My about page states that “Black thumbs and bad diets are just green thumbs and better diets waiting to happen.” and I really do believe it! Have you ever called yourself a black thumb? If so, why? Is it because you have killed a few plants? Well I have great news. Killing a few plants doesn’t make you a black thumb. If that was the case, I wouldn’t own any plants, let alone be writing a blog about plants. I guarantee I have killed more plants that most people, but the difference between me and the black thumbs of the world is that I just kept bringing home plants even after failure.
Now, obviously some plants are harder to take care of, and can make anyone feel like a plant failure. After killing a whole fling of maidenhair ferns, I have just accepted that it’s not meant to be – I will inevitably forget to water it one weekend and it will be toast.
So to help turn some black thumbs to green, I’d like to share with you five plants that have stood the test of time, space, and, in one case, a 50 hour car ride from Florida to Utah during the polar vortex of 2014.
If you’ve looked into easy-care plants at all, I’m sure you’ve come across sansevieria. They are usually on lists like this because they can take a lot of neglect and can survive with very little light.
2. Heartleaf Philodendron
Hanging plants are so fun! But many of them are what I’d consider to be medium to high level maintenance. Not the heartleaf philodendron. You’ll find many websites that say it’s “impossible to kill”. While you can overwater this plant, it will show signs (yellowing leaves) and can recover easily. Another benefit of this philodendron is that it is great for purifying the air.
3. Madagascar Dragon Tree
Talk about thriving with neglect and even abuse; this little number is the one that survived a 50 hour car ride from central Florida to northern Utah during a polar vortex in January of 2014. And not only was it in the car while we were driving, but it was dragged in and out of the hotels we stayed in on our journey. I got it sometime in 2013 and it’s still kickin’ it now in 2019. It does well pretty much everywhere in my house and, unlike some other plants, it tells you when it needs attention! If mine needs water, the leaves start to droop, but perks right back up when given a thorough drink.
4. Peace Lily
This is the only plant on this list that flowers as a houseplant. The peace lily is easy, but definitely not as neglectable as those listed above. I put it on the list because it’s beautiful, fairly easy to care for, and will help anyone learn how to read signs that plants give us. It gives a lot of warnings when things aren’t going well and then is pretty forgiving when you try to remedy the situation. The peace lily is a great option if you want to move from cacti and snake plants to something slightly more demanding.
5. Mother of Thousands
There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a green thumb than when you make more plants out of the plant you already have. Mother of thousands is beautiful, interesting, and gives you “thousands” of opportunities for propagation! Little pups grow all over the edges of the leaves. You can try your hand at cultivating them into full-grown independent plants. Best part is, you can just keep trying and trying because the plant will just keep sending out more pups. It’s care is the same as other succulents. It needs lots of light and you should let it dry out 100% between waterings. Check out my post on Drench & Dry Watering if you’ve experienced trouble with succulents in the past.
Remember! Plants take practice, just like anything else. And always always always research plants before you bring them into your home if you have kids or pets. Many houseplants are toxic or even poisonous to people and animals.