I wish I'd inherited my mother's green thumb. But truth is, when it comes to plants, if it's alive in my house it's probably pretty hardy. Here are the five types of plants that have survived even my hands.
White birds of paradise.
I love big, dramatic plants, and I had to have one on each side of our bed. I've lost track of how many palms and peace lilies I went through before giving up. Then I found these white birds of paradise and they are so happy! Their growth season just started and they've begun to unfurl almost-chartreuse leaves. They're thriving and they give our master bedroom just the touch I wanted.
Our floor plan places our kitchen and living room in the center of our house, with no direct windows of their own (though light flows in from adjacent, open rooms). This makes it hard for plants of the not-artificial variety to survive. However, Dracaenas have pulled through for me. They are excellent low-light, low-maintenance plants with gorgeous arching leaves.
Fiddle leaf fig.
My fiddle leaf fig is years old and it too has started its growth season. It receives a good amount of filtered morning light and is happy as long as I water it regularly. I know, I know, standard practice, but it frankly just doesn't always happen around here. Yet my fiddle leaf is still alive. If you love these popular plants, I'm here to tell you that if I can keep one alive, you can too. (And mine did not come from an expensive nursery.) Here are some additional tips.
Umbrella plants will also give you a lot of life for little or sporadic effort. I have one that grew from a sprig my mom pinched off from her plant in San Francisco and gave to my husband, who forgot it for a good couple days in the depths of his suitcase when he returned to Atlanta. That sprig grew into a plant that I was able to further divide into three fairly large plants of their own. They are tolerant and obviously lend themselves well to propagation.
Pothos plants are also extremely forgiving and can offer a graceful train when placed high. Like umbrella plants, pathos are also very easy to propagate. Just pinch off a leaf and root it in a jar of water before planting and you have a whole new plant for yourself or as a little living gift — that the recipient won't kill either.
(Note: As always, take note of plants that are toxic to pets and children.)
What are your die-hard plants?