dining room, but sadly she’s a little less than photogenic. I mean…look at that ragtop!!
Not an asparagus. Not a fern. But definitely a fun plant, especially if you have a head-shaped pot – the asparagus tuft looks like an unruly head of hair. This is native to the same region as the plants listed above and is drought resistant. The wonderful thing about this plant…it tells you when it needs to be watered! If the leaves turn a light green – give it a splash of water. Easy enough. Side note: I’ve used these as fillers for my outdoor potted plants – they fill the pot, drape over the side and handle the warm days of summer. Perfect!
I used to call this plant the Perky Plant. I inherited it a couple years ago and didn’t know what it was called until just recently, but its night time behaviors caught my attention. During the day the leaves lay flat and, if long enough, dangle over the edge of the pot, but at night it gets perky. The leaves fold or roll up and point to the ceiling as if in prayer. Not as drought resistant as the others, but when it stops being super perky at night it’s time to water.
Another inherited plant that until recently had no name. I’ve had this for two years and it lives in my home near the fireplace. We don’t move it when we’re using the fire – basically we’re trying to kill the poor sucker by overheating it and drying out the soil. Nary a leaf has fallen. So much so, that I have had to double check that this inherited plant is not an imposter. Apparently they start out small and compact, but this is the nursery’s doing. Once at home and out of the hands of an experienced gardener this plant sprouts sprigs and gets a little leggy. If you haven’t noticed yet, the more unruly of a plant the better in my book.
You see these all the time around Christmas. They sit in the foyer of the grocery store and are practically begging you to adopt them. You guys…do it! I grew up with Christmas Cactuses and in all honesty, I used to hate the things. They just seemed so, so…grandma-y. Akin to doilies. But after getting to know them a bit, they are spunky and fun and they put on quite a show around Christmas – just adding to the delight that already envelops your dolled-up house. If kept well, these puppies can outlive YOU. No joke. They can live to be 100 years old. Here’s an example. The one below was my mom’s mom’s plant.
Did you catch that? My grandma passed away thirty-two years ago. Are you doing the math? Ok, back to their care. They don’t like a whole lot of attention and they’re ok sitting in a dark corner for several months of the year. I mean…can it get much easier?
This one, I just learned, has an attitude. She was the one I mentioned needs a little bit of TLC. Perfectly perky and doing just fine until it came time for me to take her picture. Now she’s acting like a little kid with a fake limp. In my case I think she needs a new pot, but in general these guys are easy to care for. Natively speaking they live tropically along the forest floor so they can handle some low light areas of your home. This is another plant who tells you when it needs a drink. Watch its leaves and when they start to droop, give it a splash.
Before you judge a plant by its name, you need to hear me out. This is not your normal fig. Unlike its cousin the diva I hinted at earlier, this one is not high maintenance in the least. This one sits happy as a clam in a low light corner of the house, sheds its leaves occasionally but grows new ones often. Not overly demanding - I water it mine once a week.
I’m a smidge shy to put this one on the list. It really is an easy plant to keep around, but my hesitancy comes with the fact that I recently killed mine (my head is hanging in shame). In my defense I had the sweet thing for five years and my kiddos were starting the chore of watering the house plants. See where this is going? I’ve taken the reigns back on that chore and given them toilet bowl cleaning instead. A win-win in my book. Really…it makes no sense for this to be number ten on my list. Ten would indicate that it should be the last plant to buy when in all reality and with plant-killing shame aside, it should sit high alongside with the Sansevierias and Dracaenas.
Now that you know there are some plants that are literally harder to kill than keep alive, what’s stopping you from adding some green to your world? Can you do it? Let me answer that question for you…YES you absolutely can and once you adopt one of these little guys, give it a name, talk to it occasionally and introduce him to me on Instagram @figandfarm. I’d love to meet him!